Зображення сторінки

least false step of his steed very thirds of the leaves, he put his dangerous.

finger upon one, and said, “There I sat next to the Chief Baron was a letter about that; where is in the course of the evening, and it?” After some search and conhad some very interesting talk ference among the barristers and with him. He told me that he attorneys, a letter was produced was at Trinity (Cambridge) with which supplied the missing link in Porson and Lord Byron, and the evidence. When the trial was added that the former, when over, I asked Sir Frederick how he Pollock came out senior wrangler knew about that letter. “ Well,” of his year, urged him to embrace he replied, “I did not know about literature as a profession. “But,” it; but I had a shrewd guess at its said the Chief Baron, “I had no existence.” Again, there was a money, and must adopt a less cause which involved a question precarious means of living.

of the direction of a drain, which The Chief Baron must at that one of the witnesses was attempttime have been verging upon ing to describe. The Chief Baron eighty ; but Time did not seem took a sheet of foolscap, and, with to have told upon either his a broad-nibbed quill pen, made a mental or physical powers. The diagram, and held it up to the brilliancy and originality of his witness. “Is that the sort of remarks, and his personal activity, thing? ” inquired the judge. “Not were wonderful. In the course quite,” said the witness; “ there of that evening a lawyer's clerk were curves in it." With two arrived to say that a cause which dashes of his pen, the judge held was the last on the list, and had it up again to the witness, who been set down for the next day, exclaimed at once, “ Exactly, my and was likely to last three or lord.” I expressed to Sir Frederick four, had been settled out of my surprise at the readiness with course, thus at once releasing the which he had made the diagram, Chief Baron from his labours ; when he said, “Oh, it is quite in and his lordship manifested his my way,” and taking another delight by “polkaing” three times sheet of paper, he drew, without round the drawing room until he any instrument, a series of circles, was nearly out of breath.

intersected by straight lines, as Before we parted for the evening accurately as many would have the Chief Baron was so kind as to done them with rule and comstipulate with me, as he graciously passes. termed it, that, whenever he was Once, at the.end of an unusually on the Home Summer Circuit, I long and tedious trial, I expressed should come down and dine with to my kind friend my wonder at him, and “help him to try the patience with which he had causes ;” and many a pleasant listened to the “ damnable iteraday have I passed on the bench tion” of counsel and witness. by his side, enjoying his sotto voce “Ah, my friend,” said the judge, remarks, and admiring his won “you don't know the pleasure of derful sagacity. I remember, in a eliciting truth, which it is the particular cause, there was a fact business of some of these gentlewhich, although strongly sus men (pointing to the bar) to pected, did not come out in distort or conceal.” On another evidence. “ Hand me up that occasion, while one of the counsel order book," said the judge. was pooh-poohing the entire of After turning over about two certain evidence adduced, the Chief

Baron said, in an aside to me, “But SCOTTISH HEROISM. that is the point, though!” and so Jerdan related to me that he one it proved.

day witnessed at Haslar Hospital It happened on one occasion of

the operation of extracting a ball my dining with Sir Frederick I

from a sailor, who had received it had been repeating to one of his

in an attempt to cut out some daughters in the drawing room a

vessels from a French port. During story which Sir Henry Ellis had

the painful process, the poor fellow recently related to me regarding

never uttered a groan, but once exa matrimonial quarrel between a

claimed to the surgeon, “ Saftly, nobleman and his wife, the result

saftly over the stanes.” When the being a separation by deed. It

ball was extracted he asked to look was a subject of much gossip in

at it. Taking it in his hand he the fashionable circles at the time,

gazed at it wistfully for a few and I asked Sir Henry if he knew

moments, and then said, “Nae what was the casus belli. His expla

sma' dust of a ba’ this! but it nation was that his lordship, being

shall gang back to them.” A subject to cold feet, took a bottle of

quarter of an hour afterwards the water to bed with him, and her

poor fellow was a corpse. ladyship kicked the cork out. Miss Pollock laughed heartily at the story, when the Chief Baron, turn

THOMAS CARLYLE. ing round, inquired, “ What's the I never saw him but on one occajoke?” I repeated the tale, and

sion, when he called at the house of then put it to his lordship as a a friend with whom I had been judge whether it was a legitimate dining. I was much struck by his cause for the separation. Sir appearance, and perfectly charmed Frederick, after reflecting with a

by the unstudied eloquence of his very judicial countenance for a few

talk. I could have listened to him seconds, replied that on mature for hours. John Knox was among consideration, and speaking as a the subjects discussed. and was judge, he thought it was.

highly eulogised by Carlyle. I

admitted that he was a great man IRISH SPARKS.

in his time, but alleged that he was

a persecutor. “Yes, sir," was the I remember a Trinity College

rejoinder," he persecuted the devil (Dublin) story of a student, who

and all his servants.” “True," having to translate Cæsar, rendered

I said, Mr. Carlyle, “and some. the first sentence, “ Omnis Gallia

times mistook the livery." Either divisa est in partes tres,” “ All Gaul

my reply was so stupid that he did is quartered into three halves.” At

not see the point, or there was no the same time I was told of one of

point to see, or he did not like the the undergraduates of the same

contradiction. college amusing himself with a mirror, by throwing the reflection of the sun's rays on the heads of the

SAMUEL ROGERS. Dons as they crossed the quod, for Jerdan told me that he was once which he was summoned before the at the printing office of the authorities, who, however, were Literary Gazette, where Mr. Rogers's puzzled to find a name for the “ Jacqueline” was being printed. offence, until one of them suggested Glancing through some sheets “casting reflections on the heads of Jerdan noticed some imperfect the college."

rhymes, and pointed them out to the printer, who, in turn, men, which is somewhat contradicted by tioned them to Rogers. The poet the fact which came under my cancelled every page in which they personal knowledge, of his having occurred. He was a wonderful advanced to a poor author to set polisher, as was Basil Hall, whose him up in a business, three printer told me that the corrections hundred pounds, which he must of his proofs cost more than the have known he should never see composition of the type. A gentle again. Rogers had a singularly man of great literary celebrity, and formed head, and a memento mori who was a frequent guest at expression of countenance; and it Rogers's breakfasts, told me that is reported of him that when he on one occasion the poet referred visited the catacombs at Paris, the to the following lines as the best he janitor, as the poet was going out, had ever written :

exclaimed in a tone of pathetic “ Long," he exclaimed, “ long may

remonstrance, “ You are not going such goodness live,

to leave us?” I saw him at the 'Twas all he gave-'twas all he had Royal Academy a short time before to give.”

the accident which crippled him “I was in bed," added Rogers, for the remainder of his life, and “when I made them, and I put my was much struck by his light step hands outside on the counterpane and almost jaunty air. His exand treated myself to three rounds quisite taste was in no instance of applause. Rogers had a repu. more distinguished than in the tation for saying disagreeable illustrations from Turner and Stotthings; and, I am told, alleged in hard, of his “ Italy,” and “Poems," defence of the practice, that if he engraved with a care and delicacy said clever things in society no one never surpassed in the history of listened to him, whereas if he said the art. bitter things, the company was all attention. I heard of an instance in point. He was dining at

ROBERT BELL, Holland House when Lady Holland Novelist, dramatist, critic, and remarked to him, that “there was journalist, a very extraordinary, nothing worth living for in the though much underrated man. His world.” “ Did you ever try to do “Wayside Pictures” is one of the any good in it, Lady Holland ?” most charming books I ever met rejoined Rogers. I was never at with. I read it long before I made his house, but his breakfast gather his acquaintance. The committee ings must have been charming. I of the Literary Fund had been for a have heard that his dinners were series of years attacked, at their showy and splendid, but I believe annual meetings, by a party of not frequent. It is said that Moore which Mr. Charles Wentworth and other guests complained of Dilke, grandfather of Citizen Dilke, paucity of wine, and that they was the head. At last, on the eve adjourned to a tavern to finish the of the annual meeting of the 10th evening ; but when the anacreonism March, 1858, there was circulated of the bard is taken into account, among the members of the corporathe complaint is very likely to have tion at large, a pamphlet entitled originated in the fact that the “The Case of the Reformers in the host knew when his guests had had Literary Fund, stated by Charles enough and they did not. It was W. Dilke, Charles Dickens, and also said of him that he was close John Forster,” in which was a in money matters, an assertion string of grave charges against the General Committee of Management agement of the Literary Fund, Bell, who had joined the committee notwithstanding interruptions, was in 1851, took great interest in the never once raised above its ordinary affairs of the society, and, seeing pitch. A few days before the the importance of meeting these battle came off, he was pointing charges, thoroughly mastered its out the formidable character of the history, and undertook to answer opposition, but he added, “By the the allegations of the reformers, blessing of God, we will beat them which he did, dealing with the yet.” It was a most remarkable charges seriatim. The result was literary quarrel, and its history that the motion of censure founded would be a curious one; but it on the pamphlet was negatived by must not be written until the comthe general body, the numbers being batants are in their graves. 70 to 14. Professor Whewell, who had been invited to attend by the opposing party, said, as he was RICHARD HARRIS BARHAM quitting the room, in reference to (THOMAS INGOLDSBY), the reformers' pamphlet, “ He has Was as witty and entertaining torn it to tatters ;” and some years in his conversation as in his celeafterwards Dr. Whewell, referring brated “ Legends ;” and he had to the meeting, said to me that a wonderful faculty of pouring oil Mr. Bell's reply was “the most on the troubled waters of a stormy complete refutation he had ever meeting by some adroitly introheard.” We have no right to duced joke which was irresistible. impugn the motives of the three I met him one foggy November “ reformers,” but I suspect the day, and asked him how he was, truth to be that Messrs. Dickens “O not well at all," was his reply, and Forster trusted to Dilke for “I have a nasty wheezing cold, I their facts, and he blundered egre- feel as if I had a chest full of giously. The committee were never penny whistles.” He told me he molested again on the score of was at the first meeting of the their management. The last time Archæological Society, which took I saw Bell, I called at his house, place at Canterbury, under the York-street, Portman-square, on presidency of Lord Albert Coningthe evening of the day on which he ham, afterwards Lord Londesunderwent an operation on the borough, and at which some dissole of his foot, performed undercussion arose with reference to the the freezing process, my object state of the cathedral. The archibeing to know how he was after tect, who was a very little man, it, and not intending to go beyond and, though quite competent to his the street door. He, however, duties, was a little behind his age insisted on seeing me, and then in educational acquirements, got pleaded so hard for my staying to up to explain, when the chairman, dine with him, that I could not who could scarcely discern him, refuse. He was in wonderful remarked that the gentleman had spirits, and I passed a charming better rise. “I am riz, my lord,” evening; but the relief was not exclaimed the little man, rising on lasting, and he shortly afterwards tiptoe, and craning his neck. fell a victim to the disease. He I had occasion once to ascertain was a most delightful companion, if the office of “Confessor to the and had a most musical voice; Household,” which I had seen in which, I well remember, during the a not very old “Red Book,” was whole of his defence of the man still in existence, and, if so, I pre

sumed it was a sinecure. I put came into office, he set Barham to the question to Barham in a note, make many reformations in the to which he replied that “it now City churches, which were never goes by the more Protestant title carried out. Barham, Croly, and of Chaplain to the Household. It myself, were discussing the subject is not a sinecure, the duties being one Sunday, when Barham reto read early prayers at the Chapel marked, “ Hale is like a man, who, Royal, and, I believe, to christen entering a well-furnished room, the children of the maids of looks around it and says, This honour.” He told me of a meeting is all wrong—this must be altered,' at the “ Garrick," of a few gentle- and, previously to re-arrangement, men for the purpose of drawing up he puts it all into the middle of some manifesto. Barham was pre- the room,'and," added Barham," he sent, as was also a certain nobleman, leaves it in the middle of the room, the son of a Duke, who had recently and it is in the middle of the room published a novel, in which readers now.” Barham had heard of the familiar with Walter Scott and perpetration of some job by a G. P. R. James met with passages member of a committee to which which they thought they had read they both belonged, and chabefore, and the reviewers unfortu- racterised it by the epithet it nately made a like discovery, and deserved. This coming to the were ill-natured enough to note party's ears, he complained that a the circumstance. It was a ques. member of the committee had tion with the printer at the Garrick designated the deed in question who should draw up the paper. as an atrocious job. “No," said “0," said Barham, “my lord, of Barham, “I called it an outrageous course, he is the literary man of job; but atrocious is so much more the party,” when some allusion applicable that I beg to withdraw was made to his lordship's novel, my epithet, and to adopt yours.” and the beautiful passages with I thank thee, Jew, for teaching me which it abounded; whereupon the that word! ... Not long before author said it was all the fault of his death I wrote to ask him to those abominably careless printers dinner. In reply, he excused him. in omitting to place inverted self, alleging that he was not able commas before and after the pas. to leave his room, suffering under, sages quoted. Barham said, “ When he said, “the not very pleasant your lordship prints a second edi- sensation of slow hanging." It tion, if you will only put inverted was a bronchial disease, of which commas before the beginning of he died. He was a Minor Canon the first chapter, and another pair of St. Paul's, contemporary with immediately before Finis, it would Sidney Smith, with whom he was obviate all mistake.”

on the best terms, as such con. When Archdeacon Hale first genial spirits would be.


« НазадПродовжити »