Julian Charles Young.

A memoir of Charles Mayne Young, tragedian, with extracts from his son's journal online

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certain selfish regrets at the prospect of parting with such a
treasure. The effect produced on the gentleman was not less
marked. Disparity of station, and inadequacy of means, had
alone prevented him from declaring his passion for the gover-
ness ; but now that those obstacles were removed, he determined
to avow his attachment. As I heard no details, I will not attempt
to give them ; but will content myself with stating that, in the
first instance, so far from receiving his advances with encourage-
ment, she gave him to understand that she suspected her money
had more attraction for him than her person, assigning as her
reason for such impression, that he had shunned her while he
thought her poor, but had sought her as soon as he found her
rich. He assured her that he had loved her at first sight, but
had been deterred, by honourable motives and means inadequate,
from venturing on matrimony : that he had therefore purposely
kept out of danger's way; but that, as to wishing to marry her
for the sake of her money, it was a cruel imputation, which
stung him to the quick, &c., &c. Before finishing all he had
to say, he left the room, rushed to the stables, saddled a horse,
mounted it, and rode to the neighbouring town in search of
a Notary Public. After some hours' absence he returned, sought
an interview with her alone, and thrust into the lady's hands a
legal instrument, by which he conveyed to her, absolutely and
unconditionally, every farthing he had in the world. ' There/
said he, 'you charged me with wooing you for your money's
sake. I surrender into your keeping my few hundreds a year ;
all I ask in return is your hand and heart. I do not, by this
act, mean to buy your love, but rather to shew you that my own
is pure and disinterested. I ask for no settlements. If I prove
myself unworthy of you, your money will be in your own power.
If I live to deserve your love, I am sure you will never let me

Fairly vanquished by such generosity, she yielded to his
solicitations, and agreed to elope with hun. The honeymoon
had hardly run its course, before the unhappy Benedict dis-
covered that he had been entrapped by a penniless adventuress,
who, finding that he had a moderate fortune, and seeing that, in
spite of his reserve, she had captivated him, by the help of two
confederates, and her own adroitness, had thus made herself
mistress of his patrimony. The lady was one whose name had
been before the public previously in connection with a tragedy
in which she was supposed to have played a conspicuous part.

z 2


The ill-starred husband, in company with a few of his country-
men, entered the regiment of B B 's, and sought to

repair his desperate fortunes at tho sword's point in the
Crimean War.

1850. March 4. Lunched with Mr. W. Beckett, to meet
Don Miguel and Vicomte Queluz. In company with Colonel
Waymouth, escorted them over the Pavilion, its stables, the
Pier. For Lord Palmerston's opinion of Don Miguel, vide his
Life, by Sir H. Bulwer.

1850. April 15. Dined with Mr. Hallam, the historian.
A party.

1850. May 6. Dined with Admiral Meynell. Among the
party was Captain Macquhae, the person who first saw the sea
serpent, on August 6th, 1848. He gave us the whole account,
with an air of great simplicity and truthfulness. Meynell said
he had known him for years, and believed him incapable of
exaggeration. Every officer on Macquhae's ship H.M.S. Dtc-
dalus, saw the serpent as distinctly as he did, with their glasses
first, afterwards, as it came close to them, with their naked
eve. Supposing Macquhae himself to have been mistaken, one
can hardly believe every officer on board his ship to have been so

1850. June 12. Lunched with Arthur Macleane, Principal
of Brighton College, and George Long. Macleane gave me an
amusing account of a scene he once witnessed with a monkey. He
was on a visit to a friend in the Madras Presidency, when tho
said friend was summoned to a more northern station on matters
of moment. Before leaving, he said to Macleane : * My dear
friend, I want to consign to your care a pet of mine, a female
monkey. I have so high an opinion of her moral qualities, that
I have appointed her as guardian over four little puppies, who are
orphans. I hope, joking apart, that you will not mind my
leaving her tied up in tho comer of the room in which you

As soon as his friend had taken his departure, a black servant
entered the room in which Macleano was, and placed in one
corner of it a large wooden stand, with a perch on it, and a
broad ledge beneath it. My lady monkey was then formally
introduced and installed into office. She jumped up on her
seat, and looked around on every side with an air of no small
importance. She was evidently fully sensible of tho responsi-
bility involved in the guardianship of the pups. Macleane,
though much engrossed with the matter in which he was en-
gaged (ho was writing for the local paper, of which he was


editor), could not resist an occasional glance at the demure
self-sufficiency of the monkey, and also at her grotesque mode
of enforcing discipline on her refractory proteges. As she had
business of her own to attend to viz., the demolition of sundry
nuts, which had been put before her ; and, as she had no notion
of allowing her meal to be interrupted by the freaks of her
baby charges, she clapped the tail of one under her towards
the north ; of another towards the south ; of another towards
the east ; and of the fourth towards the west ; so that if any of
them, wishing to indulge ' a truant disposition,' contrived, by
wriggling, to extricate its tail from its imprisonment, it was
promptly caught up, and slapped, and the tail replaced in its
proper quarter.

The next day, while Macleane was engaged in the same
pursuit as before, a native servant, with a small hatchet in his
hand, came to dock the ears and tails of the puppies. On his
boldly withdrawing one of the little ones from the monkey's
hind-quarters, she protested indignantly against his utter dis-
regard of her authority. But when she saw the intruder, by
way of answer, deliberately chop off its tail, obeying the instinct
of self preservation, she caught up her own, abandoned her other
three charges to their fate, and sprang on the architrave of the
door, evidently thinking that, if tails were to be treated with
so little ceremony as that, the sooner she secured her own the

\\ hen Macleane was at Trinity College, Cambridge, he, one
day, met the Marquis Spoleto, a teacher of Italian, and a refugee,
and thus accosted him :

' Have you many pupils this term ? '

* Vel, I ave vone in Hebrew/

* Dear me,' said Macleane, ' I had no idea you knew Hebrew.'
' Vel, no ; not exactly. But then, you see, we do not begin

for vone five week.'

1850. July 2. Went to the Scottish fete. Sat with Lord
Ely and James Adam Gordon. Jung Bahador and the Nepaulese
Princes there. Nothing could bo more cold and impassive
than their deportment while witnessing feats of strength which
astonished every one else. With true Oriental cunning, they
were disguising their real feelings. In the evening dined at
Stafford House. There were at dinner the Duchess of Suther-
land, the Duchess of Argyll, the Marquis and Marchioness of
Kildare, Lord and Lady Anson, Lord Bagot, Lady Dover, and
the two Miss Ellises, Lady Mary Howard, Hon. Mr. and Mrs.
Edward Howard and Miss , Hon. and Rev. Gerald Wellcsley

334 JOURNAL. [c'HAi-.

Mr. Monckton Milnes, Mr. Stafford O'Brien, Sir Edwin Landseer,
and Sir Charles Barry. In the evening there were the Duchess
of Norfolk and Lady A. Howard, Lord Edward Howard, Baron
Parkc and daughter. During dinner the Duchess received a
note from Lady Peel, from Whitehall, with a bulletin of Sir
Robert's state, and giving but faint hopes of his life. The
Duchess was most gracious, and took me into the great room to
show me the grand Murillos purchased from Marshal Soult.
The Duchess of Norfolk and all the guests who had come in
the evening having dispersed, I made my bow and walked homo
with Sir Edwin Landseer, as he had to pass the house in whicli
I was staying to get to his own. In going up St. James's Street,
he looked in at Brookes' to see if he could hear more news of Sir
Robert. While we were standing on the door-step under a
strong gaslight, a strange gentleman, passing rapidly by, and
recognizing Landseer, turned back and said to him, * Sir Edwin,
I make no apology for addressing you, as I know you are well
acquainted with Sir Robert Peel ! You will be painfully inte-
rested to know that I have just left his door, and that he is
dead. He died a quarter of an hour ago.'

Sir Edwin then proposed that we should return to Stafford
House and tell the Duchess. On arriving, we found that, as
soon as her own party had broken up, she had gone to Lady
Waldegrave's. It was curious to see the rapid change which
had taken place in the appearance of the house within a quarter
of an hour. When we had left, it was a blaze of light and
beauty the hall filled with servants. When we returned, all
the lights were extinguished, with the exception of one hall
lamp, and no one but the night-porter was to be seen.

1850. May 10. Went to a private club, called ' The Cave,'
with Harry Hallam. It is composed of none but men of intel-
lectual mark. I met there Messrs. Kenneth Macaulay, Bentinck,
Spring Rice, Thackeray, Lushington, Tom Taylor, and Vena-
blcs. Plenty of good talk.

1850. June 25. Dined with Lady Essex, and met a most
agreeable party, consisting of the versatile and accomplished
Dr. Quin, Mr. Charles Greville, Colonel Dawson Darner, Land-
seer, Lady Monson, Mrs. William Locke, Pasta, Viardot, and
Parodi. I took Pasta in to dinner, and found her delightful.
After dinner she was asked to sing ; and sitting down to the
piano, she commenced her great song Ombra Adorata. But the
change from what she had been was painful. She sang out
of tune beyond belief; yet did not seem conscious of it herself.


Parodi, her pupil and favourite, sang also, and skilfully, but wa&
deficient in charm. Viardot with generous forbearance, de-
clined to sing at all. Landseer told me a capital story. He
was commissioned (I think) by Mr. Wells, of Redleaf, to paint
a favourite dog of his ; but the great artist had so many works
on hand of greater importance, that he begged for some months'
delay. After the lapse of considerable time, he met Mr. Wells
in the street, and told him that he thought he should be able,
at last, to paint his pet.

Mr. Wells (loq.*). ' Alas, my dear friend, it is too late ! I have
lost him!'

Landseer. l That is to say, he is stolen.'

Mr. Wells. ' No. I have no reason for thinking so. I lost
him in the streets.'

Landseer. ' I am sure he is stolen ! Will you still give me
the commission to paint him if I recover him for you ? '

Mr. Wells. < Gladly.'

Landseer instantly, on returning to St. John's Wood, sent for a
well-known dog-fancier, described the characteristic points of the
animal, and told him he should be well paid if he would find him.

Dog-fancier (scratching his head reflectively, and repeating
to himself, aloud, the description given). * Black and tan, wi'
very long ears ? Large eyes ? I've see'd that dog somewhere,
I'll swear ! 1 dessay I could bring him in a fortnight.'

Landseer. ' A fortnight ! Nonsense ! I must have him in
forty-eight hours ! '

Dog-fancier. ' It could not be done, Sir, in the time.'

Landseer. ' Well ; I have no doubt you could put your hand
upon him in no time. But if you won't then bring him as
soon as you can.'

At the end of a fortnight the man entered Landseer's hall with
the dog in his arms.

Landseer. 'Oh! so you've brought him at last, have you.
Now, why could not you have let me had it before ? '

Dog-fancier. * Well, Sir, you're an old friend, and won't
peach I But the fact were, / stole the dog! But honour
among thieves! I sold it to a trump of a old lady in Portland
1'lace for such a howdacious good sum, I felt it would not be
just not to let her enjoy it, at least, for a fortnight.'

This reminds mo of a story which I heard long after.

When bear-baiting was the fashion in France, Count D'0rsay r
knowing that Landseer was sometimes obliged to have recourse
to dog-fanciers for the loan of models, asked him to get him a

336 JOURNAL. [CiiAP.

bull-dog of very superior strength and courage. Landseer sent
accordingly for Ben White, a man standing at the very pinnacle
of his profession.

It was not long before he presented himself to D'Orsay with a
hideous bull-dog by his side.

Landseer (introducing the dog-fancier). ' Count, this is Mr.
White, who has brought his dog for you to look at.'

D'Orsay. 'Ah, Vite! I have often heard of you; and I
believe, of all de Vites, you are de best.'

White. ' Thank yer lordship.'

D'Orsay. l Vel, Vite, vat vill de dog do?'

White. l Vel, my lord, he'll go in and fight the bear till he
ain't got a leg to stand on ! '

D'Orsay. 'Ah, bas Vite ! No good. Take him avay. I must
have a dog that can fight de bear till the bear has not got a leg
to stand on ! '

1850. July 5. The two following letters, the originals of
which are in my possession, were written five-and-thirty years
ago by a spoiled boy at Eton to his too indulgent father.

' Eton, February 2, 1815.

' MY DEAR PAPA. I arrived here safe and well ; but am sorry
to tell you that I have been flogged ; and, if you don't want me
to be called a gentleman, take me away. Oh! papa! pupa!
did I not ask you not to send me back ? I told you ho\v it
would be. I am kept up till twelve o'clock at night. I cannot
learn my lessons. I am flogged every day ; and, unless you
come and take me away, I must run away in less than one week.
I must run away indeed : indeed I must, if you don't write to
say so. In less than one week, mind ! Upon my honour I
must ; for I cannot stand it. Did I not tell you how it would
be ? Pray come up in a day or two and settle it. If you don't,
I must run away. Give my love to all. God bless you.

' Your affectionate son,

' P.S. Mind I One week I Pray come up, and then you can
settle it. Mind I don't want to run away ; but you must take
mo away. If you will, I will try all I can to learn with my
aunt and grandmama, or else at Mr. Church's. The Easter
holidays in four weeks ! Write by return of post.'

4 Kton, February 5, 1815.

' MY DEAE PAPA. I am now going to give you a full account
of how I have been used since I have been here. In the week


before I received your comfortable letter, one night I was going
down stairs, wben I was pushed clown them and hurt my back
terribly. While I was down they licked me in the face, and
kicked me about. They take the bed-clothes away ; they tear
the books to pieces, and I cannot do my lessons ; and if I was
to tell you more about the way I am used, you would fly to take
your child away. And as for telling my tutor about it, it is no
more use than telling the poker. I am flogged every day, and
it is impossible for me to do my lessons.

Yesterday, a great big boy kicked me in the back, just where
I tumbled. As for running away, I would no more do that than
fly in the air : so, if you don't want me to be worse off than
before just you come up to Eton in one day or two ; then you
can take me to Dr. Keate, to tell him you cannot let me stop
any longer. Then he will say no more. Take my advice, and
come. If you don't want me to be killed, don't write to my
tutor. If you do, he will speak to Dr. Keate, and he will speak
to the boys, and then they will get sticks and beat me, and then
I shall be laid up. Take my advice, and come up by Tuesday
or Wednesday. Don't write to Dr. Keate, or I shall be killed.
There is not a place I go to but I'm beat. I will give you my
honour, I attend particularly to personal cleanliness ; and I will
give you my word and honour, again and again, that I am
grown a very good boy. I would not say so if I was not. I
don't bite my nails, nor nothing what my grandmama forbid
me. I say my prayers earnestly by day and by night. And I
will give you my honour again, that if you will take me away in
one week or two, that I will try all I can to learn with my
grandmama, and Mr. Church, if you will. When you come up
you will find what an expense you have put yourself to for such
an idle vagabond as I am. take, take, take me away. Do
come up in one week, or I shall die with fatigue. Don't write
again. Tell dear little Teddy that he will see me in one week,
when the dearest of fathers comes up to take me away. When
you come up you will be glad to the bottom of your heart that
you have taken me away ; for I will tell you all about it going
down in the coach. You can take me away and pay at the end
of the month.

1 1 remain, dear Papa, your affectionate Son,

* P.S. I am dying with fatigue.'

1851. November 13. Being exhausted in body and unhinged

338 .Ml'KNAL [Cii.M>.

in niinil by many nights' unremitting attendance on a relative
who had been dangerously ill, my doctor insisted on my re-
linguishmg my post to another, and going elsewhere for change
of scene and air. As my invalid was convalescent, I felt no
hesitation in obeying orders; and, therefore, went to Brighton
to pass a few days with my father, who was then residing in the
Old Steyne.

I arrived at his door on Tuesday, the llth, in the evening,
and retire^ early to bed, sanguine that, after so many sleepless
vigils, I should enjoy a night of unbroken rest. I have always
been blessed with a remarkable talent for sleep, generally losing
consciousness as soon as my candle has been extinguished, and
rarely recovering it till it has been time to rise. I was, there-
fore, the more surprised on this occasion at finding myself,
within a couple of hours after I had retired, wide awake.
I fancy this must have been about half-past eleven, because
half-an-hour after, I heard the clock on the stairs strike twelve.
I ought to mention that, at night, in certain conditions of
health, I have sometimes suffered from a morbid activity of
memory, utterly destructive of sleep or even of tranquillity.
At such times I have been pursued by one prevailing idea,
which I have been unable to shake off; or been haunted by
snatches of old airs, or harassed by the reiteration of one text
of Scripture, and one only. It was not long ago that, after
having drunk some very strong coffee, I lay awake for three
hours, repeating, in spite of myself, over and over again, the
following words from St. Peter's First Epistle, ' Whom having
not seen, ye love : in whom, though now ye see him not, yet
believing, ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory/
By no exercise of ingenuity could I get rid of these words.
I tried to substitute others in their place, but in vain. Well, it
was under some such mental impression that, on waking up on
Monday night last, I was possessed, as it were, by four mystic
words, each of one syllable, conveying no more idea to my
mind than if they were gibberish, and yet delivered with as
much solemnity of tone, deliberation of manner, and pertinacity
of sequence, as if they wore meant to convey to me some
momentous intimation. They were all the more exciting that
they were unintelligible, and apparently could not servo
any ostensible purpose. They were accompanied by no vision.
They were, if I may use such a word, an audition, and nothing
more. I could not exclude them by putting cotton in my ears,
for they came from within, and not from without. To try to


supplant them by encouraging a fresh train of ideas was hope-
less: my will and my reason were alike subservient to some
irresistible occult force. The words which beset me were,.
'Dowd' 'swell' 'pull' 'court'; and they were separated,
as I have written them, into monosyllables ; and were repeated
with an incisive distinctness and monotonous precision which was
quite maddening. I sat up in my bed and struck a light to make
myself sure that I was awake, and not dreaming. All the
while were reiterated, as if in a circle, the same wild words,
' Dowd ' ' swell * ' pull ' ' court.' I lay down again, and put
out my candle : ' Dowd ' ' swell ' * pull ' ' court.' I turned
on my left side : ' Dowd ' ' swell ' ' pull ' ' court.' I turned
to the right : ' Dowd ' ' swell ' ' pull ' ' court.' I endeavoured,
as a means of dispersing these evil spirits for they began
almost to assume the importance of spirits in my heated brain
to count sheep over a stile, but still, 'Dowd' 'swell'
' pull ' ' court ' rang in my ears and reverberated through my
mind. I counted my respirations. I had recourse to every
imaginable conceit by which to woo sleep, and ward off my
ghostly, verbal tormentors. I tried to call to mind all the
people I cared for then all the people I disliked. I tried to
conjure up the recollection of all the murders or sensational
incidents I had ever read or heard of, in the hope of diverting
my thoughts into other channels; but in vain. I then began
to analyse the meaning of the words themselves. 'What,'
said I to myself, ' can be the meaning of " Dowd " ? I never
heard of such a word. I have heard of a bird called a " dodo,"
and I think there is one in the Zoological Gardens. I know
the meaning of the verb " to swell " ; and I am familiar with the
slang substantive " a swell." I know the meaning of the verb
"to court," and of the substantive "a court." There is no
difficulty about the word "pull"; but what earthly connection
there be between these words, that they should be thus
linked together, and addressed to me ? Ah, I begin to discern
the truth. I am trying to make sense out of nonsense. The
painful scenes I have lately witnessed, while in attendance on
my friend, has upset the balance of my brain, and 1 am going
mad.' I had not pursued this train of melancholy reflection
long, when I fell into a profound slumber, from which I was
only aroused by my father's voice summoning me to breakfast.
I sprang out of bed, made a hasty toilet, and joined him. On
his asking me how I had slept, I told him how curiously I had
been disturbed in the night. My narrative inspired him with


more of ridicule than of pity. About midday I paid a visit to
the Miss Smiths, daughters of the late Horace Smith. I found
Frederick Robertson, then in the zenith of his well-deserved
fame, sitting with them, and engaged in somewhat transcendental
talk, to which my entrance had put a stop. 1 told them I should
withdraw unless they were kind enough to resume the thread of
their argument. They did so ; but, after a while, the conversa-
tion turned to Herr von Reichenbach's book, and his theory on
the subject of Odic Force, and then to the philosophy of dreams.
As soon as there was a slight pause in the conversation, I re-
peated to them with avidity my nocturnal experience; but
instead of its producing the effect I had expected on my auditors,
it only provoked an interchange of significant looks between
them, which convinced me that, in Oriental phrase, I had been
eating dirt. I soon rose and took my leave. As soon as
Robertson saw me rise, he took up his hat and stick and
followed me : and when we had reached the door-step, he who
was always considerate of the feelings of others, perceiving
that my vanity had been mortified by the silence with which my
tale had been received, took my arm and said, ' My dear Young,
I hope you will forgive me if I say, that I never before heard
you tell anything so pointless as what you have just repeated to
the Miss Smiths and myself.'

1 Ah,' said I, c I perceived you thought so ; but that does not
alter my opinion. To me the whole thing is fraught with
interest and mystery. I am sure that thereby hangs a tale
indeed. I only wish I knew it.'

It was on Wednesday, the 12th, that these words passed
between my friend Frederick Robertson and myself. On
Thursday, the 13th, I walked into Folthorp's library to read
the papers ; and, as usual, ran my eye down the births, mar-
riages, and deaths in The Times. As I came to the obituary,
the following notice caught my sight :

'On Tuesday night, November the llth, John E. Dowdswell
of Pull Court, Tewkesbury.' So that, probably, on the selfsame
night, and at the very time when this gentleman's name and
residence were so unaccountably and painfully present to my
mind, he was actually dying.

1852. May 20. I went with a friend to Charles Kean's
private box to see The Corsican Brothers. He came up and sat

Online LibraryJulian Charles YoungA memoir of Charles Mayne Young, tragedian, with extracts from his son's journal → online text (page 36 of 50)