"infinite ricfas in a litm
BARHAM, HARNESS, AND HODDER.
PERSONAL REMINISCENCES BY CHORLEY, PLANCH*, AND YOUNG.
ANECDOTE BIOGRAPHIES OF THACKERAY AND DICKENS.
PROSPER MtRIMEVs LETTERS TO AN INCOGNITA; WITH
RECOLLECTIONS BY LAMARTINE AND GEORGE SAND.
PERSONAL REMINISCENCES BY BARHAM, HARNESS, AND HOD-
PERSONAL REMINISCENCES BY MOORE AND JERDAN.
( Will be published in January. )
Each I vol. of I2mo. Per vol. $1.50.
Sent, pest-paid, on receipt of price by the publishers.
BARHAM, HARNESS, AND HODDER.
RICHARD HENRY STODDARD
SCRIBNER, ARMSTRONG, AND COMPANY
Entered, according to Act of Congress, in the year 1874, by
SCRIBNER, ARMSTRONG, AND COMPANY,
In the Office ol the Librarian of Congress, at Washington.
TRUEOTVPKD AND PKINTKI) BY
H. O. HOUCMTON AND COMPAKV.
RICHARD HARRIS BARHAM.
SIR WALTER SCOTT ....
BARHAM'S COLLEGE LIFE
ANECDOTE OF HARLEY, THE COMEDIAN .
BARHAM AMONG SMUGGLERS .
A CASE OF MONOMANIA
A POETICAL INVITATION .
THE FATE OF A HARE ....
RUSTIC SIMPLICITY ....
ANECDOTE OF LORD ELDON .
THE BLOMBERG GHOST STORY
DR. BLOMBERG AND His FIDDLES
MURDER OF MRS. DONATTY
EDWARD CANNON .
ANECDOTE OF INDIAN OFFICER
THE DIGNUM BROTHERS .
A STRANGE FISH
A KEW COMER
OLD FRIENDS SHOULD NOT BE PARTED
LUTTREL'S EPIGRAM ....
THE DUCHESS OF ST. ALBANS
A DUBIOUS ACQUAINTANCE
JOHN WILSON 96
A GHOST STORY 98
THOMAS HUME 99
CHARLES MATTHEWS, THE ELDER .... 103
THE PORTSMOUTH GHOST STORY 105
FUNERAL OK SIR THOMAS LAWRENCE . . . . 112
JOHN FROST 113
POETICAL EPISTLE TO HIS SON 116
SYDNEY SMITH 118
TOWNSEND, THE BoW STREET OFFICER . . . 119
ANOTHER GHOST STORY 119
THE BEEFSTEAK CLUB 122
DENIALS OF AUTHORSHIP 123
SUETT'S FUNERAL 123
" MY COUSIN NICHOLAS " 125
WILLIAM LINLET 129
HAYNES BAYLY 132
"GETTING A LITTLE FISHING" 132
LINF.S LEFT AT HOOK'S HOUSE IN JUNE, 1834 . " . 133
ANECDOTE OF TALLEYRAND 134
BON MOT OF POWERS 134
SYDNEY SMITHISMS 134
STORY OF YATES 135
THE CANISTER 137
A DINNER AT CHARLES KF.MBLE'S 138
THOMAS MOORE 138
BARHAM'S LOVE OF CHILDREN AND CATS . . .141
MRS. RICKETTS'S GHOST STORY 143
PICKLED COCKLES 150
GAEME FEATHERS 151
POETICAL EPISTLE TO DR. HUME 151
AN ACCOMPLISHED SWINDLER 153
A SONG OF SIXPENCE 135
THE QUEEN OF THE BELGIANS 156
MONCRIEF, THE DRAMATIST 157
THE SENTIMENTAL CHILD 158
THE UNLUCKY PRESENT 158
SYDNEY SMITH'S NOVEL i6a
DUKE OF SUSSEX AND MR. OFFOR 163
PARSON O'BEIRNE'S SERMON 163
A NOBLEMAN WHO WOULD SELL ANYTHING . . .165
A FRENCHMAN'S CRITICISM 168
MACREADY IN AMERICA 169
BARHAM'S SURGEON . . . . . . . . 170
THE BULLETIN ' 172
To THE GARKICK CLUB 174
LORD BYRON 179
MARY RUSSELL MITFORD 196
HARNESS AT STRATFORD 207
His EDITION OF SHAKESPEARE 208
SHAKESPEARE AS A PLAYER 210
GOODNESS OF SHAKESPEARE'S WRITING . . .211
THE GLOBE THEATRE . . ... . . 214
MRS. SIDDONS 216
PROSPERO'S ISLAND . . . . . . 218
THE KEMBLES IN AMERICA . 219
THE KEANS 225
" MEMORIALS OF CATHERINE FANSHAWE "... 226
MASTERS AND SERVANTS 230
STATE OF THE ENGLISH BIBLE 232
EDWARD IRVING . . . ... . . 232
HARNESS'S EARLY REMINISCENCES 234
HARNESS AND SCOTT 235
WASHINGTON IRVING 241
THEODORE HOOK 241
LYDIA WHITE 243
HENRY HOPE 243
SERJEANT TALFOURD 245
A DINNER AT THACKERAY'S 246
DR. MttMAN ......... 247
A PRISON CHAPLAIN ....... 248
SOME OF HARNESS'S ANECDOTES ..... 248
DOUGLAS JERROLD ........ 253
THE ORIGIN OF "PUNCH" ...... 286
HORACE MAYHEW ........ 296
THE MAYHEW FAMILY ....... 298
JOHN LEECH ......... 303
SIR HENRY WEBB ........ 305
ALBERT SMITH ........ 306
KENNY MEADOWS ........ 313
GEORGE CRUIKSHANK ....... 316
A LOVER OF AUTOGRAPHS ...... 319
LEIGH HUNT ......... 320
JAMES SHERIDAN KNOWLES ...... 325
IF reasons for the existence of some books are
occasionally sought by their readers, the class of
books to which this volume belongs generally
presents " its own excuse for being." The world de-
mands it. " The world," says stalwart Christopher North,
" would seem to have a natural right to know much of
the mind, morals, and manners of the chosen few as
they exhibited themselves in private life, whose genius
may have delighted or enlightened it, to know more
than in general can have been revealed in their works.
It desires this, not from a paltry and prying curiosity,
but in a spirit of love, or admiration, or gratitude, or
reverence. It is something to the reader of a great poet,
but to have seen him, to be able to say ' Virgilium tan-
turn vidi.' How deeply interesting to hear a few charac-
teristic anecdotes related of him by some favored friend !
To have some glimpses, at least, if not full and broad
lights, given to us into his domestic privacy and the
inner on-goings beneath what, to our imaginations, is a
hallowed roof ! We cannot bear to think that our knowl-
edge of our benefactors for such they are should
be limited to the few and scanty personal notices that
may be scattered under the impulse of peculiar emotions
here and there, over their writings ; we cannot bear to
think that, when the grave closes upon them, their
memory must survive only in their works ; but the same
earnest and devout spirit that gazes upon the shadows of
their countenances on the limner's canvas, yearns to
hear it told, in pious biography, what manner of men
they were at the frugal or the festal board, by the fire-
side, in the social or the family circle, in the discharge of
those duties that solemnize the relations of kindred, and
that support the roof-tree of domestic life."
The personal reminiscences which follow concern a
number of illustrious names, most of whom belong to
the England of the present century. They are drawn
from the works of those men of letters, who, if not great
themselves, were frequently in contact with greatness,
Barham, Harness, and Hodder. A few pages concerning
them may not be unacceptable here.
Richard Harris Barham was born December 6, 1788,
at Canterbury. He was the only son of Richard Harris
Barham, a gentleman of good family, and a bon-vivant
who died in 1795, leaving a moderate fortune somewhat
encumbered. In consequence of the feeble health of his
mother, the fatherless boy of seven was left to the three-
fold guardianship of Mr. Morris Robinson, afterwards
Lord Rokeby, a Mr. Morris, and a rascally attorney,
whose name has not been handed down. Young Bar-
h.un was sent at the age of nine to St. Paul's School,
where he made rapid progress in the classics. In his
fourteenth year he was nearly killed by the upsetting of
the Dover mail, in which he was travelling on his way to
town. He thrust his hand from the window for the pur-
pose of opening the door just as the vehicle turned over
upon its side, pinning his exposed limb to the ground,
and dragging it some distance along a recently repaved
road. He recovered from his injuries after a long ill-
ness, and without suffering amputation, and continuing
for two years at St. Paul's he entered as a gentleman
commoner Brazenose College, where he made the ac-
quaintance of Theodore Hook, and where, after passing
his examination, he took a Bachelor's degree. He in-
tended originally to study for the bar, and went so far as
to enter the office of Chitty, the eminent conveyancer ;
but he changed his mind, and entering holy orders was
admitted to the curacy of Ashford, in Kent, in 1813.
He was married shortly afterward, and in 1817 was
promoted by the Archbishop of Canterbury to the rectory
of Snargate. Two years later he was overturned in his
gig with his two children, breaking his right leg. He was
confined to the house for several weeks, which he turned
to account by writing a work entitled, " Baldwin." After
his recovery he made a visit to London, where he learned
that a minor canonry in St. Paul's was vacant. He re-
solved to relinquish his curacy and canvass for it. He
succeeded in obtaining it, and in the summer of 1821
took up his abode permanently in London. His family
having increased, a larger income than he had hitherto
enjoyed was necessary, and he set to work resolutely to
procure it by literature. He edited the " London Chron-
icle," a journal originally conducted by Dr. Johnson ; he
wrote light articles in prose and verse on the topics of
the day, with an occasional review in " John Bull," the
" Globe and Traveller," the " Literary Gazette," " Black-
wood," and other periodicals, besides assisting in the
production of a Biographical Dictionary.
The success which attended Barham in his literary
labors attended him in his clerical career. In 1824 he
received the appointment of priest in ordinary of His
Majesty's Chapels Royal, and was presented to the in-
cumbency of St. Mary Magdalen and St. Gregory by St.
Paul's, which he held for about eighteen years. In 1842
he was elected to the presidency of Sion College, and in
the same year his long services at St. Paul's were re-
warded with the Divinity lectureship, and by being al-
lowed to exchange his living for that of St. Faith.
Barham's last days were darkened by illness, which
appears to have been brought on by his own imprudence.
The Queen visited London in state in the autumn of
1844, for the purpose of presiding at the ceremony of
opening the new Royal Exchange, and Barham, wishing
to witness the pageant, accepted seats for himself and his
family at the house of one of his parishioners. The
weather was bleak ; a strong east wind whistled through
the open windows, and he caught a severe cold. His
case became so alarming in the following winter that he
was ordered to Bath, where his health improved. He
returned to London imprudently to attend a meeting of
the Archaelogical Association, caught cold again, and had
a relapse. He recovered sufficiently in May to undertake
a journey to Clifton with his wife, who was ill. The
journey benefited neither. A temporary convalescence
enabled them to return to town, where, on the morning
of June 17, 1845, Barham expired, in the fifty-seventh
year of his age.
The life of Barham was in a certain sense tygjcal of
the class to which he belonged. He enjoyed life, loved
his friends, was fond of a good dinner and a good story,
a right-minded, jovial English parson. Literature was
as much his amusement as his employment, the work by
which he is best known, "The Ingoldsby Legends,"
ranking high among the drolleries of English humorous
verse. They originally appeared in the pages of " Bent-
ley's Miscellany," where they attracted as much attention
as the fictions of its young editor, Charles Dickens.
The life of William Harness was simple and unevent-
ful. He was born on March 14, 1790, near the village of
Wickham, where his father, Dr. Harness, resided until
1796, when, on the breaking out of war, he accompanied
Lord Hook to the Mediterranean as physician to the
fleet. He was afterwards sent to Lisbon, whither his
family followed him. When they returned to England,
young Harness, who was then in his twelfth year, was
placed at Harrow, where he had Lord Byron for his school-
fellow. From Harrow he proceeded to Christ's College,
Cambridge, where he took his degree. Shortly after he
was graduated he was ordained to the curacy of Kilmes-
ton, near Abresford. He soon received an appointment to
St. Pancras, London, where he entered the list of Shake-
spearian editors by an edition of his favorite poet. It was
published in 1825. A second edition, with plates, ap-
peared in 1830 ; and a third, with illustrations by Heath
and others, in 1833. Other editions, in different forms,
were issued in 1836, 1840, and 1842. In 1837 he pub-
lished a little story, " Reverses," in " Blackwood," which
his friend and early playfellow, Mary Russell Mitford,
pronounced delightful. He published also four volumes
of an edition of Massinger, and wrote a dramatic poem,
" The Wife of Antwerp," which he printed for private
After Harness's removal to London he was made pri-
vate chaplain to the Dowager Countess of Delaware, and
became successively morning preacher at Trinity Chapel,
and minister and evening lecturer at St. Ann's, Soho.
A note, jotted down incidentally, on the back of one of
his sermon cases in commemoration of some country vis-
itors, bears incidental testimony that he commanded the
confidence of the most eminent clergymen in the metrop-
olis : "September yth, 1823. I preached to-day at St.
George's, St. Pancras, and the Magdalen, and was heard
at each place by the same party from the country, who
went to St. George's to hear the Dean of Carlisle, to St.
Pancras to hear Moore, and to the Magdalen to hear
Pitman ! Poor creatures ! they were ignorant that the
great preachers are away in September!" In 1825 he
was appointed Minister of Regent Square Chapel, an
important and arduous post, which he occupied for nearly
twenty years. His success in the pulpit was the principal
cause of his being selected for it ; and during his time
the chapel was densely crowded, not only by parishioners,
but by members of other congregations. At a later
period a church was built for him at Knightsbridge.
His last literary labor was to edit the Letters and write
the " Life of Miss Mitford."
The end of Harness was a tragical one. In November,
1869, he made a visit into the country at the Deanery of
an old friend. He was well when he arrived, and spent
the greater portion of two days in reading Shakespeare.
The next day he walked for a considerable time up and
down the garden, and returning to the house by some new
stairs, remarked to the Dean, " When you are an old
man you '11 repent having placed those stairs there 1 "
His last hour was approaching. " Later in the day some
friends called, and a lady observed that he secim <! in un-
usually good spirits, and that, but for his slight deafness.
no one would have thought him an old man. He talked
with animation, and seemed to take as much interest as
ever in the affairs of life, although he observed, somewhat
sadly, that he had survived all his contemporary friends.
They left at six o'clock, and, the Dean having by this
time started to keep an engagement in St. Leonards, Mr.
Harness was left quite alone. At half -past six his ser-
vant came to the study to inform him that it was time to
prepare for dinner, when, to his consternation, he found
the room vacant ; and almost at the same time the butler,
who was going across the hall, was horrified at finding
Mr. Harness's body lying head-foremost at the bottom of
the stone stairs. He saw at once that he was dead ; his
head was lying in a pool of blood ; but his expression was
so peaceful and benign, the man said, that, although he
knew he was dead, he could almost have imagined he
" It seems probable that Mr. Harness left the study
when the light was uncertain, just before the lamps were
lit, and in the dusk did not observe the staircase. On
examination, it was found that the skull was severely
fractured." He died on the nth of November, 1869, in
his eightieth year.
Of George Hodder I know only what he has chosen
to tell regarding himself, which is next to nothing.
Sensible, modest, hard-working, he does not appear to
have been fortunate in his profession. His chief claim
to remembrance is that he was the amanuensis of Thack-
eray, when that great writer was composing his "Four
From the recollections of this unknown man of letters,
and these well known English clergymen, the materials of
the present volume are drawn. Mr. Hodder's rambling
autobiography is entitled " Memoirs of my Time, includ-
ing Personal Reminiscences of Eminent Men " (London,
1870). The biography of Byron's schoolfellow, "The
Literary Life of the Rev. William Harness " (London
1871), was written by the Rev. A. G. L'Estrange, a trusted
friend, who assisted him in collecting and arranging the
letters of Miss Mitford. The biography of the creator of
Ingoldsby, " The Life and Letters of the Rev. Richard
Harris Barham " (London 1870), was written by his son,
R. H. D. Barham. The substance of these volumes is
here presented, and I trust it will prove entertaining.
R. H. S.
RICHARD HARRIS BARHAM.
RICHARD HARRIS BARHAM.
j|BOUT this time (1827) Mr. Barbara found opportuni-
ties of renewing his acquaintance with one, who, in
many respects, was to be ranked among the most ex-
traordinary men of his age Mr. Theodore Hook.
To say nothing of this gentleman's unequaled happiness in im-
promptu versification, conveying, as he not unfrequently did, a
perfect epigram in every stanza a talent, by the way, which
sundry rivals have affected to consider mere knack, and one of
whom long bore in his side the lethalis arundo of James Smith,
for his bungling effort at imitation ; to pass by those practical
jokes with which his name is so commonly associated, and in
the devising and perpetration of which he was facile priticeps,
Mr. Hook possessed depth and originality of mind, little
dreamed of, probably, by those who were content to bask in the
sunshine of his wit, and to gaze with wonder at the superficial
talents which he exhibited at table, but sufficient, nevertheless,
to place him far beyond the position of a mere sayer of good
things, or " diner-out of the first water." To those, indeed,
who have never been fortunate enough to witness those extraor-
dinary displays, no description can convey even a faint idea of
the brilliancy of his conversational powers, of the inexhaustible
prodigality with which he showered around puns, bon mots,
apt quotations, and every variety of anecdote ; throwing life
and humor into all by the exquisite adaptation of eye, tone,
and gesture to his subject. His writings, admirable as they
2O RICHARD HARRIS BARUA.V.
are, fail to impress one in any way commensurate with his so-
Of the few sketches of him that have been given in works of
fiction, not one can claim the merit of being more than a most
shadowy resemblance. It needs a graphic skill surpassing his
own to draw his portrait with any approach to correctness.
Nowhere, perhaps, is failure more conspicuous than in the mis-
erable and meagre attempt in " Coningsby." Not the faintest
glow of humor, not one flash of wit, not an ebullition of merri-
ment breaks forth from first to last ; the author, apparently in
utter incapacity for the task, contents himself with simply ob-
serving, " Here Mr. Lucian Gay (the name under which Hook
is introduced) was vastly amusing," "there he made the table
roar," etc., much in the manner of the provident artist, who, to
obviate mistake, affixed the notice to his painting, " This is
the lion this is the dog!" Of the moral portraiture I will
venture to say that it is as unjust as the intellectual is weak.
As regards the great calamity the defalcation at the Mau-
ritius which befell him in his youth, and which darkened the
remainder of his career, shutting out hope, paralyzing his best
energies, and by consequence inducing much of that reckless-
ness of living which served to embitter his privacy and hasten
his end, it may almost be unnecessary to say, that one who
continued to regard him with the feelings of affection which Mr.
Barham entertained to the last, must have had full reason for
believing him free from every imputation save that of careless-
ness, not wholly inexcusable in one so young, so inexperienced,
and so constitutionally light-hearted.
Of what appears to have been his first interview with his
old companion after their separation at college, my father gives
a somewhat detailed account :
" Ntrvember 6, 1827. Passed one of the pleasantest even-
ings I ever spent at Lord William Lennox's. The company,
besides the host and hostess, consisted of Mr. Cannon, Mr.
C. Walpole, Mr. Hill, generally known as 'Torn Hill,' Theo-
dore Hook, and myself. It was Hook's first visit there, and
none of the party but myself, Cannon, and Hill, who were old
THEODORE HOOK. 21
friends of his, had ever seen him before. While at dinner, he
began to be excessively amusing. The subject of conversa-
tion was an absurdly bombastic prologue, which had been
given to Cooper of D. L. T., to get by heart, as a hoax, begin-
" ' When first the Drama's muse, by Freedom reared,
In Grecian splendor unadorned appeared,
Her eagle glance, high poised in buoyant hope
O'er realms restricted by no partial scope,
Saw one vast desert hoirify the scene ;
No bright oasis showed its mingling green,
But all around, in colors darkly rude,
Scowled forth the intellectual solitude!
And vain her heart till Time's translucent tide,
Like some sweet stream that scarcely seems to glide,
The heaven-engendered embers fanned to flame.
The ray burst forth ! Immortal Shakespeare came !
'T was his with renovated warmth to glow,
To feel tint fire within ' that passelh show,"
And nobly daring in a dastard age
To raise, reform, and dignify the stage !
To force from lids unsullied by a tear
The pensive drops (hit bathe fond Juliet's b : er,
Bow the duped Moor o : er Desdemona's corse,
Or bid the blood-stained tyrant cry " A horse! "
Waft the rapt soul with more than seraph flight
From fair Itilia's realms of soft delight,
To mourn with Imogen her murdered lord,
Or bare the patriot stoic's vengeful sword,
To raise the poet's noblest cry " Be free ! "
To breathe the tocsin blast of " Liberty ! '' 'etc.
" Gattie, whose vanity is proverbial, was included in the joke.
Wallack, the stage-manager, who had the arranging of it, pro-
duced some equally ridiculous lines, which he said Poole, the
author of the new comedy (' The Wealthy Widow '), had written
for him, but that he had not sufficient nerve to deliver them.
" ' No man on the stage has such nerve as I,' interrupted
" ' Then it must be spoken in five characters ; the dresses to
be thrown off one after the other.'
" ' No performer can change his dress so quickly as I can,'
22 RICHARD HARRIS BARHAM
"'Then I am afraid of the French dialect and the Irish
" ' I 'm the only Frenchman and Irishman -on the stage,'
" The hoax was complete, and poor Gattie sat up the whole
night to learn the epilogue ; went through three rehearsals
with five dresses on, one over the other, as a Lady, a Dutch-
man, a Highlander, a Teague, and lastly as ' Monsieur Tonson
come again.' All sorts of impediments were thrown in his
way. such as sticking his breeches to his kilt, etc. The time
at length arrived, when the stage-manager informed him with
a long face, that Coleman, the licenser, instigated no doubt by
Mathews, who trembled for his reputation, had refused to
license the epilogue ; and poor Gattie, after waiting during the
whole of the interlude in hopes that the license might yet come
down, was obliged to retire most reluctantly and disrobe.
" Hook took occasion from this story to repeat part of a pro-
logue which he once spoke as an amateur before a country
audience, without one word being intelligible from the begin-
ning to the end. He afterwards preached part of a sermon
in the style of the Rev. Mr. Fisher of Norwich, of whom he
gave a very humorous account. Not one sentence of the
harangue could be understood, and yet you could not help, all
through, straining your attention to catch the meaning. He
then gave us many absurd particulars of the Berners Street
hoax, which he admitted was contrived by himself and Henry
H , who was formerly contemporary with me at Brasenose
and whom I knew there, now a popular preacher at Poplar.
He also mentioned another of a similar character, but previous
in point of time, of which he had been the sole originator. The
object of it was a Mr. William Griffiths, a Quaker who lived
in Henrietta Street, Covent Garden. Among other things
brought to his house were the dresses of a Punch and nine
blue devils, and the Ixxly of a man from Lambeth bone-house,