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are childless, their only one, having, as they suppose,
died when an infant. This is a source of great grief
to them, especially to Eulalie, who, being very much
struck with the beauty of a gipsy child, is made to
believe that it is the result of an illicit intercourse
between her husband and a gipsy girl (Miss Cooper).
This almost drives Eulalie distracted, but it is
eventually proved to her great delight that she her-
self is the mother of the child, it having been stolen
by one of the tribe, out of revenge for a supposed
injury inflicted on her son by the father of Captain
D avenant.

" This serious business was relieved by the drollery
of Larceny, a part rendered highly amusing by the
acting of Mr. Buckstone. Celeste, as the Mother,
played with great feeling, and was warmly applauded ;
when she came forward at the call of the audience, at
the end of the piece, not contenting herself with
silently curtseying her thanks, she said, ' Ladies and
gentlemen, I thank you from the bottom of your
heart (my heart), for your kind indulgence.' We
must not omit to mention that Webster gave great
importance to a trifling part, that of a very old man,
by his admirable acting. Strickland also deserves
praise for his clever impersonation of a sailor.
As a drama we do not think it equal to either
the Rent Day or the Housekeeper, but it contains
some good writing, and will doubtless prove
attractive for a time. . . . Despite the storm that
fell just as the doors opened, there was a good


vol. i. u


Despite its good reception — on the second
performance it was received " with great
applause " — The Mother was only acted eight
times when it was withdrawn owing to Madame
Celeste's departure to fulfil a provincial
engagement, and was not revived.

During this summer of 1838 Charles Dickens
occupied a cottage at Twickenham — a house
still standing, near to St. Margaret's railway
station — and there Jerrold, Thackeray, Tal-
fourd, Forster, Maclise, and other kindred
spirits were wont to visit the already popular
author of Pickwick, and to take part in those
boyish games and fun in which several of
them, endowed with youthful spirits to the
last, were always ready to indulge. There,
too, in " the feast of reason and the flow of
soul," this group of talented men sharpened
each other's wits, like knives, to use Mrs.
Procter's happy expression.

In the autumn, probably after a holiday
spent in Paris, Douglas Jerrold removed from
his rose-embowered house at Haverstock Hill
to 8, Lower Craven Place, Kentish Town,
whence he wrote as follows on August 28 :

' My dear Forster,— Accompanying this are
your two books, for which many thanks. I continue
hard at work — the last week almost finished Act I —
have been taken from it for a few days, but have no
doubt of finishing Act III by [the] middle of Sep-
tember. I will, however, give you [a look] in and report
progress. I think I have more than kept up to Act I.

" Yours faithfully,

"D. Jerrold."


Douglas Jerrold was far from being so careful
a correspondent as his friend Dickens, who
gave the date of each letter he wrote written
out in full, instead of trusting to figures.
Jerrold, as often as not, put no date at all, and
frequently only the day of the week or month.
On the note just quoted, for example, he put
no year, but Forster has added 1838. Possibly
the date should be a year later, and the play
the unacted Spendthrift ; no further piece of
his was put on the stage until 1841.

In Blackwood's Magazine for October there
appeared a poem by Douglas Jerrold entitled
The Rocking Horse, dated as written in " Paris,
1838," and as the date agrees with the reference
to the writer's younger daughter's age it may
safely be assumed that some time during the
year the family was staying in the French
capital. The Rocking Horse was suggested
by a remark made by Jerrold's four-year-old
daughter Mary, with whom he was walking
in the Tuileries Gardens. A verse or two
may well be selected from the score or so of
stanzas as illustration of the author's manner
of blending the playful and serious :

" One morning, Indolence my guide,
This garden ground I trod,
With maiden tripping at my side
Some four years old and odd.

• • • ■ •

She spoke, and sombre thoughts grew bright

She laugh'd — 'twas sorrow's knell ;
As wicked imps, 'tis said, take flight,

At sound of holy bell."


The child, as children will, asked all manner
of questions about " each marble faun, so
lifelike in its air," disposed about the famous
gardens, and at length paused astonished before
" statues twain of Herculean size " :

' That, trump in hand, rein each a steed
Impatient of the check —
A winged beast of fiery breed,
And ' thunder-clothed ' neck.

The little maiden stood and gazed.

Then cried with all her force,
(And towards the steed her finger raised)

' Pa, that's a rocking horse ! ' "

Other exclamations from the little prattler
bring up recollections of the various monarchs
who have dwelt in the palace of the Tuileries,
and after a rapid account of these Jerrold
finishes with :

" If thus, I thought, the lords of earth
Are but the toys of fate,
A passing ray their royal worth,
And shadows all their state ;

Let whosoever bridle Fame,

Turk, Frenchman, Grecian, Norse —

East, west, north, south — the steed's the same —
'Tis but a — rocking-horse ! "

During the autumn of 1838 a new magazine
was started, and Forster was apparently con-
cerned in its control. The article suggested
in the following note does not appear to
have been ever written, and it may well be
that Douglas Jerrold scarcely possessed the


patience for investigating the matter as fully
as it would have required, although he would
doubtless have served up such information as
was readily accessible in a fresh and enter-
taining fashion, with suggestive individual
comment. The Monthly Chronicle continued
in existence until 1841, but I cannot find that
Jerrold ever became a contributor to its pages.
The note is dated October 13, and is written
from Lower Craven Place :

" My dear Forster, — Since our last talk — of
which, if you remember, the Monthly Chronicle made
a part — it has struck me that I might be able to
furnish an article or so to that work, should not the
ground be wholly possessed by better men. I have
for some time contemplated an essay on The Songs
of the People — I mean the songs sung in streets,
parlours of hostelries, tap-rooms, yea, tea-gardens —
the paper to embrace a view of the present state of
public amusements with their influence on the mass.
I know no work which I would so willingly make
the repository of such an article as the M.C. I am
not aware that anything has been written on the
matter, and there are in truth some capital specimens
of humour and rough satire in some of these lyrics
of the people. What think you of the idea ? I shall
be your way in the course of a few days.

' Yours truly ever,

" Douglas Jerrold."

In the summer of 1839 Jerrold made a trip
to Boulogne — a place which long attracted
him — to bring home for the holiday the two
of his boys who were at school there. With


him were his friends Kenny Meadows the
artist and Orrin Smith the engraver, the
holiday perhaps being in the form of a cele-
brating of the success of a little venture in
which they were all concerned — the periodical
publication of certain Heads of the People.
Jerrold's eldest son, then a boy of thirteen,
wrote long after :

" I remember his arrival well — how he took us
from our school and sallied forth into the country
with us, on a donkey expedition — he not the oldest
boy present. Everything was delightful. He chatted
gaily with the paysanne of a roadside auberge on the
Calais road, and joked upon her sour cider. He
listened laughingly to our stories of school fights,
and to our disdain for the juvenile specimens of our
lively neighbours. My brother [Edmund] described
a hurt one of the boys had received. My father
asked anxiously about it; whereupon my brother,
to turn off the paternal sympathy, and prove in a
word that the matter was not worth a moment's
thought, added sharply : ' Oh, it's only a French
boy, papa ! ' Then a burst of laughter. We crossed
back from Boulogne to Rye by steamer, and so to
Hastings and London by coach."

That holiday glimpse shows Jerrold in a
characteristic mood when enjoying the aban-
don of change from work, and when in the
society of children; for, as his new friend
Charles Dickens recognized, " in the company
of children and young people he was particu-
larly happy and showed to extraordinary
advantage. He never was so gay, so sweet-


tempered, so pleasing and so pleased as

The close of the 'thirties marks a rest in
Douglas Jerrold's work as dramatist. He was
busy with his contributions to periodicals, and
was engaged in preparing, in conjunction with
a number of other writers, a series of papers
under the title of Heads of the People. But
before that work was ready the author had
completed a brochure, The Handbook of Swind-
ling, which was duly published with a plate
by Phiz in 1839. 1 This booklet affords most
entertaining reading, full of satire and sarcasm
at the expense of all kinds of pretension. In
detailing how the Swindler may best work
his way in the world, the author inculcates
morality as effectually as many a more direct
preacher. The small volume is well worthy
of its author's talents, although he appears
to have thought but meanly of it, for not
only was it issued pseudonymously as written
by " Barabbas Whitefeather," and edited by
" John Jackdaw," but its true authorship
appears never to have been avowed during
the life of Douglas Jerrold.

Jerrold had already identified himself with
the cause of Liberalism in politics, although
his influence as a writer on that side did not

1 This small volume has become a prized rarity for
collectors. It was not reprinted until 1891, when it
formed — with other pieces by Douglas Jerrold — one of
the volumes of the " Camelot Series " (after re-named
" The Scott Library "). Later it has been included in a
volume of the " World's Classics."


become notable until the latter part of his life.
It was probably his known sympathy with all
reform movements that gave rise to an un-
founded rumour about this time that he and
William Howitt were the moving spirits of
the Co-operative League. " They were never
seen or heard of in connection with that body,"
said the veteran reformer, George Jacob Holy-
oake, many years later.

At the Freemasons' Dinner of this year
" Brother Jerrold, whose zeal and talents
have been equally serviceable to the cause "
again offered some happily conceived verses
appropriate to the occasion. In November
he visited Lord Lytton at his celebrated
residence at Knebworth in Hertfordshire, and
was there several times later, but never seems
to have been on intimate terms with " the
padded man that wears the stays."

That the little Handbook of Swindling was
a success we may gather from a letter from the
author to the publishers (Chapman & Hall),
written from Lower Craven Place, on Decem-
ber 23, 1839 :

" My dear Sirs, — I should have given you a call,
but have been kept prisoner this past week by my
old enemy — rheumatism. I am glad for many
reasons that the Handbook subscribed so well.
Whether it has been abused or per contra, I know

" An idea has struck me, which I think may be
at the present time felicitously worked out in a little
book, to be illustrated with little wood-designs, by

, K*hS [^wvU Y*~U

^ *UH U-* <jw*~ - v*. a cJLc v Ur W* Jw*v >u\v

A Letter of Douglas Jebbold'Sj 1839

<M u.


the Comic Latin Grammar man; who is quite ready.
For title of book turn over.

" This work is not to be considered as a catch-
penny, but as a playful and satiric notice of the
present state of all parties in the event of the coming
marriage — the philosophy of royal marriages, etc.;
as seen through the unsophisticated vision of, say,
some New Zealander for a time residing here; and
' done into English ' by some John Jackdaw.

' I thought I would write you thus much that you
might think of the matter, when — as I hope to be
out in a day or two — it can be decided upon.

" Yours truly,

' Douglas Jerrold.

" Blueacre (?) can stand over awhile.



National Story


A Distinguished Stranger


in England

' With this ring I thee wed — with my body I thee
worship — and with all my worldly goods I thee endow.'

With Illustrations."

It was exactly a month before that letter
was written that Queen Victoria had announced
to her Privy Council that she intended to marry
Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha, but I
cannot find that during the few weeks that


preceded the great ceremony any little book
such as Jerrold here proposed was ever issued ;
possibly the publishers did not think the
project sufficiently promising. The " Comic
Latin Grammar man " was John Leech, then
a young man of two-and-twenty, who had
presumably just completed the illustrating of
that book of Percival Leigh's, and so doing
had at once stepped into an acknowledged
place among humorous draughtsmen. " Blue-
acre " is the nearest reading that I can make
of that which could " stand over," but what
the reference means cannot be determined.

Kenny Meadows having drawn a number of
characteristic " portraits " of the English,
Orrin Smith the engraver, Tyas the publisher,
and one of the Vizetellys, undertook at their
joint risk to publish these illustrations, with
accompanying essays, first in periodical num-
bers, and later in volume form. The editorial
control was placed in Jerrold's hands, and
towards the close of 1839 (it is dated 1840) the
first series was completed and in the hands of
the public, as Heads of the People.

No fewer than forty-three " portraits of the
English " are contained in this first series, of
which fifteen were from the pen of the editor,
the rest being contributed by such other
" distinguished writers " (to quote the title-
page) as Charles Whitehead (two), Leman
Rede, Percival Leigh (two), Cornelius Webbe
(two), R. H. Home (two), E. Chatfield, Leigh
Hunt (two), " Alice," Laman Blanchard (two),


Miss Winter, E. Howard, John Ogden (two),
William Howitt (two), a " Knight of the Road "
Hal. Willis, Samuel Lover, William Thackery
(sic), Richard Brinsley Peake, Thornton Leigh
Hunt, and " Godfrey Grafton, gent." There
was some negotiation with a view to Thomas
Hood's contributing also, but possibly the fact
that he was living at Ostend at the time may
have interfered with his so doing.

Under each of the portraits was given a
happily found quotation, probably supplied
by the* editor; that under " The Spoilt Child "
— " a child more easily conceived than des-
cribed " — embodying one of his own conversa-
tional sallies. At the close of the volume
Kenny Meadows drew a strongly marked
" head " of one of the " people " concerned
in the production of the work. This was of
the editor himself engaged in fastening with
his pen a small inky devil upon paper, and
occurs appropriately enough at the end of Jer-
rold's presentation of " The Printer's Devil." 1

A second series and volume of Heads of the
People by many of the same writers and some
others duly made its appearance, and the
whole work enjoyed a goodly measure of
popularity. In the original or a reprinted
form it is not infrequently to be met with in
second-hand book lists. Kenny Meadows's very
characteristic drawings have now quite an
antiquated appearance, but most of the pen

1 It may be seen among the caricatures opposite p. 236
of this volume.


sketches have as much truth to-day as they
had seventy and odd years ago, and are no
less true to life now than is much of Jerrold's
preface, which may be quoted here as it finds
no place with those fourteen " Sketches of the
English ' which he included in his collected
works from the nineteen " Heads " that he
had contributed to the original publication.
The preface is satirical, sarcastical, but it is a
characteristic piece of its author's writing :

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

" It was no little satisfaction to the projectors
of Heads of the People to find the public somewhat
startled by the first appearance of the work; some-
what astonished at the gravity of its tone, the moral
seriousness of its purpose. Many took up the first
number only to laugh; and we are proud to say,
read on to think. A host of readers were disappointed :


l hey purchased, as they thought, a piece of pleasantry,
io be idly glanced at and then flung aside : they
found it otherwise. They believed that they were
only called to see and hear the grinning face and
vacant nonsense of a glib storyteller, and they
discovered in their new acquaintance a depth and
delicacy of sympathy, a knowledge of human life,
and a wise gladness, a philosophic merriment, and
honest sarcasm, that made them take him to their
home as a fast friend. Nor was it in England only
that the purpose of the work was thus happily ac-
knowledged. It has not only been translated into
French, but has formed the model of a national work
for the essayists and wits of Paris. 1 The Heads of
the People of the numerous family of John Bull are
to be seen gazing from the windows of French shop-
keepers, at our ' natural enemies ' — a circumstance
not likely to aggravate the antipathy which, according
to the profitable creed of bygone statemongers,
Nature had, for some mysterious purpose, implanted
in the breasts of the Briton and the Gaul !

" The work will be pursued in the same straight-
forward, uncompromising, and it is hoped, human-
izing spirit that characterizes the present volume.
John Bull has too long rested in the comfortable
self-complacency that he, above all other persons
of the earth, enshrines in his own mind all the wisdom
and the magnanimity vouchsafed to mortal man ;
that in his customs he is the most knowing, the least
artificial, the most cordial, and the most exemplary
of persons ; and that in all the decencies of life, he,
and he alone, knows and does that which is

" ' Wisest, discreetest, virtuousest, best ; '
1 Les Francais Peints par Eux-Mimes.


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

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

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

" And then for titles. Does John value titles ?
Hear the contemptuous roar with which, in the


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

' And has John no virtues ? A thousand ! So
many, that he can afford to be told of his weakness,
his folly — yea, of the wrongs he does, the wrongs
he suffers.

' The ridiculous part of John's character is his
love of an absurdity, an injustice — it may be, an
acute inconvenience — from its very antiquity. * Why,
what's the matter ? ' we asked last week of an old
acquaintance, limping and pushing himself along,
not unlike a kangaroo with the rheumatism, ' What's
the matter?' 'Matter! corns — corns.' 'And why
don't you have 'em cut ? ' ' Cut ! ' cried our friend,
with a look of surprise and inquiry, ' Cut ! why it is
now fifteen years that I have had those corns.'
There spoke John Bull, though he shall be almost
at a standstill, lame with corns, yet what a roaring
does he make if you attempt to cut them — and


why ? He has had them so many years. A wen
upon his neck, if a wen of fifty years' growth, though
it bent him double, would ' be to him as a daughter.' "

The John Bull of the early twentieth century
is much as was the John Bull of the early
nineteenth — if we may judge by the clamour
at every fresh essay in political chiropody.

In the autumn of 1839 Jerrold's brother-in-
law, Hammond, became lessee of Drury Lane
Theatre for three years, and duly opened on
October 26. The previous lessee, Alfred Bunn,
the " Poet Bunn "of a score of Punch 's
gibes, wrote in his egotistic but entertaining
reminiscences :

" The theatre has been let to my successor for
£5,000 per annum, and, long before the usual season
shall expire, it will be to let for less, or I am a false
prophet. The day on which I make this memor-
andum I met the present lessee of Drury Lane,
Mr. Hammond, early in the morning, on my way
into the city; and, after the interchange of a few
remarks, I said : ' If you don't look much sharper
after matters than you do, you'll go where I am
going.' ' Where may that be ? ' said he. 'To the
Court of Bankruptcy,' said I. And we parted — he
in doubt, and I in certainty. His place is in a sloop,
not on the quarter-deck of a seventy-four.


If Bunn was a poor poet he proved a true
prophet, for Hammond's season came to an
abrupt termination on the last day of the
following February, having lasted for ninety-
nine nights.

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