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being the actual founder — becoming a mem-
ber of the first Council, with Payne Collier,
J. O. Halliwell (afterwards Halliwell-Phillips),
Charles Knight, Sir Frederick Madden and
Talfourd among his colleagues. The Society
may perhaps be regarded as a development of
the more social if less scholarly Mulberry Club.
The movement for forming the Society seems
to have begun in 1839, and to have been suc-
cessfully carried to a conclusion in the follow-
ing year or 1841, after which its publications
formed for some years important contributions
to Shakespearean literature.

During this winter the two plays which had
occupied the author during his sojourn at
Boulogne were in active preparation at the

VOL. I. y


two patent houses, and were to be recognized
as notable additions to the best work which
he had done for the stage.

Some time before The Prisoner of War was
produced it was read by the author to two
friends in the Essex Street house one Sunday
afternoon. Those friends were Henry May hew
and Frederick Guest Tomlins, and the former
has left a pleasant account of the experience
in which he says that " Jerrold read the play
as he could read, if he liked; giving the finest
point to all his wit, the most glowing fire to
all his passion and the most exquisite tender-
ness to all the gentle and more touching
portions of the piece. That evening I have
long kept mapped out in my mind as one
of ' the greenest spots in memory's waste.'
Tomlins and I sat by the open windows
puffing our clouds and sipping our ' toddy '
while little Douglas tested the effect of his
latest mental experiment upon our two brains
— as Moliere was wont to try his comedies on
his cook." This reading, if Mayhew's memory
was correct, must have taken place during the
summer of 1841, as he speaks of the scent of
roses from the Temple Gardens coming in at
the window. It was on February 8, 1842, that
The Prisoner of War, a comedy in three acts,
was produced at Drury Lane, and achieved a
distinct success, as the author had confidently
anticipated. As it was said, the parts of the
self-satisfied Englishman, Pallmall, and of his
lively sister Polly, would have sufficed to estab-


lish a less interesting play — and those parts
were enacted by Robert Keeley and his wife
in a way which suggested that they might
have been, as they doubtless were, " fitted
with them."

When the peace of Amiens was broken
within a year of its being made, and the British
minister left Paris, Napoleon retaliated by
detaining all the British subjects who were
in France at the time, and it is with a body of
such detenus kept at Verdun that the play is
concerned. It is a delightful comedy both in
the pleasant sentimental story it unfolds and
in its picture of the good people of Verdun
seeking, like thrifty folks, to make all they
can out of the " enemy " compulsorily de-
tained in their midst. In the opening scene
some of the French are discovered discussing
the prisoners, when Pallmall enters just as
Nicole has said : "A plague on these English
dogs, say I ! They've spoilt Verdun."

' Pallmall. Politeness, Monsieur Nicole, politeness
to the captive. If we are dogs, can't you skin us,
and be civil ?

Babette. Oh, Monsieur Pallmall, never mind Nicole.
Doesn't all Verdun love the dear prisoners^ the
charming English ?

Boaz. Aren't all our houses open to you ?

Pallmall. All. In Ireland the pig pays the rent ;
in Verdun the pig's an Englishman. Oh, only to see
how your housekeepers squabble for a lodger ! Such
hospitality ! I was never so fought for by the women
in my life.


Boaz. And isn't our pockets open to you, isn't my
pocket open ?

Pallmall. Open as a rat-trap ; but I shan't nibble,
Boaz. No, you don't toast cheese for me. As for
the innocent sailors — the poor saltwater babes that
you swallow like oysters by the dozen

Boaz. Vot vould dey do without me ? Ven deir
allowance is gone, vy den

Pallmall. Gone ! It never comes ; you pounce
upon it by the way; like an old hawk on a carrier

Boaz. Dey vill drink — dey vill gamble — -poor tings
— only to lose de time.

Pallmall. And you'll be gambled with for tempting
'em, brave, unsuspecting fellows ! You'll be one of
the devil's dice, depend on't.

Boaz. Mr. Pallmall ! Devil's dice !

Pallmall. Listen. He'll find two rascally money-
lenders — if he can — with as many spots upon them
as yourself ; and, on a night of chickenhazard, he'll
rattle you all three together in a red-hot dice-box.
That's your fate.

Boaz. Ha ! Mister Mallpall ! vot I do ish kindness.
I have no profits — de taxes eat up all.

Babette. Yes, indeed — since the war the taxes are

Pallmall. All comes of living in France — should
live in England.

Babette. What, have you never a tax in England !

Pallmall. We haven't the word in our language.
There are two or three little duties, to be sure ; but
then, with us, duties are pleasures. As for taxes,
you'd make an Englishman stare only to mention
such things.

Boaz. Indeed ? Ha, ha, charming place. Den
vidout taxes how do you keep up de government ?


Pallmall. Keep it up ? Like an hourglass : when
one side's quite run out, we turn up the other and
go on."

When two of the French housekeepers are
squabbling over a new prisoner, the successful
one claims him, declaring that Lieutenant
Firebrace had promised her, and " though
I struggled, would kiss me, as he said to bind
the bargain." Firebrace admits it : " I kissed
and promised. Such beautiful lips ! Man's
usual fate, I was lost upon the coral reefs."
Pallmall is reproached by his sister for having
been so boastful as to be sent from Paris, and
he says it was nothing but patriotism.

" Polly. Patriotism ? Would you think it, sir, he
quarrelled with some French dragoons, because he
would insist that the best cocoanuts grew on Primrose
Hill, and that birds of paradise flew about St. James's.

Pallmall. And wasn't that patriotism ? They
abused the British climate, and I championed my
nation, sir. As a sailor isn't it your duty to die for
your country ?

Firebrace. Most certainly.

Pallmall. As a civilian, sir, 'tis mine to lie for her.
Courage isn't confined to fighting. No, no, whenever
a Frenchman throws me down a lie — for the honour
of England I always trump it.

Polly. Yes, brother; but, recollect, how very
often you play the first card.

Pallmall. And if I do colour up England a little
for these Frenchmen, after all, 'tis but a little ; just
a touch here and a touch there.

Firebrace. Take a sailor's advice, sir; don't colour


at all. Where nature has done so well, there's little
need of paint or patches.

Polly. What a sentiment ! Why couldn't I think
of it when Ma'amselle La Nymphe wanted me to
wear rouge ? "

Well written and well acted, The Prisoner
of War was immediately successful. It is
recorded in the life of Samuel Phelps that on
the first production of the play " the author
went behind the scenes to congratulate Samuel
Phelps on his success with the part of the chess-
playing Captain Channel, and in the course
of the talk said slyly : ' I suppose, old fellow,
you have not forgotten my prophecy of the
five-and-twenty shillings, eh ! — you're getting
almost as many pounds, I expect ! ' The
actor answered with a long-drawn ' No — not
quite that.' As a matter of fact he was
getting twenty." Jerrold did not mind having
to admit that his prophecy of about twenty
years earlier had been falsified. A curious
instance of the contradiction of authorities is
to be found in this small matter, for Phelps's
biographers doubtless got that story from the
veteran actor himself. Yet George Hodder
said of The Prisoner of War, " It is not a little
singular that, proud as Jerrold was and had
reason to be of this admirable work, he never
saw it played — at least during its first season."

Before The Prisoner of War had been three
weeks acted, the second of the pieces the
writing of which had occupied Jerrold in
Boulogne during the previous year was ready,


and on February 25 the curtain went up at
Covent Garden Theatre on a five-act comedy
entitled Bubbles of the Day-— 1 one of the wittiest
and best-constructed comedies in the English
language " ; " the most electric and witty play
in the English language, a play without story,
scenery or character, but which by mere
power of dialogue, by flash, swirl and corusca-
tion of fancy, charmed one of the most in-
tellectual audiences ever gathered." A play,
as another critic (and an actor), put it, which
has wit enough for three comedies. Bubbles
of the Day was a distinct literary success,
but not a stage one; it did not enter upon
such a " run " as The Prisoner of War was
enjoying at the other theatre over the way.
It was, indeed, five acts of witty talk with but
the thinnest thread of story, and it is said that
those who most admired the dialogue were
readiest to recognize the lack of plot and of
sustained interest in the action. Thus it was
that though the author found the play one
which added to his fame as a man of letters
he had the disappointment of finding that it
did not establish itself as a " draw."

There appears to have been about this time
again some of that falling out of faithful
friends which is said to be the renewing of
love between Jerrold and his chum of many
years, Blanchard, for a portion of a letter of
April 5, 1842, from the latter to the former
evidently marks a meeting following on a
period of estrangement. Blanchard wrote :


" My dearest Friend, — . . . My soul acquits me
of having done any wrong to the sacred feeling that
holds us together; but I must convince you of this
guiltlessness by something more impressive than a
few words, and I will. There has never been any
real reason for the cessation of intercourse between
us, any more than for the cessation of the imperish-
able soul of friendship that makes us one; and
intercourse only lessened and dropped on my side
because there were jarrings when we met in company,
and a constraint when we were alone. And I could
easier bear our non-meeting than appear to trifle with
what was most solemn or affect an indifference which
(whatever may be the case with any such passion
as envy, hatred or jealousy) is, and ever must be,
impossible. I could not go on meeting you as I might
any one else, with an uneasy conscience under the
easy manner, and the anticipation of reproaches, to
which all reply must come in the form of recrimination.

But I am now doing what I said was unnecessary.
Trust me, I rejoice most deeply, unfeignedly and
with my whole heart, in our meeting on Saturday,
and I shall date as from a new day. More you cannot
be to me than you have been for twenty years ; but
as the miser who puts his gold out to use is richer
than he who locks the same up in his strong-box,
so I, having the same friend as of old, shall be richer
by turning that invaluable, that inexpressible blessing
to its true account. God bless you and yours always,

1 Your most affectionate friend,

" Laman Blanchard."

The following fragment of a letter from
Blanchard appears to belong to the same
period :


" God send you more successful days, for, apart
from other considerations, there is something in
success that is necessary to the softening and sweeten-
ing of the best-disposed natures ; and nothing but
that, I do believe, will so quickly convince you of
the needless asperity of many of your opinions,
and of the pain done to the world when you tell it
you despise it."

This suggests that Jerrold had been ex-
pressing himself with emphatic bitterness on
something at the time, and also illustrates
the diverse temperaments of the two men,
the one a tender, dreamy poet, the other a
lively, eager critic of life, wrathful over all
wrong and injustice, keen on expressing him-
self, and impatient that things were not to be
more rapidly bettered.

In April 1842, Douglas Jerrold returned
once more to Boulogne, taking with him to
join his daughters at school there, one of his
Hammond nieces. He settled himself at 4,
Rue d'Alger, for he wrote thence, on May 9,
to one Henry Phillips :

" My dear Sir, — I have only to-day received your
letter. I am here, I think, for the season. It is,
however, not improbable that I may visit London for
a few days in June. However, can the matter you
write of be discussed in a letter; if so, direct as
above, and I will lose no time in replying to you.

" Yours truly,

" Douglas Jerrold."

From Boulogne Jerrold continued the polit-
ical articles signed " Q " which he was


writing for Punch, and set once more to work
on the writing of a comedy for Covent Garden,
undeterred by the qualified success which had
attended the brilliant Bubbles. Though his
children were all at school, by his living at
Boulogne they were sufficiently near for him
to have them frequently with him, and for him
to pass many pleasant hours with them and
friends from England, in excursions into the
neighbouring country. The three boys were
still with M. Bonnefoy, and the two girls —
as I learn from a sampler worked by the
younger one, then ten years of age, in this
year of 1842 — were " eleves des Dames Fevril-
lier " who had a school in the Rue Tant-Perd-
Tant-Paie at Boulogne. It was during this
stay that a simple incident happened to which,
it was said, he would often refer in later years.
His youngest child, Thomas, had a pet rabbit,
and one morning the boy entered his father's
bedroom, holding the animal up by its legs,
and shouting, " Here he is, papa, as dead as
mutton ! " The animal dropped heavily on
the ground, and Tom, his feigned indifference
overcome by the sound, burst into tears,
saying, " I knew it had the snuffles when I
bought it ! " As the eldest son simply re-
corded, " This bit of nature was never forgotten
by c stern ' Douglas Jerrold."

Friends crossed over on brief visits, and some
were tempted who for one reason or another
could not accept, as we gather from a letter of
May 26, 1842, received from Laman Blanchard :


" My dear Jerrold, — My wife was witness to
a vow, now three weeks old, that I couldn't and
wouldn't reply to your note until she had made up
her mind, yea or nay, upon the proposal it contained ;
but as, with a consistency marvellous in women, she
continues to the close of the month in the same way
of speech, saying, ' Ah, it's all very nice talking ! '
and ' It's easy for you,' and ' Nothing I should like

so much, but ' and ' Suppose Edmund were to get

down to the ditch,' and ' What do you think ? that
Miss Mary had the porkbutcher down in the kitchen
last night ' — and five thousand other objections rung
upon such changes as the house on fire, the necessary
new bonnetings, the inevitable sea-sickness, and the
perils of the ocean — to say nothing of a reserved force
brought up when all other objections are routed in
the shape of a presentiment that something will
happen — God knows what, but something — directly
her back is turned upon old England (what can she
mean ?) — all this, I say, induces me to break my
vow, and communicate the indecision and perplexity
that beset us daily. I had forgotten, however, the
most solid of the difficulties that stand between us
and you — the others are, indeed, but spongy, and
might easily be squeezed dry; but here is a bit of
rock ahead in the " warning " of a servant in whom
we have trust. She is going away — away to be
married, as most of our maids do. This is about the
sixth in four years. Better, you will say, than going
away not married, but really in the present case a bore,
especially if the other (as is probable) follows her.
We should be left with two strangers, and my wife's
natural dread, almost a superstitious one, of leaving
home — of losing sight of her children — of crossing
the water more especially — would be increased to
an unsoothable height. At present, however, it is


only certain that one goes, and so we must wait the
issue of another fortnight, and then abandon finally
all the exquisite pleasure of procrastination — and
decide. Never surely did God sanctify the earth
with lovelier weather than now. Even Lambeth is
a heaven below in such a blessed time as this. But
still there is a whisper going on in the paradise all
about me to ' be off,' telling me that no opportunity
can be fairer, and that no welcome can be half so
strong. But to Boulogne without her would never
do, the hope having been so fondly raised; so if you
see one you see both. At the worst, as she says, it
is something to have been so warmly wished for;
and to have such a letter backing the verbal wish.
For myself I am urgently moved toward Gloucester,
where I have an acquaintance (' which is very well
hoff ') relying on an old promise; but it must be
older yet ere it be fulfilled. And Hastings also
calls upon me, from the sea, saying, ' You said you'd
come in May ' ; but Hastings is as impotent as
Gloucester. Belfast, moreover, pleads winningly,
and still in vain. This to let you know I am cared
for in other quarters, and that I prize your summons
before all others, however pleasant and friendly. . . .
I send you a little song written since I saw you, and
rather relished I find. I have about half a volume of
such matters scattered here and there.


As Truth once paused on her pilgrim way

To rest by a hedge-side thorny and sere,
Few travellers there she charmed to stay,

Though hers were the tidings that all should hear
She whispering sung, and her deep rich voice

Yet richer, deeper, each moment grew;
And still though it bade the crowd rejoice,

Her strain but a scanty audience drew.


But Rumour close by, as she pluck'd a reed

From a babbling brook detaiu'd the throng;
With a hundred tongues that never agreed,

She gave to the winds a mocking song.
The crowd with delight its echoes caught,

And closer around her yet they drew ;
So wondrous and wild the lore she taught,

They listen 'd, entranced, the long day through.

The sun went down : when he rose again,

And sleep had becalm'd each listener's mind,
The voice of Rumour had rung in vain,

No echo had left a charm behind.
But Truth's pure note, ever whispering clear,

Wand'ring in air, fresh sweetness caught ;
Then all unnoticed it touch'd the ear,

And fill'd with music the cells of thought.

" Ever yours affectionately,

" Laman Blanchard."

Early this year Douglas Jerrold brought
together a number of the short stories and
philosophical and allusive papers that he had
contributed to periodicals during the previous
half-dozen years and published them as Cakes
and Ale, and the two volumes with frontispieces
and pictorial title-pages by George Cruikshank
were issued by Messrs. How and Parsons, who
also published the Bubbles of the Day in a
handsome form. The volumes were dedicated :
" To Thomas Hood, Esq., whose various genius
touches alike the spring of laughter and the
source of tears, these volumes are in the fullest
sincerity dedicated." In acknowledgment
Hood, then nearing the close of his brave life,
wrote :


" Dear Jerrold, — Many thanks for your Cakes
and Ale, and for the last especially, as I am for-
bidden to take it in a potable shape. Even Bass's,
which might be a Bass relief, is denied to me. The
more kind of you to be my friend and pitcher.

" The inscription was an unexpected and really
a great pleasure ; for I attach a peculiar value to the
regard and good opinion of literary men. The truth
is, I love authorship, as Lord Byron loved England —
' with all its faults,' and in spite of its calamities.
I am proud of my profession, and very much inclined
to ' stand by my order.' It was this feeling, and no
undue estimate of the value of my own fugitive
works, that induced me to engage in the copyright
question. Moreover, I have always denied that
authors were an irritable genus, except that their
tempers have peculiar trials, and the exhibitions are
public instead of private. Neither do I allow the
especial hatred, envy, malice, and all uncharitable-
ness so generally ascribed to us ; and here comes your
inscription in proof of my opinion. For my own
part, I only regret that fortune has not favoured me
as I could have wished, to enable me to see more
of my literary brethren around my table. Never-
theless, as you are not altogether Home's Douglas,
I hope you will some day find your way here. Allow
me to thank you also for the Bubbles, and to con-
gratulate you on your double success on the stage,
being, I trust, pay and play — not the turf alternative.
I am, dear Jerrold,

" Yours very truly,

" Thos. Hood."

From Boulogne on June 13 Jerrold wrote —
evidently to Benjamin Webster — a lively letter
on his dramatic work :

> .


" 4, Rue <T Alger, Boulogne, s/m.

My dear Sir, — It is with great pleasure I
acknowledge your letter. I forget his name, but
I believe there is in the Kalendar a saint who was
once an actor (and, I hope, also a manager). I will
endeavour to discover him ; and as this is a Catholic
country, I will offer up to him a whole sixpenny
bottle of ink, in expiation of my unjust suspicion
of Farren. If the saint is not to be found, I suppose
I must fast upon salmon for the next fortnight.
Perhaps, however, the best way will be to dedicate
a few pounds of candles — midnight tapers, by the
light of which shall be written for him a magnificent

' I am, however, engaged upon a drama for you —
if Mr. Osbaldistone will spare me the phrase — ' of
a peculiar and startling character.' I think the very
thing for the Haymarket; one of those things that
either flash in the pan or hit like a bomb-shell.
I also have two other subjects for your next season ;
for I think my manufacture — such as it is — will
show best at Haymarket distance. I have always
thought so, and shall be glad when I have induced
your opinion to back mine. Had Bubbles first been
shown by your footlights, I think they would have
glittered for a season (to be sure, I never chanced
the refusal).

' This brings me to a point in your letter. I do
not like to be thought unduly impressed with the
value of my own wares, rating them above the
merchandise of others : but look at the difference
of London Assurance and my play ; I mean the differ-
ent circumstances that attended them. The Assur-
ance author gets — there was no Miss Kemble — a
long, uninterrupted run, and consequently all the
money he dipped his pen for, Bubbles are only


suffered to glisten between the shakes of a prima
donna (and very great shakes they were, I must own),
is brought out as a forlorn hope at the fag-end of
a season ; and the author, with his tobacco-pipe
and soap-dish, is on the eighteenth night — only the
eighteenth, my masters — of his blowing, compelled
to make way for what ? why — the German Flute !
How stands the present account ?

Assurance . . . £400
Bubbles ... 270

Due on Bubbles . £130

Only let me make up the balance, and then — the
frog shall come out of the marble — the world shall
see what liberality dwells in the heart of a playwriter.

" Yours ever truly,

" Douglas Jerrold.

" I will write to you more about the play in a few
days, giving you the plot and purpose of same.
Does Mme. Celeste act at Hay market again this
season ? "

There was to be no Haymarket play for
nearly three years, but the piece for Covent
Garden was completed this summer, and was
duly produced by Madame Vestris at that
theatre on September 10. The play was
Gertrude's Cherries, or Waterloo in 1835, a
two-act comedy, and for its production Jerrold
visited London — the proposed trip in June
did not apparently take place. A pleasant,
romantic story is unfolded in the play; for
Gertrude, the vendor of cherries near the
historic battlefield, is daughter of an English-


man believed to have died at Waterloo, and
who, having quarrelled with his family, has
allowed them to continue in that belief.
That man's father has come to visit the field
of tragic memories, bringing with him his
grandson Vincent and the youthful widow
whom he wishes that grandson to marry.
The youthful widow falls in with an early

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