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SHERIDAN AND THE NEWSPAPERS. In the debate, 30th May, 1799, about putting down Sunday newspapers, Sheridan, amongst other things, in answer to Lord Belgrave, observed that “in the law, as it at present exists, there was an exception in favour of selling mackerel on the Lord's day; but would the noble lord recollect that people might think stale news as bad as stale mackerel pod
The Westminster Review gives the highest and most deserved praise to Sheridan for his meritorious exertions in favour of the liberty of the press on this occasion, and although all notice of them is omitted by Mr. Moore, it is justly remarked by the reviewer that no event in Sheridan's life does him greater honour.
SHERIDAN'S WESTMINSTER ELECTION. In the course of the day, Paull, his antagonist, who was the son of a tailor, envious of the brilliant uniform and more brilliant decorations of Sir S. Hood, observed, with some spleen, " that if he had chosen he might have appeared before the electors with such a coat himself.” “Yes, and you might have made it too,” replied Sheridan.
THE WHIG TAXES. DURING the year 1806, Sheridan, having been told that his enemies took pleasure in speaking ill of him, on account of his favouring an obnoxious tax which his party were about to force through the House-"Well, let them,” said Sherry; "it is but fair that they should have some pleasure for their money."
SHERIDAN AND HIS SON. “THE two Sheridans," says Kelly, “were supping with me one night after the opera, at a period when Tom expected to get into Parliament
“I think, father,” said he, “ that many men, who are called great patriots in the House of Commons, are great humbugs. For my own part, if I get into Parliament, I will pledge my. self to no party, but write upon my forehead in legible characters, “To be let.'”.
“And under that, Tom," said his father, “write, •UDfurnished.'"
Tom took the joke, but was even with him on another occasion.
Mr. Sheridan had a cottage about half a-mile from Hounslow - Heath. Tom being very short of cash, asked his father to let him have some.
"Money, I have none,” was the reply.
“Be the consequence what it may, money I must have,” said Tom.
“If that be the case, my dear Tom," said the affectionate parent, “you will find a case of loaded pistols upstairs, and a horse ready saddled in the stable. The night is dark, and you are within half a mile of Hounslow Heath.”
"I understand what you mean," said Tom ; "but I tried that last night. I unluckily stopped Peake, your treasurer, who told me that you had been beforehand with him, and had robbed him of every sixpence he had in the world."
SHERIDAN'S HABITS OF COMPOSITION. His hours of composition, as long as he continued to be an author, were at night, and he required a profusion of lights around him as he wrote. Wine, too, was one of his favourite helps to inspiration. “If the thought,” he would say, “is slow to come, a glass of good wine encourages it; and, when it does come, a glass of good wine rewards it."
: SHERIDAN'S BOOTS. SHERIDAN made his appearance one day in a new pair of boots. These attracting the notice of some of his friends—“Now guess,” said he,“ how I came by these boots ??-Many probable guesses then took place.—"No," said Sheridan, “ you have not hit it, and never will : I bought them, and paid for them.”
TOM'S ALLOWANCE. In a large party one evening the conversation turned upon a young man's allowance at college. Tom Sheridan lamented the ill-judged parsimony of many parents in that respect:-“I am sure, Tom," said his father, "you need not complain'; I always allowed you eight hundred a year."_“Yes, father, I musť confess you allowed it; but then you never paid it."
SHERIDAN'S NEW HOUSE. Just after. Sheridan had taken a new house, he met Lord Guildford, to whom he said, “Well, all will go on now like clockwork.”—“Ay," replied his lordship, "tick, tick."
GENERAL TARLETON. SHERIDAN always said that the Duke of Wellington would succeed in Portugal; General Tarleton held the reverse opinion. Tarleton, who had been wrong, grew obstinatę. So on the news of the retreat of the French at Torres Vedras, Sheridan, by way of taunt, said, “Well, Tarleton, are you on your high horse still ?"-" Oh, higher than ever; if I was on a horse before, I am on an elephant now." _“No, no, my dear fellow; you were on an ass before, and you are on a mule now."
ROGUE OR FOOL? ONE day Sheridan met two royal dukes in St. James's Street, and the younger flippantly remarked, " I say, Sherry, we have just been discussing whether you are a greater fool or rogue : what is your opinion, old boy ?”—Sheridan bowed, smiled, and, as he took each of them by the arm, replied, “Why, faith, I believe I am between both.”
TAX ON MILE-STONES. SOME mention having been made in his presence of a tax upon mile-stones, he said, “Such a tax would be unconstitutional, as they were a race that could not meet to remonstrate."
THE OLD MAID. An elderly maiden lady, the inmate of a country house at which he was staying, having set her heart on being his com. panion in a walk, he excused himself on account of the badness of the weather. Soon afterwards, however, the lady intercepted him in an attempt to escape without her.—“So, Mr. Sheridan," she said, "it has cleared up, I see.”_"Why, yes,” he answered, * it has cleared up enough for one, but not enough for two."
LORD LAUDERDALE'S WIT. LORD LAUDERDALE, happening to say that he would repeat some good thing of Sheridan's, he replied, “Pray don't, my dear Lauderdale ; a joke in your mouth is no laughing matter."
HIS EXTRAVAGANCE. A FRIEND remonstrating with Sheridan, when he was living in Orchard Street, on the extravagance of his establishment, and the smallness of his means to support it, he said, “My dear friend, it is my means."
SHERIDAN AND MONK LEWIS. SHERIDAN was disputing one day with Monk Lewis, the author of “The Castle Spectre," which had filled the exhausted treasury of Drury Lane, when the latter, in support of his argument, offered to bet Mr. Sheridan all the money “The Castle Spectre” had brought that he was right. "No," answered the manager; “I cannot afford to bet so much as that; but I will Bell you what I will do—I'll bet you all it is worth."
SHERIDAN AND LORD ERSKINE. LORD ERSKINE one evening declared that “a wife was only a tin canister tied to one's tail." This seemed to annoy Lady