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revisit the old school, though hateful | Who cared about his birthplace, his to them, with ever so much kindliness parentage, or the color of his hair ? and sentimental affection. There was To-day, by some single achievement, the tree under which the bully licked or by a series of great actions to you: here the ground where you had which his genius accustoms us, he is to fag out on holidays, and so forth. famous, and antiquarians are busy In a word, my dear sir, You are the finding out under what schoolmaster's most interesting subject to yourself, ferule he was educated, where his of any that can occupy your worship’s grandmother was vaccinated, and so thoughts. I have no doubt a Crimean forth. If half a dozen washing-bills i soldier, reading a history of that siege, of Goldsmith's were to be found toand how Jones and the gallant 99th morrow, would they not inspire a were ordered to charge or what not, general interest, and be printed in a thinks, " Ah, yes, we of the 100th were hundred papers ?
I lighted upon placed so and so, I perfectly remem- Oliver, not very long since, in an old ber.” So with this memorial of poor Town and Country Magazine, at the Hood, it may have, no doubt, a Pantheon masquerade
“ in an old greater interest for me than for English habit.' Straightway my others, for I was fighting, so to speak, imagination ran out to meet him, to in a different part of the field, and look at him, to follow him about. I engaged, a young subaltern, in the forgot the names of scores of fine genBattle of Life, in which Hood fell, tlemen of the past age, who were menyoung still, and covered with glory. tioned besides. We want to see this
The Bridge of Sighs”. was his man who has amused and charmed Corunna, his Heights of Abraham – us; who has been our friend, and sickly, weak, wounded, he fell in the given us hours of pleasant comfull blaze and fame of that great vic- panionship and kindly thought. I tory:
protest when I came, in the midst of What manner of man was the those names of people of fashion, genius who penned that famous song? and beaux, and demireps, upon those What like was Wolfe, who climbed names Sir J. R-yn-lds, in a domino; and conquered on
those famous Mr. Cr-d-ck and Dr. G-ldsm-th, in two Heights of Abraham? We all want old English dresses,” I had, so to speak, to know details regarding men who my heart in my mouth. What, you have achieved famous feats, whether here, my dear Sir Joshua ? Ah, what of war, or wit, or eloquence, or endur- an honor and privilege it is to see ance, or knowledge. His one or two you! This is Mr. Goldsmith ? And happy and heroic actions take a man's very much, sir, the ruff and the slashed name and memory out of the crowd doublet become you ! O Doctor! of names and memories. Henceforth what a pleasure I had and have in he stands eminent. We scan him : reading the Animated Nature. How we want to know all about him; we did you learn the secret of writing walk round and examine him, are the decasyllable line, and whence that curious, perhaps, and think are we sweet wailing note of tenderness that not as strong and tall and capable as accompanies your song? Was Beau yonder champion; were we not bred Tibbs a real man, and will you do me as well, and could we not endure the the honor of allowing me to sit at winter's cold as well as he? Or we your table at supper ? look up with all our eyes of admira- think you know how he would have tion ; will find no fault in our hero : talked? Would you not have liked declare his beauty and proportions to hear him prattle over the champerfect; his critics envious detractors, pagne ? and so forth. Yesterday, before he Now, Hood is passed away – passed performed his feat, he was nobody. I off the earth as much as Goldsmith
There is my
or Horace. The times in which he justifiable homicide. Jived, and in which very many of us friend Baggs, who goes about abusing lived and were young, are changing me, and of course our dear mutual or changed. I saw Hood once as a friends tell me. Abuse away, mo? young man at a dinner which seems bon ! You were so kind to me when almost as ghostly now as that mas- I wanted kindness, that you may take querade at the Pantheon (1772), of the change out of that gold now, and which we were speaking anon. It say I am a cannibal and negro if was at a dinner of the Literary Fund, you will. Ha, Baggs! Dost thou in that vast apartment which is hung wince as thou readest this line? Does round with the portraits of very large guilty conscience throbbing at thy Royal Freemasons, now unsubstan- breast tell thee of whom the fable is tial ghosts. There at the end of the narrated ? Puff out thy wrath, and, room was Hood. Some publishers, I when it has ceased to blow, my Baggs think, were our companions. I quite shall be to me as the Baggs of old remember his pale face; he was thin the generous, the gentle, the friendly. and deaf, and very silent; he scarcely No, on second thoughts, I am deopened his lips during the dinner, and termined I will not repeat that joke he made one pun. Some gentleman which I heard Hood make. He says missed his snuff-box, and Hood said, he wrote these jokes with such ease
( the Freemasons' Tavern was that he sent manuscripts to the pubkept, you must remember, by Mr. lishers faster than they could acknowlCuff in those days, not by its pres- edge the receipt thereof. I won't say ent proprietors). Well, the box being that they were all good jokes, or that lost, and asked for, and CUFF (re- to read a great book full of them is a member that name) being the name work at present altogether jocular. of the landlord, Hood opened his Writing to a friend respecting some silent jaws and said
Shall memoir of him which had been pubI tell you what he said ? It was not lished, Hood says, “ You will judge a very good pun which the great pun- how well the author knows me, when ster then made. Choose your favor- he says my mind is rather serious ite pun out of“ Whims and Oddities,” than comic.” At the time when he and fancy that was the joke which he wrote these words, he evidently uncontributed to the hilarity of our little dervalued his own serious power, table.
and thought that in punning and Where those points are drawn on broad grinning lay his chief strength. the page, you must know, a pause Is not there something touching in occurred, during which I was engaged that simplicity and humility of faith? with “ Hood's Own,” having been “ To make laugh is
says referred to the book by this life of the he; “I must jump, I must grin, I author which I have just been read- must tumble, I must turn language ing. I am not going to dissert on head over heels, and leap through Hood's humor; I am not a fair judge. grammar ; and he goes to his work Have I not said elsewhere that there humbly and courageously, and what are one or two wonderfully old gen- he has to do that does he with all his tlemen still alive who used to give me might, through sickness, through sortips when I was a boy? I can't be a row, through exile, poverty, fever, defair critic about them. I always think pression — there he is, always ready to of that sovereign, that rapture of rasp- his work; and with a jewel of genius in berry-tarts, which made my young his pocket! Why, when he laid down days happy. Those old sovereign- his puns and pranks,put the motley off contributors may tell stories ever so and spoke out of his heart, all England old, and I shall laugh; they may com- and America listened with tears and mit murder, and I shall believe it was I wonder! Other men have delusions of conceit, and fancy themselves great- closing a copy of Peel's letter, says, er than they are, and that the world “Sir R. Peel came from Burleigh on slights them. Have we not heard Tuesday night, and went down to how Liston always thought he ought Brighton on Saturday. If he had to play Hamlet? Here is a man with written by post, I should not have a power to touch the heart almost un- had it till to-day. So he sent his serequalled, and he passes days and vant with the enclosed on Saturday years in writing, Young Ben he night; another mark of considerate was a nice young man!” and so forth. attention.” He is frightfully unwell, To say truth, I have been reading in he continues : his wife says he looks a book of “ Hood's Own" until I am quite green ; but ill as he is, poor felperfectly angry. “ You great man, low,
« his well is not dry. He has you good man, you true genius and pumped out a sheet of Christmas fun, poet,” I cry out, as I turn page after is drawing some cuts, and shall write page.
“Do, do, make no more of a sheet more of his novel.” these jokes, but be yourself and take Oh, sad, marvellous picture of your station.”
courage, of honesty, of patient endurWhen Hood was on his deathbed, ance, of duty struggling against pain! Sir Robert Peel, who only knew of How noble Peel's figure is standing his illness, not of his imminent dan- by that sick-bed ! how generous his ger, wrote to him a noble and touch- words, how dignified and sincere his ing letter, announcing that a pension compassion ! And the poor dying was conferred on him :
man, with a heart full of natural grati"I am more than repaid,” writes Peel, tude towards his noble benefactor, “ by the personal satisfaction which I must turn to him and say “If it be have had in doing that for which you re well to be remembered by a Minister, turn me warm and characteristic acknowl, it is better still not to be forgotten by edgments.
"You perhaps think that you are known him in a hurly Burleigh !” Can to one with such multifarious occupations you laugh? . Is not the joke horribly as myself, merely by general reputation as | pathetic froin the poor dying lips? an author; but I assure you that there can. As dying Robin Hood must fire a last knowledged, which I have not read; and shot with his bow - as one reads of that there are few who can appreciate and Catholics on their death-beds putting admire more than myself the good sense and good feeling which have taught you to
on a Capuchin dress to go out of the infuse so much fun and merriment into world — here is poor Hood at his last writings correcting folly and exposing ab- hour putting on his ghastly motley, surdities, and yet never trespassing beyond and uttering one joke more. those limits within which wit and face. tiousness are not very often confined.
He dies, however, in dearest love You may write on with the consciousness and peace with his children, wife, of independence, as free and unfettered friends; to the former especially his as if no communication had ever passed whole life had been devoted, and every
I am not conferring a private obligation upon, but am fulfilling the day showed his fidelity, simplicity, intentions of the legislature, which has and affection. In going through the placed at the disposal of the Crown a cer: record of his most purc, modest, hontai: sum (miserable, indeed, in amount) orable life, and living along with him, to be applied to the recognition of public claims on the bounty of the Crown. you come to trust him thoroughly, If you will review the names of those and feel that here is a most loyal, whose claims have been admitted on affectionate, an upright soul, with account of their literary or scientific emi: whom you have been brought into nence, you will find an ample confirmation of the truth of my statement.
communion. Can we say as much “One return, indeed, I shall ask of you, of the lives of alt men of letters ? - that you will give me the opportunity Here is one at least without guile, of making your personal acquaintance."
without pretension, without scheming, And Hood, writing to a friend, en- of a pure life, to his family and little
modest circle of friends tenderly de- | other end of the table. Very gratifying, voted.
wasn't it? Though I cannot go quite so
far as Jane, who wants me to have that And what a hard work, and what hand chopped off, bottled, and preserved a slender reward ! In the little in spirits. She was sitting up for me, domestic details with which the book very anxiously, as usual when I go out, abounds, what a simple life is shown was down at the door before I could'ring to us! The most simple little pleas- at the gate, to which Boz kindly sent me ures and amusements delight and in his own carriage. Poor girl! what You have revels on
would she do if she had a wild husband
instead of a tame one ? » shrimps; the good wife making the pie; details about the maid, and criti- And the poor anxious wife is sitting cisms on her conduct; wonderful up, and fondles the hand which has tricks played with the plum-pudding been shaken by so many illustrious
- all the pleasures centring round the men! The little feast dates back only little humble home. One of the first eighteen years, and yet somehow it men of his time, he is appointed editor seems as distant as a dinner at Mr. of a Magazine at a salary of 300l. per Thrale's, or a meeting at Will's. annum, signs himself exultingly“ Èd. Poor little gleam of sunshine! very' N. M. M.," and the family rejoice little good cheer enlivens that sači over the income as over a fortune. simple life. We have the triumph of He goes to a Greenwich dinner the Magazine: then a new Magazine what a feast and a rejoicing after- projected and produced : then illness wards!
and the last scene, and the kind Pee “ Well, we drank the Boz' with a de- by the dying man's bedside speaking lectable clatter, which drew from him a noble words of respect and sympathy, good warm-hearted speech. ... He looked and soothing the last throbs of the very well, and had a younger brother along with him. ... Then we had songs.
tender honest heart. Barham chanted a Robin Hood ballad, I like, I say, Hood's life even bet. and Cruikshank sang a burlesque ballad of ter than his books, and I wish with Lord H—; and somebody, unknown to all my heart, Monsieur et cher confrère, me, gave a capital imitation of a French the same could be said for both of us showman. Then we toasted Mrs. Boz, and the Chairman, and Vice, and the Tra when the inkstream of our life hat ditional Priest sang the “ Deep, deep sea,' ceased to run. in his deep, deep voice; and then we drank dear Baggs, I trust you may find rea
Yes: if I drop first, to Proctor, who wrote the said song; also Sir J. Wilson's good health, and Cruik- son to modify some of the unfavora, shank's
, and Ainsworth’s : and a Manches- ble views of my character, which yoy ter friend of the latter sang a Manchester ditty, so full of trading stuff, that it really friends. What ought to be the litera
are so freely imparting to our mutual seemed to have been not composed, but manufactured. Jerdan, as Jerdanish as ry man's point of honor now-a-days: usual on such occasions -- you know how Suppose, friendly reader, you are one paradoxically he is quite at home in din. of the craft, what legacy would you ing out. As to myself
, I had to make my like to leave to your children? First Milnes proposed my health in terms my of all (and by heaven's gracious help) modesty might allow me to repeat to you, you would pray and strive to give but my memory won't. However, I as, them such an endowment of love, as cribed the toast to my notoriously bad health, and assured them that their wishes should last certainly for all their lives, had already improved it — that I felt a and perhaps be transmitted to their brisker circulation-a more genial warmth children. "You would (by the same tain trembling of my hand was not from aid and blessing) keep your honor palsy, or my old ague, but an inclination in pure, and transmit a name unstained my hand to shake itself with every one to those who have a right to bear it. present. Whereupon I had to go through You would — though this faculty of the company as were within reach, besides giving is one of the easiest of the a few more who came express from the literary man's qualities — you would, out of your earnings, small or great, smith, and the splendid contempt with be able to help a poor brother in need, which he regards him. Read Hawto dress his wounds, and, if it were kins on Fielding, and the scorn with but twopence, to give him succor. which Dandy Walpole and Bishop Is the money which the noble Macau- Hurd speak him. Galley-slaves lay gave to the poor lost to his fami- doomed to tug the oar and wear the ly? God forbid. To the loving chain, whilst my lords and dandies hearts of his kindred is it not rather take their pleasure, and hear fine the most precious part of their inherit- music, and disport with fine ladies in ance? It was invested in love and the cabin ! righteous doing, and it bears interest But stay. Was there any cause in heaven. You will, if letters be your for this scorn? Had some of these vocation, find saving harder than giv- great men weaknesses which gave ining and spending. To save be your feriors advantage over them? Men of endeavor, too, against the night's letters cannot lay their hands on their coming, when no man may, work; hearts, and say, "No, the fault was when the arm is weary with the long fortune's, and the indifferent world's, day's labor; when the brain perhaps not Goldsmith's nor Fielding's." grows dark; when the old, who can There was no reason why Oliver labor no more, want warmth and rest, should always be thriftless; why and the young ones call for supper. Fielding and Steele should sponge
I copied the little galley-slave who upon their friends; why Sterne should is made to figure in the initial letter make love to his neighbors' wives. of this paper, from a quaint old silver Swift, for a long time, was as poor as spoon which we purchased in a curi- any wag that ever laughed : but he osity-shop at the Hague. It is one of owed no penny to his neighbors : Adthe gift spoons so common in Holland, dison, when he wore his most threadand which have multiplied so aston- bare coat, could hold his head up, and ishingly of late years at our dealers maintain his dignity: and, I dare in old silverware. Along the stem of vouch, neither of those gentlemen, the spoon are written the words: when they were ever so poor, askeri “ Anno 1609, Bin ick aldus ghekledt any man alive to pity their condition, gheghaen “In the year 1609 I and have a regard to the weaknesses went thus clad.” The good Dutch- incidental 10 the literary profession. man was released from his Algerine Galley-slave, forsooth! If you are captivity (I imagine his figure looks sent to prison for some error for which like that of a slave amongst the the law awards that sort of laborious Moors), and in his thank-offering to seclusion, so much the more shame some godchild at home, he thus pi- for you. If you are chained to the ously records his escape.
oar a prisoner of war, like Cervantes, Was not poor Cervantes also a you have the pain, but not the shame, captive amongst the Moors ? Did and the friendly compassion of mannot Fielding, and Goldsmith, and kind to reward you. Galley-slaves, Smollett, too, die at the chain as well / indeed! What man has not his oar as poor Hood? Think of Fielding to pull? There is that wonderful old going on board his wretched ship in stroke-oar in the Queen's galley. the Thames, with scarce a hand to How many years has he pulled ? bid him farewell ; of brave Tobias Day and night, in rough water or Smollett, and his life, how hard, and smooth, with what invincible vigor and how poorly rewarded ; of Goldsmith, surprising gayety, he plies his arms. and the physician whispering, “ Have There is in the same Galére Capitaine, you something on your mind ?” and that well-known, trin figure, the bowthe wild dying eyes answering, “ Yes.” | oar; how he tugs, and with what a Notice how Boswell speaks of Gold- I will! How both of them have been