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Pickwickian Manners and Customs
by Percy Fitzgerald
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Transcribed from the [1897] Roxburghe Press edition by David Price, email ccx074@pglaf.org

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PICKWICKIAN MANNERS AND CUSTOMS,

BY

PERCY FITZGERALD.

THE ROXBURGHE PRESS, LIMITED, FIFTEEN, VICTORIA STREET, WESTMINSTER.

{Bentley's Miscellany cartoon: p0.jpg}

Inscribed TO AUGUSTINE BIRRELL, M.P.



PICKWICKIAN MANNERS AND CUSTOMS.

No English book has so materially increased the general gaiety of the country, or inspired the feeling of comedy to such a degree as, "The Pickwick Club." It is now some "sixty years since" this book was published, and it is still heartily appreciated. What English novel or story is there which is made the subject of notes and commentaries on the most elaborate scale; whose very misprints and inconsistencies are counted up; whose earliest "states of the plates" are sought out and esteemed precious? "Pickwick," wonderful to say, is the only story that has produced a literature of its own—quite a little library—and has kept artists, topographers, antiquaries, and collectors all busily at work.

There seems to be some mystery, almost miracle, here. A young fellow of four-and-twenty throws off, or rather "rattles off," in the exuberance of his spirits, a never-flagging series of incidents and characters. The story is read, devoured, absorbed, all over the world, and now, sixty years after its appearance, new and yet newer editions are being issued. All the places alluded to and described in the book have in their turn been lifted into fame, and there are constantly appearing in magazines illustrated articles on "Rochester and Dickens," "Dickens Land," "Dickens' London," and the rest. Wonderful! People, indeed, seem never to tire of the subject—the same topics are taken up over and over again. The secret seems to be that the book was a living thing, and still lives. It is, moreover, perhaps the best, most accurate picture of character and manners that are quite gone by: in it the meaning and significance of old buildings, old inns, old churches, and old towns are reached, and interpreted in most interesting fashion; the humour, bubbling over, and never forced, and always fresh, is sustained through some six hundred closely-printed pages; all which, in itself, is a marvel and unapproached. It is easy, however, to talk of the boisterousness, the "caricature," the unlicensed recklessness of the book, the lack of restraint, the defiance of the probabilities. It is popular and acceptable all the same. But there is one test which incontestably proves its merit, and supplies its title, to be considered all but "monumental." This is its prodigious fertility and suggestiveness.

At this moment a review is being made of the long Victorian Age, and people are reckoning up the wonderful changes in life and manners that have taken place within the past sixty years. These have been so imperceptibly made that they are likely to escape our ken, and the eye chiefly settles on some few of the more striking and monumental kind, such as the introduction of railways, of ocean steamships, electricity, and the like. But no standard of comparison could be more useful or more compendious than the immortal chronicle of PICKWICK, in which the old life, not forgotten by some of us, is summarised with the completeness of a history. The reign of Pickwick, like that of the sovereign, began some sixty years ago. Let us recall some of these changes.

To begin: We have now no arrest for debt, with the attendant sponging- houses, Cursitor Street, sheriffs' officers, and bailiffs; and no great Fleet Prison, Marshalsea, or King's Bench for imprisoning debtors. There are no polling days and hustings, with riotous proceedings, or "hocussing" of voters; and no bribery on a splendid scale.

Drinking and drunkenness in society have quite gone out of fashion. Gentlemen at a country house rarely or never come up from dinner, or return from a cricket match, in an almost "beastly" state of intoxication; and "cold punch" is not very constantly drunk through the day. There are no elopements now in chaises and four, like Miss Wardle's, with headlong pursuit in other chaises and four; nor are special licenses issued at a moment's notice to help clandestine marriages. There is now no frequenting of taverns and "free and easies" by gentlemen, at the "Magpie and Stump" and such places, nor do persons of means take up their residence at houses like the "George and Vulture" in the City. No galleried inns (though one still lingers on in Holborn), are there, at which travellers put up: there were then nearly a dozen, in the Borough and elsewhere. There are no coaches on the great roads, no guards and bulky drivers; no gigs with hoods, called "cabs," with the driver's seat next his fare; no "hackney coaches," no "Hampstead stages," no "Stanhopes" or "guillotined cabriolets"—whatever they were—or "mail- carts," the "pwettiest thing" driven by gentlemen. And there are no "sedan chairs" to take Mrs. Dowler home. There are no "poke" or "coal- scuttle" bonnets, such as the Miss Wardles wore; no knee-breeches and gaiters; no "tights," with silk stockings and pumps for evening wear; no big low-crowned hats, no striped vests for valets, and, above all, no gorgeous "uniforms," light blue, crimson, and gold, or "orange plush," such as were worn by the Bath gentlemen's gentlemen. "Thunder and lightning" shirt buttons, "mosaic studs"—whatever they were—are things of the past. They are all gone. Gone too is "half-price" at the theatres. At Bath, the "White Hart" has disappeared with its waiters dressed so peculiarly—"like Westminster boys." We have no serjeants now like Buzfuz or Snubbin: their Inn is abolished, and so are all the smaller Inns—Clement's or Clifford's—where the queer client lived. Neither are valentines in high fashion. Chatham Dockyard, with its hierarchy, "the Clubbers," and the rest, has been closed. No one now gives dejeunes, not dejeuners; or "public breakfasts," such as the authoress of the "Expiring Frog" gave. The "delegates" have been suppressed, and Doctors' Commons itself is levelled to the ground. The "Fox under the Hill" has given place to a great hotel. The old familiar "White Horse Cellars" has been rebuilt, made into shops and a restaurant. There are no "street keepers" now, but the London Police. The Eatanswill Gazette and its scurrilities are not tolerated. Special constables are rarely heard of, and appear only to be laughed at: their staves, tipped with a brass crown, are sold as curios. Turnpikes, which are found largely in "Pickwick," have been suppressed. The abuses of protracted litigation in Chancery and other Courts have been reformed. No papers are "filed at the Temple"—whatever that meant. The Pound, as an incident of village correction has, all but a few, disappeared.

Then for the professional classes, which are described in the chronicle with such graphic power and vivacity. As at this time "Boz" drew the essential elements of character instead of the more superficial ones—his later practice—there is not much change to be noted. We have the medical life exhibited by Bob Sawyer and his friends; the legal world in Court and chambers—judges, counsel, and solicitors—are all much as they are now. Sir Frank Lockwood has found this subject large enough for treatment in his little volume, "The Law and Lawyers of Pickwick." It may be thought that no judge of the pattern of Stareleigh could be found now, but we could name recent performances in which incidents such as, "Is your name Nathaniel Daniel or Daniel Nathaniel?" have been repeated. Neither has the blustering of Buzfuz or his sophistical plaintiveness wholly gone by. The "cloth" was represented by the powerful but revolting sketch of Stiggins, which, it is strange, was not resented by the Dissenters of the day, and also by a more worthy specimen in the person of the clergyman at Dingley Dell. There are the mail-coach drivers, with the "ostlers, boots, countrymen, gamekeepers, peasants, and others," as they have it in the play-bills. Truly admirable, and excelling the rest, are "Boz's" sketches—actually "living pictures"—of the fashionable footmen at Bath, beside which the strokes in that diverting piece "High Life below Stairs" seem almost flat. The simperings of these gentry, their airs and conceit, we may be sure, obtain now. Once coming out of a Theatre, at some fashionable performance, through a long lane of tall menials, one fussy aristocrat pushed one of them out of his way. The menial contemptuously pushed him back. The other in a rage said, "How dare you? Don't you know, I'm the Earl of —-" "Well," said the other coldly, "If you be a Hearl, can't you be'ave as sich?"

After the wedding at Manor Farm we find that bride and bridegroom did not set off from the house on a wedding tour, but remained for the night. This seemed to be the custom. Kissing, too, on the Pickwickian principles, would not now, to such an extent, be tolerated. There is an enormous amount in the story. The amorous Tupman had scarcely entered the hall of a strange house when he began osculatory attempts on the lips of one of the maids; and when Mr. Pickwick and his friends called on Mr. Winkle, sen., at Birmingham, Bob Sawyer made similar playful efforts—being called an "odous creetur" by the lady. In fact, the custom seemed to be to kiss when and wherever you could conveniently. Getting drunk after any drinking, and at any time of the day, seemed to be common enough. There was a vast amount of open fields, &c., about London which engendered the "Cockney sportsman." He disappeared as the fields were built over. We have no longer the peculiar "stand-up" collars, or "gills," and check neck-cloths.

But Mr. Bantam's costume at the Bath Assembly, shows the most startling change. Where is now the "gold eye glass?"—we know that eye glass, which was of a solid sort, not fixed on the nose, but held to the eye—a "quizzing glass," and folding up on a hinge—"a broad black ribbon" too; the "gold snuffbox;" gold rings "innumerable" on the fingers, and "a diamond pin" on his "shirt frill," a "curb chain" with large gold seals hanging from his waistcoat—(a "curb chain" proper was then a little thin chain finely wrought, of very close links.) Then there was the "pliant ebony cane, with a heavy gold top." Ebony, however, is not pliant, but the reverse—black was the word intended. Then those "smalls" and stockings to match. Mr. Pickwick, a privileged man, appeared on this occasion, indeed always, in his favourite white breeches and gaiters. In fact, on no occasion save one, when he wore a great-coat, does he appear without them. Bantam's snuff was "Prince's mixture," so named after the Regent, and his scent "Bouquet du Roi." "Prince's mixture" is still made, but "Bouquet du Roi" is supplanted.

Perker's dress is also that of the stage attorney, as we have him now, and recognize him. He would not be the attorney without that dress. He was "all in black, with boots as shiny as his eyes, a low white neckcloth, and a clean shirt with a frill to it." This, of course, meant that he put on one every day, and is yet a slight point of contact with Johnson, who described someone as being only able to go out "on clean shirt days;" a gold watch and seals depended from his Fob. "Depended" is a curious use of the word, and quite gone out.

Another startling change is in the matter of duels. The duels in Pickwick come about quite as a matter of course, and as a common social incident. In the "forties" I recall a military uncle of my own—a gentleman, like uncle Toby—handing his card to some one in a billiard room, with a view to "a meeting." Dickens' friend Forster was at one time "going out" with another gentleman. Mr. Lang thinks that duelling was prohibited about 1844, and "Courts of Honour" substituted. But the real cause was the duel between Colonel Fawcett and Lieut. Munro, brothers-in-law, when the former was killed. This, and some other tragedies of the kind, shocked the public. The "Courts of Honour," of course, only affected military men.

Mr. Pickwick, himself, had nearly "gone out" on two or three occasions, once with Mr. Slammer, once with Mr. Magnus; while his scuffle with Tupman would surely have led to one. Winkle, presumed to be a coward, had no less than three "affairs" on his hands: one with Slammer, one with Dowler, and one with Bob Sawyer. At Bob Sawyer's Party, the two medical students, tendered their cards. For so amiable a man, Mr. Pickwick had some extraordinary failings. He seems to have had no restraint where drink was in the case, and was hopelessly drunk about six times—on three occasions, at least, he was preparing to assault violently. He once hurled an inkstand; he once struck a person; once challenged his friend to "come on." Yet the capital comedy spirit of the author carries us over these blemishes.

When Sam was relating to his master the story of the sausage maker's disappearance, Mr. Pickwick, horrified, asked had he been "Burked?" There Boz might have repeated his apologetic footnote, on Jingle's share in the Revolution of 1830. "A remarkable instance of his force of prophetic imagination, etc." For the sausage story was related in the year of grace 1827, and Burke was executed in 1829, some two years later.

Mr. Lang has suggested that the bodies Mr. Sawyer and his friend subscribed for, were "snatched," but he forgets that this traffic was a secret one, and the bodies were brought to the private residence of the physicians, the only safe way (Vide the memoirs of Sir A. Cooper). At a great public Hospital the practice would be impossible.

"Hot elder wine, well qualified with brandy and spice," is a drink that would not now be accepted with enthusiasm at the humblest wedding, even in the rural districts: we are assured that sound "was the sleep and pleasant were the dreams that followed." Which is not so certain. The cake was cut and "passed through the ring," also an exploded custom, whatever its meaning was. In what novel now-a-days would there be an allusion to "Warren's blacking," or to "Rowland's oil," which was, of course, their famous "Macassar." These articles, however, may still be procured, and to that oil we owe the familiar interposing towel or piece of embroidery the "antimacassar," devised to protect the sofa or easy chair from the unguent of the hair. "Moral pocket handkerchiefs," for teaching religion to natives of the West Indies, combining amusement with instruction, "blending select tales with woodcuts," are no longer used.

Old Temple Bar has long since disappeared, so has the Holborn Valley. The Fleet was pulled down about ten years after Pickwick, but imprisonment for debt continued until 1860 or so. Indeed Mr. Lang seems to think it still goes on, for he says it is now "disguised as imprisonment for contempt of Court." This is a mistake. In the County Courts when small debts under 3 pounds 10s. are sued for, the judge will order a small weekly sum to be paid in discharge; in case of failure to pay, he will punish the disobedience by duress not exceeding fifteen days—a wholly different thing from imprisonment for debt.

Where now are the Pewter Pots, and the pot boy with his strap of "pewters?"—we would have to search for them now. Long cut glasses have taken their place. Where, too, is the invariable Porter, drunk almost exclusively in Pickwick? Bass had not then made its great name. There is no mention of Billiard tables, but much about Skittles and Bagatelle, which were the pastimes at Taverns.

Then the Warming Pan! Who now "does trouble himself about the Warming Pan?"—which is yet "a harmless necessary and I will add a comforting article of domestic furniture." Observe necessary, as though every family had it as an article of their "domestic furniture." It is odd to think of Mary going round all the beds in the house, and deftly introducing this "article" between the sheets. Or was it only for the old people: or in chilly weather merely? On these points we must be unsatisfied. The practice, however, points to a certain effeminacy—the average person of our day would not care to have his bed so treated—with invalids the "Hot Water Bottle" has "usurped its place." We find this superannuated instrument in the "antique" dealers' shops, at a good figure—a quaint old world thing, of a sort of old-fashioned cut and pattern. There only do people appear to trouble themselves about it.

"Chops and tomato sauce." This too is superannuated also. A more correct taste is now chops au naturel, and relying on their own natural juices; but we have cutlets, with tomatos.

Again, are little boys no longer clad in "a tight suit of corduroy, spangled with brass buttons of very considerable size:" indeed corduroy is seldom seen save on the figures of some chic ladies. And how fortunate to live in days when a smart valet could be secured for twelve pounds a year, and two suits; {24} and not less.

Surprising too was the valet's accustomed dress. "A grey coat, a black hat, with a cockade on it, a pink striped waistcoat, light breeches and gaiters." What too were "bright basket buttons" on a brown coat? Fancy Balls too, like Mrs. Leo Hunter's, were given in the daytime, and caused no astonishment. Nor have we lodging-houses with beds on the "twopenny rope" principle. There are no "dry arches" of Waterloo Bridge: though here I suspect Boz was confounding them with those of the Adelphi.

Gone too are the simple games of childhood. Marbles for instance. We recall Serjeant Buzfuz's pathetic allusion to little Bardell's "Alley Tors and Commoneys; the long familiar cry of 'knuckle down' is neglected." Who sees a boy playing marbles now in the street or elsewhere? Mr. Lang in his edition gives us no lore about this point. "Alley Tors" was short for "Alabaster," the material of which the best marbles were made.

"Tor" however, is usually spelt "Taw." "Commoneys" were the inferior or commoner kind. "Knuckle down," according to our recollections, was the laying the knuckle on the ground for a shot. "Odd and even" was also spoken of by the Serjeant. Another game alluded to, is mysteriously called "Tip-cheese"—of which the latest editor speculates "probably Tip- cat was meant: the game at which Bunyan was distinguishing himself when he had a call." The "cat" was a plain piece of wood, sharpened at both ends. I suppose made to jump, like a cat. But unde "cheese," unless it was a piece of rind that was struck.

"Flying the garter" is another of the Pickwickian boy games. Talking with a very old gentleman, lately, I thought of asking him concerning "Flying the garter:" he at once enlightened me. It was a familiar thing he remembered well "when a boy." It was a sort of "Leap Frog," exercise—only with a greater and longer spring: he spoke also of a shuffle of the feet during the process.

And again. There is a piquant quaintness in the upside-down turning of every thing in this wonderful Book. Such as Perker's eyes, which are described as playing with his "inquisitive nose" a "perpetual game of"—what, think you? Bo-Peep? not at all: but "peep-bo." How odd and unaccountable! We all knew the little "Bo-peep," and her sheep—but "peep-bo" is quite a reversal.

Gas was introduced into London about the year 1812 and was thought a prodigiously "brilliant illuminant." But in the Pickwickian days it was still in a crude state—and we can see in the first print—that of the club room—only two attenuated jets over the table. In many of the prints we find the dip or mould candle, which was used to light Sam as he sat in the coffee room of the Blue Boar. Mr. Nupkins' kitchen was not lit by gas.

As to this matter of light—it all depends on habit and accommodating. When a boy I have listened to "Ivanhoe" read out—O enchantment! by the light of two "mould" candles—the regular thing—which required "snuffing" about every ten minutes, and snuffing required dexterity. The snuffers—laid on a long tray—were of ponderous construction; it was generally some one's regular duty to snuff—how odd seems this now! The "plaited wicks" which came later were thought a triumph, and the snuffers disappeared. They also are to be seen in the Curio Shops.

How curious, too, the encroachment of a too practical age on the old romance. "Fainting" was the regular thing in the Pickwickian days, in any agitation; "burnt feathers" and the "sal volatile" being the remedy. The beautiful, tender and engaging creatures we see in the annuals, all fainted regularly—and knew how to faint—were perhaps taught it. Thus when Mr. Pickwick was assumed to have "proposed" to his landlady, she in business-like fashion actually "fainted;" now-a-days "fainting" has gone out as much as duelling.

In the travellers' rooms at Hotels—in the "commercial" room—we do not see people smoking "large Dutch pipes"—nor is "brandy and water" the only drink of the smoking room. Mr. Pickwick and his friends were always "breaking the waxen seals" of their letters—while Sam, and people of his degree, used the wafer. (What by the way was the "fat little boy"—in the seal of Mr. Winkle's penitential letter to his sire? Possibly a cupid.) Snuff taking was then common enough in the case of professional people like Perker.

At this moment there is to be seen in the corner of many an antique Hall—Sedan chair laid up in ordinary—of black leather, bound with brass- nails. We can well recall in our boyish days, mamma in full dress and her hair in "bands," going out to dine in her chair. On arriving at the house the chair was taken up the steps and carried bodily into the Hall—the chair men drew out their poles, lifted the head, opened the door and the dame stepped out. The operation was not without its state.

Gone too are the "carpet bags" which Mr. Pickwick carried and also Mr. Slurk—(why he brought it with him into the kitchen is not very clear). {30}

Skates were then spelt "Skaits." The "Heavy smack," transported luggage—to the Provinces by river or canal. The "Twopenny Postman" is often alluded to. "Campstools," carried about for use, excited no astonishment. Gentlemen don't go to Reviews now, as Mr. Wardle did, arrayed in "a blue coat and bright buttons, corduroy (Boz also spells it corderoy) breeches and top boots," nor ladies "in scarfs and feathers." It is curious, by the way, that Wardle talks something after the fashionable manner of our day, dropping his g's—as who should say "huntin'," or "rippin'"—"I spent some evnins" he says "at your club." "My gals," he says also. "Capons" are not much eaten now. "Drinking wine" or "having a glass of wine" has gone out, and with it Mr. Tupman's gallant manner of challenge to a fair one, i.e. "touching the enchanting Rachel's wrist with one hand and gently elevating his bottle with the other." "Pope Joan" is little played now, if at all; "Fish" too; how rarely one sees those mother-of-pearl fish! The "Cloth is not drawn" and the table exposed to view, to be covered with dessert, bottles, glasses, etc. The shining mahogany was always a brave show, and we fear this comes of using cheap made up tables of common wood. Still we wot of some homes, old houses in the country, where the practice is kept up. It is evident that Mr. Wardle's dinner was at about 3 or 4 o'clock, for none was offered to the party that arrived about 6. This we may presume was the mode in old fashioned country houses. Supper came at eleven.

A chaise and four could go at the pace of fifteen miles an hour.

A "1000 horse-power" was Jingle's idea of extravagant speed by steam agency. Now we have got to 4, 5, and 10 thousand horsepower. Gentlemen's "frills" in the daytime are never seen now. Foot gear took the shape of "Hessians'" "halves," "painted tops," "Wellington's" or "Bluchers." There are many other trifles which will evidence these changes. We are told of the "common eighteen-penny French skull cap." Note common—it is exhibited on Mr. Smangle's head—a rather smartish thing with a tassel. Nightcaps, too, they are surely gone by now: though a few old people may wear them, but then boys and young men all did. It also had a tassel. There is the "Frog Hornpipe," whatever dance that was: the "pousette;" while "cold srub," which is not in much vogue now, was the drink of the Bath Footmen. "Botany Bay ease, and New South Wales gentility," refer to the old convict days. This indeed is the most startling transformation of all. For instead of Botany Bay, and its miserable associations, we have the grand flourishing Australia, with its noble cities, Parliaments and the rest. Gone out too, we suppose, the "Oxford-mixture trousers;" "Oxford grey" it was then called.

Then for Sam's "Profeel machine." Mr. Andrew Lang in his notes wonders what this "Profeel machine" was, and fancies it was the silhouette process. This had nothing to do with the "Profeel machine"—which is described in "Little Pedlington," a delightful specimen of Pickwickian humour, and which ought to be better known than it is. "There now," said Daubson, the painter of "the all but breathing Grenadier," (alas! rejected by the Academy). "Then get up and sit down, if you please, mister." "He pointed to a narrow high-backed chair, placed on a platform; by the side of the chair was a machine of curious construction, from which protruded a long wire. 'Heady stiddy, mister.' He then slowly drew the wire over my head and down my nose and chin." Such was the "Profeel machine."

There are many antiquated allusions in Pickwick—which have often exercised the ingenuity of the curious. Sam's "Fanteegs," has been given up in despair—as though there were no solution—yet, Professor Skeat, an eminent authority, has long since furnished it. {34}

"Through the button hole"—a slang term for the mouth, has been well "threshed out"—as it is called. Of "My Prooshian Blue," as his son affectedly styled his parent, Mr. Lang correctly suggests the solution, that the term came of George IV's intention of changing the uniform of the Army to Blue. But this has been said before.

Boz in his Pickwickian names was fond of disguising their sense to the eye, though not to the ear. Thus Lady Snuphanuph, looks a grotesque, but somewhat plausible name—snuff-enough—a further indication of the manners and customs. So with Lord Mutanhed, i.e. "Muttonhead." Mallard, Serjeant Snubbin's Clerk, I have suspected, may have been some Mr. Duck—whom "Boz" had known—in that line.



"A MONUMENTAL PICKWICK."

The fruitfulness of Pickwick, and amazing prolificness, that is one of its marvels. It is regularly "worked on," like Dante or Shakespeare. The Pickwickian Library is really a wonder. It is intelligible how a work like Boswell's "Johnson," full of allusions and names of persons who have lived, spoken, and written, should give rise to explanation and commentaries; but a work of mere imagination, it would be thought, could not furnish such openings. As we have just seen, Pickwick and the other characters are so real, so artfully blended with existing usages, manners, and localities, as to become actual living things.

Mere panegyric of one's favourite is idle. So I lately took a really effective way of proving the surprising fertility of the work and of its power of engendering speculation and illustration. I set about collecting all that has been done, written, and drawn on the subject during these sixty years past, together with all those lighter manifestations of popularity which surely indicate "the form and pressure" of its influence. The result is now before me, and all but fills a small room. When set in proper order and bound, it will fill over thirty great quartos—"huge armfuls" as Elia has it. In short, it is a "Monumental Pickwick."

The basis of The Text is of course, the original edition of 1836. There are specimens of the titles and a few pages of every known edition; the first cheap or popular one; the "Library" edition; the "Charles Dickens" ditto; the Edition de Luxe; the "Victoria": "Jubilee," edited by C. Dickens the younger; editions at a shilling and at sixpence; the edition sold for one penny; the new "Gadshill," edited by Andrew Lang; with the "Roxburghe," edited by F. Kitton, presently to be published. The Foreign Editions in English; four American editions, two of Philadelphia, and two of New York; the Tauchnitz (German) and Baudry (French); the curious Calcutta edition; with one of the most interesting editions, viz., the one published at Launceston in Van Diemen's Land in the year 1839, that is before the name of the Colony was changed. The publisher speaks feelingly of the enormous difficulties he had to encounter, and he boasts, with a certain pride, that it is "the largest publication that has issued from either the New South Wales or the Tasmanian Press." Not only this, but the whole of the work, printing, engraving, and binding, was executed in the Colony. He had to be content with lithography for the plates, and indeed, could only manage a selection of twenty of the best. He says, too, that even in England, lithography is found a process of considerable difficulty. They are executed in a very rough and imperfect way, and not very faithfully by an artist who signs himself "Tiz." The poor, but spirited publisher adds that the expense has been enormous—"greater than was originally contemplated," but he comforts himself with the compliment that "if any publication would repay the cost of its production, it would be the far- famed Pickwick Papers." On the whole, it is a very interesting edition to have, and I have never seen a copy save the one I possess. I have also an American edition, printed in Philadelphia, which has a great interest. It was bought there by Mrs. Charles Dickens, and presented by her to her faithful maid, Anne. I possess also a copy of the Christmas Carol given by his son, the author, to his father John. Few recall that "Boz" wrote a sequel to his Pickwick—a rather dismal failure—quite devoid of humour. He revived Sam and old Weller, and Mr. Pickwick, but they are unrecognizable figures. He judiciously suppressed this attempt, after making it a sort of introduction to Humphrey's Clock. Of course, we have it here.

Translations: Of these there are some twenty in all, but I have only the French, German, Russian, Dutch, Norwegian, Swedish, Hungarian.

Then come Selections: "Readings" from "Pickwick"; "Dialogues" from ditto; "Wellerisms," by Charles Kent and Mr. Rideal.

Dramatic Versions: "The Pickwickians," "Perambulations," "Sam Weller," etc. The "Pickwick" opera, by Burnand; "The Trial in 'Pickwick'"; "Bardell v. Pickwick." There are "Play Bills"—various. Connected with this department is the literature of the "Readings"—"Charles Dickens as a Reader," by Kent, and "Pen Photographs," by Kate Field. Also Dolby's account of the Reading Tours, and the little prepared versions for sale in the rooms in green covers; also bills, tickets, and programmes galore.

In Music we have "The Ivy Green" and "A Christmas Carol."

Imitations: "Pickwick Abroad," by G. W. Reynolds; "Pickwick in America," the "Penny Pickwick," the "Queerfish Chronicles," the "Cadger Club," and many more.

In the way of Commentaries: The "History of Pickwick," "Origin of Sam Weller": Sir F. Lockwood's "The Law and Lawyers of Pickwick"; Kent's "Humour and Pathos of Charles Dickens"; accounts from "Forster's Life" and from the "Letters," "Controversy with Seymour" (Mrs. Seymour's rare pamphlet is not procurable), "Dickensiana," by F. Kitton; "Bibliographies" by Herne Shepherd, Cook and also by Kitton.

Criticisms: The Quarterly Review, the Westminster Review, Fraser's Magazine, Taine's estimate, "L'inimitable Boz" by Comte de Heussey, with many more.

Topographical: Hughes' "Tramp in Dickens-Land," "In Kent with Charles Dickens," by Frost; "Bozland," by Percy Fitzgerald; "The Childhood and Youth of C. Dickens," by Langton; "Dickens's London," by Allbutt; "About England with Dickens," by Rimmer; Papers in American and English Magazines; "A Pickwickian Pilgrimage," by Hassard; "Old Rochester," and others.

Commentaries on the Illustrations: Here is a regular department—Account of "Phiz," by Kitton; "Life of Hablot K. Browne," by Croal Thomson; "Life of G. Cruikshank," Mr. Dexter's book, and another by Charles P. Johnson.

Next we refer to the Illustrations themselves: The plates to the original edition are by Seymour (7), Buss (2), Phiz-Seymour (7), and by "Phiz" (35). Variations, by "Phiz"; variations, coloured by Pailthorpe; facsimiles of original drawings—altogether about 200. There are Extra Plates by Heath, Sir John Gilbert, Onwhyn ("Sam Weller"), Sibson, Alfred Crowquill, Antony (American), Onwhyn (Posthumous) and Frost, Frederick Barnard (to popular edition); also some folio plates; C. J. Leslie (a frontispiece). "Phiz" published later a series of six, and also a large number of coarse woodcuts to illustrate a cheap edition.

There are also a series of clever extra illustrations by Pailthorpe and others, coloured by the same. We have seen F. Barnard's illustrations coloured by Pailthorpe. There are here also the original plates re-drawn in Calcutta. They were also reproduced in Philadelphia, with additional ones by Nast. Others were issued in Sydney. There are a number of German woodcut illustrations to illustrate the German translations; some rude woodcuts to illustrate Dicks' edition: ditto to Penny edition. There is also a set of portraits from "Pickwick" in Bell's Life, probably by Kenny Meadows; and coloured figures by "Kyd."

There are many pictures in colours—Pickwick, Weller, &c.—to illustrate Christmas calendars, chiefly "made in Germany."

The most curious tribute is the issue by the Phonographic Society of "Pickwick" in shorthand; and, finally, "Pickwick" in raised characters on the Braille system for the blind.

This odd publication of "Pickwick" for the Blind came about in a quaint way enough. As we know, the author issued at his own expense one of his works in raised characters, as a present to these afflicted persons. A rich old gentleman had noticed a blind beggar seated with the Bible open on his knees, droning out the passages in the usual fashion. Some of the impostor sort learn the lines by heart and "make believe" to read, as they pass their fingers over the characters. The rich old gentleman's blind reader read in the genuine way, and got through about fifty chapters a day. No one, however, is much improved by the lecture. They merely wonder at the phenomenon and go their way. The rich old gentleman presently spoke to the blind reader: "Why don't you read 'Pickwick' or some other book that the public will listen to?" "Sir," he replied—he must have been of the stock of Silas Wegg—"give me 'Pickwick' in raised characters and I will read it."

The rich old gentleman went his way and inquired at the proper places, but the work was not known. He gave an order for a hundred copies of "Pickwick" in "Wait's Improved Braille Type," and in about six months it was delivered to him—not the whole work, but a selection of the more effective episodes. The blind reader was pleased; the old gentleman insisted on a private rehearsal; select passages were chosen which were calculated to take about twenty minutes each. When he arrived on the morning fixed for the first attempt, he found his friend at his post with quite a crowd gathered round him, in convulsions of laughter. The "poor blind" was reading, or feeling out, old Mr. Weller's ejectment of the red- nosed man. The hat was overflowing with coppers and even silver. So things went on prospering for a while. "Pickwick" was a magnificent success, and the blind man was never without a crowd round him of some fifteen to fifty persons. But the other blind readers found the demand for the sacred text vanishing; and people would unfeelingly interrupt them to inquire the way to the "Pickwick man." Eventually the police began to interfere, and required him to "move on;" "he was obstructing the pavement"—not, perhaps, he, but "Pickwick." He did move on to Hyde Park, but there were others there, performers young and up-to-date, and with full use of their eyes, who did the same thing with action and elocution. So he fairly gave the thing up, and returned to his Scriptures. This tale would have amused "Boz" himself.

Of a more miscellaneous kind are "The Pickwick Songster," "Sam Weller's Almanac," "Sam Weller's Song Book," "The Pickwick Pen," "Oh, what a boon and a blessing to men," etc.,—to say nothing of innumerable careless sheets, and trifles of all kinds and of every degree. Then we have adapted advertisements. The Proprietors of Beecham's Pills use the scene of Mr. Pickwick's discovery of the Bill Stumps inscription. Some carpet cleaners have Sam and the pretty housemaid folding the carpet. Lastly comes the author, "Boz" himself, with letters, portraits, pictures of his homes, etc., all more or less connected with the period when he was writing this book, a facsimile of his receipt for copy money, a copy of his agreement with Chapman and Hall, and many more items. {47}

I have often wondered how it was that "the inimitable Boz," took so little interest in his great Book. It always seemed to me that he did not care for praise of it, or wish much that it should be alluded to. But he at once became interested, when you spoke of some of his artful plots, in Bleak House, or Little Dorrit—then his eye kindled. He may have fancied, as his friend Forster also did, that Pickwick was a rather jejune juvenile thing, inartistically planned, and thrown off, or rather rattled off. His penchant, as was the case with Liston and some of the low comedians, was for harrowing tragedy and pathos.

Once when driving with him on a jaunting car in Dublin, he asked me, did I know so-and-so, and I answered promptly in Mr. Winkle's words, "I don't know him, but I have seen him." This apropos made him laugh heartily. I am now inclined to think that the real explanation of his distaste was, that the Book was associated with one of the most painful and distracting episodes of his life, which affected him so acutely, that he actually flung aside his work in the full tumult of success, and left the eager public without its regular monthly number. "I have been so unnerved" he writes, in an unpublished letter to Harrison Ainsworth, "and hurt by the loss of the dear girl whom I loved, after my wife, more dearly and fervently than anyone on earth, that I have been compelled for once to give up all idea of my monthly work, and to try a fortnight's rest and quiet."

In this long book, there are found allusions to only two or three other works. What these are might form one of the questions "set" at the next Pickwick examination. Fielding is quoted once. In the dedication allusion is made to Talfourd's three speeches in Parliament, on the copyright question; these were published in a little volume, and make, fairly enough, one of the illustrative documents of "Pickwick." In the first number of the first edition there is an odd note, rather out of place, but it was withdrawn later—meant to ridicule Mr. Jingle's story of "Ponto's" sagacity; it states that in Mr. Jesse's gleanings, there are more amazing stories than this.

Mr. Jesse was a sort of personage living at Richmond—where I well remember him, when I was there as a boy. "Jesse's gleanings" was then a well-known and popular book; and his stories of dogs are certainly extraordinary enough to have invoked Boz's ridicule. We are told of the French poodle, who after rolling himself in the mud of the Seine, would rub himself against any well-polished boots that he noticed, and would thus bring custom to his master, who was a shoe black on the Pont Neuf. He was taken to London by an English purchaser, but in a few days disappeared, and was discovered pursuing his old trade on the Bridge. Other dogs, we were told, after being transported long distances, would invariably find their way back. These prodigies, however, do not appear so wonderful now, after the strange things about dogs and cats that have been retailed in a well-known "weekly." A third allusion is to Sterne's Maria of Moulines, made, of all people in the world, by Sam Weller.



"BOZ" AND "BOZZY."

It may seem somewhat far-fetched to put "Pickwick" beside Boswell's also immortal work, but I think really the comparison is not a fanciful one. No one enjoyed the book so much as "Boz." He knew it thoroughly. Indeed, it is fitting that "Boz" should relish "Bozzy;" for "Bozzy" would certainly have relished "Boz" and have "attended him with respectful attention." It has not been yet shown how much there is in common between the two great books, and, indeed, between them and a third, greater than either, the immortal "Don Quixote." All three are "travelling stories." Sterne also was partial to a travelling story. Lately, when a guest at the "Johnson Club," I ventured to expound minutely, and at length, this curious similarity between Boswell and Dickens. Dickens' appreciation of "Bozzy" is proved by his admirable parody which is found in one of his letters to Wilkie Collins, and which is superior to anything of the sort—to Chalmers', Walcot's, or any that have been attempted:—

"Sir," as Dr. Johnson would have said, "if it be not irrational in a man to count his feathered bipeds before they are hatched, we will conjointly astonish them next year." Boswell. "Sir, I hardly understand you." Johnson. "You never understood anything." Boswell (in a sprightly manner). "Perhaps, sir, I am all the better for it." Johnson. "I do not know but that you are. There is Lord Carlisle (smiling)—he never understands anything, and yet the dog is well enough. Then, sir, there is Forster—he understands many things, and yet the fellow is fretful. Again, sir, there is Dickens, with a facile way with him—like Davy, sir, like Davy—yet I am told that the man is lying at a hedge alehouse by the seashore in Kent as long as they will trust him." Boswell. "But there are no hedges by the sea in Kent, sir." Johnson. "And why not, sir?" Boswell (at a loss). "I don't know, sir, unless—" Johnson (thundering). "Let us have no unlesses, sir. If your father had never said unless he would never have begotten you, sir." Boswell (yielding). "Sir, that is very true."

To begin, the Christian names of the two great men were the same. Sam Johnson and Samuel Pickwick. Johnson had a relation called Nathaniel, and Pickwick had a "follower" also Nathaniel. Both the great men founded Clubs: Johnson's was in Essex Street, Strand, to say nothing of the Literary or Johnson Club; the other in Huggin Lane. Johnson had his Goldsmith, Reynolds, Boswell, Burke, and the rest, as his members and "followers:" Mr. Pickwick had his Tupman, Snodgrass, Winkle, and others. These were the "travelling members," just as Dr. Johnson and Boswell were the travelling members of their Club. Boswell was the notetaker, so was Snodgrass. When we see the pair staying at the Three Crowns at Lichfield—calling on friends—waited on by the manager of the local Theatre, etc., we are forcibly reminded of the visits to Rochester and Ipswich.

Boswell one night dropped into a tavern in Butcher Row, and saw his great friend in a warm discussion with a strange Irishman, who was very short with him, and the sketch recalls very forcibly Mr. Pickwick at the Magpie and Stump, where old Jack Bamber told him that he knew nothing about the mysteries of the old haunted chambers in Clifford's Inn and such places. The Turk's Head, the Crown and Anchor, the Cheshire Cheese, The Mitre, may be set beside the Magpie and Stump, the George and Vulture, and White Horse Cellars.

More curious still in Boswell's life, there is mentioned a friend of Johnson's who is actually named—Weller! I leave it as a pleasant crux for the ingenious Pickwickian to find out where.

Johnson had his faithful servant, Frank: Mr. Pickwick his Sam. The two sages equally revelled in travelling in post-chaises and staying at inns; both made friends with people in the coaches and commercial rooms. There are also some odd accidental coincidences which help in the likeness. Johnson was constantly in the Borough, and we have a good scene with Mr. Pickwick at the White Hart in the same place. Mr. Pickwick had his widow, Mrs. Bardell; and Johnson his in the person of the fair Thrale. Johnson had his friend Taylor at Ashbourne, to whom he often went on visits, always going down by coach; while Mr. Pickwick had his friend Wardle, with whom he stayed at Manor Farm, in Kent. We know of the review at Rochester which Mr. Pickwick and friends attended, and how they were charged by the soldiery. Oddly enough Dr. Johnson attended a review also at Rochester, when he was on a visit to his friend Captain Langton. Johnson, again, found his way to Bath, went to the Assembly Rooms, etc.; and our friend Mr. Pickwick, we need not say, also enjoyed himself there. In Boswell's record we have a character called Mudge, an "out of the way" name; and in Pickwick we find a Mudge. George Steevens, who figures so much in Boswell's work, was the author of an antiquarian hoax played off on a learned brother, of the same class as "Bill Stumps, his mark." He had an old inscription engraved on an unused bit of pewter—it was well begrimed and well battered, then exposed for sale in a broker's shop, where it was greedily purchased by the credulous virtuoso. The notion, by the way, of the Club button was taken from the Prince Regent, who had his Club and uniform, which he allowed favourites to wear.

There is a story in Boswell's Biography which is transferred to "Pickwick," that of the unlucky gentleman who died from a surfeit of crumpets; Sam, it will be recollected, describes it as a case of the man "as killed hisself on principle."

"He used to go away to a coffee-house after his dinner and have a small pot o' coffee and four crumpets. He fell ill and sent for the doctor. Doctor comes in a green fly vith a kind o' Robinson Crusoe set o' steps as he could let down ven he got out, and pull up arter him ven he got in, to perwent the necessity o' the coachman's gettin' down, and thereby undeceivin' the public by lettin' 'em see that it wos only a livery coat he'd got on, and not the trousers to match. 'How many crumpets at a sittin' do you think 'ud kill me off at once?' said the patient. 'I don't know,' says the doctor. 'Do you think half a crown's vurth 'ud do it?' says the patient. 'I think it might,' says the doctor. 'Three shillin' 's vurth 'ud be sure to do it, I s'pose?' says the patient. 'Certainly,' says the doctor. 'Wery good,' says the patient; 'good-night.' Next mornin' he gets up, has a fire lit, orders in three shillin's' vurth o' crumpets, toasts 'em all, eat 'em all, and blows his brains out."

"What did he do that for?" inquired Mr. Pickwick abruptly; for he was considerably startled by this tragical termination of the narrative.

"Wot did he do it for, sir?" reiterated Sam. "Wy, in support of his great principle that crumpets was wholesome, and to show that he vouldn't be put out of his vay for nobody!"

Thus Dickens marvellously enriched this quaint story. It may be found amusing to trace the genesis of the tale. In Boswell it runs: "Mr. Fitzherbert, who loved buttered muffins, but durst not eat them because they disagreed with his stomach, resolved to shoot himself, and then eat three buttered muffins for breakfast, knowing that he should not be troubled with indigestion." We find that De Quincey, in one of his essays, reports the case of an officer holding the rank of lieutenant- colonel who could not tolerate a breakfast without muffins. But he suffered agonies of indigestion. "He would stand the nuisance no longer, but yet, being a just man, he would give Nature one final chance of reforming her dyspeptic atrocities. Muffins therefore being laid at one angle of the table and pistols at the other, with rigid equity the Colonel awaited the result. This was naturally pretty much as usual; and then the poor man, incapable of retreating from his word of honour, committed suicide, having left a line for posterity to the effect, "that a muffinless world was no world for him."

It will be recollected that, during the Christmas festivities at Manor Farm, after a certain amount of kissing had taken place under the mistletoe, Mr. Pickwick was "standing under the mistletoe, looking with a very pleased countenance on all that was passing round him, when the young lady with the black eyes, after a little whispering with the other young ladies, made a sudden dart forward, and putting her arm round Mr. Pickwick's neck, saluted him affectionately on the left cheek, and before he distinctly knew what was the matter he was surrounded by the whole bevy, and kissed by every one of them." Compare with this what happened to Dr. Johnson in the Hebrides:

"This evening one of our married ladies, a lively, pretty little woman, good-humouredly sat down upon Dr. Johnson's knee, and being encouraged by some of the company, put her hands round his neck and kissed him. "Do it again," said he, "and let us see who will tire first." He kept her on his knee some time while he and she drank tea. He was now like a buck indeed. All the company were much entertained to find him so easy and pleasant. To me it was highly comic to see the grave philosopher—the Rambler—toying with a Highland beauty! But what could he do? He must have been surly, and weak too, had he not behaved as he did. He would have been laughed at, and not more respected, though less loved."

Was not this Mr. Pickwick exactly?

Or, we might fancy this little scene taking place at Dunvegan Castle, on the night of the dance, when Johnson was in such high good-humour. His faithful henchman might have come up to him and have said jocosely, "You, sir, in silk stockings?"

"And why not, sir—why not?" said the Doctor warmly. "Oh, of course," I answered, "there is no reason why you should not wear them." "I imagine not, sir—I imagine not," said the Doctor in a very peremptory tone. I had contemplated a laugh, but found it was a serious matter. I looked grave, and said they were a pretty pattern. "I hope they are," said Dr. Johnson, fixing his eyes upon me. "You see nothing extraordinary in these stockings as stockings, I trust, sir?" "Certainly not; oh, certainly not," I replied, and my revered friend's countenance assumed its customary benign expression.

Now, is not this Pickwickian all over? Yet it is the exact record of what occurred at Manor Farm, in "Pickwick," with a change only in the names, and would pass very fairly as an amiable outburst of the redoubtable Doctor's.

Or, again, let us put a bit of "Boz" into "Bozzy's" work. The amiable "Goldy" was partial to extravagant dress, and to showing himself off.

When a masquerade at Ranelagh was talked of, he said to Doctor Johnson, "I shall go as a Corsican." "What!" said the Doctor, with a sudden start. "As a Corsican," Dr. Goldsmith repeated mildly. "You don't mean to say," said the Doctor to him, gazing at him with solemn sternness, "that it is your intention to put yourself into a green velvet jacket with a two-inch tail?" "Such is my intention, sir," replied Goldsmith warmly; "and why not, sir?" "Because, sir," said the Doctor, considerably excited, "you are too old." "Too old!" exclaimed Goldsmith. "And if any further ground of objection be wanting," said Dr. Johnson, "You are too fat, sir." "Sir," said Dr. Goldsmith, his face suffused with a crimson glow, "this is an insult." "Sir," said the sage in the same tone, "it is not half the insult to you, that your appearance in my presence in a green velvet jacket with two-inch tail would be to me." "Sir," said Dr. Goldsmith, "you're a fellow." "Sir," said Dr. Johnson, "you're another!"

Winkle in a very amusing way often suggests Boswell; and Mr. Pickwick treats him with as great rudeness as did Johnson his Winkle. When that unhappy gentleman, or follower exhibited himself on the ice, Mr. Pickwick, we are told, was excited and indignant. "He beckoned to Mr. Weller and said in a stern voice: Take the skates off." "No, but I had scarcely began," remonstrated Mr. Winkle. "Take his skates off," repeated Mr. Pickwick, firmly. The command was not to be resisted. "Lift him up," said Mr. Pickwick—Sam assisted him to rise. Mr. Pickwick retired a few paces apart from the by-standers and beckoning his friend to approach, fixed a searching look on him and uttered in a low, but distinct and emphatic tone, these remarkable words: "You're a humbug, sir." "A what?" said Mr. Winkle, starting. "A humbug, sir, I will speak plainer if you wish it—an impostor, sir." With these words Mr. Pickwick turned slowly on his heel and rejoined his friends. Was not this exactly the Sage's treatment of his "Bozzy" on many occasions?

There is yet another odd coincidence. Everyone knows how Bob Sawyer's party was disturbed by Mrs. Raddle's angry expostulations, and the guests had to disperse. Well, Mr. Boswell, who had much of the Sawyer tone—gave a party at his rooms in Downing Street, and his landlord behaved so outrageously, that he gave him notice, and the next day quitted his rooms. "I feel I shall have to give my landlady notice," said Mr. Sawyer with a ghastly smile. Mr. Boswell had actually to take some of the invited guests to the Mitre and entertain them there.

There is a pleasant passage connected with Dr. Johnson's visit to Plymouth, with his old friend Sir Joshua. He was much pleased with this jaunt and declared he had derived from it a great accession of new ideas . . . "The magnificence of the Navy the ship building and all its circumstances afforded him a grand subject of contemplation." He contemplated it in fact, as Mr. Pickwick contemplated Chatham and the Medway. The commissioner of the dockyard paid him the compliment, etc. The characteristic part, however, was that the Doctor entered enthusiastically into the local politics. "There was a new town rising up round the dockyard, as a rival to the old one, and knowing from the sagacity and just observation of human nature, that it is certain if a man hates at all, he will hate his next neighbour, he concluded that this new and rising town could but excite the envy and jealousy of the old. He therefore set himself resolutely on the side of the old town, the established town in which he was. Considering it a kind of duty to stand by it. He accordingly entered warmly into its interests, and upon every occasion talked of the Dockers as "upstarts and aliens." As they wanted to be supplied with water from the old town, not having a drop themselves, Johnson affecting to entertain the passions of the place, was violent in opposition; and half laughing at himself for his pretended zeal, and where he had no concern, exclaimed: "No! I am against the Dockers; I am a Plymouth man. Rogues! let them die of thirst; they shall not have a drop. I hate a Docker!"

Now all this is very like what the amiable Pickwick would have done; in fact like something he did do and felt, when he repaired to Eatanswill for the election. On entering the town he at once chose his party, and took it up enthusiastically. "With his usual foresight and sagacity," like Dr. Johnson, he had chosen a fortunately desirable moment for his visit. "Slumkey for ever," roared the honest and independent. "Slumkey for ever!" echoed Mr. Pickwick, taking off his hat. "No Fizkin," roared the crowd. "Certainly not," shouted Mr. Pickwick. "Who is Slumkey?" whispered Mr. Tupman. "I don't know," said Mr. Pickwick, in the same tone. "Hush! don't ask any questions. It's always best on these occasions to do what the mob do." "But suppose there are two mobs," suggested Mr. Snodgrass. "Shout with the largest," replied Mr. Pickwick. Volumes could not have said more. On asking for rooms at the Town Arms, which was the Great White Horse, Mr. Pickwick was asked "was he Blue." Mr. Pickwick in reply, asked for Perker. "He is blue I think." "O yes, sir." "Then we are blue," said Mr. Pickwick, but observing the man looked rather doubtful at this accommodating account he gave him his card. Perker arranged everything. "Spirited contest, my dear sir," he said, "I am delighted to hear it," said Mr. Pickwick. "I like to see sturdy patriotism, on whatever side it is called forth." Later, we are told, Mr. Pickwick entered heart and soul into the business, and, like the sage, caught the prevailing excitement. "Although no great partisan of either side, Mr. Pickwick was sufficiently fired by Mr. Pott's enthusiasm to apply his whole time and attention to the proceedings, etc." All this, of course, does not correspond exactly, but the spirit of the selections are the same.

The Doctor it is known, would go out at midnight with his friends Beauclerk and Layton to have what he called "a rouze," and Garrick was humorously apprehensive that he would have to bail out his old friend from the watchhouse. Mr. Pickwick had many a "rouze" with his followers. And Johnson himself, in the matter of drink, was at one time as bad as Mr. Pickwick, only he had a better head, and could "carry his liquor discreetly," like the Baron of Bradwardine. He had actually to give up drink on account of this tendency to excess.



PICKWICKIAN ORIGINALS.

There is a shrewd remark of the late Bishop Norwich, Dean Stanley's father, that to catch and describe the tone and feeling of a place gives a better idea of it than any minute or accurate description. "Some books," he says, "give one ideas of places without descriptions; there is something which suggests more vivid and agreeable images than distinct words. Would Gil Blas for instance? It opens with a scene of history, chivalry, Spain, orange trees, fountains, guitars, muleteers; there is the picturesque and the sense of the picturesque, as distinct as the actual object." Now this exactly applies to "Pickwick," which brings up before us Rochester, Ipswich, Muggleton, Birmingham, and a dozen other places to the tourist. The night of the arrival at Birmingham for instance, and the going out after dinner to call on Mr. Winkle, sen., is strangely vivid.

{Map of the Pickwick Tours: p70.jpg}

So real is our Pickwickian Odyssey that it can be followed in all its stages as in a diary. To put it all in "ship shape" as it were and enhance this practical feeling I have drawn out the route in a little map. It is wonderful how much the party saw and how much ground they covered, and it is not a far-fetched idea that were a similar party in our day, good humoured, venturesome and accessible, to visit old-fashioned, out of the way towns, and look out for fun, acquaintances and characters, they might have a good deal of the amusement and adventure that the Pickwickians enjoyed.

The Pickwickians first went to Rochester, Chatham, Dingley Dell, and perhaps to Gravesend. Mr. Pickwick with Wardle then pursued Jingle to town, returning thence to the Dell, which he at once left for Cobham, where he found his friend Tupman. The party then returned to town. Next we have the first visit to Ipswich—called Eatanswill—from which town Mr. Pickwick and Sam posted to Bury St. Edmunds; thence to London. Next came their third expedition to Dingley Dell for the Christmas festivities. Then the second visit to Ipswich. Then the journey to Bath, and that from Bath to Bristol. Later a second journey to Bristol—another from Bristol to Birmingham, and from Birmingham to London, Mr. Pickwick's final junketing before retiring to Dulwich.

Yet another interesting side of the Pickwick story is its almost biographical character. Boz seems to take us with him from his very boyhood. During the old days when his father was at Chatham he had seen all the Rochester incidents, sat by the old Castle and Bridge, noted with admiring awe the dockyard people, the Balls at "The Bull," the Reviews on the Lines. The officers—like Dr. Slammer, all the figures—fat boy included—were drawn from this stage of his life. The Golden Cross, which figures also in Copperfield, he had constantly stopped at. He knew, too, the inns in the Boro'. The large legal element and its odd incidents and characters he had learned and studied during his brief apprenticeship to the Law. The interior economy of the Fleet Prison he had learned from his family's disastrous experiences; the turnkeys, and blighted inhabitants he had certainly taken from life. But he shifted the scene from the Marshalsea to the King's Bench Prison—the former place would have been too painful a reminiscence for his father. To his reporting expeditions we owe the Election scenes at Ipswich, and to another visit for the same object, his Bath experiences. Much of the vividness and reality of his touchings, particularly in the case of Rochester and its doings, is the magnifying, searching power resulting from a life of sorrow in childhood, family troubles working on a keen, sensitive nature; these made him appreciate and meditate on all that was going on about him, as a sort of relief and relaxation. All the London scenes the meetings at taverns—were personal experiences. Among his friends were medical students and many odd beings. We can trace his extraordinary appreciation of Christmas—and its genial, softening festivities—which clung to him till it altogether faded out, to the same sense of relief; it furnished an opportunity of forgetting for a time (at least), the dismal, gloomy home.

Boz, if he drew his characters from life, did not draw wholesale; he would take only a portion of a character that pleased him and work it up in combination with another distinct character. It was thus he dealt with Leigh Hunt, borrowing his amusing, airy frivolity, and combining it with the meanness and heartlessness of Skimpole. I have always fancied that Dowler in "Pickwick" was founded—after this composite principle—on his true-hearted but imperious friend, Forster. Forster was indeed also a perfect reproduction of Dr. Johnson and had the despotic intolerance—in conversation certainly—of that great man. Like him "if his pistol missed fire, he knocked you down with the butt end of it." He could be as amiable and tender-hearted as "old Sam" himself. Listening to Dowler at the coach office in Piccadilly we—who knew Forster well—seemed to hear his very voice. "It was a stern-eyed man of about five-and-forty, who had large black whiskers. He was buttoned up to the chin in a brown coat and had a large seal-skin cap and a cloak beside him. He looked up from his breakfast as Mr. Pickwick entered with a fierce and peremptory air, which was very dignified, and which seemed to say that he rather expected somebody wanted to take advantage of him, but it wouldn't do" . . . "Are you going to Bath?" said the strange man. "I am, sir," replied Mr. Pickwick. "And these other gentleman?" "They are going also," said Mr. Pickwick. "Not inside—I'll be damned if you're going inside," said the strange man. "Not all of us," said Mr. Pickwick. "No—not all of you," said the strange man, emphatically. "We take two places. If they try and squeeze six people into an infernal box that only holds four I'll take a post-chaise and bring an action. It won't do," etc. This recalls the pleasant story about Forster and the cabman who summoned him. The latter was adjudged to be in the wrong and said he knew it, but "that he was determined to show him up, he were such a harbitrary cove." None enjoyed this story more than Forster himself, and I have heard him say to a lady humorously, "Now you must. You know I am 'such a harbitrary cove.'" Dear good old Forster!

I must confess all Pickwickians would like to know biographical details, as one might call them, about the personages engaged in the trial. I need not repeat that Judge Stareleigh was drawn from Mr. Justice Gazalee, or that Buzfuz was founded on Mr. Serjeant Bompas, or Bumpus. Charles Carpenter Bompas was his full designation. He was made a Serjeant in 1827, the very year of the memorable trial. He obtained a Patent of Precedence in 1834. "Buzfuz's son"—Mr. W. Bompas, Q.C., who will pardon the freedom of the designation—was born in the year of the celebrated trial. He was the youngest son and had a very distinguished career both at College and at the Bar, being a "leader" on his circuit, revising barrister, bencher, recorder, and was last year appointed a County Court judge.

Who were Serjeant Snubbin, Skimpin, and Phunkey? No traditions have come to us as to these gentlemen. Skimpin may have been Wilkins, and Snubbin a Serjeant Arabin, a contemporary of Buzfuz. But we are altogether in the dark.

We should have liked also to have some "prehistoric peeps" at the previous biography of Mr. Pickwick before the story began. We have but a couple of indications of his calling: the allusion by Perker at the close of the story—"The agent at Liverpool said he had been obliged to you many times when you were in business." He was therefore a merchant or in trade. Snubbin at the trial stated that "Mr. Pickwick had retired from business and was a gentleman of considerable independent property."

In the original announcement of the "Pickwick Papers" there are some scraps of information about Mr. Pickwick and the Club itself. This curious little screed shows that the programme was much larger than the one carried out:—

"On the 31st of March, 1836, will be published, to be continued Monthly, price One Shilling, the First Number of

THE POSTHUMOUS PAPERS OF THE PICKWICK CLUB; containing a faithful record of the PERAMBULATIONS, PERILS, TRAVELS, ADVENTURES, AND SPORTING TRANSACTIONS OF THE CORRESPONDING MEMBERS.

EDITED BY "BOZ."

And each Monthly Part embellished with four illustrations by Seymour.

"The Pickwick Club, so renowned in the annals of Huggin Lane, and so closely entwined with the thousand interesting associations connected with Lothbury and Cateaton Street, was founded in the year one thousand eight hundred and twenty-two, by Samuel Pickwick—the great traveller—whose fondness for the useful arts prompted his celebrated journey to Birmingham in the depth of winter; and whose taste for the beauties of nature even led him to penetrate to the very borders of Wales in the height of summer.

"This remarkable man would appear to have infused a considerable portion of his restless and inquiring spirit into the breasts of other members of the Club, and to have awakened in their minds the same insatiable thirst for travel which so eminently characterized his own. The whole surface of Middlesex, a part of Surrey, a portion of Essex, and several square miles of Kent were in their turns examined and reported on. In a rapid steamer they smoothly navigated the placid Thames; and in an open boat they fearlessly crossed the turbid Medway. High-roads and by-roads, towns and villages, public conveyances and their passengers, first-rate inns and road-side public houses, races, fairs, regattas elections, meetings, market days—all the scenes that can possibly occur to enliven a country place, and at which different traits of character may be observed and recognized, were alike visited and beheld by the ardent Pickwick and his enthusiastic followers.

"The Pickwick Travels, the Pickwick Diary, the Pickwick Correspondence—in short, the whole of the Pickwick Papers'—were carefully preserved, and duly registered by the secretary, from time to time, in the voluminous Transactions of the Pickwick Club. These Transactions have been purchased from the patriotic secretary, at an immense expense, and placed in the hands of 'Boz,' the author of "Sketches Illustrative of Every Day Life and Every Day People"—a gentleman whom the publishers consider highly qualified for the task of arranging these important documents, and placing them before the public in an attractive form. He is at present deeply immersed in his arduous labours, the first fruits of which will appear on the 31st March.

"Seymour has devoted himself, heart and graver, to the task of illustrating the beauties of Pickwick. It was reserved to Gibbon to paint, in colours that will never fade, the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire—to Hume to chronicle the strife and turmoil of the two proud houses that divided England against herself—to Napier to pen, in burning words, the History of the War in the Peninsula—the deeds and actions of the gifted Pickwick yet remain for 'Boz' and Seymour to hand down to posterity.

"From the present appearance of these important documents and the probable extent of the selections from them, it is presumed that the series will be completed in about twenty numbers."

From this it will be seen that it was intended to exhibit all the humours of the social amusements with which the public regaled itself. Mr. Pickwick and friends were to be shown on board a steamer; at races, fairs, regattas, market days, meetings—"at all the scenes that can possibly occur to enliven a country place, and at which different traits of character may be observed and recognized." This was a very scientific and well drawn scheme; and it was, on the whole, most faithfully and even brilliantly carried out. But with infinite art Boz emancipated himself from the formal hide-bound trammels of Syntax tours and the like, when it was reckoned that the hero and his friends would be exhibited like "Bob Logic" and "Tom and Jerry" in a regular series of public places. "Mr. Pickwick has an Adventure at Vauxhall," "Mr. Pickwick Goes to Margate," etc.: we had a narrow escape, it would seem, of this conventional sort of thing, and no doubt it was this the publishers looked for. But "Boz" asserted his supremacy, and made the narrative the chief element.

It was interesting thus to know that Mr. Pickwick had visited the borders of Wales—I suppose, Chester—but what was his celebrated journey to Birmingham, prompted by his "fondness for the useful arts"? This could hardly refer to his visit to Mr. Winkle, sen. The Club, it will be seen, was founded in 1822, and its place of meeting would appear to have been this Huggin Lane, City, "so intimately associated with Lothbury and Cateaton Street." The picture of the meeting of the Club shows us that it consisted of the ominous number of thirteen. There is not room for more. They seem like a set of well-to-do retired tradesmen; the faces are such as we should see on the stage in a piece of low comedy: for the one on the left Mr. Edward Terry might have sat. The secretary sits at the bottom of the table, with his back to us, and the chairman, with capacious stomach, at the top. Blotton, whom Mr. Pickwick rather unhandsomely described as a "vain and disappointed haberdasher," may have followed this business. He is an ill-looking fellow enough, with black, bushy whiskers. The Pickwickians are decidedly the most gentlemanly of the party. But why was it necessary for Mr. Pickwick to stand upon a chair? This, however, may have been a custom of the day at free and easy meetings.

"Posthumous papers"—moreover, did not correctly describe the character of the Book, for the narrative did not profess to be founded on documents at all. He was, however, committed to this title by his early announcement, and indeed intended to carry out a device of using Snodgrass's "Note Books," whose duty it was during the course of the adventures to take down diligently all that he observed. But this cumbrous fiction was discarded after a couple of numbers. "Posthumous papers" had been used some ten years before, in another work.

Almost every page—save perhaps a dismal story or two—in the 609 pages of Pickwick is good; but there are two or three passages which are obscure, if not forced in humour. Witness Mr. Bantam's recognition of Mr. Pickwick, as the gentleman residing on Clapham Green—not yet Common—"who lost the use of his limbs from imprudently taking cold after port wine, who could not be moved in consequence of acute suffering, and who had the water from the King's Bath bottled at 103 degrees, and sent by waggon to his bedroom in Town; when he bathed, sneezed, and same day recovered." This is grotesque enough and farcical, but without much meaning. On another occasion we are told that Tupman was casting certain "Anti-Pickwickian glances" at the servant maids, which is unmeaning. No doubt, Un-Pickwickian was intended.

Why is there no "Pickwick Club" in London? It might be worth trying, and would be more successful than even the Johnson Club. There is surely genuine "stuff" to work on. Our friends in America, who are Pickwickian quand meme, have established the "All-Around Dickens Club." The members seem to be ladies, though there are a number of honorary members of the other sex, which include members of "Boz's" own family, with Mr. Kitton, Mr. W. Hughes, Mr. Charles Kent, myself, and some more. The device of the club is "Boz's" own book-plate, and the "flower" of the club is his favourite geranium. The President is Mrs. Adelaide Garland; and some very interesting papers, to judge from their titles, have been read, such as "Bath and its Associations with Landor," "The City of Bristol with its Literary Associations," "The Excursion to the Tea Gardens of Hampstead," prefaced by a description of the historic old inn, "Poem by Charles Kent," "Dickens at Gad's Hill," "A Description of Birmingham, its Institutions, and Dickens' Interest therein"; with a "Reading of Mr. Pickwick's Mission to Birmingham, Coventry and the adjacent Warwickshire Country," etc. There is also a very clever series of examination questions by the President in imitation of Calverley's.

"Had Mr. Pickwick loved?" Mr. Lang asks; "it is natural to believe that he had never proposed, never. His heart, however bruised, was neither broken nor embittered." His temperament was certainly affectionate—if not absolutely amatory: he certainly never missed an opportunity where a kiss was practicable.

But stay! has anyone noted that on the wall of his room at Dulwich, there hangs the portrait of a lady—just over this might seem to mean something. But on looking close, we see it is the dear filial old fellow's mother. A striking likeness, and she has spectacles like her celebrated son.

As all papers connected with the Pickwick era are scarce and meagre—for the reason that no one was then thinking of "Boz"; any that have come down to us are specially interesting. Here are a few "pieces," which will be welcomed by all Pickwickians. The first is a letter of our author to his publishers.

"Furnival's Inn, "Friday Morning.

"DEAR SIR,—I am very glad to find I shall have the pleasure of celebrating Mr. Pickwick's success with you on Sunday. When you have sufficiently recovered from the fatigues of publication, will you just let me know from your books how we stand. Drawing 10 pounds one day, and 20 pounds another, and so forth, I have become rather mystified, and jumbled up our accounts in my brain, in a very incomprehensible state.

"Faithfully yours, "CHARLES DICKENS."

This must have been written at the conclusion of the story in 1837, and is in a very modest tone considering how triumphant had been the success. Connected with this is a paper of yet more interest, a receipt for payment for one of the early numbers.

{Manuscript of a letter by Dickens: p88.jpg}

For this Pickwickian Banquet, he had reluctantly to give up one at the home of his new friend Forster. In an unpublished letter, he writes to him as "Dear Sir"—the beginning of a four-and-thirty years' friendship—"I have been so much engaged in the pleasing occupation of moving." He was unable to go to his new friend to dinner because he had been "long engaged to the Pickwick publishers to a dinner in honour of that hero, which comes off to-morrow."

In an interesting letter of Dickens'—Pickwickian ones are rare—sold at Hodgson's rooms, July, 1895, he writes: "Mr. Seymour shot himself before the second number of the Pickwick papers, not the third as you would have it, was published. While he lay dead, it was necessary the search should be made in his working room for the plates to the second number, the day for publication of which was drawing near. The plates were found unfinished, with their faces turned to the wall." This scrap brought 12 pounds 10s. Apropos of prices, who that was present will forget the scene at Christie's when the six "Pickwick Ladles" were sold? These were quaint things, like enlarged Apostle Spoons, and the figures well modelled. They had been made specially, and presented to "Boz" on the conclusion of his story, by his publishers. The Pickwick Ladle brought 69 pounds. Jingle, 30 pounds. Winkle, 23 pounds. Sam, 64 pounds. Old Weller, 51 pounds; and the Fat Boy, 35 pounds 14s., or over 280 pounds in all. Nay, the leather case was put up, and brought three guineas. We recall Andrew Halliday displaying one to us, with a sort of triumph. Charles Dickens, the younger, got two, I think; Messrs. Agnew the others.



CONCERNING THE PLATES AND EXTRA PLATES AND "STATES" OF PICKWICK.

It is an interesting question what should be the relation of illustration to the story, and of the artist to the story-teller; and what are the limitations of their respective provinces. Both should work independently of each other; that is, the artist should tell the story from his own point of view—he is not merely to servilely translate the situations into "black and white." He should be, in fact, what the actor is to a drama. When Eugene Delacroix's illustrations to Goethe's "Faust" were shown to the great author, he expressed admiration of their truth and spirit; and on his secretary saying that they would lead to a better understanding of his poem, said: "With that we have naught to do; on the contrary, the more complete imagination of such an artist compels us to believe that the situations as he represents them are preferable to them as described. It is therefore likely that the readers will find that he exerts a strong force upon their imagination." This shows, allowing something for the compliment, what a distinct force the great writer attributed to the artist, that he did not consider him an assistant or merely subsidiary. The actor becomes, after his fashion, a distinct creator and originator, supplying details, etc., of his own, but taking care that these are consistent with the text and do not contradict it in any way.

This large treatment was exactly "Phiz's." He seems to "act" "Boz's" drama, yet he did not introduce anything that was not warranted by the spirit of the text. He found himself present at the scene, and felt how it must have occurred. He had a wonderful power of selecting what was essential and what should be essential. Nor did he make a minute inventory of such details as were mentioned in the text. Hence the extraordinary vitality and spirit of his work. There is action in all, and each picture tells its own story. To see the merit of this system, we have only to contrast with it such attempts as we find in modern productions, where the artist's method is to present to us figures grouped together, apparently talking but not acting—such things as we have week by week in Punch. The late Sir John Millais and other artists of almost equal rank used to furnish illustrations to serial stories, and all their pictures were of this kind—two or three figures—well drawn, certainly—one standing, the others sitting down, it may be, engaged in conversation. This brought us "no forrarder" and supplied no dramatic interest.

It should be said, however, that it is only to "Pickwick" that this high praise can be extended. With every succeeding story the character of the work seemed to fall off, or rather the methods of the artist to change. It may have been, too, the inspiration from a dramatic spirited story also failed, for "Boz" had abandoned the free, almost reckless style of his first tale. There was a living distinctness, too, in the Pickwickian coterie, and every figure, familiar and recognizable, seemed to have infinite possibilities. The very look of them would inspire.

In this spirit of vitality and reality also, "Phiz" rather suggests a famous foreign illustrator, Chodowiecki, who a century ago was in enormous request for the illustration of books of all kinds, and whose groups and figures, drawn with much spirit and roundness, arrested the eye at once and told the situation. Later "Phiz" fell off in his work and indeed adopted quite new and more commercial methods, such as would enable him to get through the vast amount of work that came to him. There were no longer these telling situations to limn which spoke for themselves, and without straw, bricks are not to be made. In this later manner we seem to have bid adieu to the inspiration—to the fine old round style of drawing—where the figures "stand out" completely. He adopted a sort of sketchy fashion; his figures became silhouettes and quite flat. There was also a singular carelessness in finish—a mere outline served for a face. The result was a monotony and similarity of treatment, with a certain unreality and grotesqueness which are like nothing in life. In this, however, he may have been inspired by the grotesque personages he was put to illustrate—the Smallweeds and the like.

It would be an interesting speculation to consider what would have become of "Pickwick" had this artist not been forthcoming. Would we have really known our Mr. Pickwick and his "followers" as we do now, or, indeed, would we have so keenly appreciated the humorous situations? I believe not. It was the graven figures of these personages, and the brilliant way in which the situations were concentrated, as it were, into a point, that produced such striking effect: without these adjuncts the Head of the Club and his friends would have been more or less abstractions, very much what the characters in Theodore Hook's "Gilbert Gurney" are. Take Mr. Pickwick. The author supplied only a few hints as to his personal appearance—he was bald, mild, pale, wore spectacles and gaiters; but who would have imagined him as we have him now, with his high forehead, bland air, protuberant front. The same with the others. Mr. Thackeray tried in many ways to give some corporeal existence to his own characters to "Becky," Pendennis, and others; but who sees them as we do Mr. Pickwick? So with his various "situations"—many most dramatic and effective, but no one would guess it from the etchings. The Pickwick scenes all tell a story of their own; and a person—say a foreigner—who had never even heard of the story would certainly smile over the situations, and be piqued into speculating what could be the ultimate meaning.

At the exhibition "illustrating a century and a half of English humorists," given by the Fine Art Society—under the direction of Mr. Joseph Grego—in October, 1896, there was a collection of original Pickwick drawings no less than fifty-six in number. There were three by Seymour, two by Bass and thirty-four by Phiz, all used in the book; while of those unused—probably found unsuitable, there were five by Buss, including a proposed title-page, and two of the Fat Boy "awake on this occasion only." There were also five by Phiz, which were not engraved, and one by Leech. The drawing of the dying clown, Seymour was engaged upon when he committed suicide. Of Buss' there were two of Mr. Pickwick at the Review, two of the cricket match, two of the Fat Boy "awake," "the influence of the salmon"—unused, "Mr. Winkle's first shot"—unused, studies of character in Pickwick, and a study for the title-page. The poor, discarded Buss took a vast deal of pains therefore to accomplish his task. Of Phiz's unused designs there was "Mr. Winkle's first shot" and two for the Gabriel Grub story, also one for "the Warden's room." Most interesting of all was his "original study" for the figure of Mr. Pickwick.

Mr. Grego, himself an excellent artist, placed at the door of the society a very telling figure of Mr. Pickwick displayed on a poster and effectively coloured. It was new to find our genial old friend smiling an invitation to us—in Bond Street. This—which I took for a lithographed "poster"—was Mr. Grego's own work, portrayed in water colours.

There have been many would-be illustrators of the chronicle, some on original lines of their own; but these must be on the whole pronounced to be failures. On looking at them we somehow feel that the figures and situations are wholly strange to us; that we don't know them or recognize them. The reason is possibly that the artists are not in perfect sympathy or intelligence with the story; they do not know every turning, corner and cranny of it, as did "Phiz"—and indeed as did everyone else living at that time; they were not inspired, above all, by its author. But there was a more serious reason still for the failure. It will be seen that in Phiz's wonderful plates the faces and figures are more or less generalized. We cannot tell exactly, for instance, what were Mr. Winkle's or even Sam Weller's features. Neither their mouths, eyes, or noses, could be put in distinct shape. We have only the general air and tone and suggestion—as of persons seen afar off in a crowd. Yet they are always recognizable. This is art, and it gave the artist a greater freedom in his treatment. Now when an illustrator like the late Frederick Barnard came, he drew his Jingle, his Pickwick, Weller, and Winkle, with all their features, in quite a literal and particular fashion—the features were minutely and carefully brought out, with the result that they seem almost strange to us. Nor do they express the characters. There is an expression, but it seems not the one to which we are accustomed. Mr. Pickwick is generally shown as a rather "cranky" and testy old gentleman in his expressions, whereas the note of all "Phiz's" faces is a good softness and unctuousness even. Now this somewhat philosophical analysis points to a principle in art illustration which accounts in a great measure for the unsatisfactory results where it is attempted to illustrate familiar works—such as those of Tennyson, Shakespeare, etc. The reader has a fixed idea before him, which he has formed for himself—an indistinct, shapeless one it might be, but still of sufficient outline to be disturbed. Among the innumerable presentments of Shakespeare's heroines no one has ever seen any that satisfied or that even corresponded. They are usually not generalized enough. Again, the readers of "Pickwick" grew month by month, or number by number, more and more acquainted with the characters: for the figures and faces appeared over and over and yet over again.

The most diverting, however, of all these imitators and extra-illustrators is assuredly the artist of the German edition. The series is admirably drawn, every figure well finished, but figures, faces, and scenes are unrecognizable. It is the Frenchman's idea of Hamlet. Mr. Pickwick and his friends are stout Germans, dressed in German garments, sitting in German restaurants with long tankards with lids before them. The incidents are made as literal and historical as possible. The difficulty, of course, was that none of their adventures could have occurred in a country like Germany, or if they did, would have become an affair of police. No German could see humour in that. Notwithstanding all this, the true Pickwickian will welcome them as a pleasant contribution to the Pickwickian humour, and no one would have laughed so loudly at them as Boz himself.

The original illustrations form a serious and important department of Pickwickian lore, and entail an almost scientific knowledge. Little, indeed, did the young "Boz" dream, when he was settling with his publishers that the work was to contain forty-two plates—an immense number it might seem—that these were to fructify into such an enormous progeny. We, begin, of course, with the regular official plates that belong strictly to the work. Here we find three artists at work—each succeeding the other—the unfortunate Robert Seymour coming first with his seven spirited pictures; next the unlucky Buss, with his two condemned productions, later to be dismissed from the book altogether; and finally, "Phiz," or Hablot K. Browne, who furnished the remaining plates to the end. As is well known, so great was the run upon the book that the plates were unequal to the duty, and "Phiz" had to re-engrave them several times—often duplicates on the one plate—naturally not copying them very closely. Hence we have the rather interesting "variations." He by-and-bye re-engraved Seymour's seven, copying them with wonderful exactness, and finally substituted two of his own for those of the condemned Buss. The volume, therefore, was furnished with seven Seymours, and their seven replicas, the two Buss's, their two replicas, and the thirty-three "Phiz" pictures, each with its "variation."

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