The English Spy
by Bernard Blackmantle
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An Original Work










By Frolic, Mirth, and Fancy gay, Old Father Time is borne away.






"But now, what Quixote of the age would care To wage a war with dirt, and fight with air?"

Messieurs the Critics,

After twelve months of agreeable toil, made easy by unprecedented success, the period has at length arrived when your high mightinesses will be able to indulge your voracious appetites by feeding and fattening on the work of death. Already does my prophetic spirit picture to itself the black cloud of cormorants, swelling and puffing in the fulness of their editorial pride, at the huge eccentric volume which has thus thrust itself into extensive circulation without the usual cringings and cravings to the pick fault tribe. But

I dare defy the venal crew that prates, From tailor Place* to fustian Herald Thwaites.{**}

* The woolly editor of the Breeches Makers', alias the "Westminster Review."

** The thing who writes the leaden (leading) articles for the Morning Herald.

Let me have good proof of your greediness to devour my labours, and I will dish up such a meal for you in my next volume, as shall go nigh to produce extermination by surfeit. One favour, alone, I crave—give me abuse enough; let no squeamish pretences of respect for my bookseller, or disguised qualms of apprehension for your own sacred persons, deter the natural inclination of your hearts. The slightest deviation from your usual course to independent writers—or one step towards commendation from your gang, might induce the public to believe I had abandoned my character, and become one of your honourable fraternity-the very suspicion of which would (to me) produce irretrievable ruin. Your masters, the trading brotherhood, will (as usual) direct you in the course you should pursue; whether to approve or condemn, as their 'peculiar interests may dictate. Most sapient sirs of the secret bandit' of the screen, inquisitors of literature, raise all your arms and heels, your daggers, masks, and hatchets, to revenge the daring of an open foe, who thus boldly defies your base and selfish views; for, basking at his ease in the sunshine of public patronage, he feels that his heart is rendered invulnerable to your poisoned shafts. Read, and you shall find I have not been parsimonious of the means to grant you food and pleasure: errors there are, no doubt, and plenty of them, grammatical and typographical, all of which I might have corrected by an errata at the end of my volume; but I disdain the wish to rob you of your office, and have therefore left them just where I made them, without a single note to mark them out; for if all the thistles were rooted up, what would become of the asses? or of those

"Who pin their easy faith on critic's sleeve, And, knowing nothing, ev'ry thing believe?"

Fully satisfied that swarms of literary blow flies will pounce upon the errors with delight, and, buzzing with the ecstasy of infernal joy, endeavour to hum their readers into a belief of the profundity of their critic erudition;—I shall nevertheless, with Churchill, laughingly exclaim—"Perish my muse"

"If e'er her labours weaken to refine The generous roughness of a nervous line."

Bernard Blackmantle.




Reflections of an Author—Weighty Reasons for writing— Magister Artis Ingeniique Largitor Venter—Choice of Subject considered—Advice of Index, the Bookseller—Of the Nature of Prefaces—How to commence a new Work 7








ELECTION SATURDAY. A Peep at the Long Chambers—The Banquet—Reflections on parting—Arrival of the Provost of King's College, Cam— bridge, and the Pozers—The Captain's Oration—Busy Monday —The Oppidan's Farewell—Examination and Election of the Collegers who stand for King's—The aquatic Gala and Fire— works—Oxonian Visitors—Night—Rambles in Eton—Transfor- mations of Signs and Names—The Feast at the Christopher, with a View of the Oppidan's Museum, and Eton Court of Claims 58



A Sketch from the Life, as he appeared in the Montem Procession of May, 1823. By Bernard Blackmantle and Robert Transit 67

LIFE IN ETON; A College Chaunt in praise of private Tutors 68





THE FRESHMAN. Reflections on leaving Eton University—A Whip—Sketches on the Road—The Joneses of Jesus—Picturesque Appearance of Oxford from the Distance—The Arrival—Welcome of an Old Etonian—Visit to Dr. Dingyman—A University Don— Presentation to the Big Wig—Ceremony of Matriculation 113

CHRIST CHURCH COLLEGE. Architectural Reminiscences—Descriptive Remarks—Simi- litude between the Characters of Cardinal Wolsey and Napoleon 129

THE DINNER PARTY. Bernard Blackmantle's Visit to Tom Echo—Oxford Phrase- ology—Smuggled Dinners—A College Party described— Topography of a Man's Room—Portrait of a Bachelor of Arts —Hints to Freshmen—Customs of the University 132

COLLEGE SERVANTS. Descriptive Sketch of a College Scout—Biography of Mark Supple—Singular Invitation to a Spread 146

TAKING POSSESSION OF YOUR ROOMS. Topography of a vacant College Larium—Anecdotes and Propensities of Predecessors—A Long Shot—Scout's List of Necessaries—Condolence of University Friends 151


WESTERN ENTRANCE INTO THE METROPOLIS. A descriptive Sketch. General Views of the Author relative to Subject and Style —Time and Place—Perspective Glimpse of the great City— The Approach—Cockney Salutations—The Toll House— Western Entrance to Cockney Land—Hyde Park—Sunday Noon-Sketches of Character, Costume, and Scenery—The Ride and Drive—Kensington Gardens—Belles and Beaux- Stars and fallen Stars—Singularities of 1824-Tales of Ton- On Dits and Anecdotes—Sunday Evening—High Life and Low Life, the Contrast—Cockney Goths—Notes, Biographical, Amorous, and Exquisite 164

THE OPERA. The Man of Fashion—Fop's Alley—Modern Roue and Frequenters—Characteristic Sketches in High Life—Blue Stocking Illuminati—Motives and Manners—Meeting with the Honourable Lillyman Lionise—Dinner at Long's—Visit to the Opera—Joined by Bob Transit—A Peep into the Green Room—Secrets behind the Curtain—Noble Amateurs and Foreign Curiosities—Notes and Anecdotes by Horatio Heartly 198

THE ROYAL SALOON. Visit of Heartly, Lionise, and Transit—Description of the Place—Sketches of Character—The Gambling Parsons—Horse Chaunting, a true Anecdote—Bang and her Friends—Moll Raffle and the Marquis W.—he Play Man—The Touter— The Half-pay Officer—Charles Rattle, Esq.—Life of a modern Roue—B——— the Tailor—The Subject—Jarvey and Brooks the Dissector—"Kill him when you want him" 205

THE SPREAD, OR WINE PARTY AT BRAZEN-NOSE. A College Wine Party described—Singular Whim of Horace Eglantine—Meeting of the Oxford Crackademonians —Sketches of Eccentric Characters, drawn from the Life— The Doctor's Daughter—an old Song—A Round of Sculls— Epitaphs on the Living and the Dead—Tom Tick, a College Tale—The Voyagers—Notes and Anecdotes 221



Battle of the Togati and the Town—Raff—A Night—Scene in the High-Street, Oxford—Description of the Combatants— Attack of the Gownsmen upon the Mitre—Evolutions of the Assailants—Manoeuvres of the Proctors and Bull—Dogs— Perilous Condition of Blackmantle and his Associates, Eglan- tine, Echo, and Transit—Snug Retreat of Lionise—The High— Street after the Battle—Origin of the Argotiers, and Inven- tion of Cant—phrases—History of the Intestine Wars and Civil Broils of Oxford, from the Time of Alfred—Origin of the late Strife—Ancient Ballad—Retreat of the Togati— Reflections of a Freshman—Black Matins, or the Effect of late Drinking upon early Risers—Visit to Golgotha, or the Place of Sculls—Lecture from the Big—Wigs—Tom Echo receives Sentence of Rustication 246


THE STAGE COACH, OR THE TRIP TO BRIGHTON. Improvements in Travelling—Contrast of ancient and modern Conveyances and Coachmen—Project for a new Land Steam Carriage—The Inn—yard at the Golden Cross, Charing Cross—Mistakes of Passengers—Variety of Characters—Ad- vantages of the Box—seat—Obstructions on the Road—A Pull—up at the Elephant and Castle—Move on to Kennington Common—New Churches—Civic Villas at Brixton—Modern Taste in Architecture described—Arrival at Croydon; why not now the King's Road?—The Joliffe Hounds—A Hunting Leader—Anecdotes of the Horse, by Coachee—The new Tunnel at Reigate—The Baron's Chamber—The Golden Ball —the Silver Ball—and the Golden Calf—Entrance into Brighton 274

THE PROPOSITION. Family Secrets—Female Tactics—How to carry the Point 287

SKETCHES AT BRIGHTON. The Pavilion Party—Interior described—Royal and Noble Anecdotes—The King and Mathews 292

CHARACTERS ON THE BEACH AND STEYNE, BRIGHTON. On Bathing and Bathers—Advantages of Shampooing— French Decency—Brighton Politeness—Sketches of Character —The Banker's Widow—Miss J——s—Mrs. F——1—Peter Paragraph, he London Correspondent—J—k S——h—The French Consul—Paphian Divinities—C—— L——, Esq. Squeeze into the Libraries—The new Plunging Bath— Chain Pier—Cockney Comicalities—Royal Gardens—The Club House 305

METROPOLITAN SKETCHES. Heartly, Echo, and Transit start for a Spree—Scenes by Daylight, Starlight, and Gaslight—Black Monday at Tatter— sail's—The first Meeting after the Great St. Leger—Heroes of the Turf paying and receiving—Dinner at Fishmongers' Hall —Committee of Greeks—The Affair of the Cogged Dice—A Regular Break—down—Rules for the New Club—The Daffy Club, or a Musical Muster of the Fancy: striking Portraits— Counting the Stars—Covent Garden, what it was and what it is—The Finish—Anecdotes of Characters—The Hall of Infamy, alias the Covent Garden Hell 327

VISIT TO WESTMINSTER HALL. Worthies thereof—Legal Sketches of the Long Robe—An Awkward Recognition—Visit to Banco Regis—Surrey Col— legians giving a Lift to a Limb of the Law—Out of Rule and in Rule—"Thus far shalt thou go, and no further"—Park Rangers personified—Visit to the Life Academy, Somerset House—R. A—ys of Genius reflecting on the true Line of Beauty—Peep into the Green Rooms of the two Theatres Royal, Drury Lane and Covent Garden—Bernard Blackmantle reading his new Play and Farce—The City Ball at the Mansion House—The Squeeze—Civic Characters—Return to Oxford— Invite to Cambridge—Jemmy Gordon's Frolic—Term ends 355


(By R. CRUIKSHANK unless otherwise attributed)

We hope it will be generally admitted that few volumes have a more decided claim upon the public patronage, in respect to the novelty and variety of design, as well as the number of illustrations, than the one here presented to the reader. To speak of the choice humorous talent engaged in the work would only be to re-echo the applauding sentiments of the reviewers and admirers of rich graphic excellence. Cruikshank and Rowlandson are names not unworthy a space upon the same roll with Hogarth, Gilray, and Bunbury: to exhibit scenes of character in real life, sketched upon the spot, was an undertaking of no mean importance; particularly, when it is remembered how great the difficulty must have been in collecting together accurate portraits. The work, it will be perceived, contains thirty-six Copper- Plates, etched, aquainted, and coloured, by and under the direction of the respective artists whose names appear to the different subjects, the principal part of which are the sole production of Mr. Robert Cruikshank. The Wood Engravings, twenty-eight in number, besides the Vignettes, (which are numerous), are equally full of merit; and will be found, upon examination, to be every way worthy the superior style of typographical excellence which characterises the volume,



Is intended to convey a general idea of the nature of the work; combining, in rich classic taste, a variety of subjects illustrative of the polished as well as the more humble scenes of real life. It represents a Gothic Temple, into which the artist, Mr. Robert Cruikshank, has introduced a greater variety of characteristic subject than was ever before compressed into one design. In the centre compartment, at the top, we have a view of a Terrestrial Heaven, where Music, Love, and gay Delight are all united to lend additional grace to Fashion, and increase the splendour of the revels of Terpsichore. In the niches, on each side, are the twin genii, Poetry and Painting; while the pedestals, right and left, present the protectors of their country, the old Soldier and Sailor, retired upon pensions, enjoying and regaling themselves on the bounty of their King. In the centre of the Plate are three divisions representing the King, Lords, and Commons in the full exercise of their prerogatives. The figures on each side are portraits of Bernard Blackmantle (the English Spy), and his friend, Robert Transit (the artist), standing on projecting pedestals, and playing with the world as a ball; not doubting but for this piece of vanity, the world, or the reviewers for them, will knock them about in return. On the front of the pedestals are the arms of the Universities of Oxford and Cambridge; and in the centre armorial shields of the Cities of London and Westminster. The picture of a modern Hell, in the centre, between the pedestals, has the very appropriate emblems of Misery and Death, in the niches on each side. Crowning the whole, the Genius of Wit is seen astride of an eagle, demonstrative of strength, and wielding in his hand the lash of Satire; an instrument which, in the present work, has been used more as a corrective of we than personal ill-nature.


THE FIVE PRINCIPAL ORDERS OF SOCIETY. The King-Corinthian; an elegant Female-Composite; the Nobleman-Doric; a Member of the University-Ionic; and the Buck of Fashion-Tuscan. On the left hand may be seen a specimen of the Exquisite, a new order in high estimation at the west end of the Town; and on the right hand stands an old order of some solidity in the eastern parts of the Metropolis. Fashion, Taste, and Fame, are emblematical of the varied pursuits of life; while the Army and Navy of the country are the capitals that crown the superstructure, combining the ornamental with the useful.


FIRST ABSENCE, OR THE SONS OF OLD ETONA ANSWERING MORNING MUSTER-ROLL. 25 A view of the school-yard, Eton, at the time first Absence is called, and just when the learned Doctor Keat is reviewing the upper school. (Portraits.)


THE OPPIDAN'S MUSEUM, OR ETON COURT OF CLAIMS AT THE CHRISTOPHER. 49 Bernard Blackmantle and Robert Transit sitting in judge- ment after Election Saturday, apportioning the remuneration money to the different claimants of the surrounding trophies.


ETON MONTEM, AND THE MOUNT, SALT HILL. 96 An accurate sketch of this ancient customary procession made upon the spot.


THE FIRST BOW TO ALMA MATER. 113 Bernard Blackmantle's Introduction to the Big Wig on his Arrival at Oxford.


FLOORING OF MERCURY, OR BURNING THE OAKS. 131 A scene in Tom Quadrangle, Oxford.

"If wits aright their tale of terror tell, A little after great Mercurius fell,


Gownsmen and Townsmen throng'd the water's edge To gaze upon the dreadful sacrilege:


———there with drooping mien a silent band Canons and Bedmaker together stand:—


In equal horror all alike were seen, And shuddering scouts forgot to cap the Dean."


COLLEGE COMFORTS. 151 Taking possession of your rooms. Bernard Blackmantle taking possession of his rooms in Brazennose. Scout's list of wants. Standing the quiz of the Togati Visible propensities of your predecessor. The day of purification.


CAP-ING A PROCTOR, OR OXFORD BULL-DOGS DETECTING BRAZENNOSE SMUGGLERS. 152 Tom Echo and Horace Eglantine lowering the plate-basket, after the College-gates are closed, to obtain a supply of fresh provision, are detected by the Proctor and Town Marshal with their Bull-Dogs: in their alarm the basket and its contents are suddenly let fall upon the Proctor, who is not able to under- stand the joke.


THE ARRIVAL, OR WESTERN ENTRANCE INTO COCKNEY LAND. 164 Portrait of high and low life Dandies and Dandysettes.

XI. THE GREEN-ROOM OF THE KING'S THEATRE, R NOBLE AMATEURS VIEWING FOREIGN CURIOSITIES. 198 Portraits of ten noble and distinguished patrons of the opera, with those of certain daughters of Terpsichore.

XII. THE ROYAL SALOON IN PICCADILLY, OR AN HOUR AFTER THE OPERA. 205 Heartly, Lionise, and Transit in search of Character—The gambling Parsons—Legs and Leg-ees-Tats men and touters— Moll Raffle and Bang.


OXFORD TRANSPORTS, OR UNIVERSITY EXILES. 235 Albanians doing penance for past offences. A Scene sketched from the Life. Horace Eglantine is proposing "the Study of the Fathers," a favourite College toast, while Tom Echo is enforcing Obedience to the President's proposition by finishing off a Shirker. Dick Gradus having been declared absent, is taking a cool nap with the Ice-pail in his arms and his head resting upon a Greek Lexicon: in the left hand corner may be seen a Scout bearing off a dead Man, (but not without hope of Resurrection). Bob Transit and Bernard Blackmantle occupy the situation on each side of Dick Gradus; in the right-hand corner, Horace's servant is drawing the last Cork from the parting bottle, which is to welcome in the peep o' day. Injustice to the present authorities it should be stated, that this is a Scene of other limes.—Vide A.

XIV. SHOW SUNDAY, A VIEW IN THE BROAD WALK, CHRIST CHURCH MEADOWS, OXFORD. 244 Portraits of the Togati and the town, including big wigs, nobs, and dons. Among the more conspicuous are Dr. Kett, Lord G. Grenville, Dr. Grovesnor, Alderman Fletcher, and Mr. Swan.

XV. TOWN AND GOWN. 246 Battle of the Togati and Town Raff of Oxford, a night scene. —Bernard and his Friends, Horace and Tom, distributing among the Bargees of St. Clement's.


BLACK MATINS, OR THE EFFECTS OF LATE DRINKING UPON EARLY RISERS. 269 A Most Imposing Scene.-Time seven o'clock in the Morn- ing, the last bell has just tolled, and the University Men have just turned out, while the hunting-frock, boots, and appear- ance of some of the party, proclaim that they have just turned in; all are eager to save fine and imposition, and not a few are religiously disturbed in their Dreams. The admirable disorder of the party is highly illustrative of the Effect produced by an Evening Wine Party in College Rooms.

XVII. GOLGOTHA, OR THE PLACE OF SCULLS. 272 Tom Echo receiving sentence of Rustication. The Big Wigs in a Bustle. Lecture on disobedience and chorus of the Synod. Reports from the Isle of Bull dogs. Running foul of the Quicksands of Rustication after having passed Point Failure and The Long Hope. Nearly blown up at Point Nonplus, and obliged to lay by to refit.

XVIII. THE EVENING PARTY AT THE PAVILION, BRIGHTON. (BY O. M. BRIOHTY.) 296 Interior of the Yellow Room—Portraits of His Majesty, the Duke of York, and Princess Augusta, Marquis and Marchioness of Conyngham, Earl of Arran, Lord Francis Conyngham, Lady Elizabeth and Sir H. Barnard, Sir H. Turner, Sir W. Knighton, Sir E. Nagle, and Sir C. Paget, sketched from the Life.

XIX. THE KING AT HOME, OR MATHEWS AT CARLTON HOUSE. 298 A scene founded on fact; including Portraits of the King, Mathews, and other celebrated persons.

XX. A FROLIC IN HIGH LIFE, OR, A VISIT TO BILLINGS- GATE. 303 A very extraordinary whim of two very distinguished females, whose Portraits will be easily recognised.

XXI. CHARACTERS ON THE STEYNE, BRIGHTON. 309 Portraits of illustrious, noble, and wealthy Visitors—The Banker's Widow—A Bathing Group—The Chain Pier, &c.

XXII. TOM ECHO LAID UP WITH THE HEDDINGTON FEVER, OR AN OXONIAN VERY NEAR THE WALL. 323 Symptoms of having been engaged too deeply in the study of Hie fathers. Portrait of a well-known Esculapian chief.


MONDAY AFTER THE GREAT ST. LEGER, OR HEROES OF THE TURF PAYING AND RECEIVING AT TATTERSALL'S. 329 This sketch was made upon the spot by my friend Transit, on the Monday following the result of the last Great St. Leger in 1823, when the Legs were, for the most part, in mourning from the loss of their favourite Sherwood. Some long faces will be easily recognized, and some few round ones, though Barefoots, not easily be forgotten. The Tinkers were many of them Levanters. Here may be seen the Peer and the Prig, the Wise one and the Green one, the Pigeon and the Rook amalgamated together. It is almost unnecessary to say, the greater part of the characters are portraits.


EXTERIOR OF FISHMONGERS'-HALL, ST. JAMES'S STREET, WITH A VIEW OF A REGULAR BREAKDOWN. 331 Portraits of the Master Fishmonger, and many well- known Greeks and Pigeons.


INTERIOR OF A MODERN HELL. (Vide the affair of the cogged dice.) 334 Portraits of upwards of twenty well-known Punters and Frequenters—Greeks and Pigeons, noble and ignoble—The Fishmonger in a fright, or the gudgeon turned shark—Expose of Saint Hugh's Bones—Secrets worth knowing. (See work.)

XXVI. THE DAFFY CLUB, OR A MUSICAL MUSTER OF THE FANCY. 339 Interior of Tom Belcher's Parlour. Heartly and Bob in search of Character. Striking likenesses of Boxers, Betters, &c.—with a pen and ink Sketch of a Noted—one—a fine School for Practical Experience. (For key to Portraits- see work.)


PEEP 0' DAYS AND FAMILY MEN AT THE FINISH. 342 A Night Scene near Covent Garden—Coffee and comical company.

XXVIII. FAMILY MEN AT FAULT, OR AN UNEXPECTED VISIT FROM THE BISHOP AND HIS CHAPLAINS. 345 A Scene near Covent Garden, in which are introduced certain well-known Characters and Bow-street Officers: in- cluding Messrs. Bishop, Smith, Ruthven, and Townshend.


THE HALL OF INFAMY, ALIAS OYSTER SALOON, IN BRYDGES-STREET, OR NEW COVENT GARDEN HELL. 354 Portraits of the old Harridan and her Flask man Tom. Sketches of Sharps and Flats, Green ones and Impures. Done from the Life.


WESTMINSTER HALL. 361 Portraits of well-known Worthies of the Bar.—The Maiden Brief.—Dick Gradus examining a Witness.


SURREY COLLEGIANS GIVING A LIFT TO A LIMB OF THE LAW. 364 Interior of the King's Bench Prison—Rough-drying a Lawyer.

XXXII. R-A-YS OF GENIUS REFLECTING ON THE TRUE LINE OF BEAUTY AT THE LIFE ACADEMY, SOMERSET HOUSE. (BY T. ROWLANDSON.) 365 Bob Transit's first appearance as a student. Sketching from the Life. Outlines of character. How to grow rich but not great. Secrets worth knowing, and Portraits of all the Well-known.


BERNARD BLACKMANTLE READING HIS PLAY IN THE GREEN-ROOM OF COVENT GARDEN THEATRE. 366 Portraits of Messrs. C. Kemble, Fawcett, Farley, Jones, Farren, Grimaldi, Macready, Young, T. P. Cooke, Chapman, Blanchard, Abbott, Cooper, Yates, and the English Spy; Mrs. Davenport, Miss Chester, Miss M. Tree, Miss Love, and Mrs. Davison.


BERNARD BLACKMANTLE READING HIS FARCE IN THE GREEN ROOM OF THE THEATRE ROYAL, DRURY LANE. (by T. Wageman.) 367 Portraits of Elliston, Dowton, Harley, Munden, Knight, Liston, Oxberry, Sherwin, Gattie, Wallack, Terry, G. Smith, and Barnard, Miss Stephens, Mrs. Orger, Madame Vestris, Mrs. Harlowe, and the English Spy. The Likenesses are all studies from the life.

XXXV. THE CITY BALL AT THE MANSION HOUSE. 368 Portraits of the Duke of Sussex, the Lord Mayor (Waith- man) and Lady Mayoress, the Sheriffs Laurie and Whittaker, Aldermen Wood and Curtis, Sir Richard Phillips, Messrs. Hone, Patten, with other well-known Characters.

XXXVI. JEMMY GORDON'S FROLIC. 369 A Cambridge tale. Vide Peter House.



VIGNETTE ON TITLE PAGE. Old Father Time borne away on the shoulders of the Genii, Frolic, Mirth, and Fancy.

1. The Author's Chamber—Index, the bookseller, and Ber- nard Blackmantle, projecting a new work

2. Horatio Heartly reading the "English Spy" to Lady Mary Oldstyle 17

3. A correct view of Eton College from the playing-fields 32

4. The five principal orders of Eton—Doctor, Dame, Colleger, Oppidan, and Cad. A Sketch taken opposite the Long Walk 42

5. The Cloisters, Eton College 58

6. Herbert Stockhore, the Montem Poet Laureate, a Sketch from the Life as he appeared in the Montem Procession of May, 1823 59

7. Accurate View of the Interior of Eton College Hall 96

8. Interior of Eton School Room 105

9. The Oxonian reclining, an emblematical design 111

10. Five characteristic orders of Oxford 113

11. Portrait of Mr. B—the classical Alma Mater Coachman of Oxford 128

12. View of Christchurch College 129

13. A Bachelor of Arts drinking of the Pierian Spring 136

14. View of Bagley Wood with the Gipsy party. An extraordinary fine specimen of art, by Bonner. 157

15. Mother Goose, a portrait 162

16. Kensington Gardons, Sunday Evening. Portraits of well-known fashionable eccentricities 164

17. Vignette.—he Subject and the Resurrection Jarvey, or "Kill him when you want him" 220

18. Albanians starting for a spree, or Tom Tick on the road to Jericho 233

19. Waiting for bail 240

20. The Don and the fair of St. Clement's. An Oxford scene 243

21. The University Rake's Progress 273

22. The newly invented Steam Coach 274

23. View of the Pavilion, Brighton, from the London Road 286

24. A Night Scene, or, a rum start near B—— H——l 304

25. The Widow's ultimatum. A cutting joke, with a most affecting catastrophe 313

26. College Frolics, or catching Urals at Ch. Ch. 325

27. Roues rusticating in Surrey, or, the first glimpse of Banco Regis 363

28. Term, ends—Adieu to fagging—The High-street, Oxford —The Togati in a bustle—The merry good bye 370


Nor rank, nor order, nor condition, Imperial, lowly, or patrician, Shall, when they see this volume, cry, "The satirist has pass'd us by:" But, with good humour, view our page Depict the manners of the age.


"The proper study of mankind is man."


Life's busy scene I sing! Its countenance, and form, and varied hue, drawn within the compass of the eye. No tedious voyage, or weary pilgrimage o'er burning deserts, or tempestuous seas, my progress marks, to trace great nature's sources to the fount, and bare her secrets to the common view.

In search of wonders, let the learn'd embark, From lordly Elgin, to lamented Park, To find out what I perhaps some river's course, Or antique fragments of a marble horse; While I, more humble, local scenes portray, And paint the men and manners of the day.

Life's a theatre, man the chief actor, and the source from which the dramatist must cull his choicest beauties, painting up to nature the varied scenes which mark the changeful courses of her motley groups. Here she opes her volume to the view of contemplative minds, and spreads her treasures forth, decked in all the variegated tints that Flora, goddess of the flowery mead and silvery dell, with many coloured hue, besprinkles the luxuriant land.

Here, reader, will we travel forth, and in our journey make survey of all that's interesting and instructive. Man's but the creature of a little hour, the phantom of a transitory life; prone to every ill, subject to every woe; and oft the more eccentric in his sphere, as rare abilities may gild his brow, setting form, law, and order at defiance. His glass a third decayed 'fore reason shines, and ere perfection crowns maturity, he sinks forgotten in his parent dust. Such then is man, uncertain as the wind, by nature formed the creature of caprice, and as Atropos wills, day by day, we number to our loss some mirth-enlivening soul, whose talents gave a lustre to the scene.-Serious and solemn, thoughts be hence away! imagination wills that playful satire reign:—by sportive fancy led, we take the field.




Author. However dangerous, or however vain, I am resolved.

Friend. You'll not offend again?

Author. I will, by Jove!

Friend. Take my advice, reflect; Who'll buy your sketches 1

Author. Many, I expect.

Friend. I fear but few, unless, Munchausen-like, You've something strange, that will the public strike: Men with six heads, or monsters with twelve tails, Who patter flash, for nothing else prevails In this dull age.

Author. Then my success is certain; I think you'll say so when I draw the curtain, And, presto! place before your wond'ring eyes A race of beings that must 'cite surprise; The strangest compound truth and contradiction Owe to dame Nature, or the pen of Action; Where wit and folly, pride and modest worth, Go hand in hand, or jostle at a birth; Where prince, peer, peasant, politician meet, And beard each other in the public street; ~6~~ Where ancient forms, though still admired, Are phantoms that have long expired; Where science droops 'fore sovereign folly, And arts are sick with melancholy; Where knaves gain wealth, and honest fellows, By hunger pinch'd, blow knav'ry's bellows; Where wonder rises upon wonder—

Friend. Hold! Or you may leave no wonders to be told. Your book, to sell, must have a subtle plot—Mark the Great Unknown, wily ***** ****: Print in America, publish at Milan; There's nothing like this Scotch-Athenian plan, To hoax the cockney lack-brains.

Author. It shall be: Books, like Madeira, much improve at sea; 'Tis said it clears them from the mist and smell Of modern Athens, so says sage Cadell, Whose dismal tales of shipwreck, stress of weather, Sets all divine Nonsensia mad together; And, when they get the dear-bought novel home, "They love it for the dangers it has overcome."

Friend. I like your plan: "art sure there's no offence?"

Author. None that's intended to wound common-sense. For your uncommon knaves who rule the town, Your M.P.'s, M.D.'s, R.A.'s and silk gown, Empirics in all arts, every degree, Just Satire whispers are fair game for me.

Friend. The critic host beware!

Author. Wherefore, I pray? "The cat will mew, the dog will have his day." Let them bark on! who heeds their currish note Knows not the world—they howl, for food, by rote.



Reflections of an Author—Weighty Reasons for writing— Magister artis ingeniique largitor Venter—Choice of Subject considered—Advice of Index, the Book-seller—Of the Nature of Prefaces—How to commence a new Work.

Author (solus). I must write—my last sovereign has long since been transferred to the safe keeping of mine hostess, to whom I have the honor to be obliged. I just caught a glance of her inflexible countenance this morning in passing the parlour door; and methought I could perceive the demon aspect of suspicion again spreading his corrosive murky hue over her furrowed front. The enlivening appearance of my golden ambassador had for a few days procured me a faint smile of complacency; but the spell is past, and I shall again be doomed to the humiliation ~8~~ of hearing Mrs Martha Bridget's morning lectures on the necessity of punctuality. Well, she must be quieted, (i.e.) promise crammed, (satisfied, under existing circumstances, is impossible): I know it will require no little skill to obtain fresh supplies from her stores, without the master-key which unlocks the flinty heart; but nil desperandum, he who can brave a formidable army of critics, in pursuit of the bubble fame, may at least hope to find wit enough to quiet the interested apprehensions of an old woman. And yet how mortifying is the very suspicion of inattention and disrespect. I have rung six times for my breakfast, and as many more for my boots, before either have made their appearance; the first has indeed just arrived, with a lame apology from mine hostess, that the gentleman on the first floor is a very impetuous fellow, requires prompt attention, gives a great deal of trouble—but—then he pays a great deal of money, and above all, is very punctual: here is my quietus at once; the last sentence admits of no reply from a pennyless author. My breakfast table is but the spectre of former times;—no eggs on each side of my cup, or a plate of fresh Lynn shrimps, with an inviting salt odour, that would create an appetite in the stomach of an invalid; a choice bit of dried salmon, or a fresh cut off the roll of some violet-scented Epping butter;—all have disappeared; nay, even the usual allowance of cream has degenerated into skimmed milk, and that is supplied in such cautious quantities, that I can scarce eke it out to colour my three cups of inspiring bohea.

(A knock at the door.) That single rap at the street door is very like the loud determined knock of a dun. The servant is ascending the stairs—it must be so—she advances upon the second flight;—good heavens, how stupid!—I particularly told her I should not be in town to any of these people for a month. The inattention of servants is unbearable; they can tell fibs ~9~~ enough to suit their own purposes, but a little white one to serve a gentleman lodger, to put off an impertinent tradesman, or save him from the toils of a sheriffs officer, is sure to be marred in the relation, or altogether forgotten. I'll lock my chamber door, however, by way of precaution. (Servant knocking.) "What do you want?" "Mr. Index, sir, the little gentleman in black." "Show him up, Betty, directly." The key is instantly turned; the door set wide open; and I am again seated in comfort at my table: the solicitude, fear, and anxiety, attendant upon the apprehensions of surprise, a bailiff, and a prison, all vanish in a moment.

"My dear Index, you are welcome; the last person I expected, although the first I could have wished to have seen: to what fortunate circumstance am I to attribute the honor of this friendly visit?"

"Business, sir; I am a man of business: your last publication has sold pretty well, considering how dreadfully it was cut up in the reviews; I have some intention of reprinting a short edition, if you are not too exorbitant in your demands; not that I think the whole number will be sold, but there is a chance of clearing the expenses. A portrait by Wageman, the announcement of a second edition, with additions, may help it off; but then these additional costs will prevent my rewarding your merits to the extent I am sensible you deserve."

"Name your own terms, Index, for after all you know it must come to that, and I am satisfied you will be as liberal as you can afford." Put in this way, the most penurious of the speculating tribe in paper and print would have strained a point, to overcome their natural infirmity: with Index it was otherwise; nature had formed him with a truly liberal heart: the practice of the trade, and the necessary caution attendant upon bookselling speculations, only operated as a check to the noble-minded generosity of the ~10~~ man, without implanting in his bosom the avarice and extortion generally pursued by his brethren.

The immediate subject of his visit arranged to our mutual satisfaction, I ventured to inquire what style of work was most likely to interest the taste of the town. 'The town itself—satire, sir, fashionable satire. If you mean to grow rich by writing in the present day, you must first learn to be satirical; use the lash, sir, as all the great men have done before you, and then, like Canning in the Cabinet, or Gifford and Jeffery as reviewers, or Byron and Southey as poets, you will be followed more from the fear of your pen than from the splendour of your talents, the consistency of your conduct, or the morality of your principles. Sir, if you can but use the tomahawk skilfully, your fortune is certain. 'Sic itur ad astra.' Read Blackwood's Noctea Ambrosiance. Take the town by surprise, folly by the ears; 'the glory, jest, and riddle of the world' is man; use your knowledge of this ancient volume rightly, and you may soon mount the car of fortune, and drive at random wherever your fancy dictates. Bear in mind the Greek proverb, 'Mega biblion, mega kakon.' In your remarks, select such persons who, from their elevated situations in society, ought to be above reproof, and whose vices are, therefore, more worthy of public condemnation:

'——————Ridiculum acri Fortius ac melius magnas plerumque secat res.'

By this means you will benefit the state, and improve the morals of society. The most wholesome truths may be told with pleasantry. Satire, to be severe, needs not to be scurrilous. The approval of the judicious will always follow the ridicule which is directed against error, ignorance, and folly."

How long little Index might have continued in this strain I know not, if I had not ventured to suggest ~11~~ that the course he pointed out was one of great difficulty, and considerable personal hazard; that to arrive at fortune by such means, an author must risk the sacrifice of many old connexions, and incur no inconsiderable dangers; that great caution would be necessary to escape the fangs of the forensic tribe, and that in voluntarily thrusting his nose into such a nest of hornets, it would be hardly possible to escape being severely stung in retaliation. "Pulchrum est accusari ah accusandis," said my friend, the bookseller, "who has suffered more by the fashionable world than yourself? Have you not dissipated a splendid patrimony in a series of the most liberal entertainments? Has not your generous board been graced with the presence of royalty? and the banquet enriched by the attendant stars of nobility, from the duke to the right honorable knight commander. And have you not since felt the most cruel neglect from these your early associates, and much obliged friends, with no crime but poverty, with no reproach but the want of prudence? Have you not experienced ingratitude and persecution in every shape that human baseness could find ingenuity to inflict? And can you hesitate to avail yourself of the noble revenge in your power, when it combines the advantages of being morally profitable both to yourself and society?

'——————Velat materna tempora myrto.' Virg.

'When Vice the shelter of a mask disdain'd, When Folly triumph'd, and a Nero reign'd, Petronius rose satiric, yet polite, And show'd the glaring monster full in sight; To public mirth exposed the imperial beast, And made his wanton court the common jest.'"

With this quotation, delivered with good emphasis, little Index bade me good morning, and left me impressed with no mean opinion of his friendship, ~12~~ and with an increased admiration of his knowledge of the world.

But how (thought I) am I to profit by his advice? In what shape shall I commence my eccentric course? A good general at the head of a large army, on the eve of a general battle, with the enemy full in view, feels less embarrassment than a young author finds in marshalling his crude ideas, and placing the raw recruits of the brain in any thing like respectable order. For the title, that is quite a matter of business, and depends more upon the bookseller's opinion of what may be thought attractive than any affinity it may possess to the work itself. Dedications are, thanks to the economy of fashion, out of date: great men have long since been laughed into good sense in that particular. A preface (if there be one) should partake something of the spirit of the work; for if it be not brief, lively, and humorous, it is ten to one but your reader falls asleep before he enters upon chapter the first, and when he wakes, fears to renew his application, lest he should be again caught napping. Long introductions are like lengthy prayers before meals to hungry men, they are mumbled over with unintelligible rapidity, or altogether omitted, for the more solid gratifications of the stomach, or the enjoyments of the mind. In what fantastic shape and countenance then shall an author appear to obtain general approbation? or in what costume is he most likely to insure success?

If he assumes a fierce and haughty front, his readers are perhaps offended with his temerity, and the critics enraged at his assurance. If he affects a modest sneaking posture, and humbly implores their high mightinesses to grant him one poor sprig of laurel, he is treated slightingly, and despised, as a pitiful fellow who wants that essential ingredient in the composition of a man of talent and good breeding, ycleped by the moderns confidence. If he speaks of ~13~~ the excellence of his subject, he creates doubts both with his readers and reviewers, who will use their endeavours to convince him he has not a correct knowledge of his own abilities. But if, like a well bred man at court, he enters the drawing-room of literature in good taste, neither too mean nor too gaudy, too bold or too formal, makes his bow with the air and finish of a scholar and a gentleman, and passes on to his place, unheedful of remark (because unconscious of offence), he is sure to command respect, if he does not excite admiration.

Accept then, reader, this colloquial chapter, as the author's apology for a preface, an imaginary short conference, or letter of introduction, which brings you acquainted with the eccentric writer of this volume; and as in all well regulated society a person is expected to give some account of himself before he is placed upon terms of intimacy with the family, you shall in the next page receive a brief sketch of the characteristics of the author.



The early biography of a man of genius is seldom, if ever, accurately given to the public eye, unless, indeed, he is one of those rara avis who, with the advantages of great qualifications, inherits high ancestral distinctions. But if, as is generally the case, from obscurity of birth and humble life he rises into notice by the force and exertion of his talents, the associates of his brighter fortunes know but little of the difficulties which have obstructed his progress, or the toils and fatigues he has endured, to arrive at that enviable point from which the temple of Fame, and the road to fortune, may be contemplated with some chance of enjoyment and success. Unwilling to speak of himself, lest he should incur the charge of vanity or egotism, he modestly trusts to the partial pen of friendship, or the conjectural pen of the commentator, to do justice to events which no quill could relate so well as his own, and which, if impartially and sensibly written, must advance him in the estimation of society, and convince the world that with the mastery of the great secret in his power, he was not more capable of appreciating the characters of the age than familiar with the lights and shadows of his own.

"Honour and shame from no condition rise; Act well your part, there all the honour lies."

The reader will, no doubt, anticipate that the name of Bernard Blackmantle is an assumed quaint cognomen, and perhaps be not less suspicious of the author's right and title to the honorary distinction annexed: ~14~~ let him beware how he indulges in such chimeras, before he has fully entered into the spirit of the volume before him, lest, on perusal, conviction should compel him to retract the ungracious thought. To be plain, he is not desirous of any higher honorary distinction than the good opinion of his readers. And now, sons and daughters of Fashion! ye cameleon race of giddy elves, who flutter on the margin of the whirlpool, or float upon the surface of the silvery stream, and, hurried forwards by the impetus of the current, leave yourselves but little time for reflection, one glance will convince you that you are addressed by an old acquaintance, and, heretofore, constant attendant upon all the gay varieties of life; of this be assured, that, although retired from the fascinating scene, where gay Delight her portal open throws to Folly's throng, he is no surly misanthrope, or gloomy seceder, whose jaundiced mind, or clouded imagination, is a prey to disappointment, envy, or to care. In retracing the brighter moments of life, the festive scenes of past times, the never to be forgotten pleasures of his halcyon days, when youth, and health, and fortune, blest his lot, he has no tongue for scandal—no pen for malice—no revenge to gratify, but is only desirous of attempting a true portraiture of men and manners, in the higher and more polished scenes of life. If, in the journey through these hitherto unexplored regions of fancy, ought should cross his path that might give pain to worthy bosoms, he would sooner turn aside than be compelled to embody the uncandid thought.

"Unknowing and unknown, the hardy Muse "Boldly defies all mean and partial views; "With honest freedom plays the critic's part, "And praises, as she censures, from the heart."

And now, having said nearly as much as I think prudent of myself, and considerably more than my ~17~~ bookseller usually allows by way of prefatory matter, I shall conclude this chapter by informing the reader of some facts, with which I ought to have commenced it, namely—For my parents, it must suffice that my father was a man of talent, my mother accomplished and esteemed, and, what is more to their honour, they were affectionate and kind: peace to their manes! I was very early in life bereft of both; educated at one of the public schools, I was, in due time, sent to matriculate at Oxford, where, reader, I propose to commence my Eccentric Tour.



"I know him well," said Horatio, with a half-suppressed sigh, as he finished the introductory chapter to the first volume of the English Spy, or Colloquial Sketches of Men and Manners. "He is no misanthrope," said my aunt, taking off her spectacles to wipe away the pearly drop which meek-eyed pity gave to the recollection of scenes long passed. Horatio paused—the book dropped instinctively upon his knee, as his raised eye involuntarily caught the benign aspect of virtue and intelligence, softened by the crystal gems of feeling. "I wish I knew where he lived," said my aunt. "I'll find him out," said Horatio;-"Do," said my aunt, "and tell him an old friend of his father's, on whom fortune has deigned to smile in the winter of her days, would feign extend to him as much of worldly happiness as can be derived from the enjoyment of worldly treasure." 18~ By that sort of magical attraction which imperceptibly links together the souls of kindred spirits, Horatio's chair had made an angular movement, of at least six degrees, in a direction nearer to his venerable relation: no lover ever pressed with more fervency of affection the yielding hand of his soul's deity, than did the grateful nephew, at this moment, clasp within his eager grasp the aged palm of bounteous charity. "I wish he may accept your kind offer," said Horatio. "And why should he not?" said my aunt, with a half inclination of extricating her hand, and a penetrating glance of doubt, directed full in the face of the speaker: "I know not," said Horatio, (hesitating, as if fearful of giving offence), "but,"-"But what?" said my aunt;-"But I fear his natural love of independence, and eccentricity of mind, will admit of no constraint, which his high sense of honor will anticipate must be partially the case whenever he submits himself to accept the favors of even such generous hearts as yours." "He would feel no such thing," said my aunt. "He could not resist the impression," said Horatio; "your liberality would, I know, be calculated to dispossess him of the painful sensation; but if the inherent pride of the man could be subdued, or calmed into acquiescence, by breathing the enchanting air of friendship, the weight of gratitude, the secret monitor of fine-wrought minds, would overpower his tongue, and leave him, in his own estimation, a pauper of the poorest class." "Then I'll adopt another mode," said my aunt; "and though I hate the affectation of secret charities, because I think the donor of a generous action is well entitled to his reward, both here and hereafter,—I'll hand out some way, anonymously or otherwise, to indulge my humour of serving him." "You are an angel!" said Horatio, with his eyes fixed on the ground—(the spirit of the angel of benevolence,—quoth Reason, whispering in his ear, would have been ~19~~ a better metaphor,—certainly inhabits the aged bosom of your father's sister). Horatio's upraised eye rested on the wrinkled front of his antique relative, just as the corrective thought gleamed in visionary brightness o'er his brain; the poetic inspiration of the moment fled like the passing meteor, but the feeling which excited it remained engrafted on his memory for ever. "How shall we find him out, my dear Horatio?" said my aunt, her whole countenance animated with delight at the last flattering ejaculation of her nephew-"where shall we seek him?—I'll order the carriage directly." The glow of pleasure and anticipatory gratification, which at this moment beamed in the countenance of the old lady, brought back the circling current of health to the cheeks of age, and, with the blush of honest feeling, dispelled the stains of time; the furrowed streaks of care vanished from her front, and left her whole frame proportionably invigorated.

If the mere contemplation of a generous action can thus inspire the young, and give new life to age, what a load of misery and deformity might not the sons and daughters of nature divest themselves of, by following the inherent dictates of benevolence! Reflection, whenever he deigned to penetrate the pericranium of my cousin Horatio, took entire possession of the citadel, and left him not even the smallest loophole for the observation of any passing event. He was just fixed in one of these abstracted reveries of the mind, traversing over the halcyon scenes of his collegiate days, and re-associating himself with his early friend, the author of the eccentric volume then in his hand, when the above monition sprung from his heart, like the crystal stream that sparkles in the air, when first it bursts through the mineral bondage of the womb of nature.

"You are right," said my aunt. Horatio started with surprise, almost unconscious of her presence, or ~20~~ what he had said to deserve her approbation. "True happiness," she continued, "is the offspring of generosity and virtue, and never inhabits a bosom where worldly interest and selfish principles are allowed to predominate. There are many who possess all the requisites for the enjoyment of true happiness, who, from the prejudices of education, or the mistaken pride of ancestry, have never experienced the celestial rapture: they have never been amalgamated with society, are strangers to poverty themselves, and cannot comprehend its operation upon others; born and moving in a sphere where the chilling blasts of indigence never penetrate, or the clouds of adversity appal, they have no conception of the more delightful gratification which springs from the source of all earthly happiness, the pleasure and ability of administering to the wants and comforts of our fellow creatures."

"Yours is the true philosophy of nature, aunt," said Horatio, "where principle and practice may be seen, arm in arm, like the twin sisters, Charity and Virtue,—a pair of antique curiosities much sought after, but rarely found amid the assemblage of virtu in the collections of your modern people of fashion."

"I'll alter my will to-morrow morning," thought my aunt; "this boy deserves to be as rich in acres as he already is in benevolence: he shall have the Leicestershire estate added to what I have already bequeathed him, by way of codicil."

"You would be delighted with my friend Bernard, aunt," said Horatio, "that is, when he is in good spirits; but you must not judge of him by the common standard of estimation: if, on the first introduction, he should happen to be in one of those lively humours when his whole countenance is lighted up with the brilliancy of genius, you would be enraptured by the sallies of his wit, and the solidity of his reasoning; but if, on the contrary, he should unfortunately ~21~~ be in one of those abstracted moods when all terrestrial objects are equally indifferent, you will, I fear, form no very favourable opinion of his merit. He is an eccentric in every respect, and must not be judged of by the acquaintance of an hour. We were boys together at Eton, and the associations of youth ripened with maturity into the most sincere friendly attachment, which was materially assisted by the similarity of our dispositions and pursuits, during our residence at college. Your kind notice of my poor friend, aunt, has revived the fondest recollections of my life—the joyous scenes of infancy, when the young heart, free from the trammels of the world, and buoyant as the bird of spring, wings along the flowery path of pleasure, plucking at will the sweets of nature, and decking his infant brow with wreaths of fresh gathered wild flowers." Horatio paused, not for want of subject, but a train of recollections overpowered his memory, producing an unspeakable sensation, which for a moment choked his utterance.

"There is a blank in this work, which you shall fill up," said my aunt; "you must perform the office of an impartial historian for your friend, and before we proceed farther with this volume, give me the history of your school-boy days."




In many a strain of grief and joy My youthful spirit sung to thee; But I am now no more a boy, And there's a gulf 'twixt thee and me. Time on my brow has set his seal; I start to find myself a man, And know that I no more shall feel As only boyhood's spirit can.


There is an imperceptible but powerfully connecting link in our early associations and school-boy friendships, which is very difficult to describe, but exceedingly grateful to reflect on; particularly when the retrospective affords a view of early attachments ripened into perfection with maturity, and cementing firmly with increasing years. Youth is the period of frankness and of zeal, when the young heart, buoyant with hope and cheering prospects, fills with joy, and expands in all the brightness of fancy's variety. The ambition, lures, and conflicting interests of the world, have as yet made no inroad upon the mind; the bosom is a stranger to misery, the tongue to deceit, the eye glows with all the luxuriance of pleasure, and the whole countenance presents an animated picture of health and intelligence illumined with delight. The playfulness or incaution of youth may demand correction, or produce momentary pain; but the tears of ~23~~ infancy fall like the summer dew upon the verdant slope, which the first gleam of the returning sun kisses away, and leaves the face of nature tinged with a blush of exquisite brilliancy, but with no trace of the sparkling moisture which lately veiled its beauty. This is the glittering period of life, when the gay perspective of the future seems clothed in every attractive hue, and the objects of this world assume a grace divine: then it is that happiness, borne on the wings of innocence and light-hearted mirth, attends our every step, and seems to wait obedient to our will.

What a painful reverse may not the retrospective view afford! how unlike is the finished picture to the inspiring sketch. The one breathing the soft air of nature, and sparkling in brilliant tints of variegated hues, serene, clear, and transparent, like the magic pencilling of the heavenly Claude, shedding ambrosial sweets around. The reverse indistinct, and overpowered with gloomy shadows, a mixture of the terrific and the marvellous, like the stormy and convulsive scenes of the mighty genius of Salvator Rosa, with here and there a flash of wildest eccentricity, that only serves to render more visible the murky deformity of the whole.

Horatio had just finished his introductory rhapsody, when the door opened, and my aunt's servant entered with tea and toast: the simmering of the water round the heated tube of the urn, tingling in the ears of Heartly, broke the thread of his narration. There was a pause of nearly a minute, while John was busy in arranging the equipage. "You should have waited till I had rung, John," said my aunt. "Please your ladyship," said John, "you directed me always to bring tea in at six precisely, without waiting for orders." My aunt looked puzzled: "You are right, John, I did; and (addressing Horatio) the fault of the interruption must therefore rest with me." Horatio bowed; the compliment was too flattering to be ~24~~ misunderstood. "Draw the curtains, John," said my aunt, "and make up the fire: we can help ourselves to what we want—you need not wait; and do not interrupt us again until you are rung for." "This is very mysterious," thought John, as he closed to the drawing-room door; and he related what he thought to my lady's maid, when he returned to the servants' hall. "You are, no conjurer, John," said Mrs. Margaret, with an oblique inclination of the head, half amorous and half conceited—"the old lady's will has been signed and sealed these three years; I was present when it was made—ay, and I signed it too, and what's more, I knows all its contents; there are some people in the world (viewing herself in an opposite looking-glass) who may be very differently circumstanced some day or other." John's heart had long felt a sort of fluttering inclination to unburthen itself, by linking destinies with the merry Mrs. Margaret; the prospect of a handsome legacy, or perhaps an annuity, gave an additional spur to John's affectionate feelings, and that night he resolved to put the question. All this Mrs. Margaret had anticipated, and as she was now on the verge of forty, she very prudently thought there was no time to lose. "They are a pair of oddities," continued the waiting-maid; "I have sometimes surprised them both crying, as if their hearts would break, over a new book: I suppose they have got something very interesting, as my lady calls it and Mr. Horatio is sermonizing as usual."—Mrs Margaret was not far wrong in her conjecture, for when my aunt and Horatio were again alone, she rallied him on the serious complexion of his style.




You shall have it from his own pen, said Horatio. In my portfolio, I have preserved certain scraps of Bernard's that will best speak his character; prose and poetry, descriptive and colloquial, Hudibrastic and pastoral, trifles in every costume of literary fancy, according with the peculiar humour of the author at the time of their inditing, from these you shall judge my eccentric friend better than by any commendation of mine. I shall merely preface these early offerings of his genius with a simple narrative of our school-boy intimacy.

I had been about three months at Eton, and had grown somewhat familiar with the characters of my associates, and the peculiarities of their phraseology and pursuits, when our dame's party was increased by the arrival of Bernard Blackmantle. It is usual with the sons of old Etona, on the arrival of a fresh subject, to play off a number of school-boy witticisms and practical jokes, which though they may produce a little mortification in the first instance, tend in no small degree to display the qualifications of mind possessed by their new associate, and give him a familiarity with his companions and their customs, which otherwise would take more time, and subject the stranger to much greater inconvenience. Bernard underwent all the initiatory school ceremonies and ~26~~ humiliations with great coolness, but not without some display of that personal courage and true nobleness of mind, which advances the new comer in the estimation of his school-fellows. First impressions are almost always indelible: there was a frankness and sincerity in his manner, and an archness and vivacity in his countenance and conversation, that imperceptibly attached me to the young stranger. We were soon the most inseparable cons,{1} the depositors of each other's youthful secrets, and the mutual participators in every passing sport and pleasure.

Naturally cheerful, Bernard became highly popular with our miniature world; there was however one subject which, whenever it was incautiously started by his companions, always excited a flood of tears, and for a time spread a gloomy abstraction over his mind. Bernard had from his very infancy been launched into the ocean of life without a knowledge of his admiral{2} but not without experiencing all that a mother's fondness could supply: when others recapitulated the enjoyments of their paternal home, and painted with all the glow of youthful ardour the anticipated pleasures of the holidays, the tear would trickle down his crimsoned cheek; and quickly stealing away to some sequestered spot, his throbbing bosom was relieved by many a flood of woe. That some protecting spirit watched over his actions, and directed his course, he was well assured, but as yet he had never been able to comprehend the mystery with which he was surrounded. His questions on this point to his mother it was evident gave her pain, and were always met by some evasive answer. He had been early taught to keep his own secret, but the prying curiosity of an Eton school-boy was not easily satisfied, and too often rendered the task one of great pain and difficulty. On these occasions I would seek

1 Friends.

2 The Eton phrase for father.

~27~~ him out, and as the subject was one of too tender a nature for the tongue of friendship to dwell upon, endeavour to divert his thoughts by engaging him in some enlivening sport. His amiable manners and generous heart had endeared him to all, and in a short time his delicate feelings were respected, and the slightest allusion to ambiguity of birth cautiously avoided by all his associates, who, whatever might be their suspicions, thought his brilliant qualifications more than compensated for any want of ancestral distinction.

The following portrait of my friend is from the pen of our elegant con, Horace Eglantine.


A heart fill'd with friendship and love, A brain free from passion's excess, A mind a mean action above, A hand to relieve keen distress. Poverty smiled on his birth, And gave what all riches exceeds, Wit, honesty, wisdom, and worth; A soul to effect noble needs. Legitimates bow at his shrine; Unfetter'd he sprung into life; When vigour with love doth combine To free nature from priestcraft and strife. No ancient escutcheon he claim'd, Crimson'd with rapine and blood; He titles and baubles disdain'd, Yet his pedigree traced from the flood. Ennobled by all that is bright In the wreath of terrestrial fame, Genius her pure ray of light Spreads a halo to circle his name.

The main-spring of all his actions was a social disposition, which embraced a most comprehensive view ~28~~ of the duties of good fellowship. He was equally popular with all parties, by never declaring for any particular one: with the cricketers he was accounted a hard swipe{3} an active field{4} and a stout bowler;{5} in a water party he was a stroke{6} of the ten oar; at foot-ball, in the playing fields, or a leap across Chalvey ditch, he was not thought small beer{7} of; and he has been known to have bagged three sparrows after a toodle{8} of three miles. His equals loved him for his social qualities, and courted his acquaintance as the sine qua non of society; and the younger members of the school looked up to him for protection and assistance. If power was abused by the upper boys, Bernard was appealed to as the mediator between the fag{9} and his master. His grants of liberties{10} to the commonalty were indiscriminate and profuse, while his influence was always exerted to obtain the same privileges for his numerous proteges from the more close aristocrats.{11} He was always to be seen attended by a shoal of dependents of every form in the school, some to get their lessons construed, and others to further claims to their respective stations in

3 A good bat-man.

4 To run well, or keep a good look out.

5 Strong and expert.

6 A first rate waterman.

7 Not thought meanly of. Sometimes this phrase is used in derision, as, he does not think small beer of himself.

8 A walk.

9 Any sixth or fifth form boy can fag an Oppidan underling: the collegers are exempted from this custom.

10 The liberties, or college bounds, are marked by stones placed in different situations; grants of liberties are licences given by the head boys to the juniors to break bounds, or rather to except them from the disagreeable necessity of shirking, (i. e.) hiding from fear of being reported to the masters.

11 To that interesting original miscellany, the 'Etonian,' I am indebted for several valuable hints relative to early scenes. The characters are all drawn from observation, with here and there a slight deviation, or heightening touch, the rather to disguise and free them from aught of personal offence, than any intentional departure from truth and nature.

29~ the next cricket match or water expedition. The duck and green pea suppers at Surley Hall would have lost half their relish without the enlivening smiles and smart repartees of Bernard Blackmantle. The preparations for the glorious fourth of June were always submitted to his superior skill and direction. His fiat could decide the claims of the rival boats, in their choice of jackets, hats, and favors; and the judicious arrangement of the fire-works was another proof of his taste. Let it not, however, be thought that his other avocations so entirely monopolized him as to preclude a due attention to study. Had it been so, his success with the [Greek phrase] would never have been so complete: his desire to be able to confer obligations on his schoolfellows induced Bernard to husband carefully every hour which he spent at home; a decent scholarship, and much general knowledge, was the reward of this plan. The treasure-house of his memory was well stored, and his reputation as an orator gave promise of future excellence. His classical attainments, if not florid, were liberal, and free from pedantry. His proficiency in English literature was universally acknowledged, and his love of the poets amounted to enthusiasm. He was formed for all the bustle of variegated life, and his conversation was crystallized with the sparkling attractions of wit and humour. Subject to the weakness to which genius is ever liable, he was both eccentric and wayward, but he had the good sense to guard his failing from general observation; and although he often shot his arrows anonymously, he never dipt them in the gall of prejudice or ill-nature. I have dwelt upon his character with pleasure, because there are very few who know him intimately. With a happy versatility of talents, he is neither lonesome in his solitude, nor over joyous in a crowd. For his literary attainments, they must be judged of by their fruits. I cannot better conclude my attempt ~30~~ to describe his qualifications than by offering his first essay to your notice, a school-boy tribute to friendship.


'Infido scurrae distabit amicus.' Horace.

How very seldom do we find A relish in the human mind For friendship pure and real; How few its approbation seek, How oft we count its censures weak, Disguising what we feel. Adulation lives to please, Truth dies the victim of disease, Forgotten by the world: The flattery of the fool delights The wise, rebuke our pride affrights, And virtue's banner's furl'd. Wherefore do we censure fate, When she withholds the perfect state Of friendship from our grasp, If we ourselves have not the power, The mind to enjoy the blessed hour, The fleeting treasure clasp?

This (I have reason to believe his first poetical essay) was presented me on my birthday, when we had been about two years together at Eton: a short time afterwards I surprised him one morning writing in his bedroom; my curiosity was not a little excited by the celerity with which I observed he endeavoured to conceal his papers. "I must see what you are about, Bernard," said I. "Treason, Horatio," replied the young author. "Would you wish to be implicated, or become a confederate? If so, take the oath of secrecy, and read." Judge of my surprise, when, on casting my eye over his lucubrations, I perceived he had been sketching the portraits of the group, with ~31~~ whom we were in daily association at our dame's. As I perceive by a glance at his work that most of his early friends have parts assigned them in his colloquial scenes, I consider the preservation of this trifle important, as it will furnish a key to the characters.



'——I'll paint for grown up people's knowledge, The manners, customs, and affairs of college.'


At the head of the large table on the right hand you will perceive the Honourable Lilyman Lionise, the second son of a nobleman, whose ancient patrimony has been nearly dissipated between his evening parties at the club-houses, in French hazard, or Rouge et noir, and his morning speculations with his betting book at Tattersall's, Newmarket, or the Fives-court; whose industry in getting into debt is only exceeded by his indifference about getting out; whose acquired property (during his minority) and personals have long since been knocked down by the hammer of the auctioneer, under direction of the sheriff, to pay off some gambling bond in preference to his honest creditor; yet who still flourishes a fashionable gem of the first water, and condescends to lend the lustre of ~33~~ his name, when he has nothing else to lend, that he may secure the advantage of a real loan in return. His patrimonial acres and heirlooms remain indeed untouched, because the court of chancery have deemed it necessary to appoint a receiver to secure their faithful transmission to the next heir.

The son has imbibed a smattering of all the bad qualities of his sire, without possessing one ray of the brilliant qualifications for which he is distinguished. Proud without property, and sarcastic without being witty, ill temper he mistakes for superior carriage, and haughtiness for dignity: his study is his toilet, and his mind, like his face, is a vacuity neither sensible, intelligent, nor agreeable. He has few associates, for few will accept him for a companion. With his superiors in rank, his precedent honorary distinction yields him no consideration; with his equals, it places him upon too familiar a footing; while with his inferiors, it renders him tyrannical and unbearable. His mornings, between school hours, are spent in frequent change of dress, and his afternoons in a lounge a la Bond-street, annoying the modest females and tradesmen's daughters of Eton; his evenings (after absence{1} is called) at home, in solitary dissipation over his box of liqueurs, or in making others uncomfortable by his rudeness and overbearing dictation. He is disliked by the dame, detested by the servants, and shunned by his schoolfellows, and yet he is our captain, a Sextile, a Roue, and above all, an honourable.

Tom Echo. A little to the left of the Exquisite, you may perceive Tom's merry countenance shedding good-humour around him. He is the only one who can

1 Absence is called several times in the course of the day, to prevent the boys straying away to any great distance from the college, and at night to secure them in quarters at the dames' houses: if a boy neglects to answer to his name, or is too late for the call, inquiry is immediately made at his dame's, and a very satisfactory apology must be offered to prevent punishment.

manage the Sextile with effect: Tom is always ready with a tart reply to his sarcasm, or a cut at his consequence. Tom is the eldest son of one of the most respectable whig families in the kingdom, whose ancestors have frequently refused a peerage, from an inherent democratical but constitutional jealousy of the crown. Independence and Tom were nursery friends, and his generous, noble-hearted conduct renders him an universal favorite with the school. Then, after holidays, Tom always returns with such a rich collection of fox-hunting stories and sporting anecdotes, and gives sock{2} so graciously, that he is the very life of dame ———'s party. There is to be sure one drawback to Tom's good qualities, but it is the natural attendant upon a high flow of animal spirits: if any mischief is on foot, Tom is certain to be concerned, and ten to one but he is the chief contriver: to be seen in his company, either a short time previous to, or quickly afterwards, although perfectly innocent, is sure to create a suspicion of guilt with the masters, which not unusually involves his companions in trouble, and sometimes in unmerited punishment. Tom's philosophy is to live well, study little, drink hard, and laugh immoderately. He is not deficient in sense, but he wants application and excitement: he has been taught from infancy to feel himself perfectly independent of the world, and at home every where: nature has implanted in his bosom the characteristic benevolence of his ancestry, and he stands among us a being whom every one loves and admires, without any very distinguishing trait of learning, wit, or superior qualification, to command the respect he excites. If any one tells a good story or makes a laughable pun, Tom retails it for a week, and all the school have the advantage of hearing and enjoying it. Any proposition for a boat party, cricketing, or a toodle into Windsor, or along the banks of the Thames

2 Good cheer; any nicety, as pastry, &c.

~35~~ on a sporting excursion, is sure to meet a willing response from him. He is second to none in a charitable subscription for a poor Cad, or the widow of a drowned Bargee; his heart ever reverberates the echo of pleasure, and his tongue only falters to the echo of deceit.

Horace Eglantine is placed just opposite to Lily man Lionise, a calm-looking head, with blue eyes and brown hair, which flows in ringlets of curls over his shoulders. Horace is the son of a city banker, by the second daughter of an English earl, a young gentleman of considerable expectations, and very amusing qualifications. Horace is a strange composition of all the good-natured whimsicalities of human nature, happily blended together without any very conspicuous counteracting foible. Facetious, lively, and poetical, the cream of every thing that is agreeable, society cannot be dull if Horace lends his presence. His imitations of Anacreon, and the soft bard of Erin, have on many occasions puzzled the cognoscenti of Eton. Like Moore too, he both composes and performs his own songs. The following little specimen of his powers will record one of those pleasant impositions with which he sometimes enlivens a winter's evening:


Oh think not the smile and the glow of delight, With youth's rosy hue, shall for ever be seen:

Frosty age will o'ercloud, with his mantle of night, The brightest and fairest of nature's gay scene.

Or think while you trip, like some aerial sprite, To pleasure's soft notes on the dew-spangled mead,

That the rose of thy cheek, or thine eyes' starry light, Shall sink into earth, and thy spirit be freed.

Then round the gay circle we'll frolic awhile, And the light of young love shall the fleet hour bless

While the pure rays of friendship our eve-tide beguile, Above fortune's frowns and the chills of distress

~36~~ The most provoking punster and poet that ever turned the serious and sentimental into broad humour. Every quaint remark affords a pun or an epigram, and every serious sentence gives birth to some merry couplet. Such is the facility with which he strings together puns and rhyme, that in the course of half an hour he has been known to wager, and win it—that he made a couplet and a pun on every one present, to the number of fifty. Nothing annoys the exquisite Sextile so much as this tormenting talent of Horace; he is always shirking him, and yet continually falling in his way. For some time, while Horace was in the fourth form, these little jeu-d'esprits were circulated privately, and smuggled up in half suppressed laughs; but being now high on the fifth, Horace is no longer in fear of fagging, and therefore gives free license to his tongue in many a witty jest, which "sets the table in a roar."

Dick Gradus. In a snug corner, at a side table, observe that shrewd-looking little fellow poring over his book; his features seem represented by acute angles, and his head, which appears too heavy for his body, represents all the thoughtfulness of age, like an ancient fragment of Phidias or Praxiteles placed upon new shoulders by some modern bust carver. Dick is the son of an eminent solicitor in a borough town, who has raised himself into wealth and consequence by a strict attention to the principles of interest: sharp practice, heavy mortgages, loans on annuity, and post obits, have strengthened his list of possessions till his influence is extended over half the county. The proprietor of the borough, a good humoured sporting extravagant, has been compelled to yield his influence in St. Stephen's to old Gradus, that he may preserve his character at Newmarket, and continue his pack and fox-hunting festivities at home. The representation of the place is now disposed of to the best bidder, but the ambition of the father has long since determined upon sending his son (when of age) 37~ into parliament—a promising candidate for the "loaves and fishes." Richard Gradus, M.P.—you may almost perceive the senatorial honor stamped upon the brow of the young aspirant; he has been early initiated into the value of time and money; his lessons of thrift have been practically illustrated by watching the operations of the law in his father's office; his application to learning is not the result of an innate love of literature, or the ambition of excelling his compeers, but a cold, stiff, and formal desire to collect together materials for the storehouse of his memory, that will enable him to pursue his interested views and future operations on society with every prospect of success. Genius has no participation in his studies: his knowledge of Greek and Latin is grammatical and pedantic; he reads Livy, Tacitus, Sallust, Caesar, Xenophon, Thucydides, in their original language; boasts of his learning with a haughty mien and scornful look of self-importance, and thinks this school-boy exercise of memory, this mechanism of the mind, is to determine the line between genius and stupidity; and has never taken into consideration that the mere linguist, destitute of native powers, with his absurd parade of scholastic knowledge, is a solitary barren plant, when opposed to the higher occupations of the mind, to the flights of fancy, the daring combinations of genius, and the sublime pictures of imagination. Dick is an isolated being, a book-worm, who never embarks in any party of pleasure, from the fear of expense; he has no talents for general conversation, while his ridiculous affectation of learning subjects him to a constant and annoying fire from the batteries of Etonian wit. Still, however, Dick perseveres in his course, till his blanched cheeks and cadaverous aspect, from close study and want of proper exercise, proclaim the loss of health, and the probable establishment of some pulmonary affection that may, before he scarcely reaches maturity, blight the ambitious hopes of his father, and consign ~38~~ the son "to that bourne from whence no traveller returns."

Horatio Heartly. At the lower end of the room, observe a serene-looking head displaying all the quiet character of a youthful portrait by the divine Raphael, joined to the inspiring sensibility which flashes from the almost breathing countenance and penetrating brilliancy of eye, that distinguishes a Guido. That is my bosom friend, my more than brother, my mentor and my guide. Horatio is an orphan, the son of a general officer, whose crimsoned stream of life was dried up by an eastern sun, while he was yet a lisping infant. His mother, lovely, young, and rich in conjugal attachment, fell a blighted corse in early widowhood, and left Horatio, an unprotected bud of virtuous love, to the fostering care of Lady Mary Oldstyle, a widowed sister of the general's, not less rich in worldly wealth than in true benevolence of heart, and the celestial glow of pure affection. Heartly is a happy combination of all the good-humoured particles of human nature blended together, with sense, feeling, and judgment. Learned without affectation, and liberal without being profuse, he has found out the secret of attaching all the school to himself, without exciting any sensation of envy, or supplanting prior friendships. Horatio is among the alumni of Eton the king of good fellows: there is not a boy in the school, colleger, or oppidan, but what would fight a long hour to defend him from insult; no—nor a sparkling eye among the enchanting daughters of old Etona that does not twinkle with pleasure at the elegant congee, and amiable attentions, which he always pays at the shrine of female accomplishment. Generous to a fault, his purse—which the bounty of his aunt keeps well supplied—is a public bank, pro bono publico. His parties to sock are always distinguished by an excellent selection, good taste, and superior style. In all the varied school sports and pastimes, his manly form and vigorous constitution gain him a superior ~39~~ station among his compeers, which his cheerful disposition enables him to turn to general advantage. Nor is he in less estimation with the masters, who are loud in their praises of his assiduity and proficiency in school pursuits. Horatio is not exactly a genius: there is nothing of that wild eccentricity of thought and action which betokens the vivid flights of imagination, or the meteoric brightness of inspiration; his actions are distinguished by coolness, intrepidity, and good sense. He does not pretend to second sight, or a knowledge of futurity; but on the present and the past there are few who can reason with more cogency of remark, or with more classic elegance of diction: with such a concentration of qualities, it is not wonderful that his influence extends through every gradation of the juvenile band. His particular attachments are not numerous; but those who have experienced the sincerity of his private friendship must always remain his debtor—from deficiency of expression; among the most obliged of whom is—the author.

Bob Transit. Bob has no fixed situation; therefore it would be in vain to attempt to say where he may be found: sometimes he is placed next to Bernard, and between him and Heartly, with whom he generally associates; at other times he takes his situation at the side table, or fills up a spare corner opposite to Dick Gradus, or the exquisite, either of whom he annoys, during dinner, by sketching their portraits in caricature upon the cover of his Latin Grammar, with their mouths crammed full of victuals, or in the act of swallowing hot pudding: nor does the dame sometimes escape him; the whole table have frequently been convulsed with laughter at Bob's comic representation of Miss ————'s devout phiz, as exhibited during the preparatory ceremony of a dinner grace: the soul of whim, and source of fun and frolic, Bob is no mean auxiliary to a merry party, or the exhilarating pleasure of a broad grin. ~40~~ Bob's admiral is an R.A. of very high repute; who, having surmounted all the difficulties of obscure origin and limited education, by the brilliancy of his talents, has determined to give his son the advantage of early instruction and liberal information, as a prelude to his advancement in the arts. Talent is not often hereditary (or at least in succession); but the facility of Transit's pencil is astonishing: with the rapidity of a Fuseli he sketches the human figure in all its various attitudes, and produces in his hasty drawings so much force of effect and truth of character, that the subject can never be mistaken. His humour is irresistible, and is strongly characterized by all the eccentricity and wit of a Gilhay, turning the most trifling incidents into laughable burlesque. Between him and Horace Eglantine there exists a sort of copartnership in the sister arts of poetry and painting: Horace rhymes, and Bob illustrates; and very few in the school of any note have at one time or other escaped this combination of epigram and caricature. Bob has an eye to real life, and is formed for all the bustle of the varied scene. Facetious, witty, and quaint, with all the singularity of genius in his composition, these juvenile jeux d'esprits of his pencil may be regarded as the rays of promise, which streak with golden tints the blushing horizon of the morn of youth.

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