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me, had distinguished Pope and Dryden, thus : at the close of 1820. Its specific and real object * Pope drives a handsome chariot, with a couple was to slander unfortunate Queen Caroline and to of neat, trim nags; Dryden, a coach and six stately torment, stigmatise, and blacken “the Brandenhorses.' Johnson: “Why, sir, the truth is, they burg House party," as her honest sympathisers both drive coaches and six, but Dryden's horses were called. Theodore Hook was chosen editor, are either galloping or stumbling ; Pope's go at because he knew society, was quick, witty, 'satirical, a steady, even trot.' He said of Goldsmith's and thoroughly unscrupulous. For his “splendid 'Traveller,' which had been published in my abuse "-as his biographer, the unreverend Mr.

—as absence, 'There's not been so fine a poem since Barham, calls it-he received the full pay of a Pope's time.' Dr. Johnson at the same time greedy hireling. Tom Moore and the Whigs favoured me by marking the lines which he fur- now met with a terrible adversary. Hook did not nished to Goldsmith's 'Deserted Village,' which hew or stab, like Churchill and the old rough are only the last four :

lampooners of earlier days, but he filled crackers

with wild fire, or laughingly stuck the enemies • That trade's proud empire hastes to swift decay,

of George IV. over with pins. Hook had only As ocean sweeps the labour'd mole away; While self-dependent power can time defy,

a year before returned from the Treasuryship As rocks resist the billows and the sky.'

of the Mauritius, charged with a defalcation of

£12,000—the result of the grossest and most At night I supped with him at the 'Mitre' tavern, culpable neglect. Hungry for money, as he that we might renew our social intimacy at the had ever been, he was eager to show his zeal original place of meeting. But there was now con- for the master who had hired his pen. Hook siderable difference in his way of living. Having and Daniel Terry, the comedian, joined to start had an illness, in which he was advised to leave off the new satirical paper ; but Miller, a publisher in wine, he had, from that period, continued to abstain the Burlington Arcade, was naturally afraid of from it, and drank only water or lemonade.” libel, and refused to have anything to do with the

“Mr. Beauclerk and I,” says Boswell, in another new venture. With Miller, as Hook said in his place, “called on him in the morning. As we clever, punning way, all argument in favour of it walked up Johnson's Court, I said, I have a proved Newgate-ory. Hook at first wanted to veneration for this court,' and was glad to find start a magazine upon the model of Blackwood, that Beauclerk had the same reverential enthu- but the final decision was for a weekly newspaper, siasm." The Doctor's removal Boswell thus duly to be called John Bull, a title already discussed for chronicles :—“Having arrived," he says, “in a previous scheme by Hook and Elliston. The London late on Friday, the 15th of March, 1776, first number appeared on Saturday, December 16, I hastened next morning to wait on Dr. Johnson, 1820, in the publishing office, No. 11, Johnson's at his house, but found he was removed from Court. The modest projectors only printed seven Johnson's Court, No. 7, to Bolt Court, No. 8, hundred and fifty copies of the first number, but the still keeping to his favourite Fleet Street. My sale proved considerable. By the sixth week the reflection at the time, upon this change, as marked sale had reached ten thousand weekly. The first in my journal, is as follows: 'I felt a foolish five numbers were reprinted, and the first two regret that he had left a court which bore his actually stereotyped. name; but it was not foolish to be affected with Hook's favourite axiom-worthy of such a some tenderness of regard for a place in which satirist—was “that there was always a concealed I had seen him a great deal, from whence I had wound in every family, and the point was to strike often issued a better and a happier man than when exactly at the source of pain.” Hook's clerical I went in; and which had often appeared to my elder brother, Dr. James Hook, the author of imagination, while I trod its pavement in the Pen Owen” and other novels, and afterwards solemn darkness of the night, to be sacred to Dean of Worcester, assisted him; but Terry was wisdom and piety.'

too busy in what Sir Walter Scott, his great friend Johnson was living in Johnson's Court when he and sleeping partner, used to call “ Terryfying the was introduced to George III., an interview in novelists by not very brilliant adaptations of their which he conducted himself, considering he was works.” Dr. Maginn, summoned from Cork to an ingrained Jacobite, with great dignity, self- edit a newspaper for Hook (who had bought up respect, and good sense.

two dying newspapers for the small expenditure of That clever, but most shameless and scurrilous, three hundred guineas), wrote only one article for paper, John Bull, was started in Johnson's Court, the Bull. Mr. Haynes Bayley contributed some of

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Fleet Street Tributaries.)

HOOK'S IMPUDENCE.

III

his graceful verses, and Ingoldsby (Barham) some

“MR. THEODORE HOOK. of his rather ribald fun. The anonymous editor of “The conceit of some people is amazing, and it John Bull became for a time as much talked about has not been unfrequently remarked that conceit as "Junius” in earlier times. By many witty is in abundance where talent is most scarce.

Our James Smith was suspected, but his fun had not readers will see that we have received a letter from malignity enough for the Tory purposes of those Mr. Hook, disowning and disavowing all connecbitter days. Latterly Hook let Alderman Wood tion with this paper. Partly out of good nature, alone, and set all his staff on Hume, the great and partly from an anxiety to show the gentleman economist, and the Hon. Henry Grey Bennett. how little desirous we are to be associated with

Several prosecutions followed, says Mr. Barham, him, we have made a declaration which will that for libel on the Queen among the rest; but the doubtless be quite satisfactory to his morbid grand attempt on the part of the Whigs to crush the sensibility and affected squeamishness. We are paper was not made till the 6th of May, 1821. A free to confess that two things surprise us in this short and insignificant paragraph, containing some business : the first, that anything which we have observations upon the Hon. Henry Grey Bennett, thought worth giving to the public should have a brother of Lord Tankerville, was selected for been mistaken for Mr. Hook's; and, secondly attack, as involving a breach of privilege ; in con- that such a person as Mr. Hook should think sequence of which the printer, Mr. H. F. Cooper, himself disgraced by a connection with John the editor, and Mr. Shackell were ordered to Bull." attend at the bar of the House of Commons. A For sheer impudence this, perhaps, may be long debate ensued, during which Ministers made admitted to “defy competition”; but in point of as fair a stand as the nature of the case would admit tact and delicacy of finish it falls infinitely short of in behalf of their guerrilla allies, but which termi-a subsequent notice, a perfect gem of its class, nated at length in the committal of Cooper to added by way of clenching the denial :Newgate, where he was detained from the 11th of “ We have received Mr. Theodore Hook's May till the 11th of July, when Parliament was second letter. We are ready to confess that we prorogued.

may have appeared to treat him too uncereMeanwhile the most strenuous exertions were moniously, but we will put it to his own feelings made to detect the real delinquents-for, of course, whether the terms of his denial were not, in some honourable gentlemen were not to be imposed degree, calculated to produce a little asperity on upon by the unfortunate "men of straw" who our part. We shall never be ashamed, however, to had fallen into their clutches, and who, by the do justice, and we readily declare that we meant way, suffered for an offence of which their judges no kind of imputation on Mr. Hook's personal and accusers openly proclaimed them to be not character.” only innocent, but incapable. The terror of im- The ruse answered for awhile, and the paper prisonment and the various arts of cross-examina- went on with unabated audacity. tion proving insufficient to elicit the truth, recourse The death of the Queen, in the summer of 1821, was had to a simpler and more conciliatory mode produced a decided alteration in the tone and of treatment-bribery. The storm had failed to temper of the paper. In point of fact, its occupaforce off the editorial cloak—the golden beams tion now gone.

The main, if not the sole, were brought to bear upon it. We have it for object of its establishment had been brought about certain that an offer was made to a member of by other and unforeseen events. The combination the establishment to stay all impending proceed it had laboured so energetically to thwart was now ings, and, further, to pay down a sum of £500 dissolved by a higher and resistless agency. Still, on the names of the actual writers being given it is not to be supposed that a machine which up. It was rejected with disdain, while such brought in a profit of something above £4,000 were the precautions taken that it was impossible per annum, half of which fell to the share of Hook, to fix Hook, though suspicion began to be was to be lightly thrown up, simply because its awakened, rith any share in the concern. In original purpose was attained. The dissolution of order, also, to cross the scent already hit off, the “ League” did not exist then as a precedent. and announced by sundry deep-mouthed pursuers, The Queen was no longer to be feared ; but there the following “Reply”-framed upon the prin- were Whigs and Radicals enough to be held in ciple, we presume, that in literature, as in love, check, and, above all, there was a handsome everything is fair-was thrown out in an early income to be realised. number :

'Latterly Hook's desultory nature made him

wander from the Bull, which might have furnished a mere respectable club-house and party organ.” the thoughtless and heartless man of pleasure with “Mr. Hook," says Barham, "received to the day an income for life. The paper naturally lost sap and of his death a fixed salary, but the proprietorship vigour, at once declined in sale, and sank into had long since passed into other hands.”

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Dr. Johnson in Bolt Court—His motley Household–His Life there—Still existing-The gallant “ Lumber roop"-Reform Bill Riots-Sir

Claudius Hunter-Cobbett in Bolt Court-The Bird Boy-The Private Soldier-In the House-Dr. Johnson in Gough Square-Busy at the Dictionary-Goldsmith in Wine Office Court-Selling "The Vicar of Wakefield"-Goldsmith's Troubles-Wine Office Court The Old “Cheshire Cheese."

Of all the nooks of London associated with the yellow leaf, not, like Macbeth, with the loss of memory of that good giant of literature, Dr. John- honour, but with love, obedience, troops of friends, son, not one is more sacred to those who love and golden opinions from all sorts of people. His that great and wise man than Bolt Court. To this Titanic labour, the Dictionary, he had achieved monastic court Johnson came in 1776, and re-chiefly in Gough Square; his “Rasselas”- that mained till that December day in 1784, when a grave and wise Oriental story—he had written in a procession of all the learned and worthy men who few days, in Staple's Inn, to defray the expenses of honoured him followed his body to its grave in the his mother's funeral. In Bolt Court he, however, Abbey, near the feet of Shakespeare and by the produced his “Lives of the Poets,” a noble comside of Garrick. The great scholar, whose ways pendium of criticism, defaced only by the bitter and sayings, whose rough hide and tender heart, Tory depreciation of Milton, and injured by the are so familiar to us—thanks to that faithful parasite insertion of many worthless and the omission of who secured an immortality by getting up behind several good poets. his triumphal chariot -came to Bolt Court from It is pleasant to think of some of the events Johnson's Court, whither he had fitted from that happened while Johnson lived in Bolt Court. Inner Temple Lane, where he was living when the Here he exerted himself with all the ardour of his young Scotch barrister who was afterwards his nature to soothe the last moments of that wretched biographer first knew him. His strange household man, Dr. Dodd, who was hanged for forgery. From of fretful and disappointed almspeople seems as well Bolt Court he made those frequent excursions to known as our own. At the head of these pen- the Thrales, at Streatham, where the rich brewer sioners was the daughter of a Welsh doctor, (a blind and his brilliant wife gloried in the great London old lady named Williams), who had written some lion they had captured. To Bolt Court came Johntrivial poems ; Mrs. Desmoulins, an old Stafford-son's friends Reynolds and Gibbon, and Garrick, shire lady, her daughter, and a Miss Carmichael. and Percy, and Langton ; but poor Goldsmith had The relationships of these fretful and quarrelsome died before Johnson left Johnson's Court. Το old maids Dr. Johnson has himself sketched, in a Bolt Court he stalked home the night of his letter to Mr. and Mrs. Thrale :-" Williams memorable quarrel with Dr. Percy, no doubt rehates everybody; Levett hates Desmoulins, and gretting the violence and boisterous rudeness does not love Williams; Desmoulins hates them with which he had attacked an amiable and gifted both ; Poll (Miss Carmichael) loves none of them.” man. From Bolt Court he walked to service at This Levett was a poor eccentric apothecary, whom St. Clement's Church on the day he rejoiced in Johnson supported, and who seems to have been comparing the animation of Fleet Street with the a charitable man.

desolation of the Hebrides. It was from Bolt The annoyance of such a menagerie of singular Court Boswell drove Johnson to dine with General oddities must have driven Johnson more than ever Paoli, a drive memorable for the fact that on to his clubs, where he could wrestle with the best that occasion Johnson uttered his first and only intellects of the day, and generally retire vic- recorded pun. torious. He had done nearly all his best work Johnson was at Bolt Court when the Gordon Riots by this time, and was sinking into the sere and broke out, and he describes them to Mrs. Thrale.

Fleet Street Tributaries. ]

DR. JOHNSON'S DEATH.

113

Boswell gives a pleasant sketch of a party at Bolt diction upon the daughter of a friend who came to Court, when Mrs. Hall (a sister of Wesley) was ask his blessing. there, and Mr. Allen, a printer; Johnson pro- Some years before Dr. Johnson's death, when duced his silver salvers, and it was “a great the poet Rogers was a young clerk of literary proday.” It was on this occasion that the conversa- clivities at his father's bank, he one day stole surtion fell on apparitions, and Johnson, always reptitiously to Bolt Court, daringly to show some of superstitious to the last degree, told the story of his fledgeling poems to the great Polyphemus of hearing his mother's voice call him one day at literature. He and young Maltby, the father of Oxford (probably at a time when his brain was over the late Bishop of Durham, crept blushingly through worked). On this great occasion also, Johnson, the quiet court, and on arriving at the sacred door talked at by Mrs. Hall and Mrs. Williams at the on the west side, ascended the steps and knocked same moment, gaily quoted the line from the at the door ; but the awful echo of that knocker Beggar's Opera,

struck terror to the young débutants' hearts, and

before Frank Barber, the Doctor's old negro foot“But two at a time there's no mortal can bear,"

man, could appear, the two lads, like street-boys and Boswell playfully compared the great man who had perpetrated a mischievous runaway knock, to Captain Macheath. Imagine Mrs. Williams, old took to their heels and darted back into noisy and peevish ; Mrs. Hall, lean, lank, and preachy; Fleet Street. Mr. Jesse, who has collected so Johnson, rolling in his chair like Polyphemus at a many excellent anecdotes, some even original, in debate; Boswell, stooping forward on the per- his three large volumes on "London's Celebrated petual listen ; Mr. Levett, sour and silent; Frank, Characters and Places," says that the elder Mr. the black servant, proud of the silver salvers—and Disraeli, singularly enough, used in society to reyou have the group as in a picture.

late an almost similar adventure as a youth. Eager In Bolt Court we find Johnson now returning for literary glory, but urged towards the counter from pleasant dinners with Wilkes and Garrick, by his sober-minded relations, he enclosed some Malone and Dr. Burney; now sitting alone over of his best verses to the celebrated Dr. Johnson, his Greek Testament, or praying with his black and modestly solicited from the terrible critic an servant, Frank. We like to picture him on that opinion of their value. Having waited some time Good Friday morning (1783), when he and Boswell, in vain for a reply, the ambitious Jewish youth returning from service at St. Clement's, rested on at last, December 13, 1784, resolved to face the the stone seat at the garden-door in Bolt Court, lion in his den, and rapping tremblingly (as his pretalking about gardens and country hospitality. decessor, Rogers), heard with dismay the knocker

Then, finally, we come to almost the last scene echo on the metal. We may imagine the feelings of all, when the sick man addressed to his kind of the young votary at the shrine of learning, physician, Brocklesby, that pathetic passage of when the servant (probably Frank Barber), who Shakespeare's,

slowly opened the door, informed him that Dr. “ Canst thou not minister to a mind diseased ; Johnson had breathed his last only a few short Pluck from the memory a rooted sorrow;

hours before. Raze out the written troubles of the brain ;

Mr. Timbs reminds us of another story of Dr. And with some sweet oblivious antidote

Johnson, which will not be out of place here. It Cleanse the stuffed bosom of that perilous stuff

is an excellent illustration of the keen sagacity and Which weighs upon the heart ?"

forethought of that great man's mind. One evening Round Johnson's dying bed gathered many wise Dr. Johnson, looking from his dim Bolt Court and good men. To Burke he said, “I must be window, saw the slovenly lamp-lighter of those in a wretched state indeed, when your company days ascending a ladder (just as Hogarth has would not be a delight to me." To another friend drawn him in the “Rake's Progress"), and fill the he remarked solemnly, but in his old grand manner, little receptacle in the globular lamp with detestable "Sir, you cannot conceive with what acceleration whale-oil. Just as he got down the ladder the dull I advance towards death.” Nor did his old vehe- light wavered out. Skipping up the ladder again, mence and humour by any means forsake him, for the son of Prometheus lifted the cover, thrust the he described a man who sat up to watch him torch he carried into the heated vapour rising "as an idiot, sir; awkward as a turnspit when first from the wick, and instantly the ready flame put into the wheel, and sleepy as a dormouse.” sprang restored to life. “Ah," said the old seer, His remaining hours were spent in fervent prayer. “ one of these days the streets of London will be The last words he uttered were those of bene- lighted by smoke."

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Johnson's house (No. 8), according to Mr. Noble, been founded—sic itur ad astra. The back room, was not destroyed by fire in 1819, as Mr. Timbs first floor, in which the great man died, had been and other writers assert. The house destroyed was pulled down by Mr. Bensley, to make way for a Bensley the printer's (next door to No. 8), the staircase. Bensley was one of the first introducers successor of Johnson's friend, Allen, who in 1772 of the German invention of steam-printing. published Manning's Saxon, Gothic, and Latin At "Dr. Johnson's" tavern, established some half

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Dictionary, and died in 1780. In Bensley's destruc- a century ago, the well-known society of the tive fire all the plates and stock of Dallaway's “Lumber Troop” once drained their porter and “History of Sussex” were consumed. Johnson's held their solemn smokings. This gallant force of house, says Mr. Noble, was in 1858 purchased by supposititious fighting men “came out" with great the Stationers' Company, and fitted up as a school force during the Reform Riots of 1830. These (the fee, two pounds a quarter). In 1861 Mr. useless disturbances originated in a fussy, foolish Foss, Master of the Company, initiated a fund, warning letter, written by Sir John Key, Lord Mayor and since then eight university scholarships have elect (he was generally known in the City as Don

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