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THE TOBIAS CORRESPONDENCE.
FROM NESTOR GOOSEQUILL, ESQ. TO TOBIAS FLIMSY, ESQ., ON THE GENERAL
QUESTION OF EDITING NEWSPAPERS.
Ben Jonson's Head, Shoe Lane, Fleet Street,
Monday, 1st June 1840. Dear Tobias,-I have just received He is really a good fellow, though an your letter, which I hasten to answer, attorney, and lias done every thing though in reality I am any thing but for you that a man could, except sure that this will reach you, as you paying the costs out of pocket, for omit. have forgotten to send your address. iing which ceremony he had many I called at your last lodgings in Arun- reasons; and look after your fifteen del Street: the lady was so civil and or sixteen cases, from which he was attentive to your proceedings, that prevented by the accident of his being when I asked for your address, she on a visit in White Cross, which may said she wished she knew it. I saw be, and indeed is, a valuable seminary Tom Wilkinson of the Goat and Com. for learning the principles and pracpasses, and had a glass of brandy and tice of the debtor and crcditor law, water with him (cold), over which he but is remarkably unfavourable for mentioned to me that he supposed you locomotive exertion. He is out, howwould soon settle with him your last ever, now, and will attend to your year's bill. Of course I said you affairs as soon as he gets through a would ; and in order to show my opi. couple of dozen dinners with recently nion of your solvency, I ordered three emancipated Knights of the Cross, or four glasses of the same (hot for whom he assisted, by acceptances or him), which are put down to your otherwise, in their escape from the account. So far as that goes, all is Philistines. On the whole, he thinks satisfactory. That rascally snip, that there are not more than five exe. Smashton, who has been a bankrupt cutions against you, there may pos. some score of times, met me by chance, sibly be six, for there is no knowing and had the impudence to speak to me whether that infernal vagabond, Moses of something he says you owe him. I Abuddibus, has issued an Ex. for that really never was so disgusted in my sixty-one day bill you accepted for life, and, with what I trust is a pro. me last March two years, though I per degree of moral feeling, told the have promised to pay him six, ay, fellow that if you ever paid him a far- eight months ago, because ruffians like thing, I should be under the necessity him are never to be trusted, as they of cutting your society, for your not have no notion, like gentlemen, of appropriating the sum to the payment keeping their word: but say six exes, of his honest, his honourable, and his and that's all. There are seven or. ill-used creditors. I spoke to him in eight razor-strops- little Victorias by such a manner against the villany of the grace of God-besides, but they getting into debt, that if the scoundrel are only serviceable-so that's not at has any feeling-but no matter; I all pressing. . am sure, dear Tobias, you will never, As for the exes-by your conduct in this particular, First, as to paying Humphry Hocus reduce me to a predicament so dis- for the wine tressing to my feelings as cutting you. [This part of the letter is so comNever pay him, my dear fellow, pletely of a private nature, that we never-but I need not impress this cannot print it. It is sufficient to say, more strongly upon your just and the writer advises his correspondent discreet mind.
on the great impropriety of wasting Jack Random, I spent the evening his money in paying debts. He says with last Saturday: he tells me that he has known it to be the ruin of on looking over your cases, he does many a man. It is a worse propennot see what you have to apprehend. sity than gambling, he observes, bea
First, as to paying Humphry Hocus
2. TO TOBIAS FLIMSY, ESQ., ON THE GENERAL EDITING NEWSPAPERS.
Ben Jonson's Head, Shoe Lane, Fleet Street,
Monday, 1st June 1840.
and look after your ffteen
os sixteen cases, from which he w
couple of dozen dinners with recently
otherwise, in their escape from the all is
Philistines. On the whole, he thinks snip,
that there are not more than five ere. Erupt cutions against you—there may pos
. ance, sibly be six, for there is no knowing
whether that infernal vagabond, Moses m. I Abuddibus, has issued an Ex. for that i my sixty-one day bill you accepted for pro me last March two years
, though I
far- eight months ago, because ruffians like
are only serviceable--so that's not at
As for the exes
The Tobias Correspondence. cause gambling, though the practice pence to pay it, and get a rece is immoral, yet you may get some
full. I tendered her the money, thing by it; but in paying debts, the refused it, saying you owed her money is assuredly lost to you and and eightpence-partly for wa your heirs for ever, without any hope partly for quarterns which she g of equivalent.)
you. Finding the discrepancy in I called at Charley Owen's in the respective statements so mater Strand, and backed the tickets on could not do you the injustice of your watch and waistcoats, so that ing over the money to ber. they are safe for three months. As such circumstances, I though my money happened to be locked up best thing to do was to take it to at the time in some heavy speculations Lomas's, where Harry, Jack in the city, I took the liberty of selling Roe, Jemmy, and I drank it to one of your tickets to Charley, to raise health. Do you intend to pa the wind for keeping the rest out of eleven and eightpence? Perhaj danger. There was some money in had better, as it is unpleasant to your favour, on the strength of which a small balance hanging on a he and I and Mac dined at Dubourg's. these low people. If you will He behaved so civilly that I could not me eleven shillings, I think I ca do any thing less with common de. you the difference; and eightpen cency; and I am sure you will approve me tell you, is something to sa of it. You can draw a bill upon me of an account of this kind; and for the balance whenever you like, and should be cautious. If you thin when it is dishonoured, I will pay the there has been any imposition three and sixpence for noting with off, or even attempted upon yo pleasure. We had a remarkably not think of submitting to it. Sir agreeable evening, and as I was put ness in accounts is always best ting Owen into a cab at about three in trifles. in the morning, I took the precaution I tumbled upon Sloman in C of borrowing from him a ten-pound Garden by mere chance. He note and some loose silver, least he up to speak to me.
I was a might be robbed by the cabman. I somewhat impressed with the have observed with regret that the it was upon some business of my appointment of our mutual friend, but was much relieved when I Daniel Whittle Harvey, to the office it was upon yours. He fumb of jarvey-general has not effected any his pocket-book, as if looking considerable emendation in the lives writ; but, fortunately, the manu and characters of the tribes entrusted was not discoverable. He spc to his sceptre; nor do I think that the me in the kindest manner of yo missionary societies, successful as I perceived that he had se among Blacks, Hindoos, Jews, Qua man, after a confidential whis kers, and other heterodox sects, or the direction of Cursitor Stre pagans far off, have done any thing was not anxious to detain him material in introducing Christianity his business. I told him that among the cabs. I therefore deemed held over the writ he has again it no more than my duty to pay the in the case of Slapbang and Sw fare for Charley beforehand, although body, he might expect a sovere it amounted to a shilling, (eightpence and so no doubt he may. Be was the just fare, but I would not stand very hospitable man, he asked quarrelling with a swindling knave take share of a bottle of champ upon a trifle,) out of my own pocket. at his expense, at Evans's; i
Mother Phillips has your linen, but could wait, he said, until his m there seems to be a difference between turned. I consented; but as I you, which I cannot reconcile. You that it would occupy some ti say you have three shirts, five collars, swallowing the expensive wine and four pair of socks. She maintains mended by my disinterested fri that it is but two shirts, three col. Herne Bay, I preferred E lars, and two pair of socks, both in through a glass of gin and wate holes. I really cannot offer an opinion extreme rapidity, relieving M as to which is right; of course I main man from the necessity of tr tain it is you, but she is positive. As me, as he benevolently propose to the bill, the difference there is re. second. I passed the river TI markable. You sent me five and six by the noble bridge called aft
dis. for the wine
[This part of the letter is so com. W, pletely of a private nature, that we chiz cannot print it. It is suficient to say, and the writer advises his correspondent
on the great impropriety of wasting ng his money in paying debts. He says dat he has known it to be the ruin of
many a man. It is a worse propend. sity than gambling, he observes, bea
immortal battle of Waterloo, and, your credit, as to take your bill at ensconcing myself securely in the three months, though the postscript of Feathers, reflected upon the ease of a costs had swelled it to L. 18, 6s. 6d., snug situation in the southern latitudes. which you liquidated in the manner I thought of Tom Macaulay in the above mentioned. At what time, my East Indies, and called for a cheroot. dear friend, did these extraordinary As I sate in the end window enjoying events occur? You never mentioned a fine view of the Thames, I per a word to me about them. Seeing ceived that my friend Sloman and his that he was rather well. dressed, I companion were prowling about the suggested to him that now was the northern extremity of the bridge, time to show his gratitude: and he which, I assure you, was not one of exclaimed, in a fit of irrestrainable the least agreeable features in the enthusiasm, that there was nothing landscape. He particularly asked he would not do to serve you. I'd about your habitation, and I told him move heaven and earth," said he, that you had joined the Chinese expe- " to serve that man!" "Then,” said dition, and were at present, in all pror I, “send him a sovereign.” Any bability, outside the celebrated har- thing-ask me any thing but that," bour called by the English Canton, he said, with much vehemence," that but by native authorities Kwang, I cannot do.” On enquiring into the tchoo-foo-ht; and as you were to reason of his objection, he told me return as soon as the war was over, he that you had not inserted his name as might consider his sovereign as secure indebted to you in your schedule, and to him as if you had been in England; that paying you now would involve which I am certain is no more than him in a connivance with-pardon the plain truth. The only observa. me for saying the word—with perjury, tion which Sloman made on this con. . as you had sworn that you had in. sisted in a single word, which was serted all your credits. " It would “ gammon.” I cannot conceive what hurt the character of us both,” he he meant, nor how he, being a strict remarked, “if, by paying Tobias any professor of Hebrew theology, and a thing, he acknowledged that the sacred great rabbi among the Jews, can have obligation of an oath was violated or anything to say to pig's meat. I did trifled with.” It was in vain that I not, however, wait to enquire, feeling plied him with a couple of extra convinced that it was, after all, nothing bowls of punch. I could not get over but some low slang expression, such the tenderness of his religious scruples; as is to be expected from people of and, finally, I became so disgusted his low business, whose company I that I departed from the room without have always, therefore, most sedu. bidding him good-night. I was so lously avoided.
carried away by indignation, that it Sam Jones is not that fool you take was not until next morning I recolhim for. I wrote to him as you lected I had not settled the bill. On desired; and, to ensure bis punctus hastening to the Blue Posts to rectify ality, asked him to take a chop and a the error, I found that Sam, not hav. glass of grog with me at the Blue ing any thing in his waistcoat pockets, Posts in Cork Street-at my expense satisfied the waiters by the deposit of of course. He came to the minute; his waistcoat itself, besides his stock and, on my mentioning your name, and bandana ; all articles too costly broke out into the highest encomiums and quite out of taste for a fellow like upon you, and at one time was on the him. As the weather was remarkably point of shedding tears. I had no sultry, and Sam had been rather too notion of the extent of your kindness liberally applying “ hot and rebellious to him. You were taken, he told me, liquors to his blood," as the divine three times upon a cognovit, which Shakespeare has it, he must have felt you gave to satisfy an acceptance you considerably relieved by the removal had prudently lent him; and though of his stock and waistcoat, as he walkhis heart bled for you, he was obliged ed airily home in the cool of midnight. to leave you to settle the whole debt, As for the bandana, in his then state, costs and all, in the course of a couple it would probably have fallen into the of years. You had taken him out of hands of pickpockets, or loose women. the Marshalsea, he said, where he Seeing that every thing was much was locked up for L.3, 158.; and his safer as it stood, and not wishing to creditor had so high an opinion of disturb Sam's arrangements, I did not
accede to the request of the waiter to same for me, as I am sure you take possession of the goods, on pay- upon more than one occasion, ment of the bill. I am neither by already. inclination nor license a pawnbroker, Having thus, I think, plea to advance money on wearing apparel; arranged your private affairs, and, on the whole, even if they are now touch upon your future fur finally sold, which will probably be -- but in the very outset I am p the case, yet as they were articles not You tell me you have taken the suited to his manners, or his condition of editor of a newspaper, and se in life, and as it is to be feared that a little elated at the dignitythey were obtained in no very credit. tion, in esteeming which at its able manner, he is better without value I should have the more them. As for your money, give it up. means of ascertaining, if I haSam, I repeat it, is no fool, whatever your agreement, or knew the he may appear, and displays a consi. state of the stability of your ja derable degree of cunning in his But you do not tell me what the general dealings. I should think it is—where published—how bad would be no easy matter to make him or what politics ; and yet, leavi a dupe, or to play any tricks upon thus in the dark, you ask me him. I have found it so by experience. you sound practical advice, such
Though it is a visit not in conson say my long experience, and, ance with my usual habits, yet, to are pleased, dear Tobias, flatte oblige you, I called in the Edgeware to add, “ the diversified and as Road upon Sally. That girl, it is evi- ing scope of my undoubted abil dent, has a sincere regard for you. She admirably qualify me to offer." asked me most anxiously where you pleased to see you making that had gone ; and, on my informing her mark, not from the idle suggest that I could not tell, she stamped vanity, but because it shows a gracefully, or at all events, emphati- of rounding a sentence-not cally, upon the ground, and exclaimed melodiously, but with a dne fee that if she knew she would follow you the propriety of conciliating the all over England, and ferret you out: ber you mean to puff. Sherid an assertion which she confirmed with made his hero in the Critic give the solemnity of an oath. It is plea- ture upon pufling. Witty, no sant to witness these bursts of affection, and well to laugh at, as a thir especially when, as I believe is her play. But mind me
-when yo case, the solicitude about a lover is ren to puff any man, let it not be a dered more intense by the maternal collusive, or any other of the cat desire of supporting her offspring. The of Sheridan's friend. Do it st landlady, who, she told me, was a very forward : lay it on with a un feeling woman, barasses her every The public, if there is such a b week with her vulgar visits; and, she no more deceived in the one ca added, the circumstance of your not in the other—that is not the taking a formal leave of her on your humbug the public: but the departure the day before the half-year tickled, which is the main ob became due, gives the coarse creature the writer, or, at least, ought an opportunity of talking of your I think that the word “ admira want of politeness. In those classes a good word when used thus_ you may often observe a ridiculous at and-so said in his admirables tention to the forms and ceremonies my Lord So-and-so is ti of etiquette. As I wished to afford admirable man of his party“ Sally protection from these insults, conduct of Sir Blunderbuss I came to the resolution of taking so was admirable throughout,' up my quarters for the present in forth. It is almost as good a the Edgeware Road. The rooms, command as “ accommodate indeed, are small for two; but Sally days of Bardolph, and gene and I make ourselves as comfortable easy of exact definition. T
we can, without grumbling. I' the compliment of your lette know your generous mind will lead not as ministering to any fe you to regret that I should put myself self-gratulation, but as prov to so much inconvenience: but I do not you have obtained, or at leas regret what I do for a friend. In a the road of obtaining, the ma similar difficulty you would do the one branch of your profession
, and, your credit, as to take your bill at
in the three months, though the postscript of ase of a costs had swelled it to L. 18, 6s. 6d.
, Eitudes. which you liquidated in the manner
in the above mentioned. At what time, my heroot. dear friend, did these extraordinary ajoying events occur? You never mentioned
I per a word to me about them. Seeing and his that he was rather well-dressed, I out the suggested to him that now was the bridge, time to show his gratitude: and be one of exclaimed, in a fit of irrestrainable in the enthusiasm, that there was nothing
asked he would not do to serve you. "!! ld him move heaven and earth," said be,
" to serve that man!" "Then,” said all pro- I, “send him a sovereign.” Any d har- thing-ask me any thing but that," Canton, he said, with much vehemences that wang. I cannot do.” On enquiring into the ere to reason of his objection, he told me ver, he that you had not inserted his name as
secure indebted to you in your schedule, and gland; that paying you now would involve e than him in a connivance with-pardon me for saying the word—with perjury
, Eis con
as you had sworn that you had iv-
serted all your credits.
strict remarked, " if, by paying Tobias any
I did trifled with.” It was in vain that I eeling plied him with a couple of extra othing bowls of punch. I could not get over
such the tenderness of his religious scruples;
“ It would
ple of and, finally, I became so disgusted
carried away by indignation, that it
. lected I had not settled the bill. On netuhastening to the Blue Posts to rectify
the error, I found that Sam, not har. Blue
ing any thing in his waistcoat pockets, Denso
satisfied the waiters by the deposit of
his waistcoat itself, besides his stock ame, and bandana ; all'articles too costly jums
and quite out of taste for a fellow like o the him. As the weather was remarkably d no sultry, and Sam had been rather too Iness liberally applying " hot and rebellious A me, liquors to his blood," as the divine hich Shakespeare has it, he must have felt you considerably relieved by the removal ough of his stock and waistcoat, as he walkiged ed airily home in the cool of midnight. lebt, As for the bandana, in his then state, iple it would probably have fallen into the tof hands of pickpockets, or loose women.
he Seeing that every thing was much his safer as it stood, and not wishing to of disturb Sam's arrangements, I did not
But how am I to guide you in the No. VIII. (Foreign Affuirs) gives us midst of this thick and palpable ob- every thing in continental Europe, scure? Are you Tory, Whig, Radical, Asia, Africa, America, Australasia, Chartist, High Church, Low Church, Melville's Island, the kingdoms of No Church, Snob Church, Rob Church, Fife and Kerry, and other foreign Up Papist, Down Papist, Voluntary, parts; besides war, peace, bully, Involuntary, Intrusionist, Extrusion- sneak, threaten, skulk, palaver, protoist, Moderate, Immoderate? Are you col, and all the other weapons of di. in an agricultural district, or in a ma- plomacy. No. IX. (Government and nufacturing ? Slavery, or no slavery? No. XI. (Jobbing) embrace the mi. Currency solid, or currency paper ? nuter shades of Whig and Tory, in What are you? I know not. I have all their varied ramifications, and so no means of knowing; and yet you ask forth. I have omitted to make a se. me for advice to conduct your paper. parate category of humbug, because
I can only return a general answer, it is so mixed up with all these ques. and have therefore jotted down in an tions, (except No. XV.) that it would alphabetical order, that I may not be be difficult to disentangle it from the supposed unduly to prefer any one sub. general body, and manifestly unjust ject to another, what I think are the to allow that the trading professors of prominent, perhaps the exclusive, to any matter of public debate, by which pics to which the writer of leading money is to be made or notoriety obarticles may be called upon to address tained, excel, in the practice of that himself; and, to supply you with the inestimable science, their brother most appropriate manner of treating merchants in other departments of them on all sides, I have done so with merchandise. To business :impartiality. Tros Tyriusque mihi I. Catholics. I might have called -but I shall not continue the line, for them Papists, as those who like them I have some remarks upon the gene not are in the wont of doing, but that ral question elsewhere, when touching would have thrown them into the let. upon quotation, as practised by sena- ter P., so to come thirteenth in the tors and other persons of public ap series; or Roman Catholics, as the pearance.
compromisers, who boldly disregard The main topics, then, I take it, are the imputation of committing a bull, these :-
are in the habit of designating them, I. Catholics.
for that would have flung them into II. Corn.
R, about the sixteenth; and as I desire III. CURRENCY,
to have them first on my list, I take IV. DISSENT.
them by the name they give themV. EDUCATION.
selves.-(Let me here make a parenVI. FACTORIES.
thesis to observe, that I like them for VII. FINANCE,
their courage in taking the name. VIII. Foreign AFFAIRS. We sometimes hear people say, that IX. GOVERNMENT, at home Shakspeare, by asking " What's in a and in colonies.
name,” insinuates that there is nothing X. INTRUSION.
in it. These people are not wise, XI. JOBBING.
Tobias. It is not Shakspeare who XII. Libel.
says anything of the kind, unless we XIII. PERSONALITY.
set him down as responsible for every XIV. Poor Laws.
thing that he puts into the mouths of XV. Queen.
his characters. Shakspeare well knew XVI. REFORM.
that there was as much virtue in a XVII. SLAVE Trade.
name, as Lord Coke found in an &c.; XVIII. Trade, Free.
and when he makes Cassius assure his
confederate, that “ Brutus will start a All these are subdivisible into many spirit as soon as Cæsar,” he does it minor heads.
with the full assurance that Cassius is No. I.( Catholics) for example, opens to find out his mistake in the end. up the whole question of the quarrels Therefore commend I the Catholics and the politics connected with them for taking to themselves par excellence which have divided, what is in com- the sounding name. Depend upon it, mon parlance called the religious it tells somewhere, and that extensiveworld, some dozen generations of ar- ly.) I wish to put their article first ticulate or inarticulate speaking men. for this plain reason, viz., that I desire