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which had caused so much anxiety to the authorities and to myself, was left unread.
I recollect one pleasant incident which took place that evening. My friend Amyot introduced me to Theodore Hook, then a newlyelected Fellow. After a little pleasant talk we parted, and I secured a back seat which, being elevated, gave me a good view of the whole room, which was, of course, very crowded. Presently Hook returned to me and asked if I could see Planche anywhere in the room. At that time it was not my good fortune to have made the acquaintance of that pleasant and accomplished gentleman, and I told Hook so; adding, with a view to looking out for him, the inquiry, "What sort of man is he?'
Short,' replied Hook, and bald. He used to cut his hair ; but now his hair has cut him.'
This is the first bit of humour I ever heard fresh from the lips of Theodore Hook; but not the last by many.
On the following Thursday my paper on 'Shakespeare in Germany' was read. Hook was again present; and at its conclusion came and expressed himself much interested in and pleased with it; and begged me not to let it be buried in the Archæologia, but to let him print it in the New Monthly Magazine, which would bring it before many readers who would appreciate it. I readily availed myself of his offer; and it accordingly appeared there, having undergone such necessary modifications as to suit it for the more popular class of readers than those to whom it was originally addressed.
On my way to Somerset House on Thursday evenings I often strolled into the courts abutting on Drury Lane Theatre where old bookstalls abounded. On one of these explorations I picked up a curious little Jest Book, the title of which I do not recollect, nor the precise date, but it was soon after the accession of the House of Hanover, as proved by one of the jests in it, which told how a bumptious, ignorant justice of the peace scolded his clerk for dating an official document Anno Domini, 'You ought to be ashamed of yourself! Don't you know Queen Anne is dead? write Georgio Domini.'
Having, when I arrived at Somerset House, shown my prize to Theodore Hook, he was so much amused with it, that I offered to lend it to bim as soon as I had myself read it, an offer which he very readily accepted ; and I took an early opportunity of forwarding it to him, suggesting that, if he saw in it materials for a paper in the New Monthly, he was heartily welcome to use it for that purpose. I eventually gave it to him, and when his books were sold after his death, a year or two later, seeing it in the catalogue I sent up a commission to repurchase it; but a jest book which had belonged to Theodore Hook fetched twice the sum which I had authorised my agent to go to, although I had made up my mind to give half a guinea for what I had originally picked up for two shillings or half-a-crown. Vol. X.-No. 58.
The following letter from this clever and kindhearted man, of which I will give a curious instance presently, may interest the reader.
Fulham, Thursday. Dear Sir,- A few days since I gave our excellent friend, Mr. Amyot, a proof of your letter to him on Shakespeare, which stands for insertion in January N. and M. Magazine. Had I not been prevented by indisposition which keeps me at home, I should have been at Somerset House this evening, and anticipated the pleasure of getting the revised proof from yourself. Not being able to go there, will you let me beg you to return it to me addressed hither, where I stay as much as I can in the wintry weather, when to me London is so killing. The sooner it comes the better for business.
Thanks for the sight of your jester;' some of the items are capital, but I feel in these days we must sift and dilute to such an extent as to render the dish at last insipid. I remember when I was a boy hearing old Mr. Sheridan, who had come to the Theatre to see Congreve's Love for Love, complain of the modifications’in the dialogue; to whom Mr. Wroughton, who was then manager, replied that it was absolutely necessary to qualify the licentiousness of the language, and suit the delicate taste of the play-going public. If that's the case,' said Mr. Sheridan, don't act the plays at all. Congreve's plays are like horses, eradicate their vice, and you destroy their vigour.'
So I suspect in the instance of your "jester,' which I will take care and return safe to you the first opportunity. With many thanks for your communication, believe me, dear Sir,
THEODORE E. HOOK.
It was, if I remember rightly, on the following St. George's Day, the anniversary of the Society of Antiquaries, that I had the good fortune to find myself seated at the annual dinner at Freemasons’ Tavern, vis-à-vis to Theodore Hook, and several congenial spirits. It was a delightful evening, although at this distance I only remember a few of the incidents. One was that Lord Aberdeen, in proposing the memory of Shakespeare, or some similar toasts, referred to the controversy then raging warmly as to the correct spelling of the poet's name, which brought up a long dry speech from John Britton, who, from his once connection with the Stratford Bust, never allowed a reference to Shakespeare without volunteering an address upon it. As soon as he sate down, there was a call for Theodore Hook, which was so strongly persisted in that at last he rose. His rising hushed the busy hum, which was changed into a roar when he briefly recorded his views in these few laconic words : ‘My Lords and Gentlemen, I am a true Britton!'
In the course of the evening the President gave the University of Oxford, with which many of the Fellows connected the name of Dr. Bliss (the learned Librarian of the Bodleian and editor of Anthony Wood's Athene Aconisum), who was present, but old Sir Robert Inglis, who, being member for the University, never failed to assert his connection with it, made the necessary response.
When the President, having gone through the arranged lines of toasts, vacated the chair and retired accompanied by many of the graver antiquaries, the worthy Treasurer, Amyot, took his place, and the cross table was filled by congenial spirits ; he very soon proposed the Bodleian Library, coupling with it the name of Dr. Philip Bliss. Theodore Hook drank the toast in an amended and very effective form, 'THE MANSION OF Bliss.'
The mention of the name of my kind and learned friend reminds me that one of my small indirect services to literature was my having influenced the Principal of St. Mary's Hall in 1856 to bring to completion the edition of the Reliquiæ Hearniance which he had committed to the press some forty years before, but what, after nearly 600 pages had been completed, he had been compelled by pressure of official duties to discontinue. Among several letters from Dr. Bliss which I have bound up in the copy of his edition of Hearne's Diary which he kindly gave me, I find one dated the 10th of July, 1856, in which he says >
I printed 544 pages of the work which is now in the warehouse ; 50 large paper, 150 small; whether I shall ever live, or if I do live, have courage to finish it remains to be seen.
In a subsequent letter, dated the 3rd of January, 1857, Dr. Bliss writes to me:
You may consider yourself responsible to the public for the appearance of the book, as it was owing to your letter I summoned courage to complete it; but for that the whole impression up to page 576 would have rotted in the warehouse, or tied up
And in another dated the 12th of January, 1857:
You induced me to perfect the book; for it seemed to me unjust to deprive you of the benefit of the remarks, and keep those I had copied in my own useful hands; and my good friend at Bodley seemed to consider these my property, and throw cold water on any interference.
The Reliquiæ Hearnianæ had only been issued to the public for a few months when its kind and accomplished editor-namely, on the 18th of November, 1857—died, to the deep regret of all who had the pride and pleasure to number Philip Bliss among their personal friends. Twelve
later Mr. Russell Smith issued a new edition of this charming book in his Library of Old Authors, with some additions to Hearne's own remains and the late Beriah Botfield's Bibliotheca Hearneana.
Time once complained to Thomas Hearne,
A few words more--and those of thanks to old friends and correspondents, who have kindly urged me to continue my Gossip;'and, in return, let me beg their help to procure me, if not the possession, at least the perusal, of a worthless little book which I have been looking for in vain for some years. It is entitled the Book, 01 Procrastinate Memoirs. An historical romance, 12mo, 1812. It was written by Mrs. Serres ; but I do not know whether her name appears on the title. I have many editions of the Book relating to the Princess of Wales, but none bearing date of 1812. I believe the work just named is the only one called the Book dated in 1812.
WILLIAM J. THOMS.
THE POSITION OF THE WHIGS.
THE present moment is one in which politicians of all shades may fitly take stock of their position and make the most of the breathing time which is allowed them in the interval of comparative repose which must elapse before the beginning of the next session. The Whigs, however, must find their task the hardest one. The Conservatives have a definite object before them; elated by recent victories, and well aware of the difficulties under which the Government is labouring, they are prepared to aggravate any existing discontent, and take advantage of every division in the ranks of their opponents. Sir Stafford Northcote bas profited by Admiral Duncombe's exhortation, and is determined that his party shall not complain of his want of go,' while the local organisations which, previous to last year's election, had been neglected, are now making great efforts to retrieve their former position. The Radicals, on the other hand, are equally alert, know equally well what they want, are skilfully led and organised, and gain every year fresh means and facilities of concentrating their power in any one given direction.
The Whigs occupy the place of the blank leaf between the Old and New Testaments, to use Sheridan's simile, and would find it very hard to formulate their wishes or give honest expression to their opinions. They are continually being told by the Quarterly Review and other organs of the Tories that their position is a false one, that they have all to lose and nothing to gain by their association with the Radicals, and that it is their duty to secede at once and save the Constitution from the attacks impending upon it. Their blindness is inveighed against, and they are asked whether for the sake of a little office it is worth while to lose the causas vivendi. The Tory monitor knows, however, well that he has raised the cry so often, that his warnings are apt to be regarded as a false alarm, and that the Whig, secure in the recollection of previous difficulties surmounted, will reject his advances and rest easy in the pleasant conviction that as things have been so will they be, and that no ordering of the universe is probable which does not make a satisfactory provision for the comfort of Whigs. If promises to re-constitute everything on a new basis have been extracted from him during a general election, the occasion was one of great excitement, and many winged words were