Abbildungen der Seite

d superintended

the mast was

ne artist. When Other ship they i

after long years en Stanfield was

Day.' Out of ose, we believe, Is which intro

cc genius of MI

to the public, to two veteran many London ce walking over per days, when ; Stanfield, like : Dickens took nager; 'Every ted, the parts

labour were long, and there were no compositors'
reading-rooms for leisure moments, he attacked a

Latin and Italian; rose at three in the morning
to construe Virgil and Livy, and passed stormy
hours with grammarians and glossaries before
he commenced work with the heavy leaders and
light sketches of the periodical press—the pro-
ductions of people enjoying fame and pay for
writings in which his quick eye detected the
weak points and the faded splendours. He be-
gan to scribble verse as soon as he learned to
write; and his sonnets, epigrams, and songs
appeared in the sixpenny magazines of the day.
He was then a mere boy, and looked, indeed,
like a child. An American writer, one of those
gentlemen from over sea who print Citizen of
the World on their cards and invent pen-and-ink
portraits of celebrities they have never spoken
with, once described him as a tiny man who
walked up the Strand fumbling his thunderbolts.
Tiny he was: and before his fine fell of hair
grisled into a lion's mane, he seemed almost
infantine in the delicate mould of his face and
the exquisite beauty of his expression. Em-
boldened by success, he wrote for the stage, to
which he felt a family call, and produced clouds
of pieces ere he was twenty-some of which
still keep the stage, like ‘More Frightened than


: More Hurt,' performed at Sadler's Wells. He engaged than Hurt.'

urned to shore, * fortune. He

court leading proprietors of 2 Working master in the rtheless only eans to somethe hours of


with Davidge, then manager of the Coburg, to produce pieces at a salary; and some of his plays at this time, hastily composed, and as he thought unworthy of his powers, appeared under the name of Mr. Henry Brownrig. In conse

quence of quarrels he went from the Coburg * Black-Eyed Theatre to the Surrey, with ‘Black-Eyed Susan'

in his hand. He had brought from the quarterdeck of the Namur a love of the sea and a knowledge of the service, which he turned to account on the stage and in his general writings. Salt air sweeps through these latter like a breeze and a perfume. “Black-Eyed Susan,' the most successful of his naval plays, was written when he was scarcely twenty years old,-a piece which made the fortune of the Surrey Theatre,—restored Elliston from a long course of disastrous mismanagement,—and gave honour and independence to T. P. Cooke. Indeed, no dramatic work of ancient or modern days ever reached the success of this play. It was performed, without break, for hundreds of nights. All London went over the water, and Cooke became a personage in society, as Garrick had been in the days of Goodman's Fields. Covent Garden borrowed the play, and engaged the actor, for an afterpiece. A hackney cab carried the triumphant William, in his blue jacket and white trousers, from the Obelisk to Bow Street; and

per of the Coburg, to
y; and some of his

composed, and as he
owers, appeared unda
Brownrig. In cons
nt from the Coburz

Black-Eyed Susan
ght from the quarter-
ce of the sea and a
which he turned to
his general writings
e latter like a breeze
ed Susan,' the most

Mayfair maidens wept over the strong situations
and laughed over the searching dialogue which
had moved an hour before the tears and merri-
ment of the Borough. On the 300th night of
representation the walls of the theatre were
illuminated, and vast multitudes filled the
thoroughfares. When subsequently reproduced
at Drury Lane it kept off ruin for a time even
from that magnificent misfortune. Actors and
managers throughout the country reaped a
golden harvest. Testimonials were got up for
Elliston and for Cooke on the glory of its suc- Jerrold's

ht. share of the
cess. But Jerrold's share of the gain was slight: 5
-about 70l......

"For many years he brooded over the thought of Punch. He even found a publisher-and a The penny wood-engravermand a suitable Punch appeared,

Punch. -but the publisher was less rich in funds than he in epigrams, and after five or six numbers the bantling died. Some time later, his son-inlaw, Mr. Mayhew, revived the thought,—and our merry companion-now of world-wide name

Punch, appeared. All the chief writings of our author mexcept A Man made of Money'-saw the light in magazines, and were written with the devil at the door. “Men of Character' appeared in Blackwood's Magazine,- The Chronicles of Clovernook' in the Illuminated Magazine, of which he was founder and editor,— St. Giles

3, was written when

old,-a piece which
urrey Theatre,-je-
ourse of disastrous
honour and inde
ideed, no dramatic
days ever reached
It was performed

of nights. All
ind Cooke became
crick had been in

Covent Garden ed the actor, for

carried the tri jacket and white Bow Street; and

and St. James' in the Shilling Magazine, of which he was also founder and editor,—and "The Story of a Feather,' 'Punch's Letters to his Son,' and 'The Caudle Lectures' in Punch. The exquisite gallery of Fireside Saints which appear in Punch's Almanack for the present year is from his hand...... .

“For seven years past he had devoted himself more exclusively than before to politics. Politics, indeed, had always attracted him as they attract the strong and the susceptible. In the dear old days when Leigh Hunt was sunning himself in Horsemonger Lane for calling George the Fourth

a fat Adonis of forty and the like crimes, he His first composed a political work-in a spirit which political work.

would probably in those days have sent him
to Newgate. The book was printed, but the
publishers lacked courage, and it was only to
be had in secret. Only a few copies are extant.
Of late years he had returned to politics; as a
writer for the Ballot under Mr. Wakley, and as
sub-editor of the Examiner under Mr. Fon-
blanque; returned to find his opinions popular
in the country and triumphant in the House of

Commons. Of his efforts as a journalist we need Lloyd's not speak. He found Lloyd's Newspaper, as it Newspaper.

were, in the street, and he annexed it to literature. He found it comparatively low in rank, and he spread it abroad on the wings of his genius,

[blocks in formation]

until its circulation became a marvel of the

"His fault as a man-if it be a fault-was a
too great tenderness of heart. He never could
say No. His purse—when he had a purse-
was at every man's service, as were also his
time, his pen, and his influence in the world. If
he possessed a shilling somebody would get six-
pence of it from him. He had a lending look,
of which many took advantage. The first time
he ever saw Tom Dibdin, that worthy gentleman Tom Dibdin.
and song-writer said to him-'Youngster, have
you sufficient confidence in me to lend me a
guinea ?'—'Oh, yes,' said the author of 'Black-
Eyed Susan,' 'I have all the confidence, but I
haven't the guinea. A generosity which knew
no limit--not even the limit at his bankers'—led
him into trials from which a colder man would
have easily escaped. To give all that he possessed
to relieve a brother from immediate trouble was
nothing; he as willingly mortgaged his future
for a friend as another man would bestow his
advice or his blessing.”

The funeral took place on Monday, the 15th Funeral of June, at Norwood cemetery, in the presence at Norwood. of between five and six thousand persons of all classes. The pall-bearers were Charles Dickens, Thackeray, Charles Knight, Mark Lemon, John Forster, W. Hepworth Dixon, Sir Joseph Paxton,

rit which

sent him

but the i only to e extant. ics, as a 5, and as

Ir. Fon

popular Jouse of we need

ter, as it


ik, and


« ZurückWeiter »