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Wenzel, in the earlier part of his life, had been the pupil of my grandfather (the Chevalier Taylor), who, on hearing of the baron's extraordinary fame in London, privately hinted to him that when he was his pupil he had not discovered such docility as to promise so high a degree of professional repute. The baron, piqued at this remark, pointed to his shoes, which were decorated with brilliant diamonds. What answer the chevalier made I know not, but it was probably very sharp, as he was well known to excel in repartee.. Numerous must have been the jokes obliterated from the tablet of his memory. Pity that he did not collect the good things which had thus escaped his recollection, and publish them under the title of “ Unremembered Memorabilia ; or, the Forgotten Joe Miller.” We may depend upon the “capital hits," whose oblivion it would have commemorated.

Enough, however, and more than enough, were preserved in the “ Records of my Life," by the late John Taylor, Esquire, author of “ Monsieur Tonson," to make the volumes very pleasant reading, at least, for a graybeard contemporary like myself. Among the many advantages of old age, it is not the least that we can sit in our fireside corners, chew the cud of thought, and recall the pleasures, while we forget the dangers and anxieties of our by-gone years.

Youth lives in the future, age in the past, and I rather think we seniors have the best of it. When Taylor, for instance, showed me the room in old Slaughter's Coffee-house, where he had so often enjoyed merry meetings with Holman, Morton, Reynolds, Fawcett, and other boon companions, it was manifest that the actual occurrence of these symposia could hardly have been more delightful than their recollection, which was free, moreover, prehension of a morning head-ache. As his “Records” are not very widely known, I will glean from them two or three anecdotes that may not be uninteresting to the general reader.

The original of Kenney's Jeremy Diddler in the admirable farce of “ Raising the Wind,” was a man of the name of Bibb, who had once been an engraver, and after renouncing that occupation, without adopting any other, had contrived to support himself by borrowing half-crowns from all whom he could prevail upon to lend them, a practice which procured for him the nick name of "half-crown Bibb," and was supposed to have put in his pocket, first and last, not much less than 20001. His solicitations, however, were judiciously apportioned to the supposed means of his victims. When Taylor was young, and not very flourishing in circumstances, he met Bibb, and commenced a modest panegyric upon Dr. Johnson, whose death had been announced in the papers of that day, an eulogium which was quickly interrupted by the exclamation of—“Oh! never mind that old block head. Have you got such a thing as ninepence about you ?” The same party encountering Morton, the dramatist, after the success of one of his plays, and concluding that a prosperous author must have plenty of cash, ventured to ask him for the loan of a whole

Morton assured him that he had no more silver than three and sixpence, which the applicant readily accepted, of course, but said on parting,—“Remember, 1 intended to borrow a crown, so you owe me eighteen-pence.” Lewis, a provincial actor, and no relation to the celebrated comedian of

from all ap


. “Records," vol. i., p. 15.

Covent Garden, published a small volume of poems with the following motto :

The Muses forced me to besiege 'em,

Necessitas non habet legem. He was generally known by the title of “ The King of Grief,” as he had watery eyes, which made him always appear to be weeping, and was continually predicting misery to himself. Of this tristful grumbler, Taylor relates the following anecdote. “ Mr. Younger, who was a very friendly man, invited old Lewis to dine with him at Liverpool. Lewis declined the invitation, alleging the indifferent state of his attire. Mr. Younger desired him to go into the wardrobe of the theatre, and gave orders he should receive any suit of clothes that fitted him. As soon as he was properly accommodated, he rejoined Mr. Younger at dinner. After a few glasses of wine, which, instead of raising his spirits, depressed him, he began weeping. Mr. Younger, with great kindness, asked him the cause of his sudden grief — Why,' said he, is it not lamentable that such a man of genius as myself should be obliged to such a stupid fellow as you are for a suit of clothes, and a dinner?' Far from being offended, Mr. Younger only laughed at his ludicrous and untimely ingratitude."

Mr. James Cobb, whose operas and dramatic works were so long and so deservedly popular, was requested by Sheridan, after the destruction of Drury Lane Theatre, to write a prelude on the removal of the company of actors to the King's Theatre. This was done, Sheridan introducing one whimsical stroke. One of the characters describing the difficulty of removing the scenes, properties, &c., said there was so pelting a storm at the moment, that they were obliged to carry the rain under an umbrella.

Let me not record the name of James Cobb without a passing tribute of respect to his memory. During the latter years of his secretaryship to the East India Company I knew him well, and often shared the hospitalities which he so liberally dispensed in Russell-square, especially on the nights of a new piece at either of the theatres, when he invariably had a box. His better-half, who always accompanied him, was apt to be behind-hand with her toilet, and on one occasion, when the servant brought a message from his mistress that she would be down as soon as she had changed her cap, his master replied,

"Oh, if that's all, you may bring another bottle of port.”

Mr. Cobb was a man of business, a successful dramatist, a good musician, a pleasant companion, a warm friend, and in every respect a most estimable person:

His industry must have been not less signal than his other good qualities, for while he punctually discharged the duties of a most responsible office, he found time to compose upwards of twenty farces, operas, and musical dramas, some of which, such as “ Paul and Virginia,” “The Haunted Tower,” « The Siege of Belgrade,” and others, retained their popularity for many years, and are not yet entirely banished from the stage.

To return to John Taylor. As he was a man of strict veracity it may not be uninteresting to give his authority for the mode in which troublesome newspapers 'were silenced in the good old days of our own times, when the Prince of Wales, afterwards George the Fourth (of happy and pious memory!) was seeking to be appointed Regent. The reader will instantly see that the allusions in the following cautiously worded extract refer to Mrs. Fitzherbert and the Prince of Wales :

“ It appeared that a lady, supposed to be in great favour with a high personage, and not merely connected by the ties of mutual affection, had determined to assert claims not sanctioned by law, but which, if openly developed, or rather promulgated,' would perhaps have been attended by a national agitation. It was stated in the Morning Post, that the lady in question had demanded a peerage and 60001. a year, as a requital for the suppression of a fact which might have excited alarm over the empire, and have put an effectual stop to all further proceedings on the subject of the pending regency."

Permanently to silence such ill-timed paragraphs, Taylor was requested, by a confidential servant of the “high personage,” to inquire whether the person who farmed the paper, and who was also part proprietor, would dispose of his share, and also of the term for which he was authorised to conduct it. “ The party in question," writes Taylor, “struck while the iron was hot, received a large sum for his share of the paper, another for the time that he was to hold a control over it, and an annuity for life. The Morning Post was purchased for the allotted period, and I was vested with the editorship. I may here mention a circumstance that illustrates the character, or rather the opinion of Dr. Wolcot. When the confidential agent to whom I have alluded first communicated to me the extravagant claims of the lady in question, and the public commotion which she was likely to occasion, if she persevered in her pretensions, the doctor, who was present, laughed, and said,

“Oh! there is no reason to be alarmed, the matter is easily settled.' 6. When I asked him what was to be done, his answer was,

Why, poison her.' «« What, doctor,' said I, 'commit murder ?'

“. Murder !' rejoined he, there is nothing in it; it is state policy, and is always done.

“ He certainly had no intention to suggest such an expedient upon the present occasion ; but if there were any temptation for a joke it was impossible for him to resist it.”*

John Taylor was profoundly loyal, which explains his appointment as editor, but when, at a later period, the life-involving charges against the persecuted Queen Caroline were sought to be established per fas aut nefas, he may, perhaps, have thought that their manifest object was hardly more justifiable than the expedient suggested by the doctor.

As it would not be fair to dismiss two volumes, containing more than 600 pages, of Taylor's poetry without quotations, I will cite the following lines, which are doubly entitled to selection as forming the shortest of all his poems, and as bearing reference to another of my “literary acquaintance.”

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Learn from this danger to beware Then, if o'er sea or landt he course,
Of horses of the vulgar breed,

He'll ne'er thy skilful guidance spurn,
And hence unbend from public care, But taste will regulate his force,

By mounting thy Parnassian steed. And Fame shall welcome his return.

“ Records," vol. ii., p. 267. | See the beautiful poems of “Trafalgar” and “ Talavera," written by Mr. Croker.



In the dense bush the Kaffir takes his stand,
His swarthy form no garments e'er control,
Th' assegai quivers in the uplifted hand-
A Briton's heart to be its reeking goal!"

From the Author's MS. READER! Hast thou e'er doubled the Cape? We mean that stupendous southern limit of the vast African continent, so long an insuperable barrier to every effort of the mariner of old- the weather-beaten and wave-lashed extremity of those trackless, boundless, and nearly unknown regions, from whose arid and mysterious depths so few travellers have returned, to recount the perils they may have passed, or the wonders they may have beheld !

We mean that dark towering mass of rock and mountain, those “ ruins of an earlier world,” uprooted and hurled as if by the Titans of yore against the united assaults of blustering Æolus, and of old Father Neptune, whilst in their angriest and fiercest moods.

We mean that cloud-capped promontory which so long baffled every vain attempt of the navigator of former days, until the gallant Diaz, in 1486, breaking the spell, vanquished the monster which had so long guarded this pathway to the golden fleece-the gorgeous treasures of the East—and having accomplished this Herculean task, most appropriately dubbed him : “ Cabo dos Tormentos," or Cape of Storms.

In short, we mean the Cape par excellence.

If, good friend (for I wish to be on terms with the-I hope_indulgent peruser of these my lucubrations), such has never been thy fate ; if thou be’est an admirer of Nature in her wildest, grandest, and most terrific moods; or if, may be, thou belongest to that venturous class, who courting the terrors of the “pale green sea," braving the eddies of the “ Needles," the horrors of the “Solent," and the billows of “Spithead," goest down to the sea in "yachts ;”—and once more ashore, - forgetting the dangers thou hast past, proudly in sailor garb and with sailor gait, in ample Flushing coat, or rough pea-jacket, rollest nautically along the streets of Cowes or Ryde ; if, good friend, thou belongest to either of the above worthy class of readers, get thee quickly under-weigh, trim thy sails, and boldly steer thy bark beneath the great “ Southern Cross,” and “ Milky Way,” follow in the wake of the Lusitanian navigators of old ; double “ the Cape," and the chances are, if thou hast the good luck to stumble on a stiff “nor-wester," that thou gettest thy fill of admiration, and that both Flushing coat and rough pea-jacket will be well seasoned with a sprinkling of real spray.

Oft has it been my fate to double this said “ Cape of Storms,” and each time to have been right well buffeted by both winds and waves, fully as much, or rather more so, than any landsman could possibly desire.

The terrific grandeur of a contest between the elements in this tempestuous region, is not easily described, or even imagined by one who has not personally witnessed its awful effects.

The hostile meeting of two boundless oceans, there uplifts, on this arena of their gigantic struggle, not mere waves curling their monstrous heads" but very mountains of liquid brine, on whose white crests, capped as with undriven snow, the frail bark is madly borne along ; whilst over head, on motionless and distended wing, the huge Albatross, like the Spirit of the storm, sweeps wildly past, watching, as it were, the approaching fate of its weather-beaten, wave-lashed victim.

Next instant, the labouring craft lies deeply buried and nearly becalmed in the yawning trough of a monster sea, lost amidst a chaotic mass of dark, towering billows, which angrily shake their impending summits o'er her threatened decks, and like falling avalanches,- precursors of immediate and certain annihilation to all beneath,—seem on the very eve of precipitating the “tall ship” and all her crew into the depths of the unfathomed abyss below, amalgamating at once man and the labour of his hands, with the raging elements he has so rashly dared to encounter!

Such are the scenes of not unfrequent occurrence in going round the Cape ; but at other times these stormy regions have also their seasons of gloomy rest ;-a repose not unmingled with grandeur and sublimity of its kind.

Then, under the cold, gray canopy of the clouded heavens, which throws its leaden mantle, and spreads its leaden hue on all around, the gallant bark, so lately buffeted by wind and wave, so madly struggling against both, is now, with motionless hull and flapping sails, lazily cradled on the long, unbroken swell of the South Atlantic Ocean. The silent solitude of whose vast watery waste, is however, enlivened by numerous denizens of its own.

The giant Leviathan of the deep-the monstrous Whale, is oft at such times, met with in these bleak regions of the far south. Inertly floating on the surface, the huge proportions of his protruding back may then, like the smooth, wave-worn summit of some dark rock, be first discerned above the surrounding waters ; whilst sometimes, in, may be, froliesome mood, he throws up on high tall columns of silvery brine, which then stand out in bold relief against the murky atmosphere and dark ocean around.

Next, large shoals of porpoises career rapidly past the ship; bounding along in their meteor course, they glitter for a second to the sight, and then as rapidly disappear ; aquatic birds hover thickly around, and the majestic Albatross, in widely-extended circles, on motionless and outspread wing, sails rapidly past, and not unfrequently rests on the now still surface of the liquid plain.

This period of calm, though one of welcome rest and quiet to the weary tar, is generally a time of great zest and bustle for the idlers on board, by whom an active warfare is now mercilessly waged on all the feathered and finny natives of these dreary wastes.

Embryo generals and judges, in the various shapes of smooth-faced ensigns and cadets, of beardless writers and young civilians, may now, like

gay butterflies in spring, be seen emerging from the chrysalis state of their hammocks below, busily engaged uncasing rifles and double-barrels, fresh from the maker's hands, and as yet—like their owners-guiltless of “ smelling smoke ;” some are casting bullets, others filling powderflasks, or fitting percussion-caps; all, like “preux chevaliers” of old, eager to display their maiden skill and youthful prowess ;—for bright eyes and winning smiles are at hand to reward their successful endeavours.

This applies more particularly to scenes common on board outward-bound Indiamen, the temporary home of many a fair damsel about to join her relatives in the East.

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