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We have Congreve,

as the political horizon was clear. who affected to be the Beau as well as the Wit; Lord Hervey, more of the courtier than the Beau-a Wit by inheritance—a peer, assisted into a pre-eminent position by royal preference, and consequent prestige; and all these men were the offspring of the particular state of the times in which they figured: at earlier periods, they would have been deemed effeminate; in later ones, absurd.

Then the scene shifts: intellect had marched forward gigantically the world is grown exacting, disputațious, critical, and such men as Horace Walpole and Brinsley Sheridan appear; the characteristics of wit which adorned that age being well diluted by the feebler talents of Selwyn and Hook.

Of these, and others, "table traits," and other traits, are here given: brief chronicles of their life's stage, over which a curtain has so long been dropped, are supplied carefully from well-established sources: it is with characters, not with literary history, that we deal; and do our best to make the portraitures life-like, and to bring forward old memories, which, without the stamp of antiquity, might be suffered to pass into obscurity.

Your Wit and your Beau, be he French or English, is no medieval personage: the aristocracy of the present day rank among his immediate descendants: he is a creature of a modern and an artificial age; and with his career are mingled many features of civilized life, manners, habits, and traces of family history which are still, it is believed, interesting to the majority of English readers, as they have long been to


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An Eastern Allegory.-Who comes here?-A mad Freak and its Consequences.-Making
an Abbé of him. The May-fair of Paris.-Scarron's Lament to Pellisson.-The Office
of the Queen's Patient.-"Give me a simple Benefice."-Scarron's Description of him-
self.-Improvidence and Servility.-The Society at Scarron's.-The witty Conversation.
- Françoise D'Aubigné's Début. The sad Story of La Belle Indienne. - Matrimonial

Considerations.-"Scarron's Wife will live forever."-Petits Soupers.--Scarron's last

Moments.-A Lesson for gay and grave


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Pope and Frederick of Wales.--The Pomfrets.-Sir Thomas Robinson's Ball.-Political
Squibs. That "Rogue Walpole."-Sir Robert's Retirement from Office.-The splendid
Mansion of Houghton.--Sir Robert's Love of Gardening.-What we owe to the "Grandes
Tours."-George Vertue.-Men of one Idea.-The noble Picture-gallery at Houghton.
-Sir Robert's Death.-The Granville Faction.-A very good Quarrel.-Twickenham.-
Strawberry Hill. The Recluse of Strawberry.-Portraits of the Digby Family.-Sacri-
lege. Mrs. Damer's Models. The Long Gallery at Strawberry.The Chapel. -
dirty little Thing."-The Society around Strawberry Hill.-Anne Seymour Conway.-
A Man who never doubted.-Lady Sophia Fermor's Marriage.-Horace in Favor.-Anec-
dote of Sir William Stanhope. - -A paper House. Walpole's Habits. Why did he not
Marry?"Dowagers as plenty as Flounders."-Catherine Hyde, Duchess of Queensber-
ry.-Anecdote of Lady Granville.-Kitty Clive.-Death of Horatio Walpole.-George,
third Earl of Orford.-A Visit to Houghton.-Family Misfortunes.-Poor Chatterton.
Walpole's Concern with Chatterton.-Walpole in Paris.-Anecdote of Madame Geoffrin.
"Who's that Mr. Walpole ?"--The Miss Berrys.-Horace's two "Straw Berries.".

Tapping a new Reign.-The Sign of the Gothic Castle.-Growing old with Dignity.

Succession to an Earldom.--Walpole's last Hours.-Let us not be ungrateful... Page 255



Sheridan a Dunce.-Boyish Dreams of literary Fame.-Sheridan in Love.-A Nest of Night-
ingales.-The Maid of Bath.-Captivated by Genius.-Sheridan's Elopement with "Ce-
cilia."-His Duel with Captain Matthews.-Standards of Ridicule.-Painful family Es-
trangements. Enters Drury Lane.-Success of the Famous "School for Scandal."_
Opinions of Sheridan and his Influence.-The Literary Club.-Anecdote of Garrick's
Admittance. Origin of "the Rejected Addresses."-New Flights.-Political Ambition.
-The gaming Mania.-Almack' s.-Brookes'.-Black-balled.-Two Versions of the Elec-
tion Trick.-St. Stephen's won.-Vocal Difficulties.-Leads a double Life.-Pitt's vul-
gar Attack. Sheridan's happy Retort.-Grattan's Quip.-Sheridan's Sallies.-The Trial
of Warren Hastings.-Wonderful Effect of Sheridan's Eloquence.-The supreme Effort.
-The Star culminates.-Native Taste for Swindling.-A shrewd but graceless Oxon-
ian.-Duns outwitted.-The Lawyer jockeyed.-Adventures with Bailiffs.--Sheridan's
Powers of Persuasion.-House of Commons Greek.-Curious Mimicry.-The royal boon
Companion.-Lights and Shadows of Depravity.-Street Frolics at Night.-An old Tale.
-The Fray in St. Giles'.-Sheridan's gradual Downfall.-Unopened Letters.-An odd
Incident. Reckless Extravagance.-Sporting Ambition.-Like Father like Son.-A se-
vere and witty Rebuke.-Convivial Excesses of a past Day.-Worth wins at last.-Bit-
ter Pangs.-The Scythe of Death.-The fair, loving, neglected Wife.-Debts of Honor.-
Drury Lane burned.-The Owner's Serenity.-Misfortunes never come singly.-The
Whitbread Quarrel.-Ruined, undone, and almost forsaken.-The dead Man arrested.
The Stories fixed on Sheridan.-Extempore Wit and inveterate Talkers



The greatest of modern Wits.-What Coleridge said of Hook.-Hook's Family.--Redeem-
ing Points.-Versatility. Varieties of Hoaxing.-The Black-wafered Horse.-The Ber-
ners Street Hoax.-Success of the Scheme.-The Strop of Hunger.-Kitchen Examina-
tions. The wrong House.-Angling for an Invitation.-The Hackney-coach Device.-
The Plots of Hook and Mathews.-Hook's Talents as an Improvisatore.-The Gift be-
comes his Bane. Hook's Novels. College Fun.-Baiting a Proctor. The punning
Faculty. Official Life opens.-Troublesome Pleasantry.-Charge of Embezzlement.

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