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as the political horizon was clear. We have Congreve, 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




Signs of the Restoration. — Samuel Pepys in his Glory. — A royal Company. - Pepys

*ready to weep."— The Playmate of Charles II.-George Villiers' Inheritance.--Two

gallant young Noblemen.- The brave Francis Villiers.-After the Battle of Worcester,

-Disguising the King.–Villiers in Hiding. He appears as a Mountebank.-Bucking-

ham's Habits.--A daring Adventure.-Cromwell's saintly Daughter.- Villiers and the

Rabbi.— The Buckingham Pictures and Estates.-York House.–Villiers returns to En-

gland.—Poor Mary Fairfax.-Villiers in the Tower.--Abraham Cowley, the Poet. - The

greatest Ornament of Whitehall.-Buckingham's Wit and Beauty.--Flecknoe's Opinion

of him.-His Duel with the Earl of Shrewsbury.–Villiers as a Poet.--As a Dramatist.

-A fearful Censure !-Villiers' Influence in Parliament.-A Scene in the Lords. - The

Duke of Ormond in Danger.-Colonel Blood's Outrages.-Wallingford House, and Ham

House." Madame Ellen.”—The Cabal.- Villiers again in the Tower.--A Change.-

The Duke of York's Theatre.—Buckingham and the Princess of Orange.--His last Hours.

-His Religion.—Death of Villiers.—The Duchess of Buckingham...

.Page 13


De Grammont's Choice.-His Influence with Turenne.—The Church or the Army?-An

Adventure at Lyons.-A brilliant Idea.-De Grammont's Generosity.-A Horse" for

the Cards."-Knight-Cicisbeism.—De Grammont's

first Love.--His witty Attacks on

Mazarin.-Anne Lucie de la Mothe Houdancourt.-Beset with Snares.De Grammont's

Visits to England. -Charles II.— The Court of Charles II.-Introduction of Country-

dances.- Norman Peculiarities.-St. Evremond, the handsome Norman.—

The most beau-

tiful Woman in Europe.-Hortense Mancini's Adventures.-Madame Mazarin's House

at Chelsea. —Anecdote of Lord Dorset. - Lord Rochester in his Zenith.-His Courage and

Wit.—Rochester's Pranks in the City.-Credulity, past and present.—"Dr. Bendo,"

and La Belle Jennings.-La Triste Heritiere.-Elizabeth, Countess of Rochester.—Retri.

bution and Reformation.-Rochester's Exhortation to Mr. Fanshawe.---Little Jérmyn.--

An incomparable Beauty.-Anthony Hamilton, De Grammont's Biographer.—The Three

Courts.- La Belle Hamilton.-De Grammont's Description of her. – Her practical Jokes.

-The household Deity of Whitehall.-A Chaplain in Livery.--Le Mariage forcé.—De

Grammont's last Hours.-What might he not have been?.



On Wits and Beaux.-Scotland Yard in Charles II.'s Day.-Orlando of." The Tatler."-

Beau Fielding, Justice of the Peace. --Adonis in Search of a Wife.-The sham Widow.-

Ways and Means.-Barbara Villiers, Lady Castlemaine. --Quarrels with the King.–The

Beau's second Marriage. The last Days of Fops and Beaux...



The Origin of Clubs.—The Establishment of Coffee-houses.—The October Club.-The Beef-

steak Club.-Of certain other Clubs.-The Kit-kat Club.- The Romance of the Bowl.

The Toasts of the Kit-kat.-The Members of the Kit-kat.-A good Wit, and a Ar.

chitect. - Well-natured Garth."-The Poets of the Kit-kat. Charles Montagu, Earl

of Halifax. — Chancellor Somers. — Charles Sackville, Lord Dorset. Less celebrated




When and where was he born !— The Middle Temple. -Congreve finds his Vocation.-

Verses to Queen Mary.--The Tennis-court Theatre.-Congreve abandons the Drama.--

Jeremy Collier.-The Immorality of the Stage. — Very improper Things.-Congreve's

Writings.-Jeremy's Short Views:-Rival Theatres.--Dryden's Funeral. - A Tub-Preach-

er. -Horoscopic Predictions.--Dryden's Solicitude for his Son.-Congreve's Ambition.-

Anecdote of Voltaire and Congreve.—The Profession of Mæcenas.-Congreve's private

Life.-—"Malbrook'g" Daughter.-Congreve's Death and Burial.

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The King of Bath.-Nash at Oxford.-"My Boy Dick."-Offers of Knighthood. - Doing

Penance at York.—Days of Folly.—A very romantic Story.—Sickness and Civilization.
-Nash descends upon Bath.–Nash's Chef-d'ouvre.--The Ball. Improvements in the
Pump-room, etc.—A public Benefactor.–Life at Bath in Nash's Time.--A Compact with

the Duke of Beaufort.-Gaming at Bath.—Anecdotes of Nash.-—“Miss Sylvia."-A gen.

erous Act. — Nash's Sun setting. - A Panegyric. -- Nash's Funeral. - His Characteris-


Page 127


The King of Table Wits.-Early Years.-Hervey's Description of his Person.-Resolutions

and Pursuits.--Study of Oratory.–The Duties of an Embassador.-King George IL's

Opinion of his Chroniclers.--Life in the Country.-Melusina, Countess of Walsingham.

- George II. and his Father's Will.—Dissolving Views.- Madame du Bouchet. --The

Broad-bottomed Administration.-Lord Lieutenant of Ireland in time of Peril.-Reform-

ation of the Calendar.-Chesterfield House.-Exclusiveness.--Recommending “John-

son's Dictionary.”—“Old Samuel" to Chesterfield.-Defensive Pride of the respect-

able Hottentot." -The Glass of Fashion.-Lord Scarborough's Friendship for Chesterfield.

- The Death of Chesterfield's Son. - His Interest in his Grandsons. “I must go and

rehearse my Funeral."-Chesterfield's Will.- What is a Friend ?-Les Manières nobles.

-Letters to his Son....


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



Rank and Good-breeding. — The Hotel de Rochefoucault. — Racine and his Plays. – La

Rochefoucault's Wit and Sensibility.-Saint-Simon's Youth.-Looking out for a Wife.-

Saint-Simon's Court Life. --The History of Louise de la Vallière. ---A mean Act of Louis

Quatorze. --All has passed away !-Saint-Simon's Memoirs of his own Time ........ 245


The Commoners of England.--Horace's Regret for the Death of his Mother._"Little Hor-

ace" in Arlington Street.--Introduced to George I.-Characteristic Anecdote of George I.

-Walpole's Education.--Schoolboy Days. --Boyish Friendships.--Companionship of

Gray. - A dreary Doom. --- Walpole's Description of youthful Delights. --- Anecdote of

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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. — “A
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


A Love of Horrors.-Anecdotes of Selwyn's Mother.-Selwyn's College Days.-Orator Hen-

ley.-Selwyn's blasphemous Freak.- The Profession of a Wit. -The Thirst for Hazard.

-Reynolds's Conversation-piece.-Selwyn's Eccentricities and Witticisms.--A most im-

portant Communication. — An amateur Headsman. — The Eloquence of Indifference.

Catching a Housebreaker.—The Family of the Selwyns.—The Man of the People.-Sel-

wyn's parliamentary Career.— True Wit.—Some of Selwyn's witty Sayings.— The Sov-

ereignty of the People.—On two kinds of Wit.-Selwyn's Home for Children.-Mie-Mie,

the little Italian. Selwyn's little Companion taken from him. — His later Days and




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



Two popular Sciences.- Buck Brummell" at Eton.-Investing his Capital.-Young Cor-

Det Brummell. - The Beau's Studio. The Toilet. — “Creasing down.". Sneers and

Snuff-boxes. - A great Gentleman. Anecdotes of Brummell. — “Don't forget Brum :
Goose at Four!"-Offers of Intimacy resented.—Never in Love.-Brummell out Hunt-
ing.-Anecdote of Sheridan and Brummell. — The Beau's poetical Efforts.—The Value

of a crooked Sixpence. — The Breach with the Prince of Wales. — “ Who's your fat

Friend?" -The Climax is reached.-The Black-mail of Calais.-George the Greater and

George the Less. — An extraordinary Step. — Down the Hill of Life. — A miserable Old

Age.--In the Hospice du bon Sauveur.-0 young Men of this Age, be warned!..... 381


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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