« PredošláPokračovať »
HOLMES, OLIVER WENDELL-A physician of Boston, Professor
of Anatomy in Harvard University; born at Cambridge, Mass., in 1809. Dr. Holmes's humorous verses are too well known to require comment in this place. His burlesque, entitled “ Evening, by a Tailor,” is very excellent of its kind. See pp. 61, 340, 342, 517, 518.
HOOD, THOMAS-Author of the “Song of the Shirt," which Punch
had the honor of first publishing. Born in 1798; died in 1845. Hood was the son of a London bookseller, and began life as a clerk. He became afterward an engraver, but was drawn gradually into the literary profession, which he exercised far more to the advantage of his readers than his own. His later years were saddened by illhealth and poverty. Some of his comic verses seem forced and contrived, as though done for needed wages. Hood was one of the literary men who should have made of literature a staff, not a crutch. It was in him to produce, like Lamb, a few very admirable things, the execution of which should have been the pleasant occupation of his leisure, not the toil by which he gained his bread See pp. 45, 46, 289, 294, 307, 309, 422, 423, 425, 426, 592, 594, 596.
HUNT, JAMES HENRY LEIGH-English Journalist and Poet.
Born in 1784. His father was a clergyman of the Established church, and a man of wit and feeling. See p. 583.
JOHNSON, DR. SAMUEL—Born 1709; died 1784. Critic, moral
ist, lexicographer, and, above all, the hero of Boswell's Life of Johnson. The ponderous philosopher did not disdain, occasionally, to give play to his elephantine wit. See p. 545.
JONSON, BEN-Born 1574; died 1637. Poet, play-wright, and
friend of Shakspeare, in whose honor he has left a noble eulogium. A manly, sturdy, laborious, English genius, of whose dramatic productions, however, but one (* Every Man in his Humor") has retained possession of the stage. He is also the author of some exquisite lyrics. See pp. 525, 526.
LAMB, CHARLES—Born in London, 1775; died, 1832. As a hu
morous essayist, unrivaled and peculiar, he is known and loved by all who are likely to possess this volume. See pp. 29, 566.
LANDOR, WALTER SAVAGE-A living English writer of consid
erable celebrity, author of "Imaginary Conversations," contributor to several leading periodicals. Mr. Landor is now advanced in years. His humorous verses are few, and not of striking excellence. See p. 572.
"LANTERN," THE-A comic weekly, in imitation of “Punch," pub
lished in this city a few years ago. The leading spirit of the “ Lantern” was Mr. John Brougham, the well-known dramatist and actor. See p.
“LEADER," THE-A London weekly newspaper, of liberal opinions;
ably written and badly edited, and, therefore, of limited circulation. See p. 580.
LESSING, GOTTHOLD EPHRAIM—The well-known German au
thor; born 1729; died 1781. The epigrams of Lessing have been so frequently stolen by English writers, that, perhaps, they may now be considered as belonging to English literature, and hence entitled to a place in this collection. At least we found the temptation to add them to our stock irresistible. See pp. 553, 554, 555, 556.
LINDSAY-A friend of Dean Swift. A polite and elegant scholar;
an eminent pleader at the bar in Dublin, and afterward advanced
to be one of the justices of the Common Pleas. See p. 544. LOWELL, JAMES RUSSELL—The American Poet. Born at Bos
ton, in the year 1819. To Mr. Lowell must be assigned a high, if not the highest place, among American writers of humorous poetry. The Biglow Papers, from which we have derived several excellent pieces for this volume, is one of the most ingenious and well-sustained jeux d'esprit in existence. See pp. 522, 578, 619, 623, 626, 629.
MAPES, WALTER DE-A noted clerical wit of Henry the Second's
time. See p. 583.
MOORE, THOMAS—The Irish poet; born at Dublin in the year
1780. Moore has been styled the best writer of political squibs that ever lived. He was employed to write comic verses on passing events, by the conductors of the “ London Times," in which journal many of his satirical poems appeared. The political effusions that gave so much delight thirty years ago are, however, scarcely intelligible to the present generation, or if intelligible, not interesting. But Moore wrote many a sprightly stanza, the humor of which does not depend for its effect upon local or cotemporary allusions. This collection contains most of them. See pp. 36, 37, 38, 39, 124, 259, 260, 261, 263, 266, 267, 269, 273, 276, 415, 560, 561, 562, 563, 564, 565.
MORRIS, GEORGE P—The father of polite journalism in this city,
and the most celebrated of American Song-writers. Born in Pennsylvania about the beginning of the present century. See p. 196.
“PERCY RELIQU'ES"-A celebrated collection of ancient ballads,
edited by Bishop Perry, a man of great antiquarian knowledge and poetic taste. The priblication of the "Percy Rtiques" in the last century, introduced the taste for the antique, which was gratified to the utmost by Sir Walter Scott, and which has scarcely yet ceased
to rage in some quarters. See pp. 75, 77, 80. PHILIPS, BARCLAY--A living English writer, of whom nothing is
known in this country. See p. 615. PINDAR, PETER–See Wolcott. POPE, ALEXANDER—The poet of the time of Qucen Anne; au
thor of the "Dunciad,” which has been styled the most perfect of satires. Born in London, 1688; died, 1744 See p. 539.
PRAEN, WINTHROP MACKIVORTH-in English protą author
of “Lillian," born in London about the year 1800. Little is kuown of Mr. Praed in this country, though it was here that his poems were first collected and published in a volume. Ilis family is of the aristocracy of the city, where some of his surviving relations are still engaged in the business of banking. At Eton, Praed was highly distinguished for his literary talents. He was for some time the editor of “The Etonian," a piquant periodical published hp tho students. From Eton he went to Cambridge, where he won an unprecedented number of prizes for poems and epigrams in Greek, Latin, and English. On returning to London, he was associated with Thomas Babbington Macaulay the editorship of “Knight's Quarterly Magazine," after the discontinuance of which he ousionally contributed to the “New Monthly.” A few years before his death, Mr. Praed became a member of Parliament, but owing to his love of ease and society, obtained little distinction in that body.
Mr. N. P. Willis thus writes of the poet as he appeared in society: “We chance to have it in our power to say a word as to Mr. Praed's personal appearance, manners, etc. It was our hd fortune when first in England (in 1834 or '35), to be a guest at the same hospitable country-house for several weeks. The party there assembled was somewhat a famous one-Miss Jane Porter, Viss Julia Pardoe, Krazinski (the Polish historian)
, Sir Gardiner Wilkinson (the Oriental traveler), venerable Lady (urk ("Lady Bellair' of D'Israeli's novel), and several persons more distinguished in society than in literature. Praed, we believe, had not been long marrie, but he was there with his wife. He was apparently about thirtyfive, tall, and of dark complexion, with a studious bend in his shoulders, and of irregular features strongly impressed with melancholy. His manners were particularly reserved, though as unassuming as they could well be. His exquisitely beautiful poem of 'Lillian' was among the pet treasures of the lady of the house, and we had all been indulged with a sight of it, in a choicely bound manuscript copy—but it was hard to make him confess to any literary habits or standing. As a gentleman of ample means and retired life, the kind of notice drawn upon him by the admiration of this poem, seemed distasteful. His habits were very secluded. We only saw him at table and in the evening; and, for the rest of the day, he was away in the remote walks and woods of the extensive park around the mansion, apparently more fond of solitude than of any thing else. Mr. Praed's mind was one of wonderful readinessrhythm and rhyme coming to him with the flow of an improvisatore. The ladies of the party made the events of every day the subjects of characos, epigrams, sonnets, etc., with the design of suggesting inspiration to his ready pı'n; and he was most brilliantly complying, with treasures for each in her turn."
Mr. Praed died on the 15th of Juls, 1839, without having accomplished any thing worthy the promise of his earlier years— another instance of Life's reversing the judgment of College. As a writer of agreeable trifics for the amusement of the drawing-room, he has had few superiors, and it is said that a large number of his impromptu eflusions are still in the possession of his friends unpublished. Two editions of his poems have appeared in New York, one by Langley in 1814, and another by Redfield, a few years later. See pp. 50, 52, 313, 316.
PRIOR, MATTHEW-Born 1664; died 1721. A wit and poet of no
small genius and good nature--one of the minor celebrities of the dags of Queen Anne. His “Town and Country Mouse," written in ridicule of Dryden's famous “Hind and Panther," procured him the appointment of Secretary of Embassy at the Hague, and he subsequently rose to be embassador at Paris. Suffering disgrace with his patrons he was afterward recalled, and received a pension from the University of Oxford, up to the time of his death. See pp. 85, 200, 201, 202, 534, 535, 536, 537, 651, 652.
"PUNCH”—Commenced in July, 1841, making its appearance just at
the close of the Whig ministry, under Lord Melbourne, and the accession of tho Tories, headed by Sir Robert Peel. Originated by a circle of wits and literary men who frequented the “Shakspeare's Head," a tavern in Wycli-street, London. Mark Lemon, the landlord was, and still is, its editor. He is of Jewish descent, and had some reputation for ability with his pen, having been connected with other journals, and also written farces and dramatic pieces. Punchi's earliest contributors were Douglas Jerrold, Albert Smith, Gilbert - Abbot a'Beckett Hood and Maginn-Thackeray's debit occurring in the third volume. It is said that one evening each week was especially devoted to a festive meeting of these writers, where, Lemon presiding, they deliberated as to the conduct and course of the periodical. “Punch," however, was at first not successful, and indeed on the point of being abandoned as a bad speculation, when Messrs. Bradbury and Evans, two aspiring printers, now extensive publishers, purchased it at the very moderate price of one hundred pounds, since which tiine it has continued their property, and a valuable one. In those days it presented a somewhat different appearance from the present, being more closely printed, finer type used, and the illustrations (with the exception of small, black, silhouette cuts, after the style of those in similar French publications), were comparatively scanty. Soon, however, "Punch" throve apace, amply meriting its success. To Henning's drawings (mostly those of a political nature), were added those of Leech, Kenny Meadows, Phiz (H. K. Browne), Gilbert, Alfred Crowquill (Forrester), and othersDoyle's pencil not appearing till some years later. Chief of these gentlemen in possession of the peculiar artistic ability which has identified itself with “Punch" is unquestionably Mr. John Leech, of whom we shall subsequently speak, at greater length. He has remained constant to the journal froin its first volume.
Jerrold's writings date from the commencement. Many essays and satiric sketches over fancy signatures, are from his pen. His later and longer productions, extending through many volumes, are "Punch's Letters to his Son," " Punch's Complete Letter Writer," " Twelve Labors of Hercules," " Autobiography of Tom Thumb," “Mrs. Caudle's Curtain Lectures,” “ Capsicum House for Young Ladies," "Our Little Bird," " Mrs. Benimble's Tea and Toast," " Miss Robinson Crusoe,” and “Mrs. Bib's Baby," the last two of which were never completed. During the publication of the “Caudlo Lictures," " Punch” reached the highest circulation it has attained. We have the authority of a personal friend of the author for the assertion that their heroine was no fictitious one. The lectures were immensely popular, Englishmen not being slow to recognize in Jerrold's caustic portraiture the features of a very formidable household reality. But with the ladies Mrs. Caudle proved no favorite, nor, in their judgment, did the “Breakfast-Table-Talk," of the Hen-peckou Husband (subsequently published in the Almanac of the current year), make amends for the writer's former productions.
Albert Smith's contributions to the pages of " Punch," were the " Physiologies of the London Medical Student," " London Idler," aud “ Evening Parties," with other miscellaneous matter. Much of the author's own personal experience is probably comprised in the for