My father's name was Benjamin Massey Roberts and my mother's maiden name was Elizabeth Gouldsmith. They had four children- James Howard, who died before I was born; my sister Elizabeth, who married Mr. Cheesewright; my sister Annie, who married Mr. Sheard, referred to later on; and myself.

I think my father was the most unselfish man I ever knew, with a really sweet nature. It was sometimes quite touching to see how, in trifling matters, he would scheme and contrive to take the worst of everything. I have seen him hovering over a dish of potatoes until they got cold, in the endeavour to pick out the worst for himself. Notwithstanding this, he was a most depressing man to live with and had a somewhat morose temper. I fear that I have inherited from him a melancholy cast of mind and a disposition to look at the dark rather than the bright side of things. A certain sense of humour has, however, I believe, saved me from sinking into the depths of depression into which my poor father fell. I have known him absent himself for days together when thus attacked, and we all used to be in a fever of anxiety concerning him, having no idea what had become of him and being haunted by visions of accidents and all sorts of horrors {My father was admitted a Freeman of the City of Norwich on the 7th October, 1818. This distinction was also conferred on me on the 18th October, 1864}.

It was mainly owing to the worry occasioned by this peculiarity that I was induced to become a stay-at-home, in the belief that my mother's life would become more or less a blank without my companionship. Whether this was wise or not I don't know, but I felt bound to do what appeared to me to be right at the time.

My mother, who reached the age of eighty-two, was an invalid from the age of sixteen. She was a gentle and refined woman, with so strong an objection to any suggestion of ostentation that the only article of jewellery she possessed was her wedding-ring, which was worn until it resembled thin wire.

She had strong religious convictions, and commended them by the beauty and simplicity of her life rather than by talking about them. I was proud of and devoted to her, and it is no exaggeration to say that we were inseparable.

My brother James, who died before my birth, appears to have been a beautiful and attractive child, and my mother could never speak of him without emotion. He had a wonderful talent for drawing, which was manifested in a very modified form in my own case, since I always had an irresistible inclination to draw caricatures on my slate instead of doing my sums, with the result that I have never been able to add up a column of figures without difficulty.

I was born on the 10th September, 1837 — an unimportant fact except as substantiating my claim to a retrospect of four-score years — at Ward's House, Hackney, a fine old mansion standing in about seven or eight acres; built or inhabited by John Ward in the seventeenth century. He was a man of great wealth and an M.P., but was expelled from the House of Commons for forgery and consigned to the pillory. He was certainly a great scoundrel, an evil liver, a notorious miser, and one of the promoters of the South Sea Bubble. One of his amusements appears to have been to entice animals into his house for the purpose of torturing them. A document discovered after his death, and published under the title of "The Miser's Prayer," and which I transcribe, throws a lurid light on the character of this monster.

The Miser's Prayer

O Lord, Thou knowest that I have nine estates in the City of
London, and likewise that I have lately purchased an estate in
fee-simple in the county of Essex; I beseech Thee to preserve the
two counties of Middlesex and Essex from fire and earthquakes;
and as I have a mortgage in Hertfordshire, I beg of Thee likewise
to have an eye of compassion on that county; and for the rest
of the counties Thou mayest deal with them as Thou art pleased.
Oh, Lord, enable the bank to answer all their bills, and make all my
debtors good men. Give a prosperous voyage, and return, to the
Mermaid Sloop, because I have not insured it; and as Thou hast
said the days of the wicked are but short, I trust in Thee, that Thou
wilt not forget Thy promise, as I have purchased an estate in
reversion, which will be mine on the death of that profligate young
man. Sir I. L —  — . Keep my friends from sinking, and preserve
me from thieves and house-breakers; and make all my servants so
honest and faithful, that they may attend to my interests and never
cheat me out of my property night or day."

Pope, in his satirical lines to Lord Bathurst, has immortalized Ward by placing him in company for which his character seems to have well fitted him:

Given to the fool, the mad, the vain, the evil,
To Ward, To Waters, Charters, and the Devil.

He seems, however, to have possessed some taste in architecture (if he really built the house) and in decoration, judging from the beautiful carvings and fittings which adorned his mansion. The freeholder of the property, when I knew it, was Tyssen Amherst, subsequently Lord Amherst of Hackney, and it was leased by a Mr. Varty, a friend of my family, who, with his wife and four daughters, inhabited the central or best portion of the mansion. The remaining portion consisted of two wings, one of which was sublet to a family of the name of Boyd, and the other and less attractive wing to my father and mother, but it contained what was known as the Picture Gallery- a splendid room about sixty or seventy feet in length with several rooms leading out of it.

The room at the end looked over the magnificent gardens and grounds, for such indeed they were, and merit a longer description. A room at the side, which looked into Dalston Lane, was always called the "Ivy Room " — the windows being nearly obscured with ivy- and was, for some reason, always kept locked. Needless to say that with such a reputation as Ward left behind him, the place teemed with ghosts, and well do I remember, when as a little boy I used to sleep in one of the rooms off the gallery, how I perspired with terror, on hearing some of the mysterious noises and creakings which seem more or less inseparable from old houses. They are often, no doubt, the effect of imagination, but are none the less terrible for a child to experience.

Occasionally, to allay my fears, one of my sisters (who were respectively fifteen and twelve years older than I) was told off to sit with me until I fell asleep. One of them, a very pretty girl, who was receiving attention from a young man, whom she afterwards married, had sometimes to take her turn in this disagreeable duty when her lover called to see her, and I well remember how enraged she used to be when, on trying to creep away noiselessly, she would be recalled by her exacting little tyrant crying out, "I'm not asleep".

This sister was not fanciful or imaginative — in fact she was very matter of fact, absolutely truthful, and incapable of inventing a story or embellishing a tale, and years after I have often asked her if she could recall any ghostly experiences at Ward's House.

She said she remembered one night sleeping in the room next to the "Ivy Room", when she awoke suddenly, with the sense of a presence and the rustling of a dress, as of some one bending over her (a nightmare some might say) — and such was the horror she felt as of something supernatural, that she sprang out of bed, opened the window it was midsummer and the dawn was just breaking- and remained looking out until she saw signs of life and movement, which gave her courage to turn her head.

She also told me that on another occasion and in broad daylight she saw a white figure walking along one of the passages, which she ran after, only to find that it had no substance.

She also reminded me of an incident of which I still retain a vague recollection. We were assembled at prayers, in our dining-room, which led out of one end of the gallery, when we were all startled by the sound of heavy measured footsteps, which seemed to come from the "Ivy Room" at the other end of the gallery right up to the dining-room door, I remember we all got up from our knees and looked at each other for a possible explanation, which never came. Of course rats and mice are always the culprits at such times, but I don't see how they could be held responsible on this occasion.

I have since slept in more than one ghostly-looking place, reputed to be haunted, where people have had unpleasant experiences, but I have never heard or seen anything that I could not account for, so conclude I am not a ghost seer, or subject to influences of that kindbut I have always been interested in occult matters and at one time belonged to the Psychical Research Society, and have tried more than once to arrange to spend the night with a friend, equally interested, in some reputedly haunted house, but the engagement never came off.

My father and mother, my two sisters and I and my youngest sister's little boy. Harry Sheard, then aged four, went to inhabit an old house at Dorking where we remained about one and a half years. On the first night of our arrival a little old woman appeared in the early morning in the room where my little nephew slept and he asked his mother the next day if the old woman he had seen was the new nurse. None of us knew, until some time after, that the house was said to be haunted by an old woman. I questioned my nephew — who died recently at the age of sixty — more than once about this curious coincidence which he remembered perfectly and he corroborated my recollection of it. I mention this as noteworthy inasmuch as it cannot have been the result of suggestion. I have heard the theory advanced that a very thin veil separates the natural from the supernatural, and that some people see behind that veil, a doubtful privilege, and I am evidently not one of these.

I once visited the only inhabited part of Kenilworth Castle, in which some of Cromwell's generals lodged; it went by the name of the " Gate House " and, together with the adjoining property, was leased by a German of the name of Trepplin, who let it furnished for a time to some friends with whom I stayed for three weeks. The room assigned to me was one of the most weird and gloomy it has ever been my luck, or ill-luck, to occupy. It was panelled in black oak, and singularly enough the ceiling was equally black and the moonlight, streaming through the uncurtained lattice windows made quaint patterns on the floor and formed a suitable background for flights of imagination. A part of the property included a beautiful walled-in garden, with a nut walk and splendid old fruit trees and wall fruit and was known as Queen Elizabeth's Garden, where, no doubt, the Queen walked when she was the guest of the great Earl of Leicester by whom she was so sumptuously entertained.

Before quitting the subject of Ward's House", I feel that the garden and grounds deserve a more detailed account, having regard to the fact that they were in existence within the comparatively recent period of seventy years. A descent of the wide circular stone steps in front of the central portion of the building, led on to a spacious lawn extending across the entire front, on the site of which some fifteen or sixteen shops have since been built, and on the lawn stood two colossal figures. In a part of the grounds, which included a field or meadow containing fine forest trees, were some white marble steps, leading down to a small white marble chamber, supposed to be the remains of a Roman Bath, but I do not remember anything in the shape of a well or reservoir. There was, however, a tiny brook running through another part of the grounds, over a sandy or pebbly bottom, and this was crossed by a rustic bridge. I don't remember whether there were any fish in it, but there were two small lakes or fish ponds, divided by a grass path, containing, I believe, carp, tench and eels, and I remember Mr. Varty used, occasionally, to give permission to fish from the two flat-bottomed boats on the ponds. There was also a small temple or pagoda with circular stone steps leading up to it.

It is almost incredible that all these could still have been in existence seventy years ago. When the house was pulled down a sliding panel was discovered in one of the rooms, which led into a passage or tunnel extending for some considerable distance down Mare Street, Hackney. It was found to be choked with rubbish, but when available for transit, Ward no doubt found it useful on occasions. To anyone able to recall the beauty and dignity of Ward's House and grounds, the number and vulgarity of the buildings now covering its site come as a painful reminder of life's susceptibility to change.

As the slightest sketch appeals to imagination more than any written description, however detailed, I have inserted two illustrations of Ward's House.

The road from Hackney to Stoke Newington ran across what was known as "Hackney Fields". It led part of the way through fields and hedgerows and when a little boy I have often taken this walk with my father, and we used to refer to one particular field as ours, because it contained the largest number of wild flowers, such as daisies, buttercups and clover.

I often went to visit my Uncle and Aunt Evans, who lived at Stoke Newington, in an old house in Church Street, called the Summer House, formerly inhabited by a rather noted authoress, a contemporary of Hannah More and Harriet Martineau, but I can't now remember her name.

The garden which was extensive — I think nearly an acre — stood far back from the road and was approached by large wrought-iron gates.

Mr. Evans married, as his second wife, my mother's sister Anna (who was the widow of a Mr. Lily) and he was the founder of the well-known firm of Evans, Lescher and Webb of Bartholomew Close, London, and Liverpool — who were, I believe, one of the largest — if not the largest wholesale chemists in the world.

My aunt had one daughter, a charming girl, to whom I became engaged. The engagement, however, was broken off as the family objected to the marriage of first cousins. She afterwards married a Mr. Thorne who practised as a surgeon in Leamington, where Mr. Evans bought a house where he and my aunt lived for a short time after he retired from business, and where he died. My aunt subsequently left me the house and contents, which I sold, with the exception of some articles which I handed to Mr. Evans' family and some water-colour drawings by Mr. Edward Webb who married my aunt's  stepdaughter and which I sent to his son. Sir Aston Webb, P.R.A.

My aunt's will was disputed on the ground of undue influence, and the trial which took place at Warwick created much local interest, several local people being summoned as witnesses. Sir Henry Hawkins, afterwards Lord Brampton, tried the case. Mr. Buzzard, Q.C., was my counsel and the opposing counsel was Mr. Dugdale, Q.C., of Merivale, Warwickshire, Recorder of Birmingham, whom I often used to meet on social and friendly terms at Maxstoke Castle, and I was amused at the trial when I heard him refer to me as a scheming, unprincipled person. This, no doubt, he was bound to do, professionally, in the interest of his client. The outcome of the action was a settlement entirely in my favour.

Some members of Mr. Evans' family, or members of the firm, have become more or less known to fame, as for example Sir Worthington Evans, Bart., the distinguished and gifted M.P. for Colchester and Sir Aston Webb, the President of the Royal Academy and the famous architect of the Victoria and Albert Museum, and other important buildings. Mr. Edward Webb, the father of Sir Aston, was a great friend of my aunt and Mr. Evans, and was a very accomplished painter in water-colour, whose modesty and retiring disposition alone, as I believe, prevented his being better known. He was, I understand, a favourite pupil of David Cox; and at my aunt's death I became possessed of many of his beautiful drawings, which might easily be mistaken for those of that master.

At a comparatively early period I commenced keeping a diary and continued doing so for about twenty-five years, until a friend, whose opinion I valued, advised me to give it up for reasons which appeared to me to be conclusive at the time — one being that it would give a great deal of trouble and very little pleasure to my executors. I followed his advice, with the result that I am only now able to give very approximate dates for the events which I may relate, and which I propose to jot down as they occur to me, without following any order or sequence.

I remember once only seeing the Duke of Wellington, on the occasion of some public function when the line of route was being kept by soldiers — I think the Guards — who then wore coatees or short tail coats with white duck trousers and of course the bearskin caps still in use.

I have an indistinct vision of a rather small, spare old gentleman,  riding a thick-set cob and wearing a blue surtout, with a silk top hat and white overalls, who looked straight in front of him, without turning to the right or left, while raising one forefinger automatically, in saluting the troops who were presenting arms.

I am here reminded of a story for the accuracy of which I cannot vouch, of an old gentleman who was a great admirer of the Duke whom he saw standing opposite his house in Piccadilly, waiting for the traffic to admit of his crossing over. The old gentleman approached the Duke, raised his hat and escorted him over the road by walking backwards in front of him and waving aside the traffic. On reaching the pavement in front of the Duke's house he again raised his hat and said, "I esteem this, Your Grace, as the proudest moment of my life, in that I have thus been afforded the opportunity of offering even this slight service to the greatest man of the century." "Don't be a d––d fool, sir", said the Duke, as he turned into Apsley House (modern photograph).

I only remember to have seen Prince Albert on one occasion, outside Lady Blessington's house, where the Albert Hall now stands, and my recollection is that of a tall handsome man, a fine figure on a fine horse.

The Earl of Cardigan I saw in Hyde Park before the Crimean War and before he became distinguished as one of the heroes of the Balaclava Charge. I think it was at the time of the Fenian riots. He was a blond, handsome, aristocratic looking man, and was riding a magnificent chestnut horse — a bit of a dandy, I thought — but his handsome 11th Hussar uniform, resplendent with gold lace, crimson overalls, and loose hanging jacket lined with sable fur may have given me that impression. I remember the Life Guards on that occasion charging the rioters with the flats of their swords; they ran like hares, which was no disparagement of their courage, under the circumstances, but rather a testimony to their prudence and common sense. I also remember Lord John Russell about that time as a little man with a big head, also Viscount Ranelagh, a noted duellist I believe, who was a rather tall dissipated-looking man with long ringlets and who wore his hat very much on one side. I have seen Ruskin at the National Gallery (modern photograph) when I was copying there, and recollect him as a man with a rather large head and a mass of rough tangled hair.

I can recall the old church at Kensington which was a large and imposing red brick edifice, with high old-fashioned pews, in which I have often enjoyed a stealthy nap, in spite of the beadle, who used to be on duty in all churches at that time, and who wore an imposing uniform with a sort of cocked hat and carried a long staff, something like a drum-major's baton, with which he admonished or corrected any boy whom he caught napping.

I used to sit behind the then little Marquis of Lorne, a handsome boy who was subsequently married to the Princess Louise. The rector was Archdeacon Sinclair, who always read his sermons, and of which it was said that they were taken in rotation so that regular attendants could always tell, at stated intervals, which particular sermon was forthcoming. This arrangement had the advantage that it prevented the attention being overstrained, and was therefore conducive to repose, if not to somnolence.

I also seem to remember a turnpike gate at Kensington, situate about the corner of Gloucester Road and opposite Palace Gate, and on a little mound or rising ground stood a small public-house where the turnpike man may have lived, or retired for rest and refreshment.

There was at that time a large detached house near there standing in a walled-in garden, inhabited by some people of the name of Hoof, where I used occasionally to go to garden parties. I think it was afterwards bought by Baron Grant, who I believe built a fine mansion on its site.

The last house on the right-hand side at the bottom of Victoria Road was inhabited by a man of the name of Gambadelli — an Italian -  who was a terror to us boys and whose house was always passed with bated breath, as he was looked upon as a kind of wizard or necromancer. Beyond this house the surrounding neighbourhood was more or less open country with hedgerows and market gardens which it was not thought quite safe to traverse at night.

When I was a lad Napoleon was held in higher estimation by the French than he is now, and the stories I used to hear about him inspired me with the admiration which I then felt and still feel, and which I may have inherited from my maternal great-grandfather who, in common with Charles James Fox and a few other politicians of that date, entertained a similar admiration. His daughter, my maternal grandmother, went to Paris at the Peace of Amiens, when many English took that opportunity of going there, and she was present at some public function or presentation to Napoleon when the French soldiers were keeping the ground, and owing to the courtesy of one of the officers, who noticed that she was a foreigner, she was allowed within the inner line of sentries, and thus had an excellent view of him. She was a deeply religious woman, something indeed of a fanatic and had a horror of all military men, and hoped for the time when " swords should be beaten into ploughshares, and spears into pruning hooks." " Bony," as he was then called in England, was anathema, and I think she really regarded him as anti-Christ, but such was the extraordinary personality, or magnetic influence of the man, that without losing her dislike of soldiers in general she retained a soft place in her heart for Napoleon, and on her return home her father said, " Well, Mary, I would give five hundred pounds to see what you have seen." He died in 1811, a year before the disastrous campaign in Russia. My grandmother was in every way a remarkable woman. With an income of two thousand pounds a year, considered ample in those days, she lived in an obscure lodging in Clerkenwell and gave away nearly all she possessed in charity. I don't think she ever refused an appeal made to her, and was therefore, no doubt, often taken advantage of. She now and then gave me a five-pound note when I went to see her, but never liked to be thanked. Whenever I attempted to do so she would always stop me with, "That'll do, my dear, that'll do." She, or some member of my family knew a lady — I can't recall her name — who went to St. Helena to see Napoleon, and when she saw the mighty conqueror to whom " the rapture of the strife, the earthquake voice of victory " was as " the breath of life", he was engaged trying to win a game of picquet with one of his officers.

I have a book which was printed for private circulation among the subscribers by a captain in the regiment — I think the 20th — which was on duty at St. Helena when Napoleon was a prisoner there and who therefore had many opportunities of observing him, and he presents him in a far more favourable light than that in which he is usually regarded.

When very young I was sent to a French school in Boulogne in charge of my youngest sister, then about seventeen, in order to obtain a thorough knowledge of French, which I certainly acquired, as English was seldom spoken, and where I was also taught the piano. We had a terribly rough passage in crossing and the packet boat, as passenger vessels were called, had to put in at Calais, and we were obliged to hire a vehicle to take us on to Boulogne. A man and woman who crossed over from England with us suggested our sharing the vehicle, but when a short distance from Boulogne they insisted on setting us down at the side of the road with our belongings, as they were going, they said, to some place a little further on, adding that we should no doubt be picked up shortly by some market cart going to Boulogne. As the dawn was only just breaking we had to wait a considerable time, but finally a cart took us up and we reached our destination without further mishap. My father often said in referring to this incident that he should like to meet that gentleman. I remember that some of the little villages round Boulogne were lighted by lanterns suspended by ropes stretched across the roads. The French and English boys would occasionally fight amongst themselves, but there never seemed to be any serious ill feeling between us, and indeed I leamt to love the French in those early days. I often used to have little talks with the French soldiers, who always seemed to me, though I was too young to form any reliable opinion, to be very intelligent, with a fair knowledge of history, at any rate of their own country. In referring to the English soldiers they would admit that they were excellent in defence, but claimed that their men were better in attack. Their tales of Napoleon fired my childish imagination and the marching regiments with their drums, which I think were a greater feature than with us, preceded by the pioneers with their long beards and white leather aprons, perhaps started my love for the spectacular side of soldiering. I remember I once displayed very bad taste in showing a French girl a print I had given me of the Battle of Waterloo, portraying the repulse of the French Cuirassiers by a British square of infantry, and how she snatched it out of my hand, tore it to pieces and trampled upon it to my intense disgust. However, no doubt, it relieved her feelings and at the same time taught me a lesson in tact.

I often used to go walks in the fields with my youngest sister, Mrs. Sheard, after I returned from France, past Holland House and what is now Hammersmith Broadway, and I seem dimly to recall Turnham Green as resembling, more or less, a village. I was then living with my father and mother and unmarried sister who did not marry till many years later, at a house in Young Street (offsite link to map), exactly opposite the house where Thackeray lived for some years and where he wrote Vanity Fair, Esmond and other works. I remember him as a large heavy man with white hair, and we used to watch him go out every morning on his big black cob.

While at Kensington I was sent to a private school in Church Street, where I learned little or nothing. The boarders and day boys used to have battles under their respective captains, occupying opposite ends of the playground and encountering in the centre. The prisoners, when taken, used to be subjected to rather cruel treatment, after the manner of boys, but were sometimes held to ransom, on certain conditions approved by their captors, which generally consisted of the surrender of tops or marbles or other matters which appeal to boys.

Mr. Sheard, the gentleman who paid court to my sister Annie at " Ward's House " and whom she afterwards married, when they lived in Kensington Square, was a solicitor and an exceptionally able man. He died when he was between thirty and forty and had he lived he would, I believe, have had a distinguished career, for during the short time he was in practice he realized sufficient property to leave his widow about nine hundred pounds a year. So successful indeed was he that he bought some freehold ground on Wimbledon Common where he built a house, but the price of the land, the building, architect's fees, etc., amounted to nearly ten thousand pounds, which was much more, I believe, than he originally contemplated spending upon the property; it realized at his death, he never having lived to occupy it, only about four thousand pounds.

He and my sister were very intimate with Eliza Cook, the authoress, who used to stay at their house and whom I often used to meet there. I once had the audacity to show her a youthful poetical effusion which she was amiable enough — or tactful enough — not to laugh at.

Upon leaving Kensington we lived near Norwich and I went to study with a private tutor, the Rev. — Osborne who was educating his two sons, and with whom I read Greek and Latin, but I was a very stupid and unpromising pupil, and I hope, and have no doubt, that his sons profited more by their father's instruction than I did.

While there I went to study art at the Norwich School of Design, where I not only lost a good deal of time, but spoilt my chances of success in that direction. The headmaster's name was Heaviside. I drew a little from casts, but not continuously as I ought to have done, and copied water-colour drawings of landscapes and flowers, and occasionally small oil pictures, sent down for that purpose from the South Kensington School; for all of which prizes were given. These prizes I invariably won whatever the subject happened to be, so that I began to think myself a genius, in which delusion I was perhaps confirmed by Heaviside, who soon after left the School of Design and set up a private school of his own, where he started with three pupils: that is to say, myself and two others.

He had also two or three lady pupils. He started this " L'école d'art," as he termed it, and charged me, and I presume my fellow-students, fifty pounds a year each and of course received something from the two or three lady pupils. There we painted anything our sweet fancies dictated, either in water-colour or oil; sometimes we copied from coloured prints, and sometimes from uncoloured ones, colouring them out of our heads. No worse art training could be imagined. Heaviside never attempted to paint anything himself and his teaching — for what it was worth — was entirely theoretical as apart from practice. He was a picturesque figure of the brigand type and wore a sombrero hat and a cloak thrown over one shoulder.

I stayed there about a year, and my parents realizing at last that I was making no progress sent me back to the Norwich School of Design, by the advice, I think, of Mr. Sands, the father of the distinguished Fred Sandys, who spelt his name with a " y." Heaviside was succeeded by Mr. Claude Lorraine Nursey, an unfortunate name for a man, who though connected with art never succeeded in it. He was a pupil of David Wilkie, which was his only claim to any kind of notoriety, for he could neither draw nor paint, although he attempted to paint two or three portraits which he used to get me to touch up and which I honestly believe I sometimes improved, for he had no feeling either for form, texture or colour. While with Nursey I made a drawing of the Fighting Gladiator which I sent for competition to South Kensington, where it obtained a medal, and a time sketch of the Gladiator which obtained an " Hon. mention."

Encouraged by this I sent drawings to London for admission to the Royal Academy as probationer which to my disgust were rejected, and I concluded that R.A.'s were set upon suppressing local talent. Very indignant and armed with my drawings my brother-in-law (Mr. Sheard) introduced me to Mr. C. W. Cope, R.A., with whom he was very friendly, and I well remember my interview with the great man. He first asked me my age — I think I was about seventeen — and then asked what I had been doing. I told him I had been studying at the Norwich School of Design, and also with a Mr. Heaviside. "Heaviside, Heaviside," he said, "Is he rather romantic? does he wear a cloak across his shoulder, like a Spaniard, and stare at the moon?" I said I could answer for the cloak but not about the moon. "Well," he said, " I'm afraid you have not learnt much and in fact have a good deal to unlearn." Looking again at my drawings he said, "Why my little girl of twelve can draw better than that." (I believe she really was a genius but died very young.) I collapsed.

He went on to say very kindly that Mr. Sheard had suggested my coming to him as a pupil, but that he could not take anyone who really required elementary teaching. I remember he said, " To succeed in art you must draw the sword and throw away the scabbard." The mistake I made was to retain the scabbard after having drawn the sword which it might have been better, under the circumstances, never to have drawn at all, for it has been impressed upon me since that art is a jealous mistress who insists upon loyal and unswerving devotion.

He then went on to say that if I really intended to follow art as a profession I had better go to Cary's School in Bloomsbury, which good advice I followed and where I commenced with outlines from the flat, shading the ball and other similar work, and was then promoted to drawing and shading from the antique. Mr. Cope then said that if I could get into the Royal Academy as a probationer he might entertain taking me as his pupil. I got on so rapidly under Mr. Cary's excellent tuition that I was admitted as a probationer with a drawing of the Laocoon within the year and as a student with a drawing of the Discobolus, and still later I got into the Life school with a drawing of my old friend the Fighting Gladiator. There were very few students the year I joined. These were Fred Walker, A.R.A., who was a larky little chap at that time and gave no indication of his future eminence, William B. Richmond, R.A., son of George Richmond, R.A., afterwards Sir William, and Andrew B. Donaldson. These obtained silver medals for the Antique, and Donaldson the gold medal for the best Figure picture, the subject being the Trial Scene from The Merchant of Venice. There were also Albert Moore, A.R.A., and a sculptor whose name I have forgotten. The other students were Novra, George Eaton and myself. All these distinguished themselves more or less except the three last.

The Keeper of the Royal Academy was Charles Landseer who used to crawl about in carpet slippers — I don't think any of us learned much from him. The Curator of the Antique school was a Mr. Lofts, and Mr. Le Jeune — who painted very delicately finished pictures — was the Curator of the Painting school, where we used to paint from the draped model. The visitors included Maclise — a tall handsome man — Herbert, — Dyce and other R.A.'s. — Mulready used frequently to make charming red chalk drawings from the nude, with the students in the Life school. Cope used also to draw there occasionally. I remember he made a fine etching of the Life school and the model, with the students at work, a copy of which he gave me. When I was quite young I used to have a great hankering for soldiering and military matters; pictures and accounts of battles and sieges always appealed to me. My great ambition as a boy was to get into the Foot Guards — commissions in those days could be purchased — until I realized that a military career would necessarily take me from home. I then tried for a commission in the Irish Constabulary, but nothing came of it, and I contented myself later on, before the Volunteer movement took place, with joining the Victoria Rifles as a private, in which corps I never rose any higher. This was the oldest Volunteer corps in the country, next to the Honourable Artillery Company. The uniform was black, much like the Rifle Brigade, and the privates were privileged to wear swords when not on parade — if indeed it was a privilege. Anyway we were very proud of ourselves and felt very important when soldiers used to salute us — taking us for officers. Very childish, no doubt, but I was then very young. The Duke of Wellington, son of the great Duke, was our Hon. Colonel, and my affections and aspirations used to oscillate at that time between an artistic and a military career. I wish I had wholeheartedly followed the former as I think soldiering really appealed to me more from a spectacular than a practical point of view.

Eventually I applied for and obtained a commission as ensign in the 1st Warwick Militia. I had some little interest at that time at the War Office, and the 1st Warwicks had a very good reputation having been then recently embodied during the Crimean War. Militia commissions were granted and signed by the Lords Lieutenants of counties, and a property qualification of fifty pounds a year, in land, was a sine quâ non for an ensign or lieutenant; two hundred pounds for a captain; four hundred and fifty pounds, I believe, for a major; and seven hundred and fifty pounds for a lieut.-colonel; and affidavits to this effect had to be made before the Clerk of the Peace. This was, I suppose, a remnant of feudalism and to ensure Militia officers having a stake in the country. Subsequent promotions for field rank were granted by the Sovereign and signed by the Commander-in-Chief and the Secretary of State for War. Presumably the privates were in those days enlisted from the estates of the officers and originally, I believe, the property qualification was confined to the county in which the Militia regiment was raised, but this was not insisted on in my time and all qualifications were abolished before I attained the rank of Captain. The regiment when I joined — on its return from Plymouth where it was embodied — was commanded by Colonel Boultbee, a Warwickshire man, who was killed the same year under tragic circumstances. On the day the regiment — which then numbered 1035 — was inspected on the Warwick Racecourse by, I think, General Pipon, and was returning to Warwick, up the very steep hill leading into the town, the colonel's horse, which was a very nervous animal, took fright and dashed in amongst the men. At that moment a child ran out into the road, from a cottage close by, and seemed to get under the horse's feet, and I, who was carrying the regimental colours, heard the colonel say, " Good God, I've killed the child." He then, though reputed to be one of the best riders in the county, seemed to lose his head and fell forward on the horse's neck. By some unhappy mischance the scabbard of his sword stuck in the flank of the horse which then dashed at lightning speed down the steep decline, and shying at a baulk of timber which lay in the road threw the colonel on to his head. He was taken into a cottage adjoining and never regained consciousness. The old regimental surgeon — Dr. Tranter — would have bled him, but he was overruled by the assistant surgeon -  Dr. Goodchild — a very able man. Colonel Boultbee was succeeded in the command by Colonel Wise, who was then, I suppose, over sixty. He was formerly a major in a Line regiment, I think the 65th, and belonged to an old Warwickshire family which formerly owned the Priory at Warwick. He was a typical soldier of the old school, in the days when flogging in the Army was practised. He might be as brave as a lion in action, but I should not think of him as cool and collected in an emergency. He always persisted in calling rifles "firelocks," and even I can remember the days of ramrods and percussion caps before breech-loaders were invented.

When drilling the battalion he reverted to antiquated words of command of nearly a century ago, but the adjutant and sergeant-major always instructed the men how to act, and the inspecting officers were generally rather antiquated themselves. The inspections used mainly to consist of a march past in slow time which took about three-quarters of an hour with ten companies about one hundred strong, an advance in Review order and the Manual exercise.

Colonel Wise was immensely tall — quite six feet two inches or more and as thin as a lath, and would have served admirably as a model for Don Quixote; he had fierce moustaches, curling almost up to his eyes, which were pale blue and very close together, with an expression at once wild and restless, which struck terror into the men. I remember once when ten or a dozen defaulters were brought before him he threatened to flog them all. They shivered in their shoes before the fierce old martinet, as I doubt whether any of them knew that he was powerless to carry out his threat. His bark, however, was generally worse than his bite and his telling off of prisoners in the orderly room was very uncertain and depended a good deal upon the humour he happened to be in, and he sometimes got a bit mixed. Here is a sample:

Colonel: "You're a decent-looking youth" — he always spoke of the men as youths even if they were over forty—" you've no business to he here. Have you got a mother?"

Prisoner: "Yes, sir."

Colonel: " And are you your son's only mother?" followed by "Go away, and don't let me see you here again."

At other times he would be unnecessarily severe, sending a man to gaol for a comparatively venial offence which would involve his hair being cropped, or to the dark cells which, together with the hospital, had to be visited every day by the orderly officer with the usual formula of " any complaints? ".

The other officers of the regiment were Marmion Ferrers of Baddesley Clinton, Fetherston Dilke of Maxstoke Castle — of which more anon — Staunton of Longbridge, Major Roberts Gee Gun Cunninghame and Palmer. The other officers were men of good social position, but not all hailing from Warwickshire.

The mess in those days was a much simpler affair than it afterwards became, with plain joints carved at the table. The drinking of wine was optional and the officers not taking it used to turn down their glasses. The old colonel would seldom exceed his two glasses of sherry and he would then adjourn for his nightly game of whist — there was no bridge in those days — with his second-in-command, or any other officer he could press into the service, but he was not a desirable partner, as he was a bad player and always played for his own hand.

I remember once in the middle of dinner a telegram was handed to me, "Your mother seriously ill; return at once". I went immediately to the colonel at the head of the table and asked for leave under those circumstances which he immediately granted. I went back to my seat for a moment to tell Dr. Goodchild who was sitting next me of the distressing news I had received when he said, "Let me see the telegram. Why," he said, "this isn't for you, it's for Private Roberts, a man in your company, which is, of course, why it was brought to you". Never shall I forget the relief I felt. I gladly went back to the Commanding Officer and also obtained leave for my namesake.

Neither shall I forget the first day I joined the regiment. I arrived at Warwick in time for mess, a shy, rather nervous youth and not knowing a soul. We had our mess at the Woolpack in those days and the yeomanry theirs at the Warwick Arms. Being tired by my journey and excited by the novelty of my surroundings I sneaked off to bed directly after dinner, but had not been there long when a waiter tapped at my door to say that the senior captain wanted to see me. I said, " Give my compliments to the senior captain and say that I have gone to bed." He returned presently with the message that I must come as I was particularly wanted downstairs. Being ignorant of military etiquette or requirements I dressed and went down, when I found ten or a dozen of the officers in the smoking-room with glasses, drinks and cigars. The senior captain tossed me a big cigar which did not appeal to me at all, having only recently attempted smoking with such unpleasant results that I had desisted from further attempts, and said, " Oh ! Mr. Roberts, we sent for you because we thought you would like to join us in a little contest as to who shall be quickest in drinking off glasses of beer. The last man pays all round." The glasses having been filled he-called out, "Now, General" — General was a nickname for one of the officers, an ex-Guardsman whose father was a general — " give the word of command." Whereupon the " General " commenced — " 1st Warwicks, attention. At the word one seize the glass with the forefinger and thumb of the right hand. At the word two raise it carefully till the rim of the glass is level with the mouth, wrist in line with the elbow, and insert it between the lips. At the word three toss it off with a smart jerk of the head. At the word four come down to the position of prepare to load."

Having drunk very little at dinner I was an easy winner in the first race. In the second I did not do quite so well, though by no means the last. In the third I stopped midway and feeling top heavy and qualmy I staggered out of the room with cheers and laughter ringing in my ears. Lighting a chamber candle I crawled up to my room, realizing that I was hopelessly drunk, but I retained sufficient consciousness to put out my light lest I should inadvertently set fire to anything and dropped on to my bed dressed as I was, and remembered nothing more, but dreamed that I had a splitting headache — which however was no dream — and was tossing about on a rolling sea. I learned afterwards that these jovial officers had been drinking light table beer, while I had been served from a separate jug containing old Scotch ale and gin. This is the only time I was ever drunk. Perhaps the wretched experience induced a dislike for alcohol, except in very moderate quantities; if so it served me a good turn. It was a sorry joke to play, but ragging, as it was called, was rife in those days and militia and yeomanry trainings were generally regarded as a good outing with no vexatious restrictions. I don't remember having been the victim of any other serious practical joke, from which I like to think that I was not at any rate exceptionally unpopular, but some men who were had a bad time of it. More than one man had to leave the regiment in consequence. I remember a very bad case of ragging during our embodiment at Aldershot at the time of the Egyptian War, when a man who was very much disliked — he really was rather an outsider — had his hut broken into. One of the raiders — nicknamed " The Terrier " on account of his enterprise and ingenuity in such expeditions — smashed his window and wriggled into his room. Of course the victim of the outrage missed his chance when he failed to tackle " The Terrier " when half-way through the window, as, directly he got in, he unlocked the door and let in the other raiders who proceeded to fill his bath and put all the wretched man's belongings into it. They then pulled him out of bed and marched him down the lines in his nightshirt. I, who was then second-in-command, happened to be sitting in the shadow of the mess hut — it was a bright moonlight night — when I heard a shout of " Form fours, right. By your left, quick march,'' and saw a procession headed by a white figure coming towards it — the colonel was absent and action seemed difficult. While I was deliberating the procession passed on inside the mess hut where I heard afterwards the wretched victim was brought before the junior major, tried for some imaginary offence, and condemned to some terrible ordeal, which was afterwards commuted on his promising never again to be impertinent to his superior or inferior officers and he was thereupon allowed to run back to his hut which he must have found in a deplorable condition, with the floor strewn with broken glass and his belongings saturated with water. The poor fellow got no redress — to do him justice I don't think he ever applied for it — and he left soon after. I remember other instances of ragging, but none quite so bad as this.

Colonel Grimston, late captain in the 19th Foot and colonel of the Hampshire Volunteers, who joined us as major, succeeded Colonel Wise, but although an excellent officer and strict disciplinarian he seemed unable to check ragging altogether, and when I took over the command the evil had got to such a pass that I felt drastic measures would have to be taken.  Several married officers, because they did not happen to be popular with the younger ones, frequently had their tents pulled down, a terrible experience, particularly on a wet dark night, and were subjected to other intolerable indignities, which I felt could not be permitted. As I could not extort any confession from the ringleaders I was obliged to order extra parades — sword drill, saluting, etc. — as a punishment for the subalterns, and to work off their superfluous energy. But as this did not entirely succeed in checking the evil I was compelled to threaten to stop their promotion and refuse to help them in obtaining commissions in the Line. This brought about the desired result.

The Duke of Cambridge honoured the battalion by dining at our mess while we were quartered at Aldershot, and was attended by Sir Daniel Lysons and Lord Leigh, the Lord-Lieutenant of Warwickshire. I hope it is permissible to say that he did such ample justice to our dinner that he got very drowsy towards the end of it. Turning to Colonel Grimston he said, "Well, Colonel, I hope you get on all right at Worcester". "Warwick, sir," said Colonel Grimston. The Duke replied, " Eh, yes ! — I know, Warwick, of course". A minute after, " Well, Colonel, you've comfortable quarters at Nottingham, eh? ". "Warwick, sir," again said Colonel Grimston, and the Duke again replied, "Yes, yes, Warwick, of course," and so on. I think he made a third mistake about our head-quarters. He soon after got up with, " Well, good night, gentlemen. Excellent dinner, very good wine, everything nice and hospitable".

The Duke, at one of our inspections, took command in one or two battalion movements, but his words of command were so antiquated that the men could not work to them, and he finally clubbed the battalion and in trying to reform it he gave the obsolete order to "Take ground to the right in fours " — upon which nobody moved — instead of " Move to the right in fours." Finally he told the adjutant to bring it back into column.

One of our subalterns who had been raided more than once received a hint that he would be raided again on a certain night. He went to bed as usual, and had a bottle of champagne and some biscuits placed on a table to welcome his uninvited visitors; when they arrived they drank the champagne, but never came afterwards.

A prisoner was once charged before me in the orderly room with rioting — nothing very serious — when the corporal who appeared as evidence said, " As far as I can make out, sir, there seems to have been a bit of a frackass (fracas)." On one occasion one of the subalterns was noticed by Colonel Wise walking with a lady who was not exactly recognized in society and who might indeed be described as belonging to the " demi-monde." I think his chief offence consisted in his having been in uniform, at least so the colonel regarded it, and he put him under arrest. The adjutant took his sword and placed a sentry on guard over him at his quarters. He underwent a formal enquiry, I remember, and was reprimanded and there the matter ended.

I recollect once at Aldershot that I happened, unfortunately, to be the brigade major when there was rather serious rioting and fighting going on in the camp, between two infantry regiments. Bayonets were drawn, a few shots fired and brickbats and stones were hurtling through the air. The matter seemed so serious that I felt obliged to go to the general's quarters for instructions. His name was Spurgeon, and I think he and his son, who was his A.D.C., were rather disgusted at having to accompany me on horseback in the middle of the night and proceed to the scene of the disturbance with brickbats and stones flying about our ears. As a punishment for the regiment which appeared most to blame, it was ordered away to much less desirable quarters.

We once had an officer attached to us who was so lamentably ignorant of drill, even judged by the militia standard of that date, that he was more or less the butt of the battalion albeit he was once in a Dragoon regiment, and subsequently for a short time in the Foot Guards. It was said of him that he left the cavalry because he couldn't ride and the infantry because he couldn't walk. He certainly was a poor performer, as I could testify, in either capacity. Often have I seen him when the battalion has been route marching limping in — he suffered a good deal with tender feet — a quarter of an hour after it had returned to barracks, smothered with dust, as he naturally would be in the rear of the column, and in a very bad temper. There was a story told of him, for the accuracy of which I will not vouch, but it seems too good to miss.

His colour-sergeant saluting him, as he came on parade with the formula, " Men all present, sir," added, " there's an odd file this morning," meaning of course the blank space in the rear rank, third man from the left, which occurs when there is an uneven number of men. The captain replied, " Take him to the guard room." The sergeant, thinking he had misunderstood him, repeated, " There's an odd file, sir." The captain replied, " I won't hear any excuses; it's not the first time it's happened this training."

Years after, when I commanded the battalion, we were inspected by the general who had been colonel of the regiment of Foot Guards in which this officer served for a short time, and as I sat next him at mess I could not resist telling him this reputed story of one of his officers, at which he was very much amused, and was not greatly surprised when he heard the name of the officer, who had then joined the majority for some years.

The non-coms. of that time were, I fancy, the backbone of the Army, and practically sometimes commanded the companies on parade; in fact, it was no uncommon thing for the colour-sergeant to prompt the captain as to the word of command he should give.

But great changes have taken place since then.

One of our adjutants was a very poor rider and extremely nervous — the performances of infantry adjutants in that direction are proverbial — and he used to have a very quiet horse for parade and as an additional precaution against any exuberance of spirits he would have him kept on short commons during the annual trainings, which the animal, I believe, dreaded accordingly. On one occasion, however, he seemed rather less depressed than usual, whereupon the adjutant turned to the groom who was standing by the horse's head, with "Damn your eyes, you've been giving him corn". I was never much of a horseman myself, but of course riding on parade is a comparatively simple matter, and does not require much skill in horsemanship, unless you have an untried horse or firing to contend with, or both at one and the same time, and it may then be a serious matter. We were once inspected on the Warwick Race-course and the regiment was firing volleys by half-battalions, and as one of the majors I had to give the word of command to my half-battalion to fire a volley. Upon this being done my horse bolted with me and made for the high, spiked barred gate leading on to the course. My only alternative was to throw myself off or crash through it and take my chances. I chose the latter course when fortunately the gate-keeper rushed forward and opened the gate just wide enough for us to scrape through, but it was a very close shave, and I did not succeed in stopping the horse till half-way through the town. It must have appeared to onlookers as if I had been sent into the town on some urgent matter. When I got back to the battalion I heard that promotion had been discussed as more than a probability!

This horse was not a trained charger and was lent by a friend as my own horse had unfortunately gone lame on the very day of the inspection.

I have been run away so frequently that I have come to the conclusion that it has been due to the fact of my having "bad hands." I remember the riding master of the 5th Lancers, to which regiment I was attached, once said, "You've as good a seat as any man in the regiment and you could stick on to anything, but you've the worst hands in England."

I have heard, in this connection, that ladies often have very good hands, and that for this reason they are, perhaps, less likely to be run away with. However, as I have observed before, in equine matters my opinion is worth very little.

The country round Aldershot was very rough for riding in places. I remember one/big field day we were advancing in half-battalions over ground that was rather swampy, and looking back I saw that the other half-battalion was progressing in good order, with the junior major in front. A minute later, on looking back again, the major had disappeared. I thought it must be an optical illusion : both horse and man had been swallowed in a bog. The junior major was pulled out with some effort and the horse with great difficulty.

This junior major was remarkably clever in getting all the leave he wanted and in putting upon me any disagreeable duty which should have been equally shared. In this way I constantly found myself serving on courts martial, while he would be in London on " urgent private affairs." He was, as I said, a clever fellow, and that was one of the proofs of it. In age he was my senior and died some years ago, and he could have turned me inside out in many ways, as will be readily understood from the foregoing. The year the regiment came from Warwick to Aldershot — during the Egyptian War — where we remained some months, I arrived first to superintend the camp arrangements and two of our officers, our quarter-master, a splendid soldier and late sergeant-major of the 1st battalion, and the Honourable Clegg Hill, now Viscount Hill, were looking after a fatigue party pitching the tents — a disagreeable duty as it was raining and blowing hard. Hill and Hanworth, however, were no " feather-bed soldiers," and I found them during an interval of rest sitting on an inverted beer barrel, gnawing a ham-bone, which I was able afterwards to supplement with a loaf.

Hill was an ideal captain of a company and deservedly popular with his men, and he has since done " his bit " to help to win the war against the Germans.

After our return from Aldershot we went under canvas for our next training at Stratford-on-Avon, where there was a range for musketry practice, but the change was not popular with the men, and I think recruiting fell off in consequence, and two or three years after when I was in command of the battalion I agitated at the War Office for our return to our head-quarters at Warwick, Lord Leigh having meanwhile offered the use of his range at Stoneleigh Deer Park, about seven miles from our camping ground on the race-course, and our musketry instructor (Captain Haines, nephew of the late Field-Marshal Sir Frederick Haines, formerly Commander-in-Chief in India) succeeded in making us the second best shooting militia regiment in the Kingdom.

Those were indeed happy times and the days at the range were quite ideal in the lovely deer park with its stately trees, through which meandered a beautiful trout stream.

Our officers used to dine at Stoneleigh Abbey every year during the trainings, when Lord Leigh in uniform as our honorary colonel used to preside. Lady Leigh was a charming hostess and an accomplished pianist, and used to accompany one of our officers who had a good voice — or he thought he had — at any rate he was our best and only performer and was always easily persuaded to sing what was probably the only song he knew, I think out of Il Trovatore.

The private dinner parties at Stoneleigh were delightful. On one of these occasions I was asked to meet the judges and barristers on circuit, and sat, I remember, next Lady Eva Greville, now Lady Eva Dugdale.

There is, or was, at Stoneleigh Abbey a magnificent Vandyck of Charles I, who once stayed there. The oldest portion of the Abbey — the gateway — dates back to Henry II.

On another occasion Lord Leigh incidentally referred to a miniature of Peter Leigh and I asked if that was the Sir Peter Leigh who was knighted at Agincourt, when he expressed surprise at my having been aware of such a fact. I revisited Stoneleigh some years back and mentioned the circumstance to the present Lord Leigh when Miss Leigh kindly fetched the miniature, and I was very pleased to renew my acquaintance with it. It was not a great work of art but it was quaint and interesting as a bit of family history.

Directly I was appointed to the command of the 3rd Battalion Royal Warwick Regiment I insisted on my officers attending the school of instruction at Wellington Barracks which was started by the authorities for teaching the new drill, and I set the example by going through the entire course myself, comprising squad, company, battalion and brigade drill. The commandant of the school was Captain Horace Stopford of the 2nd Battalion Coldstream Guards, who subsequently commanded the regiment and was one of the first officers killed in the Boer War.   Before he went to South Africa he stayed with me as my guest in our camp at Warwick and while there he complimented me on the drill and behaviour of my battalion which he rightly attributed, in great measure, to the course of instruction at Wellington Barracks, at which I was much gratified, as Colonel Stopford was a thorough, up-to-date soldier and a very competent authority. He was also a man of taste and refinement and much appreciated my taking him round to places of historical interest in Warwickshire and I felt his loss a good deal.

Colonel Stopford's favourable opinion was confirmed later on by the authorities at the War Office who testified to the excellent condition of the battalion in the reports which were issued from time to time, for although I have referred to my love of soldiering — always subordinated to my love of art — as being rather spectacular than practical I did not neglect any effort to attain proficiency. Thus I did duty with the West Norfolk Militia at Norwich, was attached to the 47th Line Regiment at Aldershot and have also done duty with the 5th Lancers and 7th Hussars and gone through a course of riding school and lance and sword drill with both these regiments.

On the expiration of the five years allotted for the tenure of the command of a battalion, I was asked by the officer commanding the district, if I thought it would be for the good of the battalion if he applied to the authorities for an extension of my command, and although I felt sorry to leave it I did not think it would be fair to stop promotion, and this I intimated to him, with the result that I was retired about 1894, with permission to retain my rank and the uniform of the regiment.

Some time afterwards I was the recipient of a gratifying testimonial from the non-commissioned officers and men in " token of their esteem and affection on my relinquishing the command." The battalion was afterwards sent to Colchester, where I stayed as the guest of the officers, and it subsequently served in the Boer War, under the command of my late adjutant, Colonel Barklie McCalmont. The 4th Battalion Royal Warwickshire Regiment went out at the same time under Colonel Harry McCalmont, late Scots Guards.

I have heard it claimed for the horse that he is a very intelligent animal, but I cannot say that my experience bears out this contention. I once had a very good horse which I rode some little time before employing him as a charger. He had, I knew, never seen a soldier, and I was anxious to get him accustomed to troops by degrees — the more so as he was rather given to shying at such little things as bits of paper lying in the road, a puddle of water, or a bird flying out of a hedge. So on the first day of our annual training at Warwick, when the battalion marched from Budbrook Barracks to our camp about three miles distant, thinking " discretion the better part of valour "I told my groom who was a good rider to mount and ride him behind the band, while I walked beside him to see how he behaved, realizing what a sad thing it would be for the British Army if I should be incapacitated! To my astonishment, at the first beat of the drum, on the word quick march he never turned a hair, so to speak, and continued to walk quietly with his nose almost on the big drum and in amongst the band. That being so I promptly relieved my man of his responsible position at the head of the regiment and rode my horse into the camp without the least mishap. Yet this same horse continued, now and again, to revert to fits of nervousness at the merest trifles, such as those above mentioned.

On another occasion I was mounting the steep bridge across the canal at Warwick on the same horse, when to my dismay I could just see coming in the opposite direction the heads of a procession of camels, dromedaries and elephants, no doubt a travelling menagerie. I had always heard that horses have an instinctive terror of strange animals of this kind, more especially camels, and realizing that we should meet them on the top of the bridge with possibly disastrous results, if the horse reared and we were toppled into the canal, I debated for a moment whether it might not be better to turn round and ride back, but of course there was not much time for reflection, and in another minute the dreaded meeting took place. But again, to my astonishment, the horse literally took no notice of them, regarding them as he might old friends and comrades, though I knew from his former owner that he could never have seen anything like them before. I might give other instances, but to go no further it is difficult to understand why an intelligent animal as the horse is alleged to be should charge a high spiked gate or a tree where a collision must, one would think, appear dangerous to itself as well as its rider. I was once indebted to a runaway for being dashed against a tree in an avenue and fortunately escaped with nothing worse than a broken knee-cap which, however, laid me up for two or three months. I merely advance these opinions based on my own experience which, however, I admit is very limited. A colour-sergeant or sergeant-major of the Grenadier Guards who had to leave on account of declining health — I think he was consumptive — was sent to my battalion as quartermaster — he did not live long after — and he sat next me on the first occasion of his dining at the officers' mess. From my point of view he was in essentials a gentleman, but being unaccustomed to the etiquette of social functions and dinner parties he looked rather hesitatingly at the stiff paper soufflé case — I think the technical term is a ramekin — which was handed to him, and as I saw indications that he was going to bite it, I suggested that he should remove the contents with a fork or a spoon, for I feared that he might be commented upon to his disadvantage by some who attach more importance to trifles than they deserve. There are such people.

This reminds me of a delightful story, which may have been heard before, of another quartermaster's first night at mess when he sat next the colonel. Soon after he had been helped to soup some ice was brought to him. He paused for a moment, not knowing quite how to deal with it, and finally dropped a little piece of ice into his soup, whereupon the colonel did the same, and this example was followed all round the table, without of course any comment.   The 1st Warwick Militia, when I first joined, wore yellow facings and the badge of the " Bear and Ragged Staff " which was the crest or cognizance of the Earl of Warwick who commanded the regiment when it was first raised. It was some years after affiliated with the 1st and 2nd Line Battalions of the 6th or Royal Warwickshire Regiment, when we adopted their blue facings and badge of the " White Antelope" in addition to the Bear and Ragged Staff, and it was then known as the 3rd Battalion Royal Warwickshire Regiment. Later on the Line battalions were ordered to adopt the Bear and Ragged Staff in addition to the White Antelope, which order was so unpopular that the colonel of the 1st Battalion begged me to join with him in requesting the authorities to do away with the old county badge of the bear, to which I would not consent, and the two badges continued to be worn by the 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th Battalions. What was settled after I left I do not know.

The history of the old county badge of the Bear is interesting. The Richard Beauchamp, Earl of Warwick, who bore it and whose splendid brass effigy is in St. Mary's Church, Warwick, was the tutor of Henry VI, whose ears he boxed on one occasion when Henry said the Warwick bear should be muzzled and chained for — 400? — years. Hence the muzzle, collar and chain. Before that period the bear appears unmuzzled and unchained, as may be seen in the effigy of the former Earl of Warwick who played a prominent part at the Battle of Crecy.

I believe the late Earl of Warwick reverted to the unmuzzled and unchained bear when the prohibition expired some time ago.

I dare say many people have observed how trivial circumstances and events are often impressed upon the memory when more important matters are overlooked or forgotten, and I retain the recollection of  how, on one occasion, on commanding officers' parade, I dropped my eye-glasses. Those who are dependent on eye-glasses will realize how helpless one feels without them, and I, on this occasion, would not have been able to replace them without much trouble and loss of time. I therefore said to the adjutant adding an expletive which might be excused under the circumstances — " I've dropped my glasses." Soon after and just as the battalion was dismissed, he, or the sergeant-major, astonished me by shouting out in a stentorian voice, " The Colonel has dropped his glasses," whereupon six hundred or seven hundred men scampered over the parade ground in all directions, evidently in the hope of finding them, of which there was about as much chance as of finding the needle in the haystack. This of itself was surprising, but more surprising still was the fact that my eye-glasses were soon after restored to me unbroken. How often have I looked back with pleasure upon this spontaneous and unsolicited little act of service by the men.   The first theatre I was taken to as a child was the Adelphi, where I saw Madame Celeste and, I believe, Madame Vestris; also Dion Boucicault in, I think, The Colleen Bawn, also Wright and Paul Bedford in Box and Cox, and I remember I was greatly surprised when I was told that a lady who came to see us in our box was the same lady I had just seen on the stage. I think she was a Miss Chapman.

My first acquaintance with J. L. Toole, who was then engaged at the Adelphi Theatre, took place under rather peculiar circumstances. An old schoolfellow, many years my senior, was a great frequenter of theatres and very enthusiastic about anything connected with theatricals and acting, and I, who had a certain aptitude for stringing rhymes together, was persuaded by him to write a burlesque in which doggerel rhymes form, more or less, an important feature. I told him I knew nothing about burlesques; in fact, I had never up to that time seen one, but he insisted that it could be done, and that he could help me about stage directions, etc., and in getting it produced. So I performed my part of the contract, with which he was greatly pleased, but when it came to the performance of his undertaking as regards its production, it turned out that he had altogether overestimated his powers, with the result that it seemed likely to fall through altogether, which, having been at the trouble of writing the burlesque, which was entitled Helen, or the Cellar Key, and duly entered at Stationers' Hall, I determined should not be the case if I could help it, so I took my courage in both hands, and armed with my MS., but not, alas ! with an introduction, I called on Mr. Toole who then lived somewhere Regent's Park way, to try what I could do in the matter. He received me very pleasantly, but I thought his countenance fell when I explained the object of my visit and it fell still lower when I produced my MS. and told him it was a burlesque, which I hoped he might help me to get acted. He asked me if I had written anything of the kind before, and when I said " No," he said he feared it was no use my entertaining the idea — that Webster — the manager of the Adelphi — " had a fair-sized room nearly full of MS. — mostly burlesques!"

This did not seem encouraging, but I said that if he would only look at it and give me his opinion I should regard it as conclusive. At this he seemed pleased and promised to look it over. At the end of three weeks I called again to learn the result, but only to be told that he had really not had time to fulfil his promise, and asked me to call again in a week's time, which I did, and he then told me he had read it and really thought so well of it that he would do his best to induce Webster to accept it, when opportunity offered, as he thought he could himself make a success in one of the parts. He accordingly sent it to Webster, who kept it so long that my father persuaded me at last to write for its return, which I did as Toole could get nothing definite from him.

After further delay Webster wrote me a curt letter to say he had put my burlesque aside with one other, pending his decision as to which he should accept, but as I was in such a d —  — d hurry, as he expressed it, he sent mine back. Whether this was true or not I don't know, but the next burlesque he brought out was entitled Helen. This may have been a coincidence !    I afterwards interviewed Buckstone, the manager of the Haymarket Theatre, who asked me to read my burlesque out to him, which I did, and he complimented me upon it, but said his was not a burlesque house and advised me to take it to Webster at the Adelphi, which of course I had already done.

The offer was then made me to have it produced at the St. James' Theatre, but as it did not appear that I should reap much pecuniary advantage from the arrangement I declined it, which was very unwise, for, as I realized later on, I should have embraced the opportunity of having it acted on any terms, even if I received nothing for it.

Many years after, when I had nearly forgotten the matter, the clergyman of our church, the Rev. Acworth, M.A., to whom I showed it, said he would introduce it to The Oxford and Cambridge Dramatic Society which he thought would produce it, but that in that case I should receive nothing for it and would be precluded from offering it elsewhere, so I did not follow up the suggestion, and that finally ended my one little effort at dramatizing and sealed the fate of my belated burlesque!

I had several short notes from Toole later on, just to tell me he had not forgotten me or Helen, or the Cellar Key, which he regretted had not been produced after all. The last time I saw him I dined with him at Leamington where he was staying. He was a genial little man and almost as amusing off the stage as he was on.

I have always had a great liking for armour, upon which I consider my friend, Seymour Lucas, and the late Sir Guy Laking the best authorities in the kingdom, and from whom I have sometimes been able to pick up a few hints. I once bought some armour in Leamington which came from the Priory at Warwick, and which consisted of breast and back plate, helmet, gauntlets and vambrace, and having no place wherein to store it at the time, I asked my friend, J. Watson Nicol, well known as an exhibitor at the Royal Academy and the painter of "When a Man's Single He Lives at His Ease," if he would take charge of it for me. Mr. Seymour Lucas, happening to call upon him, saw the armour and asked if he thought the man to whom it belonged would care to sell it, and if so, if he would be likely to take a picture for it of the value of fifty pounds. Nicol submitted this offer to me which I decided to accept, and Sir Arthur Cope, to whom I mentioned the subject, advised me to ask for a painting of a small figure in armour.

I accordingly made an appointment with Mr. Lucas, whom I then met for the first time, when he agreed to my suggestion, and proposed that I should sit to him for a picture. I replied that I did not want a portrait as I already had one by Sandys and one by Nicol. He said it need not necessarily be a portrait, but I should be an excellent subject for a suit of Lansquenet armour which he had — adding with a mischievous twinkle in his eye, " You know you sometimes get an ugly chap who just suits these mediaeval costumes, and on the other hand you see a good-looking, dandified masher, with hair parted down the middle, the darling of the nursemaids, who would look a d —  — d fool in them."

This first interview appealed to me at once, and resulted in a friendship which I have retained ever since.

The picture, which was very fine in colour and technique, was exhibited at the Royal Academy, and all my friends recognized the likeness, which certainly did not suggest a good-looking " masher."

Lucas afterwards complimented me on having stood so well and told me that the last man who had the armour on was unable to bear the weight of it. I suppose he could not concentrate his thoughts upon what was required of him, or divert them from dwelling on his own sensations; at any rate in half an hour he collapsed.

I have sat to Seymour Lucas several times since for some of his historical subjects, and was portrayed as Lord Burleigh in his picture of Queen Elizabeth and her Ministers discussing the approach of the Armada which, I think, was entitledThe King of Spain's Navy is Abroad

I have more than once had the pleasure of visiting him and Mrs. Lucas — also herself a distinguished artist and exhibitor at the Royal Academy and especially successful in painting children — at their charming old-world country house at Blythburgh in Suffolk. While staying there I met the Earl and Countess of Stradbroke, whose place, Henham Hall, is almost within a stone's throw and where Lucas and I lunched  one Sunday — walking afterwards in the extensive park in which are many magnificent trees, some of which might have been there at the Conquest, Lady Stradbroke accompanying us in her little pony chaise, at a walking pace.

I expressed surprise that an unsightly stump of a tree should have been allowed to remain, when Lord Stradbroke told me that it possessed an historical interest, as his ancestor. Sir John Rous, had hidden in its branches when the Roundheads were in search of him, and as I appeared interested he showed me a letter which Charles II wrote to this ancestor from Breda, and of which, at my request, he very kindly sent me a copy. The letter, which I set out below, is that of a courtly, well-bred gentleman, which no doubt he was.

"BREDA, 27th April, 1660.

"It is no newes to me to hear of your good affection, which I with the accounts this bearer brought to me from you, of the activity you have lately used for the promoting my interest in which so many have followed the good example you gave that I hope I and you, and the whole Nation shall shortly receive the fruite of it, and that I may give you my thankes, in your owne country.

"In the meantime, you may be confident I am your affectionate
friende
CHARLES R."

Seymour Lucas has a charming personality as all will testify who have the pleasure of knowing him, and he sings a good song in a sweet tenor voice. We had a very pleasant time some years ago visiting together my old haunts in Warwickshire — Maxstoke Castle, Baddesley Clinton and the house of my old friend, Staunton of Longbridge, who has since joined the majority.

Talking of armour, I once went in a suit of armour to a fancy dress ball, given by the Mayor of Leamington in the Town Hall, when I endured the weight of it for nearly five hours, and which gave me an exalted idea of the power of endurance of the men of the Middle Ages. I created a great sensation, marching about — a ponderous and, more or less, impressive, but solitary, figure, as people seemed inclined to give me a wide berth — particularly ladies; and persons, I noticed, who seemed to have a tender regard for their feet, were especially careful!

I was once walking along the quay at Great Yarmouthand passed a very old house which had been inhabited by a man with antiquarian tastes, and whose furniture was then being sold. Just as I went in, out of curiosity, a suit of armour was being put up, for which fifteen pounds had been bid. I had no time to examine it, but concluded that if it was worth fifteen pounds to the bidder, it might be worth fifteen pounds ten shillings to me, so I bought it at that price, but having bought it I did not know where to put it, having only come over to Yarmouth for the day, so I had it packed and sent to a broker whom I knew at Norwich. On its arrival I saw it properly for the first time, and told him that if he had an offer I would take thirty pounds for it. The next day he told me he had had an offer of twenty-seven pounds which I told him to accept.

Some years after I sat next the late Earl of Warwick at the yeomanry mess, when I related the circumstance, and he asked me to describe the armour, which I did, when he said he should like to purchase it if I thought it could be bought for about seventy pounds. I wrote to the owner, a solicitor at Norwich, but he did not want to part with it.    Lord Warwick had a remarkably fine and refined head, and I always thought he looked like one of Vandyck's noble, high-bred personages come to life — or a vivified portrait by Vandyck. He was extremely kind to me, giving me permission to visit the castle and grounds at any time and to make sketches in the park, and he gave instructions to this effect to his agent — Captain Fosbery. I often wish I had made more use of the privilege. I went to the castle soon after the disastrous fire and Lord Warwick pointed out the damage that had been done, about which he seemed greatly disturbed.

I have heard it stated that Queen Victoria spoke of the Earl of Warwick as the courtliest man in Europe, and in appearance and manner he must assuredly have answered that description.

I remember that people — notably Americans — who used to flock in great numbers to see the castle would contrive, if possible, to catch sight of Lord Warwick if he happened to be anywhere in the grounds, and he would sometimes be put to it to get out of their way.

I once saw Du Maurier, to whom I had the hardihood to show a pen-and-ink drawing I had made. I cannot recall what he said, but if it had been anything complimentary I think I should have remembered it. He impressed me as being a singularly gentle and kindly man. I think there can be only one opinion about his being a very gifted black-and-white artist, and perhaps an even still more gifted writer, as evidenced by that fascinating book, Peter Ibbetson.

Some years ago, through my friend Seymour Lucas, I made the acquaintance of Mr. Donaldson, now Sir George Donaldson, the fine art collector and expert and the munificent donor of many valuable works  of art to the nation, who came to see an old, as I thought, Persian carpet which had been in my family for over one hundred years, and which I wanted to sell. I remember he said, " Oh yes, it's a nice carpet, but it isn't good enough for me." I said, " I have understood that some old Persian carpets realize large prices, and I heard of some lunatic who recently gave two thousand pounds for one." To my confusion he  replied, " I believe I was that lunatic " — adding that he would be pleased to show it me, if I would call at his place, which I did, but it so happened that he was then expecting Princess Louise to come to look at it, so I did not see it unrolled or spread out.

On the occasion when he came to see my carpet he noticed a very fine life-size female head which I had", by Frederick Sandys, which I bought at a sale many years ago for twenty-five shillings. It was presumably a head of Medusa and was referred to in the catalogue as " The Head of a Woman; artist unknown." After it was knocked down to me, I said to the auctioneer, "Don't you know the artist's name?" "No," he said;" it is unsigned, and artist unknown." " Well," I said, "it's by Fred Sandys." "How do you know that?" he replied. "Why," I said, " by the technique, in the same way that you could swear to a man's handwriting." He seemed surprised and disgusted.

I asked Donaldson the value of this drawing. He replied, " Well, you see, it's unfinished and I don't suppose you would get more than thirty-five pounds if you wanted to sell it." He subsequently bought it of me.

With reference to this particular drawing there was an exhibition some years ago of Watts' and Sandys' works at Burlington House (modern photograph), and my friend Sir Arthur Cope remarked to the promoters of the exhibition that it was a pity that the drawing belonging to a friend of his — referring to the Female Head — was not included, as it was as fine as or finer than anything by Sandys in the exhibition.

Later on I renewed my acquaintance with Sir George Donaldson when he went to live at Hove  — surrounded by his priceless collection of pictures and drawings by Gainsborough and other masters, and where he opened a museum in the town for the exhibition of an interesting collection of old furniture  — ranging over different periods — the small charge made for admission being devoted to the Red Cross and other charities.

Apart from his artistic proclivities, Sir George Donaldson has an attractive personality — enhanced by his kindly and courteous bearing — as he has a wide experience of the world which enables him to discuss almost any subject which arises. I wish he would write his reminiscences He has been an eminently artistic, practical and useful man, a combination somewhat rare, and has rendered great services to the nation. He is a Director of the Royal Academy of Music and the fine building which is its home owes its existence to him, while the interesting collection of furniture he has given to the Victoria and Albert Museum (modern photographs) bears witness to his generosity.   I retain a delightful remembrance of Bridgewater House and of the courtesy and kindness of its noble owners — the Earl and Countess of Ellesmere — and its fine gallery of pictures. I greatly admired one of the gems of the collection — a large picture by Titian of Diana and Acteon — and failing an introduction to Lord Ellesmere, I wrote from my club — the United Service modern photograph) — to ask his permission to copy the picture. In reply he said that he did not usually allow his pictures to be copied, but he would be pleased to make an exception in this case. He wrote the next day to say he feared I might be disturbed in the picture gallery, and thought I should find it more convenient if he gave me the exclusive use of a room to work in; he would have the picture taken down from the gallery, where it hung very high up, and arrange to have it on a level with the eye. Of course I was profusely grateful for such unexpected kindness, and sent on my impedimenta — a large easel, canvas and, in fact, all my artist's belongings, and when I presented myself later at Bridgewater House I found that a large room, overlooking the Green Park, had been assigned to me, of which I was to have the exclusive use; and that the large picture had been propped up on baulks of timber against the mantelpiece.  Lord Ellesmere had left word that he was leaving London, but had given directions for his servants to pay me every attention; and here amid these congenial surroundings I spent a most delightful four or five weeks in copying this noble picture which, by the by, formerly belonged to Charles I.

One day a visitor came to the gallery, who turned out to be the gentleman from Bond Street — I think his name was Smith — who used to have charge of the picture gallery. He said, "I think, sir, that picture has only been copied on one other occasion and that was by a rather distinguished R.A.," but, he added, "his copy was not so good as yours." No doubt Mr. Smith was one of those charming people who like to say pleasant things, and the "distinguished R.A." had gone — he died about thirty years ago — where he was "deaf to the voice of censure or of praise."

After finishing my day's work, on one occasion, I was crossing the beautiful marble tessellated floor of the hall when a lady came up to me — she turned out to be the Countess of Ellesmere — and said, "Oh! Major Roberts, what a beautiful copy you are making of the Titian." I said, "I'm very glad you are pleased with it; I hope Lord Ellesmere likes it." "Oh!" she replied, " he's never seen it; he wouldn't think of looking at it in your absence, without your permission; but I confess I have looked at it. Female curiosity, you know — for I couldn't withstand the temptation." "Well," I said, "I wish he would give me his opinion." She said, " Do you mean he may see it now? "I said, "I should be very glad," " Oh ! " then she replied, "I will fetch him at once," which she did. What Lord Ellesmere said I do not quite remember, nor is it material; but I give the incident at length because it furnishes a charming instance of high-bred courtesy and good feeling combined.

    Mr. C. W. Cope told me that he once stayed withTurner, R.A., at the Earl of Egremont's at Petworth, the Earl being desirous that he should paint sketches in the park, and that Turner would go out early every morning and not be seen again until the evening. Lord Egremont, becoming at length a little impatient, enquired how he was getting on with the sketches, whereupon Turner went up to his room and brought them down, all of them having been completed.

Where Turner lived was more or less a mystery at one time, and the younger artists would endeavour to solve this by accompanying him to his cab after some social gathering, such as a dinner party, and asking him where the cabman should be told to drive, but Turner was always too many for them and would give some fictitious address and afterwards tell the cabman where to take him.

Turner would sometimes paint on his pictures or make alterations on the walls of the Royal Academy on varnishing days. He once sent a picture of early morning, with a delicate grey pearly effect, when he found it had unfortunately been hung under, or over, a portrait of an officer in a bright scarlet uniform, whereupon he turned his grey effect into a gorgeous sunset, such as only Turner could paint and which made even the flaring red coat look cold and grey in comparison. I should like to have seen this little snuffy old man, who was such a giant in art, arriving on such an occasion in his shabby tail coat with an old paint-box and brushes, perhaps mounting a ladder and producing effects which must have appeared like magic to an onlooker.

Mr. C. W. Cope, R.A., was one of the most capable men I ever met. He was an exceptionally good talker and letter writer, and I have retained several of his letters as typical examples. As one of the visitors at the Royal Academy he will be remembered as an admirable teacher, though I don't think he erred on the side of undue praise or encouragement.

He used to say to me, " Your trouble is you can't draw," and I have since learned, when too late, that drawing is really the foundation of all good art and that painting is really drawing with paint.   What little proficiency I ever attained in painting I owe to his instruction, although I was only under him for a year. He was at his best, I think, in historical subjects, as his large frescoes in the Houses of Parliament testify, for he had a great power of telling a story in paint. His recital of any incident or story was inimitable, and was aided by a keen sense of humour, and I was once impressed at a large dinner party at Maxstoke Castle, when he was staying there, in noticing how everybody was craning forward to listen to something he was narrating to one of the guests sitting next him; but he never craved notoriety, and when he noted the attention he was receiving all round he lowered his voice.

He was Professor of Painting at the Royal Academy from 1867 to 1874 and was one of the successful competitors in the Westminster Hall competition with his cartoon of The First Trial by Jury, which gained a prize of three hundred pounds. Subsequently in another competition for fresco designs he was again successful, and his cartoon of The Meeting of Jacob and Rachel procured him a commission to execute the frescoes in the Houses of Parliament. He worked in a wooden studio, erected for the purpose, within the precincts of the House, and in this studio I used to trace the various cartoons which was not only interesting work in itself, but gave me a gratifying sense of importance in feeling that I was contributing, in some way, to the success of the undertaking, such as I imagine might have been felt by "the man who acted the cock in Hamlet." This sense of importance and responsibility was in no way diminished when I used to find myself at lunch with the various officials who were employed in different capacities, and when wandering about in parts of the building to which the public were not admitted and receiving the salutes of the policemen on duty, all of which gave me an idea of the joys of " he Jack in Office."

Mr. Cope later on persuaded me to try my hand at fresco. I did not, however, keep the result of my effort, as it painfully reminded me of my incapacity whenever I looked at it, but if my feeble attempt had no other result it taught me, at least, to appreciate the great difficulty of fresco painting, and to rate very highly the ability of the man who was able successfully to overcome it. To the best of my recollection the artist had first to calculate the exact size and shape of the portion of the fresco which he would be able to finish in the day's work, which "portion " would then be prepared by his assistant — I remember he went by the name of 'Fresco Mike' — with damp plaster, and as every touch upon this absorbent surface became indelible and therefore incapable of any alteration, it will be realized that the utmost care and accuracy of drawing were indispensable. I, at any rate, realized this so completely that I never again attempted anything in that direction. The colours were kept in little gallipots, and the vehicle employed was compounded of white of egg amongst other things. The process seemed to me to resemble water- colour rather than oil. All this, however, refers to more than fifty or sixty years ago, and since then other methods, I believe, have been in use.

The first frescoes which were executed for the Houses of Parliament were, I think, incidents from the English poets. Mr. Cope illustrated Chaucer with Patient Griselda (oil sketch), and Byron in The Death of Lara. All these suffered terribly from damp and may have called for different treatment in the subsequently painted frescoes in the corridors and elsewhere. With reference to The Death of Lara. I remember that Prince Albert came to Mr. Cope's studio — I occupied a smaller one adjoining his — to see the cartoon, and was so interested in the attitude of Lara — stretched out in death — that he laid down on the floor to illustrate his argument and enforced it with a rough pencil sketch which I kept for some time, as a souvenir, although it had not the slightest artistic value, but it has disappeared since, among other things. Queen Victoria also used to visit Mr. Cope's studio occasionally, and I remember she once asked to see Mr. Cope's children, among whom was my friend Arthur Cope, who remembers the incident distinctly.

The fresco painter of course had his coloured sketch to work from, in addition to his large cartoon, in charcoal or chalk. Of these more or less finished coloured sketches — some in oil and some in water-colour — I secured several at the sale of Mr. Cope's works at Christie's, many years ago. Among these were Henry V Committed to Prison by Judge Gascoigne, The Parting of Lord and Lady Russell and The Burial of Charles I. These were highly finished oil paintings, and the two first named were purchased from me by my friend Mr. Noverre. The water-colour sketches, which I still have, included Charles I Raising his Standard at Nottingham, The Train-bands Marching to Relieve Gloucester, Speaker Lenthall asserting the Privileges of the Commons and others, together with many chalk studies for the frescoes of heads, hands and feet which I was glad to be able to purchase at the same time.

The other frescoes in the Houses of Parliament, in the corridors and elsewhere, were The Embarkation of the Pilgrim Fathers, The Defence of Basing House (sketch), The Expulsion of the Fellows from Oxford for Refusing to Sign the Covenant, in addition to the ones already referred to — Charles I Raising his Standard at Nottingham, The Trainbands Marching to Relieve Gloucester, The Burial of Charles I, and Edward the Black Prince Receiving the Order of the Garter, and Henry V Committed to Prison by Judge Gascoigne. These two latter were placed over the throne. Of the entire series, if I might presume to offer an opinion, I should perhaps give the preference to The Defence of Basing House.    I believe that in later years mural pictures have been executed in oil, which must be a much easier and in many respects a more satisfactory process. Such are the frescoes in the Royal Exchange and a fine mural picture by Mr. Seymour Lucas, R.A., of The Arrest of the Five Members, hung in St. Stephen's Hall in the Houses of Parliament.

My acquaintance with his, Mr. Cope's, distinguished son, Sir A. S. Cope, R.A., extends over a much longer period, in fact, from the time of his birth, and I have been privileged to retain his friendship ever since. I have met several celebrities at his dinner parties occasionally — Cope Cornford, Lord Fisher, Sir Aston Webb, Maurice Hewlett and others. He inherits all his father's admirable qualities and gifts, with a few added. He is a good shot and an admirable fencer and entertains the Epée Club at his residence, Little Campden House, Campden Hill, Kensington. I have often thought that, had he not been so successful in painting, he might have excelled in music, as he seems to be a born musician and his renderings of classical music, on his piano-player attached to the grand piano in his studio, go far beyond the mere mechanical performance which some people associate with a piano-player, and a friend of mine, an accomplished musician and composer, told me he would walk miles any day to hear him play the "Moonlight Sonata" of Beethoven.

He is an excellent sailer of small yachts and has won several prizes on the Thames and on the Norfolk Broads. In short, if not an "Admirable Crichton" it will be conceded by those who know him that he is, at any rate, a many-sided man.

His reputation as one of our greatest portrait painters is so well established, as testified by his admirable portraits of all the most distinguished personages of the day, that any comment hereon would be presumptuous as well as superfluous. Among his many portraits may be mentioned King Edward VII, King George, The Prince of Wales, The Ex-Kaiser, Lord Roberts, Lord Kitchener and the Archbishop of Canterbury.

It cannot be said that he is exclusively a portrait painter as he has a fine feeling for landscape, and although he has produced nothing important in that branch of art, some of his studies of landscape for background, which I have been allowed to see, give the impression that had he employed his talents in that direction he might have been a great landscape painter.   This reminds me of an old story, referring to Reynolds, which alleges that he told Richard Wilson, the landscape painter, that Gainsborough was the greatest landscape painter of the day, which led Wilson to remark that many people thought he was also the greatest portrait painter. But the observation attributed to Reynolds seems so tactless that it is difficult to believe that anyone as courteous and tactful as Sir Joshua could have made it.

Sir Arthur went twice to Berlin to paint two full-lengths of the Kaiser, both for Queen Victoria. In the first portrait, in Dragoon uniform, I stood to him in the Kaiser's uniform as Honorary Colonel of the regiment, which he finished in his studio in London, not quite liking, as a matter of sentiment, to put the uniform on to a paid model. But for the fact of my being a trifle taller — the Ex-Kaiser is exactly five feet nine inches — it fitted me perfectly, except that the overalls were rather too short, and one of the sleeves was shorter than the other.

Since then, and when we lived opposite each other on Campden Hill (map), I have sat or stood several times to Cope in this way for his full length of Kitchener — for the Engineers' Mess at Chatham — Lord Chesham and several others.

Like his father he is an admirable talker and narrator of stories and incidents which have come under his notice, and he has allowed me to extract from him at different times his recollections and experiences in connection with the Kaiser and Berlin, and whatever our opinion of the "All Highest" may be he forms part of the warp and woof of history, and is in fact as interesting as the Devil himself.

I have understood from other sources that when he decided many years ago to have his portrait painted by an English artist he sent for Cope.    On one occasion the Kaiser referred to the English officers and said, " I'm always pleased to meet your officers. They're gentlemen and good sportsmen, but they don't know their job. An English officer's one idea is to throw off his uniform directly parade is over and get into flannels for polo, cricket, tennis or what not. I don't object to polo and cricket, etc., but my fellows haven't time for them." Times have changed with us since then.

On another occasion the Kaiser said, "I can't understand why it is I have been so misjudged and misunderstood. My great desire has been ever since I came to the throne to promote kindlier relations between our two countries. Why, I'm half an Englishman myself." Such incidents, unimportant in themselves, are interesting as referring to a man who has played such an important, not to say disastrous, part in the world's history. Cope once said he did not think the Kaiser was ever a believer that war with England would be advantageous to Germany, and that the Kaiser told him he was convinced that war would ruin both countries and benefit neither. He took the impression that the Kaiser was all for "the peaceful penetration" game, and saw much more clearly than his War Party although they eventually gained the upper hand.

I once knew a General Wemys — a very handsome soldierlike-looking man — who lived with his two daughters at Guildford, with whom I used to stay occasionally. While visiting them he said, " Why don't you put up for my club, the United Service?" He was then on the committee. I said I should like to be a member, but thought I wasn't eligible, not being a senior officer. He said, " Oh yes, you're just within the rule, as you are a substantive major," so I was proposed by him, seconded by Admiral Bowey and duly elected, at which I was very proud as it was quite a distinction in those days to belong to the oldest service club in London — exclusively composed as it was then of senior officers; but it no longer retains that unique position. I am now one of the oldest members of the club.

Miss Wemys was anxious to have a likeness of her father, and as she could not afford to employ one of the leading portrait painters I was very glad to paint a half-length of him, with which she was much pleased.

I remember several eccentric members of the club who have long since joined the majority, and of whom some amusing stories were told. One member. Lord Mark Ker, was very particular to wash his hands in one particular basin in the lavatory, and members who knew this always left him in undisputed possession of it. One day, however, some one who was probably ignorant of this peculiarity was using this special basin. Lord Mark Ker waited for some time, and at last said, "I have washed my hands, sir, in that basin for twenty years; I'll wait till you've done."

I believe he once commanded the Somersetshire Regiment. One of his eccentricities was to object to stirrups on parade, and when the regiment was inspected, the general said, "I see. Lord Mark Ker, you have no stirrups. I must request you to conform to the regulations." The next time the general came Lord Mark Ker had provided himself with stirrups, but they were hanging loose. The general said, "I see you have got the stirrups, but you are not using them." Ah!" said Lord Mark Ker, " you can make me get stirrups, but you can't make me put my feet in them."

One old general I remember had a chronic snuffling cold in his head, and he used to bring out a big bandanna handkerchief and hold it up by the corners in front of the fire — he would always have one lighted when other people didn't want it — perhaps for the purpose of drying his handkerchief — when a steam would rise up with sufficient microbes to infect the whole room. I think it was this member who gave a casting vote against ladies coming to tea, as he said it was the only place where his wife could not follow him. Another old general I used to know with a glass eye used always to sit at breakfast in a particular window where, with his other eye, he could ogle the shop girls as they went to work in the mornings. I used to have a bedroom in those days in Jermyn Street (map) and have all my meals at the club. Before commencing his breakfast he always went through a regular performance which consisted of polishing his teacup, plate, knife and fork with his napkin, and this he carefully inserted between each prong of his fork. He was once tried by court martial — but was acquitted — for ordering his men to fire on some rioters in Ireland. I think his name was Eager.

Another member I remember was so shabby that he might be taken for a tramp. I have seen him in a coat with a slit down the back and minus two or three buttons. The people where he lodged would willingly have mended his clothes, but this he would always resent as a personal affront. He invariably wore black kid gloves and was never seen without them, even at his meals. He always had his dinner at three o'clock, when he would have the dining-room more or less to himself, always sat in the same place, and always had half a bottle of champagne of the same brand. He occupied the same bedroom for thirty years in Warwick Place, close to the club, where he died and where no relative or friend ever saw him. He left considerable property. The United Service Club was formerly known as the " Cripples," on account, I believe, of the number of old men who belonged to it. There is a story of the hall porter rushing out to stop a member who was going up the staircase taking two stairs at a time, as he thought he must have come to the wrong place.

Another member was once struggling to get into his great-coat and had got hung up in it when the hall porter came to assist him, and he said, "For Heaven's sake don't do that; it's the only exercise I get in the year." Notable members whom I knew and who have long since joined the majority were Sir Henry Havelock Allan, son of General Havelock of Lucknow notoriety and Sir William Olpherts, sometimes spoken of as " Hell Fire Dick."

I used to see a good deal of Lord Roberts at the club and less frequently Lord Kitchener. Lord Roberts had a charming personality and a courteous manner which could not fail to impress favourably every one who came in contact with him. He was always extremely well groomed, and was very alert in all his movements. He once opened a letter of mine by mistake for which he apologized in a letter couched in such felicitous terms that I kept it as a typical example of tactful courtesy.

I asked one of our officers, who went out with my old battalion to South Africa and served under Lord Roberts, what he thought of him. "Well," he said, "he's a little man, but you feel that he will do big things, and if he told you to go to the devil you'd not only have to go, but you'd go unhesitatingly."

Lord Kitchener always impressed me as being a silent, self-contained man, with wonderful eyes of a very pale blue, which, with a dark sunburnt face, gave him a peculiar expression.

Some years ago, before the world war started, a subscription was got up by the members of the United Service Club for a full-length portrait of the Kaiser, and the commission, on my recommendation, was given to my friend, J. W. Nicol — before referred to — and resulted in a remarkably fine portrait although he had no sittings; it was painted entirely from photographs and under Cope's supervision. When the club was dismantled for spring cleaning the rehanging of all the pictures was entrusted to me — I was then on the committee — and I placed the Kaiser's portrait in a good light in the room assigned to foreign potentates, because it was an exceptionally fine picture, but some members soon afterwards took exception to its occupying such a prominent position. This seemed to me absurd, after the club had subscribed for the picture — I myself, if I remember rightly, was not one of the subscribers — and I threatened to resign my self-imposed duties in the matter of the club pictures if the portrait was removed from where I had placed it. The picture remained where it was. It was in this connection, I think, that I said to a member, a stranger to me, referring to another member, who I had heard was rather cantankerous in the above matter, that " If I knew Sir X. Y. Z." — the supposed cantankerous member — " I should feel inclined to tell him what I think of him." He replied, " I am Sir X. Y. Z." As this unexpected development did not seem to admit of adjustment I could only apologize and say that I did not know to whom I was speaking.

Later on, after the world war had been started by the Germans, noticing that the picture had been removed, I said to the secretary, " Where is the Kaiser's portrait? " He replied, " Oh, it's been removed." " Yes," I said, " I see that, but where is it? " He replied, " Well, you see, if it had not been taken down we feared some injury might happen to it." " Yes," I said, " but you still don't tell me where it is." He said, " Excuse me, I see Admiral  —  — beckoning to me." I then enquired of the hall porter where the portrait was, when he told me it had been taken down into the servants' quarters.

When in answer to Mr. Nicol's question as to what had been done with his picture I told him it had been taken down into the servants' quarters he said he feared that the colours would all fade if it was kept away from the sunlight. I felt sorry for the picture, but thought it seemed like a mild form of retribution that even the representation of the " All Highest " should be deprived of that " place in the Sun " which he has so often claimed for himself and his Huns.

I have on several occasions heard the late C. H. Spurgeon who, if not a great, was certainly a very impressive, preacher. About his earnestness there could be no two opinions, or about his magnificent voice which, at times, sounded like a trumpet call. He could now and then rise to flights of eloquence, when he would carry his audience with him, and his occasional descriptions of scenery, by way of illustration, were highly poetical. When the vast congregation rose at the singing of the hymns it was an impressive sight not easily forgotten. He used to preach from a raised platform, on which he turned from side to side occasionally, so as to reach every part of his audience. I have heard that once some rowdy young men up in the gallery persisted in talking in such a loud voice as to disturb the congregation, which, no doubt, was what they intended, and that Spurgeon looked up and said, " When my young friends up there have finished their conversation I will go on."

My mother's brother, Mr. Jesse Gouldsmith, who had a house at Trowbridge, and later at Clifton Down near Bristol, used to entertain Spurgeon when he came into either of those neighbourhoods to preach, and he used to say what a genial, witty and sociable man he was.

I often went to the Foundling Hospital to hear Professor Momery, whose sermons were indeed an intellectual treat.

Another great preacher — long before my time — was Robert Hall, sometimes spoken of as "the great Robert Hall of Leicester," whose sermons have been published. When he was advertised to preach anywhere the place would be crowded to suffocation, and people would be sitting on the pulpit stairs. I have heard that his delivery was so rapid that people with coughs, in their anxiety not to miss a word, would do their best to avoid coughing, until he paused, which he did at stated intervals, when the opportunity would be taken of giving vent to the coughs — which were all the more violent from having been so long suppressed. Robert Hall was remotely connected with my family and he used occasionally to stay at Ward's House, and I have heard my people say he was sometimes heard pacing his bedroom half the night in agony. He suffered a martyrdom with a constant pain in his back — some form, I believe, of neuralgia or neuritis. On one memorable occasion he was staying at a friend's house, and on the housemaid appearing in the room he said to his host, "I must marry that girl." His host replied, "But, my dear sir, you surely wouldn't? " Mr. Hall said, "Not another word, sir, my mind is made up," and he adjourned at once to the kitchen, with his host's permission, and made the girl an offer then and there, which she accepted. He had her educated, and my mother often spoke of her as a most charming, refined and ladylike woman. I heard a story referring to Robert Hall, who had a habit of fingering one of the buttons of his coat while he was preaching and once, before commencing his discourse, he felt for the familiar, reassuring button, which alas ! had disappeared. Some mischievous person — I suppose he would be called a wag — had cut it off. Robert Hall collapsed — at any rate the sermon was not one of his best.

When my people lived, I think at Islington, before going to Ward's House, they made the acquaintance of a pale shy boy who lived with his mother in rather straitened circumstances. They asked him to come to tea and the acquaintance ripened into friendship. On one occasion he threw over their garden wall some excellent verses, four in number, bringing in the names, in complimentary terms, of my mother Elizabeth and her three sisters, Mary, Catherine and Anna (Mrs. Evans). The pale shy boy was Tom Hood, the gifted author of "The Bridge of Sighs" and the "Song of the Shirt" (text) by which be became immortalized. He was then about fifteen. This would probably be in the year 1813. He afterwards made pencil drawings of my mother and her sister Mary, which of course I carefully preserved. When he subsequently became distinguished he went out a good deal to social functions, and I have heard my mother say that at a dinner party he would keep the whole table convulsed with laughter at his witticisms, but that he himself never smiled. Indeed his temperament was melancholy rather than jocular. Several other poetical scraps came into the possession of my family, and though they may lack the, perfection of his later efforts they cannot fail to be interesting. I therefore give here the verses thrown over the wall, bringing in the names of my mother and her sisters and some of the other poetical scraps above referred to.

Presented by Tom hood on New Year's Day to My Mother and Her Sisters

LIKE those its course has numbered with the dead,
Another year has gone, perchance too fast
Its joys, its sorrows are together fled,
And written in the annals of the past
Embahn'd in memory their shadows lie: Relics of things eternally gone by.
Amongst my own departing joys I count
Those pleasing moments I have spent with you,
And mix'd with my regrets their small amount
And wasting speed with which alas! they flew.
For oh ! how swiftly fly the happy hours,
When time treads silently on paths of flowers.
Amid anxieties and worldly strife
Such moments shine like diamonds in the dark;
And seem, amid the gloomy clouds of life,
As bright as stars — yet transient as a spark —
Save the existence memory can give,
Which in reflected radiance bids them live.
Yet while I muse on moments past recall,
The lapse of time that brings the grave more near,
This one reflection can atone for all: —
Our Friendship's older by another year,
This prompts the wishes which my pen conveys,
My heart dictates them and my hand obeys.
What shall that heart in friendship wish to one?
Of virtues so pre-eminent possessed?
A life illumin'd by Heaven's brightest sun,
And blest as goodness merits to be blest
That its unclouded sky may never vary
But endless beams of bliss encircle Mary.
'Tis sweet indeed to wish for others' bliss,
And I exult that I can wish again.
If I can feel more pleasure than in this,
'Twill be to find they were not breathed in vain;
That having wished as truly as I prize her
Not even fancied ills disturb Eliza.
I know a face where on for ever plays
A smile that tells the tale of joy and gladness;
Cheerful and bright as Summer's sunny days,
Which I have felt an antidote to sadness,
So may thy many years as gladly shine,
As gaily glide, my merry Catherine.
Life's made alternately of smiles and tears,
Yet oh ! how greatly grief exceeds in measure;
often we can reckon woe by years,
For ev'ry short-lived hour of fleeting pleasure.
But may few sorrows, and enjoyments many
Reverse this rule, and form the life of Annie.

 

A Fragment

SAVIOUR! How can I follow Thee
When all is dark before:
When midnight rests upon the sea,
How can I reach the shore?

Oh ! let the star of love but shine
Tho' with a feeble ray,
'Twill gild the edge of every wave
And light my gloomy way.

A Fragment

THE fertile earth, but fashioned to supply
What gives existence, what delights the eye.
'Tis He calls forth the produce of each land
And fertile earth but blooms at His command,

Fashioned by Him, not only to supply
What kindles life, but what delights the eye.
In each New Year that varied pleasure gives,
Man finds fresh blessings as he longer lives.

But better far than these. His Son He gave
That through His death, we might defy the grave.
His power is great. His mercy greater still,
'Tis this persuades us to obey His Will.

A Fragment

I THINK it no wonder my eloquence failed,
By harmony, beauty and numbers assailed
When the charge was so ably preferred by the tongue
And the voice that before so enchantingly sung.
O ! think with what sweetness that charge was infused
When I fain could have kissed the dear lips that accused,
That in passing my sentence, so rung in my heart,
I felt all its music and none of its smart.
How vain my defence, if defence I had made,
Such wit set to music must ever persuade.
O ! think too what beauties confounded my sight,
Like an owl that is scared by the brilliance of light;
What eyes, what bright eyes by their multiplied rays
Quite bewildered my fancy and dazzled my gaze.
Yet oh ! cruel beams, like the sun they had power
To turn all the sweets I intended to sour
And first striking me dumb, made my silence the sport,
Till my sighs were my only defence to the court.
Yet exult not, a time shall yet come when like me,
As timid and mute shall your eloquence be,
And the whole your confusion may wish to express
Shall be spoken at last, in one faltering Yes.

The above was suggested by a game of charades when some sentence by way of forfeit was imposed upon Hood.

Sonnet

IT is not death, that some time in a sigh
This eloquent breath shall take its speechless flight,
That some time, these bright stars that now reply
In sunlight to the sun shall set in night —
That this warm conscious breath shall perish quite
And all these ruddy springs forget to flow,
That thought shall cease; and the immortal spright
Be lapp'd in alien clay and hearsed below —

It is not death to know this, but to know
That pious thoughts, which visit at new graves
In tender pilgrimage, will cease to go
So duly and so oft — and when grass waves
Over the past, away there may be then
No resurrection in the minds of men.

One of the Seasons

OLD WINTER with his forehead bare,
Filtering nose and frosted hair,
Whose hobbling pace that goes too fast
Is sure to overtake at last,
Whose furrowed brow reminds the ladies,
How like old age the ugly blade is.
Now with the season, fast approaches
For muddy streets and hackney coaches,
For coughs and colds. Bath chairs and muffs,
For poultry, puddings, pies and puffs.
Custards and tarts, and twelfth cake slices,
Roast beef all smoking hot, and ices!
Yet when along with him he brings
Good store of all these solid things
That ought to come in Christmas season,
We like him then, nor without reason —
For me, I hope he will not fail
To bring us many a merry tale,
With bounding hearts and spirits light,
That would outlast a New Year's night;
A mistletoe to crown the joke,
Ample as Fairlop's noble oak,
With many a fair to hold below,
And while the balmy kisses flow,
To pour a sweet and fervent blessing
On him who first invented kissing.
O did we thus enjoy the while
Would that old fellow seem to smile
And make us own, not without reason,
Old Winter's not so sad a season.

I was much interested in reading the Earl of Warwick's charming Memories of Sixty Years, the more so as I had met, or knew, many of the people to whom he refers and have often dined with Mr. Ferdinand Arkwright, whom he mentions more than once. He, Arkwright, was once Mayor of Warwick, and I give a story which was not quoted by Lord Warwick. A lady who had not seen him for some time said, "Dear me, Mr. Arkwright, I should not have known you from Adam." "My dear madam," he replied, "pray consider my clothes." His butler once complained to him that the cook had not taken sufficient precaution to screen herself from observation when taking her bath. The only redress he obtained from his master was, "Well, having seen her once, you will be very careful to avoid seeing her again!"

Mr. Arkwright was most hospitable and his social dinners were delightful. We used to dine at a round table and the cooking and the wines were unexceptionable. When the wines were produced he used to be very particular to see that they were absolutely right and not corked, but he never took any himself.

When a very little boy I was taken to a dissenting chapel by a rather fanatical aunt, to hear a certain Mr. Abrams, a gloomy Christian strongly imbued with Calvinism and the doctrine of election. It was a  very hot day in midsummer and I was wedged in between my aunt, who was of sufficiently ample proportions, and another very stout lady, and the combined effect of the heat, the crowding and the length of the discourse made me so restless that I attracted the notice of the preacher, who rebuked me in a loud voice from the pulpit. I believe such public admonition is very rare, and I never heard of anyone else having been subjected to it. I cannot recall the exact terms he used, but I remember the word hell was mentioned. The lesson evidently intended to be conveyed was that such conduct, if persisted in, would some day lead to eternal punishment. It had such an effect upon me that my aunt could never induce me to face Mr. Abrams again.

I retain recollections of two or three simple sermons preached in country churches on summer evenings, with the open porch letting in the rays of the setting sun, with the faint cawing of rooks in the distance, which have strongly appealed to me; but this no doubt Mr. Abrams would say savoured of materialism, and was merely the effect of environment. Perhaps it was, and perhaps environment does conduce to a religious frame of mind, with certain people who would always, I suppose, feel more devotional in a cathedral than in a whitewashed box with a corrugated iron roof. Charles Landseer, R.A., was preceded by Mr. Jones, R.A., as Keeper of the Royal Academy. He chiefly painted rather bad battle pictures. We have a very indifferent specimen at the United Service Clubof the Battle of Waterloo, in which an unnecessary amount of smoke forms an important feature. As a counterpoise, however, we have a remarkably fine picture of Trafalgar by Stanfield, which has been engraved.

I principally remember Jones as belonging to the old school of courtly gentlemen, or who would at any rate like to be regarded as such, and he rather overacted a courteous manner towards the students, which they sometimes found embarrassing, not always knowing exactly how to steer a middle course between respect for the Keeper and the estimation in which they held themselves as suggested by Mr. Jones' manner towards them. This was more especially the case with the probationers who met him for the first time.

Jones was an admirer of the Duke of Wellington and was very pleased to be thought like him in appearance — I believe there was a sort of resemblance. He used to tuck a tiny piece of red silk just inside his waistcoat, which at a little distance suggested a bit of ribbon. Some one once told the Duke that Mr. Jones had been taken for him. "Well," said the Duke, "it's very odd no one has ever taken me for Mr. Jones".

The last time I was near King Edward VII was on the occasion of some social function at the United Service Club. He was then Prince of Wales, and it was not long before the death of Queen Victoria. He was accompanied by his son, the Duke of York. The club was crowded with members, and without any effort of mine I found myself very close to the Prince and the Duke of York, so close indeed that the former looked hard at me, wondering, I think, who I was to be thus occupying such a prominent place — almost in front of everybody. Feeling at last rather embarrassed under this scrutiny, I begged Sir Martin Dillon, whom I knew very well, and who was standing close behind me, to change places. At that moment the Duke of York, who was just in front of me, turned round and said, " I'm very sorry, but I must turn my back upon somebody," which I thought a very apt and gracious remark.    The only time I saw King George V since he became King, except at a distance, was some years ago, when I was copying The Judgment of Paris, by Rubens, at the National Gallery, when one of the attendants rushed up to say that the King and Queen were coming, so I at once, of course, stood to my front. The King paused opposite my easel, and said, "Don't you find it difficult to get that golden colour? "I said, " Yes, sir, but in that consists the charm of attempting it." After a few other remarks he passed on, whereupon one of the students rushed up to me and said, "I saw you talking to the King. I wish I had been the one he spoke to." "Well," I said, "I wish you had, if you wish it, but no doubt the King thought he should like to speak to somebody, and I happened to be nearest to him." A few minutes after two ladies came up and said, "We have heard you were talking to the King," and I seemed to be a marked man for the rest of the afternoon. Well, I must say I like that attitude better than the somewhat levelling spirit which has prevailed of late years.

I have copied a great deal at the National Gallery and elsewhere, giving copies to friends who have the good taste, as I think, to prefer a good copy to a poor original, but I don't believe, for what my opinion is worth, that the copying of pictures advances an artist very materially in his profession. I have only exhibited four times at the Royal Academy and three of the pictures were portraits of my mother, and the other was a chalk drawing of a female head. One of these portraits of my mother was entitled The Hour Before Twilight and was one of the only two portraits mentioned by Ruskin in his Shilling [Academy] Notes.

When I was living at Thorpe, near Norwich, an itinerant or travelling artist came to Norwich where he stayed some time painting portraits in oil. He was rather an indifferent painter and a subscription was got up about that time to paint a half-length portrait of the Rev. John Gunn, a somewhat noted geologist and antiquarian, in recognition of his having presented his important collection of geological specimens and antedeluvian treasures to the Norwich Museum. I think the amount subscribed was seventy-five pounds, and I offered to paint the picture and present half the amount to the Norwich hospital, which was badly in want of funds, and the other half as a donation to the museum. This offer was accepted, and I painted the picture, which now hangs in the Norwich Museum, and there was a long account of the ceremony of the presentation in the Norwich papers.  I afterwards reproached myself with having, perhaps, prevented the "itinerant painter from securing the commission, and I heard, in fact, that a few unpleasant remarks had been made on the subject. However, it's sometimes difficult to "pay Peter without robbing Paul." I also, about this time, painted a half-length of a Mr. Dowson, which now, I believe, hangs in a school in Norwich, the name of which I can't remember, but I know Mr. Dowson was identified with and took a great interest in it. This picture was afterwards lithographed. 

Early in life I joined the Orpheus Musical Society in Norwich, the members of which met for singing part-songs and choruses, and here I first met my valued friend C. E. Noverre, Esq., J.P., and Chairman  of the Norwich Union Fire Insurance Society, whose friendship, dating back about fifty years, I am still privileged to retain (Mr. Noverre has died since these words were written). On his retirement, as manager of the London office, he was presented with his portrait by members of the staff, with whom he was deservedly popular, and on their asking my advice I recommended my friend, J. W. Nicol, to paint the picture, which he did most satisfactorily. Mr. Noverre's extraordinary administrative ability and courteous manners have been of inestimable value to the Norwich Union Insurance Society. In addition to possessing sound judgment in literary and artistic matters he is an accomplished musician and has a thorough knowledge of the theory and practice of music. A second remarkably fine portrait of him as Master of the Ironmongers' Company has recently been painted by Mr. J. W. Nicol, and now hangs in the Norwich Union Fire Insurance Society — having been presented to that institution by Mr. Noverre.

I used to know a wealthy old gentleman, reputed the richest man in Leamington, who lived in a fine house and had a large collection of pictures. One of these, a group of life-size figures, was an engraved picture — I think by Guercino — for which it was stated in his catalogue the owner had refused two thousand pounds, and it seemed to me so good that I persuaded Mr. Cope, who was then engaged with other members of the Royal Academy in getting up an exhibition of old Masters at Burlington House, to come and look at it, as I was then living at Leamington. He admitted that it was a very fine picture, although it was not included in the exhibition. Perhaps the owner objected to lending it — I don't remember. Not long after the old man died and his collection was sold, when I attended the sale, and the first bid for this picture was only ten pounds. The magnificent Florentine frame was worth thirty pounds. I begged the lady who was sitting next me — an old friend — not to let it go at that price, and she bought it for twelve pounds ten shillings — and it now hangs at Kenilworth House at Leamington.

This old man was quite a character and could scarcely be described as refined or cultivated. In fact, he dropped his aitches all over the place and never read a book. His great ambition was to be "'igh Sheriff of 'erefordshire," as he expressed it, where he had considerable property, and this he succeeded in bringing about through the efforts of an old clergyman in Wales, who had influence with the Lord-Lieutenant of the county, and who, being in needy circumstances, was glad to receive the promise of a very handsome legacy in recognition of his services. The poor clergyman came from Wales to be present at the reading of the will, but his name was not mentioned. I think several other people who were present, to whom he made promises, were also disappointed. The old man drove down in his carriage and pair from Leamington to Hereford to take up his official duties as High Sheriff, and he persuaded me to go with him and spend the week there. We passed through Tewkesbury, which gave me the opportunity of seeing the magnificent abbey; this, I think, completed my investigation of all the cathedrals and abbeys of England, which always possessed a great interest for me. Of all the cathedrals I have seen I was most impressed with Lincoln.

With all the old gentleman's defects he was not a snob, and I remember a notable dinner party which he gave on the occasion of his birthday and on his return from Hereford, when he made an after-dinner speech, in which he referred to his having made his fortune through his own unaided efforts, and recalled the time when, as he told us, he had walked barefoot over the ground in Manchester which he afterwards owned. I remember he astonished all his guests by appearing at dinner in his full uniform of High Sheriff: red coat, cocked hat and feathers and sword. As he was a remarkably ugly little man of about five feet two inches any dignity he might have possessed he certainly did not owe to his personal appearance.

   When I built a studio at our Thorpe house I made the acquaintance of Fred Sandys, the distinguished artist, to whom I lent it when he was staying at Norwich, in which he painted several of his pictures. His method of work was peculiar and the same as that adopted, I believe, by Rossetti and others of that school, but to describe it would not be interesting to anyone but an artist.

Sandys was a pupil of George Richmond, R.A., and was, I think, the finest chalk draughtsman of the day; he was so rapid that I have heard he could complete a life-size drawing of a head in a day, for which he would receive about fifty pounds. He was extravagant, however, and luxurious, and I believe he died poor. His father, who spelt his name Sands, was originally, I have heard, a plumber and glazier and gave up everything for art, for which he had a great aptitude. I took a few lessons of him in painting, and he entirely, I believe, taught his distinguished son, who I don't think ever studied at the Royal Academy or other art school. I had a few good pieces of tapestry which Sandys wanted to buy; as he was not noted for prompt payments I offered to take in exchange one of his beautiful female chalk heads, but not having one at the time that appealed to me he suggested making a drawing of me, which I now have. This he took away with him, on the pretence of doing something more to it, and I did not recover it for nearly two years. I have so often been mistaken for Sandys that I suppose there must have been some subtle resemblance between us which I could never understand, as he was a taller and finer man than I in every way. He was, in fact, a splendid athlete and an adept at all physical exercises. I was once walking with a friend in Norwich when a man came up to me with, " Hullo! Mr. Sandys, how about that costume you hired of me and never returned, or paid for? "I said, "I'm not Mr. Sandys". The man said, "Oh ! come, I say you can't have me like that". Being unable to convince him that I was not Sandys I had to ask my friend to tell him who I was. This was only one of several occasions of mistaken identity.

I remember one of the pictures which Sandys painted in my studio was a Magdalen, with the tears trembling on her eyelids and rolling down her cheek. His model was a pretty girl, whose father he abused, though he knew nothing of him, in order to cause her to shed the tears which he wanted to represent in his picture. I remember the track of the tear down the cheek — a most difficult effect to reproduce — was beautifully suggested. In fact, the delicacy and subtlety of Sandys' technique was most remarkable. A great many years ago I met a Doctor Donovan, M.A. — a phrenologist — who was employed by Government to examine the heads of criminals and people of weak intellect, in order to ascertain, if possible, from the conformation of their heads, how far they were responsible for their actions.

Some of his analyses were, I believe, rather remarkable. Fred Sandys — the artist — and I think his friend Whistler consulted him, among others, and my sister, Mrs. Sheard, took her son to him when he  was a small boy, after her husband's death, and I remember his diagnosis proved accurate in many ways, as to temperament, disposition and inclinations. I also consulted him myself about the same time when I had a leaning towards a military career.

Donovan's daughter seemed to have inherited, or acquired her father's insight into character, and my sister, who knew her very well, used sometimes to ask her to remain in the room when she interviewed servants before engaging them, and Miss Donovan generally formed shrewd guesses as to their characters, from their appearance and manner.

I forget the amount of Donovan's fees, which included a written report sent to the enquirer after the consultation. I myself received one in this way, which the friends to whom I showed it at the time — all of whom, alas ! have now joined the majority — thought remarkably good. As extracts from this Report may still perhaps possess some slight interest for friends who have known me since I received it, I here insert them.

London School of Phrenology
III Strand, W.C.

Established January, 1840, Conducted by Dr. Donovan & Son

This gentleman's temperament is the first thing that demands notice. He is highly nervous. The wires of his mental piano have more pull, more strain than the case can bear, unless these same wires get frequent relaxation, and are not often tuned to concert pitch. He should avoid all fatiguing exercise, hence he may well give up soldiering. His is not the type of head for deeds of arms. His high nervous temperament would keep him up, were there any fighting to be done, but a reaction would come, and it would be long ere he would recover the extra expenditure of vital stamina, of which he has a remarkable share.

I approve highly of his taking a civil situation and giving over the service of Mars. An age of peace for dear old England has set in. She is so strong that she will be let alone. She is truly ' the dread and envy of them all.' But these feelings are now greatly modified by the respect which all nations are learning to feel for her political position, and for the character of her people.

If this gentleman diet properly he will increase in weight. I should like to see him at least ten pounds heavier. The use of tobacco is incompatible with an increase of the right sort of gravity.

As regards the head specially, this one is quite large enough. It is quite of the thoroughbred type. Both father and mother of this head were of the high nervous temperament. A wife of such a temperament this gentleman must not take unto himself. Neither must he wed large perceptive organs.

This head partakes of the artistic and the natural history type. He is an excellent observer, that is, when he takes due time to look at things properly. But he is not chronometrically given. Not a time-taker nor a time-keeper. Depth of reflective sagacity the forehead does not indicate. Whatever the head finds to do that it does with all its brain and as rapidly as possible. Imagination but too frequently intrudes upon the domain of causality and comparison. This same ideality is an excellent companion and help, but the worst possible guide and director. He gives to ' airy nothings' substance and reality for a brief space, makes distant hills green and deserts fertile. He paints in glowing colours a cottage, with or without Love; is profuse of woodbine and roses. In short, he is the day-dreamer. He makes matches innumerable such as explode with but slight rubbing. I don't dislike foreheads of this class. They give quickness of observation and attention to things and facts. Therefore they make ready learners. ' Sensual, earthly and devilish ' this head does not cause its owner to be. He may be excitable, mercurial, peculiar, sensitive, but he is very unlikely to be ungentlemanly. I wish he were more of a woman worshipper. Next to God she is the most adorable, that is, when she is really the woman — gentle, tender, appealing.

Cautious and therefore excitable this gentleman is. I wish he had more repose, more lymph, more of the element of laziness. He needs at least one year of quiet and no soldiering. Patient, enduring, hopeful, submissive is he? No! He is impatient, not hopeful, not disposed to expect the best, not yielding, not calm under emergencies, though in physical danger he would be firm. He bears whip and spur badly — is apt to chafe on the bit. He is better fitted to work singly than in double harness. In short he is of the nervo poetic type of mind. Is himself, not one of a class. Few persons does he care to come close to. Yet he needs companionship to rub off the edges and should by no means resort to solitude. He would eat his own heart ' cor ne edito.' London is the best place for him. He should try to be a working bee in the great hive.

Happily he is a gentleman as I interpret the term, and has much that is nice and clear and clean in him. I wish he would leam phrenology and become my pupil. He is a man to talk with of himself, rather than to write about.

(Signed) C. DONOVAN.
3.2.'63."

Our neighbours at Thorpe were a Mr. and Mrs. Barber and their daughter, a very interesting lady of about my own age and an accomplished musician. About this time I also made the acquaintance of Mr. C. Burton Barber, a charming personality, a distinguished artist, and a protégé of Queen Victoria, who had a great regard for him and whom she frequently invited to Windsor Castle, Osborne and Balmoral. His pictures of animals were inimitable and too well known and appreciated to need any description. Probably First at the Fence, Once Bit Twice Shy, The Lucky Dog, Faithful and True, and the Order of the Bath were among the most popular of his works, and I believe he was considered the best painter of fox terriers in the Kingdom. Unfortunately for posterity, but not for his reputation, which had been already secured, he died comparatively young.

I also, at the same time, made the acquaintance of his younger brother, Frank E. Barber, which resulted in a friendship which I continue to enjoy; he is now one of my oldest and most valued friends, and being a very clever, original and interesting man I have been indebted to him for many illuminating talks and arguments on political and other subjects, and though I dare say he would look upon me as a hidebound Tory and I might perhaps regard him as a rabid Radical, the divergence of our views has never threatened the severance of our friendship. I should like here once again to express my appreciation of the valuable assistance which he has rendered in helping me to arrange these reminiscences, without which I think I should have been unable to carry out the idea of recording them.

  During the short time that I occupied the studio of an artist friend while he was engaged on Government work in connection with the war, I painted several portraits of my friends, chiefly men, for I have always felt it a very great responsibility to undertake to paint a lady, and when I have undertaken it, it has been always with fear and trembling. If she shows the picture, those to whom it is shown invariably — in the case of her male friends at any rate — pay her a cheap compliment by assuring her that it "does not do her justice." If it is a faithful presentment of herself you offend the lady and her friends, and if you idealize people are apt to ask you for whom your picture is intended, which completes your discomfiture. Probably no artist can paint a woman satisfactorily, unless he has a feeling for female beauty, which is not possessed by every one. I have heard of a distinguished portrait painter who once painted a woman, but the result was so discouraging that he never made another attempt! I suppose, as a matter of fact, many great painters have not possessed this sense of female beauty, notably perhaps Rembrandt, and I imagine the reason why it is so difficult to make a female head altogether attractive, if it is not beautiful, is that you cannot invest it with certain characteristics, which in spite of ugliness may render a man's head interesting. And what lady would ever consent to be represented as Cromwell insisted upon being represented, with none of his defects omitted — his wens, his warts and his wrinkles, to say nothing of his bottle nose?    Soon after my father's death we sold our property at Thorpe and went to live near Hampton Court, and from there we migrated to Leamington, where my mother died. On her death I went to Brussels, and from there to Paris for three or four months, and while there attended Julien's atelier, where I met several English artists : the son of Mr. Dyce, R.A., Mr. Charles and others. On my return to England I married Miss Massey of Norwich, to whom my dear mother was devotedly attached.

About twenty years ago I commenced to stay every year with my friends. Colonel Sir Frederick and Lady Carden at Stargroves, their beautiful place near Newbury. Colonel Carden formerly commanded the 5th Lancers, was a good violinist and was at one time High Sheriff of the county. His eldest son, the present baronet, was a lieutenant in my battalion and afterwards joined the 1st Life Guards, in which he attained the rank of major. He and his younger brother, Lieut.-Colonel Carden, late 17th Lancers and brother officer of Sir Douglas Haig, served throughout the Boer War, and subsequently in the world war of 1914. Lieut.-Colonel Carden was killed whilst gallantly leading an infantry regiment to the attack. They were both superb horsemen and ideal cavalry officers. They were both of fine physique and stood over six feet in height. On one of my visits to Stargroves I was riding a bicycle with my wife and Miss Carden, when some miles from home a bad fall caused a severe injury to my thumb and I had great difficulty in getting back. A clumsy operation — albeit by a distinguished surgeon — which ought never to have been performed, converted a temporary injury into a permanent one.

None of the frequenters of dinner parties can have failed to notice the occasionally long and embarrassing pauses which sometimes occur in the conversation when the first person who breaks the silence incurs the responsibility of obtaining a more attentive audience than he perhaps desires, or than his remark warrants. My sister told me she was once taken in to dinner by a very deaf man, but how deaf she did not realize until one of the awkward pauses referred to took place, up to which time he was too much occupied with his dinner to say anything. Feeling it was incumbent upon her to make some remark to her hitherto absorbed and silent neighbour she said at last, "It's been a fine day." As this elicited no response, beyond a questioning look and a hand raised up to his ear, she repeated her observation in louder and louder tones until at last the host shouted in a stentorian voice, "The lady says it's been a fine day."

During another of these prolonged and awkward silences a young man I knew, who was not remarkable for originality, asked the girl next him, if she was fond of fish. Unfortunately fish did not happen to be served at the moment, which might otherwise perhaps have furnished some occasion for the remark. What the young lady said I don't remember, nor is it material, but her father, who was one of the guests, made the tactless observation in a loud voice, from the other end of the table, " Oh, it's the two-legged fish that she's after," which completed the confusion of the young man and the girl.

My father's elder brother William was very friendly with Charles Landseer, the Keeper of the Royal Academy, and I believe they lodged in the same house. He was also friendly with Theodore Hook, but I don't know whether I heard the following through him. However, the stories are too good to miss even if they have been told before.

Hook and a friend were approaching a toll bar and the friend said, "I wonder whether one will have to pay here." "Go through and you'll be tolled," said Hook.

Hook was extremely clever in making extempore verses while accompanying himself on the piano and bringing in the names of guests who were present. He had once completed his list when on turning round he saw a Mr. Winter, a tax collector, coming in at the door, when he said: —

Here comes Mr. Winter, collector of taxes,
I'd advise you to give him whatever he axes,
I'd advise you to give it him without any flummery
For though his name's Winter his actions are summary.

On another of these occasions he had successfully brought in the names of every one in the room except a Mr. Rosenhagen — I suppose a Jew — who said, "Ah, Mr. Hook, you can't do anything with me."

Hook paused, and then added : —

Yet more of my Muse is required,
But alas! I'm afraid she has done.
Yet No ! like a fiddler that's tired,
I'll rosin again and go on.

He made a bet that he and a friend — an actor — would go to an entertainment as strangers, without an invitation, and stop to supper, and he made himself so agreeable that they were begged to remain, and

before leaving he went to the piano and extemporized thus: —

I'm very much pleased with your Fare,
Your cellar's as good as your cook;
My friend's Mr. Terry the Player,
And I'm Mr. Theodore Hook.

I should be sorry to appear so egotistical as to set down anything here which could not possibly interest anybody except myself, but as I have referred to the personal peculiarities of men and women I have met I should like to confess to some of my own oddities — and I will start with absent-mindedness because that weakness would appear in my case to be quite exceptional and has caused great amusement to my friends. My reference to it may in fact be useful, if only as a warning to others to endeavour to keep their wits about them and abstain, if possible, from "star-gazing" or "wool-gathering," and other unprofitable pursuits of that kind, while it may save them from being taken advantage of by designing or more wide-awake people. My wife was always more solicitous, fortunately for me no doubt, about my inner man than I was myself, more especially on those days which I spent at the National Gallery, and before starting I had to promise that I would have a good lunch at the club. This was in "the good old days "before the war, when a good lunch was obtainable there — and on my return I was always asked if I had performed my promise, which I was sometimes obliged to admit that I had forgotten. On one occasion to make sure of me she insisted on my having lunch before I started, and I was accordingly set down to a rather unusually ample repast. After being some time at the Gallery it suddenly dawned upon me that I had not lunched at the club, and it was not until I had nearly reached home and was trying to invent some excuse for not having had lunch that I remembered that I had already had it before I started.   That reminds me of the possibly well-known story recorded of Sir Isaac Newton, leading to the comfortable conclusion that very great men, as well as very small ones, may be equally absent-minded. It may be remembered that a friend once called to see Sir Isaac, who sent word that he would be with him directly. The friend waited for an unconscionable time, during which nothing happened, except that a servant brought in Sir Isaac's lunch. Meanwhile the friend continued to wait, until observing that the lunch was getting cold, and not having been able to get his own lunch before he called, he decided to eat it. After some further delay Sir Isaac at last appeared; apologizing for having kept his friend waiting and adding something about the time having slipped away unperceived, he said, "The fact is, I fear I am becoming rather absent," and looking at the empty plates and dishes, he said, "There is another proof of it, for I could have sworn I had not had my lunch."

It is also, I believe, recorded of the great man that in order to avoid being disturbed by a favourite cat, which would scratch at the door of his study for admission, he had a hole made in one of the panels so that the cat could come in and out noiselessly, but a new difficulty arose when the cat had a kitten, which was met by his having another hole cut in another panel: one for the cat and one for the kitten. The recollection of these incidents has always comforted me.

When I had a studio on Campden Hill I was sometimes left for hours to my own devices until my wife returned to arrange about my lunch. Meanwhile I was enjoined, on one occasion, to swallow a raw egg, and after giving full directions she left, adding sarcastically, "I suppose you will be able to manage that?" On her return she said severely, "Why, I declare ! you have thrown away the yolk and swallowed the white!" "Oh," I said, " I can't have done that." But she simply pointed an accusing finger at the yolk of the egg which was lying undisturbed in the receptacle provided for rubbish, which, of course, left nothing further to be said. This incident has been often related as a typical instance of my absent-mindedness or imbecility, and has been received either with unseemly mirth or pity, according to the temperament of the hearer, and has come to be known as "The Story of the Egg." I have always been very much bothered when carrying about letters, papers or memoranda for reference, and whenever I have wanted to produce them I have generally found myself rummaging excitedly in various pockets, with the result that I frequently find the precise document I require is missing altogether. On one of these occasions my friend Cope Cornford, of literary fame, after amusedly witnessing my efforts to produce what was required made the naive and ingenuous remark, "I observe that you often seem rather worried with papers." I said, "My dear chap, papers have aged me by years, and have prematurely whitened my hair." A great deal of this trouble I am convinced is due to having too many receptacles for papers, particularly pockets, and if I were beginning life I wouldn't have so many, but you "can't teach an old dog new tricks," and I am certainly too old to mend now, but I am glad to offer this experience to younger men as being worth their consideration.

Before I went to France my father kept a gig, in which he used to drive my mother and me through parts of England, when we saw many places more or less inaccessible to ordinary travellers, though I was too young to appreciate some of the scenery we passed through. Many things, however, still dwell in my memory, the stage coach for instance clattering through the towns and villages in a cloud of dust heralded by the sound of the horn blown by the red-coated guard; the hotels where we stopped, either for a meal or for the night, which breathed an atmosphere of homeliness and comfort. The landlord would generally come forward to welcome a guest. The attentive waiters — not Germans in those days — and trim chambermaids, whose first duty I remember was to air the bed with a warming-pan, now regarded as an antique, and then the delicious teas — we generally arrived in time for tea — with the fresh eggs and the piles of hot buttered toast. The great event of the day appeared to be the arrival of the mail coach, when nearly all the inhabitants of the town or village would congregate round the inn or hotel where the change of horses would take place, while the coachman, generally a burly man in a heavy coat with multitudinous capes, would swing himself down from the box. The guard would then descend with, perhaps, a parcel or message to leave or to take. Then with perhaps a few questions and answers about the state of the roads, or about the last item of news, the fresh team having been harnessed, the coach would start again for the next stage, with the tooting of the guard's horn and the cheers and hurrahs of the youngsters, some of whom would run alongside for a few yards in the hope of scrambling for a few pence from the outside passengers. In this connection I remember the Bear Inn at Devizes — among many others — where Sir Thomas Lawrence was born, and where, I believe, some of his early drawings have been preserved. 

I remember the first omnibus which started in London was a brown one, which plied between Hackney and the City. The name of the proprietor was Newman. It used to be a notable sight to see all the four-horse mail coaches of different colours start from St. Martins le Grand (Post Office) on their respective journeys.

An old schoolfellow who joined the Victoria Rifles with me and whom I used to see a good deal of, as we both lived at Kensington, became engaged, as he told me, to the daughter of a rather needy clergyman near Ipswich, and being anxious to keep the matter secret from his family he used to call for her letters at a place in the neighbourhood; but becoming ill and confined to his bed later on, he begged me to fetch and bring the letters to him, and at length, finding he was unable to write himself, he asked me to open her letters, and if necessary reply to them and inform the lady at the same time of the arrangement he had made. Some time after she wrote to ask me to execute some little commission in London, our mutual friend, as she said, being unable to do so. On some plea or other, she being evidently a romantic girl, she continued the correspondence. Her letters were charmingly poetical effusions, but certainly did not breathe any extravagant devotion to her lover. Ultimately she begged me to go and see her with reference to my friend. The spirit of adventure prompted me to accede to her request to come on a stated evening to the rectory, when she promised to interview me in the garden, accompanied by her lady's-maid, and I was then to be conducted into the house when her father had retired to bed, which he always did, she said, very early; which programme was carried out to the letter, though I felt somewhat like a housebreaker. The lady then announced her intention of marrying my friend, though she gave me the impression that she had no special affection for him and that if the marriage came off it would be, more or less, a mariage de convenance, but she extracted a promise from me, before I left, to regard our interview and all the circumstances connected with it as confidential; and later on they were secretly married at a church in Brompton. I was the only witness to the ceremony and gave her away, and I subsequently stayed with them occasionally at their house at Kensington. The marriage, however, did not turn out well, and I was sometimes concerned to notice the uxoriousness and tactless demonstrative affection of the husband and the indifference and boredom of the wife. He subsequently applied for and obtained a divorce — I was subpoenaed as a witness — and the proceedings, which were rather sensational, were reported in the London and Eastern counties papers. He married again, and died many years ago. The lady I have never seen since the trial.

It has been my unhappy experience, in common no doubt with others, to have remarked the baneful effect of ill-assorted matrimonial alliances, in which it would have been better for the parties concerned, and also for those connnected with them, if they had acted upon Punch's well-known "advice to people about to marry," but no case has so much impressed me as that of Mrs. _____, who married a University man and a gentleman by birth.  Her husband was no doubt antipathetic to her in some mysterious way, but Mrs. _____ resented an incompatibility which she might have discovered before she married by the exercise of the instinctive insight with which most clever women — and she was exceptionally clever — are gifted.  She loaded him with reproaches and unfounded accusations, and finally turned her back upon him and refused to contribute anything towards his support, and when he fell upon evil times, through no fault of his own, since he toiled early and late on literary work as long as he was able to do so, she even denied him the shelter of her roof, although he had made an advantageous settlement in her favour before he married. Such indeed was her animosity towards him that she reminded me of another lady who said to a man whom she disliked, "If you were my husband I would put poison in your tea." "And if you were my wife I would drink it," was his rejoinder. This fairly describes the attitude of the people I am referring to. Mrs. _____ had three children, to whom in their early years she was apparently devoted, but this was evidently merely the devotion which the animal creation feels for its offspring, for at a critical time in the career of one of her sons she refused the help which was necessary to save him from. ruin and disgrace, and calmly referred him to an outsider, who was fortunately able to step into the gap. This son has since died, and she finally shifted the entire care and responsibility for her husband upon her surviving son and daughter, although they were themselves in needy circumstances — her son working hard on a very small salary in an official capacity under Government in connection with the war, and her daughter left with two small children, her husband having gone to the front.

The answer to the obvious question why Mrs. _____'s husband did not enforce his legitimate claim upon her was that self-respect and the instincts of a gentleman precluded his taking this course.

Mrs. _____ possessed intellectual gifts and attainments of no mean order, and a certain amount of fascination, when it answered her purpose to exert it, which often succeeded until her real character was understood, but she expressed such lofty sentiments and ready sympathy with all with whom she came in contact, when it suited her, that people often found it difficult to realize that these were never translated into action. I have sometimes wondered what the reflections of this lady must be — if she ever did reflect — upon her past career; but apparently she had so long practised the art of self-deception that she seemed at last to have acquired the happy, or unhappy, faculty of being able to fasten all her faults and failings upon others,which no doubt saved her from the miserable reflections which assail those who are more normally constituted.

I am not in the least concerned at the remote possibility that Mrs. _____ might some day see this attempt at mental portraiture, because I am sure that not only would she fail to trace any resemblance to herself, but would not conceive it possible that anyone else would do so, such was her unequalled power of self-deception.

This case has interested me as — in my experience — a unique instance of one uniting in herself a flabby sentimentality with a hard and cruel selfishness — deaf alike to the calls of duty or affection. Our place at Thorpe, where my great-uncle, Thomas Massey, once owned a good deal of property, consisted of a rather poor house about one hundred and fifty years old, subsequently divided into two, and a good-sized attractive garden, which included a strip of ground sloping down to what was then a beautiful clear river stocked with fish, but which, in after years, was contaminated by the sewage of Norwich. Here I kept the jolly boat belonging to my small cutter-rigged yacht, the Phantom, of about fourteen to sixteen tons, which was moored just outside the wooden bridge which crossed the river about one hundred yards further off. My mother, who was very fond of the river and the broads, and I had many enjoyable cruises in her, sometimes of a week or fortnight, when we would visit the various places on the river, such as Yarmouth, Lowestoft and Beccles (map). We sometimes both slept on board, in the cabin, while my man slept in the fore-peak, or my mother would stay the night in one of the riverside inns. I found that the boat could be managed with one man beside myself, except, of course, in match sailing. The Phantom was remarkably fast and won several cups at local regattas, but she was too heavily rigged to be much good at sea. My father never cared for the river and I could never induce him to go out. I used to row a good deal in those days, and on one occasion rowed my jolly boat from Gorleston to Norwich, over Breydon Water, five miles across, a total distance of about thirty to thirty-five miles, a feat of which I was rather proud, especially as part of the way I had the tide against me. So much has been written about the Norfolk Broads, which were not so well known then as they have become since, that I shall not attempt any description of them or their distinctive scenery, but Mr. Cope, who once joined me in a cruise of a few days in my little yacht, was, I remember, much struck with a twilight effect on one of the Broads — a scene at once solitary and impressive, with a peculiar beauty of its own. The Broads used then to be the haunt of wild fowl and the last retreat of the now almost extinct buzzard, which might then, I believe, be occasionally met with. I once shot a wild swan myself on one of the Broads.

On returning home one night at Thorpe I heard a noise resembling the crackling of matches, which turned out to be due to the result of the appalling accident at Thorpe from two trains meeting on a single line. The circumstances were so unique that it will be remembered for many years as the "Thorpe accident." The London express to Yarmouth, which stopped at Norwich, was sent on, on the supposition that the Yarmouth to Norwich train was being detained till the line was clear. The express was therefore started, and when the terrible mistake was discovered the stationmaster ran down the line in the vain endeavour to recall it, for it had already left on its fatal journey. Knowing what must inevitably occur very shortly he telegraphed for the Norwich doctors and surgeons to come to the station at once, so as to be in readiness to receive the victims of the catastrophe as they arrived. All the inhabitants of the village that could be got together went immediately to the scene of the calamity, to render what aid they could to the sufferers. I was not among the helpers, as my father and I had gone to bed — our house lay far back from the road and our garden gate being locked we did not hear the summons to join the relieving party. The next morning I went to the scene of the catastrophe, which took place on the wooden bridge across the river, before mentioned, and never shall I forget the scene which confronted me. The two engines were reared up on end against each other and looked like two antediluvian monsters in a death grapple, while all around was strewn the ghastly evidences of the tragedy which had taken place. And here occurred a curious circumstance. A friend of mine who lived at Yarmouth came up to Norwich on the day of the accident and was returning home by the London express. He had always avoided the last carriage of a train, but as it was raining and blowing hard and the last carriages were the only ones under the roof of the station he got into one of them, and these fortunately for him were not on the bridge when the collision took place. Finding the train had stopped, he waited some time and then made his way on to the road and walked home to Yarmouth, nearly twenty miles. This was the only explanation he gave to his family the next morning on his arrival. When questioned more minutely he could give no coherent account of what had happened, and seemed dazed and exhausted and his mind a blank as to all that had occurred. I have often referred to this circumstance since, but I never elicited more from him than I have set down.

I was once within an ace of being drowned — in fact, I may almost say I was drowned — but was resuscitated, and though it is now many years ago I can recall my sensations which, at first, were distinctly unpleasant, if not agonizing, but afterwards I was so far reconciled to my fate that I did not much care whether I was rescued or not. I can recall looking up at the blue sky and thinking, though with perfect resignation, that I was seeing it for the last time. In that moment my whole life passed in review before me, even to the minutest detail, and I can only compare it to a map unrolled before me, in which everything that had happened, good or ill, was shown at a glance — with no feeling of satisfaction for the good and no terrors or regrets for the bad — only an absolute calm. I also saw, as in a vision, my father and mother receiving the intimation of my death that evening while sitting by the fire in the familiar room with its familiar surroundings. I have often wondered since whether other persons rescued from drowning have had similar experiences.   When I first knew Cromer (map) there were no trains and no jerry-builders -and it was only reached from Norwich by two four-horse stage coaches, from the Norfolk and Royal Hotels in Norwich, to the two small hotels at Cromer, the Belle Vue and the Hotel de Paris, but notwithstanding the absence of trains and jerry-builders — and perhaps for that reason — it was a delightful place, much frequented by the Norfolk county people; no sea was more intensely blue and no air more invigorating. The magnificent church was a landmark for many miles round; I believe the foundations and ruins of a former church are under the sea, which encroaches very much there, and can almost be seen at low water, and the surrounding country was so attractive that Charles II could scarcely have had it in his mind when he said — if he did say so — that the county of Norfolk was only fit to cut roads through to other places.

I have often seen the madcap, young Squire Windham, so well known to a past generation and the owner of the fine old family estate of Felbrigg, which was afterwards sold to the Kittons family, and which gave the occasion for the remark that " Windham had gone to the dogs and Felbrigg to the Kittens."

Windham for some time drove one of the four-horse coaches to Cromer, and I shall not forget my experience as the occupant of the box-seat, which I think was not greatly in request in those days on account of the known recklessness of the driver. He was a powerful young man and fully equal to handling four horses and helping with the passengers' luggage, for which services he always accepted the customary fee with a touch of his hat. There is no doubt he was a splendid driver, and the way he brought in his team through the narrow gateway of the Hotel de Paris with very little to spare, and then pulled up the horses with their noses almost touching the window of the hotel bar was quite a notable feat. I shall not forget the screams of two inside lady passengers on the journey, with their heads out of the window, who were terrified at the way the coach rocked from side to side, owing to the breakneck pace at which he drove it, or the rush of men, women and children, who were on the road, to get out of his way. Cromer is now, I believe, a fashionable town, with ample accommodation in the way of lodgings and hotels, and all the delights and conveniences of an up-to-date seaside resort. I should not now of course know it as the same place.

A horse bolted with me once in an avenue — as referred to many pages back — and when I saw a collision against a tree was probable I shook my feet clear of the stirrups to obviate the chance of being dragged in the event of being thrown, which probably saved my life. As it was I dashed against one of the trees and was thrown and had a piece chipped off my kneecap. I was more or less insensible, but before quite losing consciousness I heard one of two labouring men who were close by say, "He's a stiff un; he'll never move again." In one sense this was true, as I continued to be "a stiff un" for some time, and though I did move again my knee didn't move for more than a month or six weeks, during which it was in plaster of Paris.

This particular horse belonged to a man I knew, and when I told him the circumstance he said, "Well, that is very extraordinary; I've ridden that horse for years and he never attempted to run away with me, but he bolted with my nephew, who is in the Horse Artillery and is a splendid rider, as far as sticking on to anything is concerned, but he has shocking bad hands." He seemed to offer this as the explanation. This I have also referred to elsewhere.   During our annual trainings at Warwick I never failed to ride over from our camp to Baddesley Clinton, about eight miles distant, which belonged to my friend, Marmion Ferrers, who was one of the old officers of the Warwick county regiment, and where I once took my friend, Seymour Lucas. It is a fortified, moated house, of the time of Edward IV, and is a charming specimen of mediaeval architecture, with its massive gateway and porch, banqueting hall, chapel and ancient sun-dial. It merits a detailed description, which may, however, be found in guide-books. Mr. Ferrers was a very devout Roman Catholic, as had been his family for over one thousand years, and it was, I believe, the most ancient in the kingdom. His ancestor, William de Ferrers of Ferrier in Normandy, was Master of the Horse to William the Conqueror, and on his death many years ago there was a long account in The Times of Mr. Ferrers' ancestry and pedigree. He was, I have understood, heir to more than one title, and to the extinct title of the Marmions  — former champions of England. There is a couplet in Scott's Marmion which runs: —

They hailed him Lord of Fontenaye,
Of Lutterward and Scrivel-baye
Of Tamworth tower and town.

Tamworth Castle, or rather the ruin, belonged to Mr. Marmion Ferrers. Another friend associated with Baddesley Clinton was Mr. Dering, formerly an officer in the Coldstream Guards, and who was also a strict Roman Catholic. He lived for many years at Baddesley Clinton with Mr. and Mrs. Ferrers, and Mrs. Ferrers subsequently married him on the death of her husband. On Mr. Dering's death another obituary notice appeared in The Times referring to his ancestry, and stating that the two old friends so united in their lives had ancestors who fought on opposite sides at Hastings — Ferrers for the Normans and Dering for the Saxons. Mr. Ferrers himself was a most picturesque figure and suggested a feudal baron, rather than a country gentleman of the nineteenth century. He always wore a black velvet suit with knee-breeches, and shoes with great silver buckles. He built and endowed a large Roman Catholic establishment or monastery at Baddesley, and I think he was impoverished by his benefactions to the Roman Catholic Church. He once said to me, "You know, I never see any money". He was a very lenient landlord, and never, I believe, pressed for rent from tenants who could ill afford to pay. The only vehicle he kept was an antiquated chariot, dating back, I should think, to the early Georges and drawn by two ancient horses whose long tails almost swept the ground. In this he made a few calls about once a year, with his father confessor; at any rate he called upon us thus attended at Leamington, where we then lived.

I look back upon these bygone days and people of a past generation with a tender feeling of regret born of the knowledge that I can never look upon the like again — except in dreams — in the changed world, for good or ill, which we now inhabit.

I once took my sister to lunch at Baddesley, and she told me she should never forget the picture which dwelt in her memory of five grave, stately figures in the westering sun who were pacing the brick paths which encircled the moat. Mr. Ferrers himself, a high dignitary — perhaps a cardinal — of the Roman Catholic Church, wearing, according to her description, a purple or violet robe — or cassock — with lace collar and ruffles and a massive gold chain and crucifix, and two priests in black cassocks, and a monk with brown frock, hood, and girdle and sandalled feet. I must not take leave of Baddesley Clinton without some reference to the inevitable ghost, for of course there is a ghost, though there would really appear to be two on this occasion. I, once at dinner, sat next to Miss Fetherston — sister of my dear old friend, Fetherston Dilke — and we were talking of Baddesley, where she had spent so much of her time and which, as she said, she so much preferred to Maxstoke Castle, her brother's place. I then said, " Did you ever see the ghost? " She replied, " I did not see the ghost but I saw a ghost". " Well," I said, " that is interesting. I have heard of a man's sister who knew some one who had a friend who saw a ghost, but I never yet had the opportunity of hearing a ghost story first-hand from anyone who I felt convinced was absolutely reliable. Do you mind telling me the circumstances? " " Not at all," she said. " Before you proceed," I said, " did you feel frightened? " " Not in the least," she replied. She then went on to say, " You know they burn logs of wood at Baddesley, as they do at Maxstoke, and I had a wood fire in my bedroom. I had closed my eyes but had not gone to sleep, when on opening them to look at the fire I saw, by the firelight, a lady looking at me over the foot rail of my bed. I thought at first it was some one in the house who had mistaken the room. When I realized that this was not so the thought struck me that the figure was not of this world, but the thought also struck me that such a sweet, gentle-looking creature would not harm me if she could. The figure, remained motionless so long that if I had been an artist I could have drawn her likeness. Then gradually the outlines became blurred and finally the figure faded away. Well," said Miss Fetherston, " that's my ghost, but remember that is not ' the Ghost of Baddesley,' which I haven't seen and hope I shall not see, for it's rather awful, I believe". She went on to say, " The next morning I told Mrs. Ferrers my experience, when she said, ' I ought not, perhaps, to have given you that room, but I will have you moved into another one to-day'. I said, Pray don't, for I like my room with its pretty outlook, and I shan't mind in the least if I do see the lady again; but who is she? Mrs. Ferrers said, ' She was Mr. Ferrers' aunt and we cannot in any way account for her appearance in this way, for, as far as we know, there was nothing disturbing in her life, and she led an absolutely quiet, prosaic existence. But, however,' she added, ' I don't think you are likely to see her again as she only appears during the month of October, and we are now at the end of October' ". I think Miss Fetherston said she did see her once more, but cannot be sure as to this.

The legend of the ghost of Baddesley Clinton is as follows: A certain Sir Edward Ferrers, who fought in the Wars of the Roses, was riding forth cap-a-pie to take part in one of the battles of that period, but after proceeding a few miles he felt impelled to return, when he discovered a certain monk who was domiciled in the house and his wife under suspicious circumstances, whereupon he killed them both, and the ghost of Baddesley is that of a hooded monk with a red gash in his breast who haunts the room where the murder took place. Mr. Ferrers, at my request, showed me the room with the bloodstains still on the floor, and " certain it is," said Mr. Ferrers, " we have never been able to efface the stain."

In a little chapel adjoining the house is a small stained glass window representing a knight in armour supposed to be Sir Edward Ferrers, kneeling in an attitude of prayer, with upraised hands, as seeking atonement for the sin of having slain a monk. My dear old friend, Major William Fetherston Dilke of Maxstoke Castle , in Warwickshire, who was my old captain in the county battalion, succeeded to the property on the death of his brother Charles, who died under tragic circumstances. There was only three months difference in our ages. On his succession I was a frequent visitor to the castle during seven years, where there was always a room kept ready for me, and some of the happiest years of my life have been spent there. The artistic features of the place, together with its historical associations strongly appealed to me. Indeed, on such terms were we that Dilke would have had me to live there, and I was always at liberty to invite any of my friends. My mother stayed there for about ten days, and I shall never forget his kindness in sending to Birmingham, which was about sixteen or twenty miles distant, for a Bath-chair in which, being unable to walk much, she could be wheeled round the park, or his knightly courtesy in insisting on taking her round himself, a pleasure which he said he should not think of relinquishing to me, still less to a footman. He was truly a gentleman of the old school, a race which was fast dying out even then, and which I fear will soon cease to exist altogether.

Similarly I asked my dear and respected friend and former master, C. W. Cope, R.A., to come there on a visit. He stayed a week, when he kindly criticized a portrait which I was painting of Dilke, and to which he gave some slight touches to its great improvement, as I need scarcely add. My sister Annie also came for a short visit.

In the banqueting hall was a magnificent suit of armour — I think Italian — which belonged to a certain Sir Thomas Dilke. One day, when Major and Mrs. Dilke were out, something possessed me to see how I should look in the heavy, tilting helmet, which I accordingly put on and which I was afterwards quite unable to remove, owing to a spring having caught in some way, and being anxious to avoid the unseemly mirth which I knew my appearance would call forth when my hosts returned, I made frantic efforts to take it off, but to no purpose, so I was obliged to ring for a footman, but the poor fellow was so convulsed with laughter that for a time he was powerless to help me, which I don't wonder at, for no doubt a tweed morning suit and fancy necktie topped by a mediaeval helmet does not suggest dignity! Indeed, he only recovered himself just in time to save the situation. When my hosts returned I informed them of the circumstance, and they seemed very disappointed that they had not returned sooner.

On my first visit to Maxstoke there were so many friends staying at the castle that I had to sleep in one of the towers, which was situated at the extreme end of the banqueting hall. My room was approached by a winding turret staircase and was octagonal in shape, conforming to the shape of the tower arrow slits furnishing such light as there was, and through which you could look across the park or down into the moat. It was approached from the staircase by a small Gothic-shaped door, and on the opposite side was a similar door, leading on to the battlements. The furniture was ancient, some of it Elizabethan, which my friend ought to have valued, but his tastes, unlike mine, did not run in that direction. I remember to have been rather nervous at sleeping in this ghostly room, far removed, as it was, from any other, and I lay awake for some time listening to the noises of the night: the hooting of an owl, the splashing of a fish in the moat, or the clashing of the horns of the deer, which I knew fought duels at certain times of the year, but I was not disturbed by anything I saw or by any sounds which I could not account for. The next day Mrs. Dilke brought some ladies to see the turret chamber, who congratulated me upon my heroism in sleeping there, whereupon I felt more nervous than before, and after a short time I was relegated to another part of the castle. One of the Miss Corries, friends of ours, however, had a very weird experience in that room. Some months after she asked me if I had had any unpleasant disturbances there. I said, "No," and asked her if she had. For a long time she would say nothing, but at last she told me she was awakened about the middle of the night by loud voices, emanating apparently from the stairs just outside her door, one being a gruff man's voice, as if threatening, and the other a female voice, as if supplicating. She listened spellbound for quite an appreciable time, and got no more sleep that night and resolved to leave the next day rather than sleep there again, but the next morning, with the sun shining and the birds singing, her spirits revived and she started out to finish her sketch in the park, and became so engrossed that, to her dismay, she found she would not have time to catch her train, necessitating her remaining another night in the only room available. However, instead of going to bed she sat up writing, being rather behind with her correspondence, when the same thing was repeated. I asked her if she could distinguish any words that were spoken. She said, " No, but I thought, now and again, I caught words that sounded obsolete, and not such as are now in ordinary use," adding, "but I dare say you will think this fanciful". She is the last person however, I should have thought this of — she was a rather matter-of-fact woman of between fifty and sixty. I offer no opinion hereon and merely state what Miss Corrie told me. I may add this was not the ghost room proper, which was a small room leading out of a corridor, which I had some difficulty in eliciting from Dilke, as both he and Mrs. Dilke greatly disliked subjects of that kind being alluded to, on account of the servants. This small room, he told me, had been kept usually for lady's-maids and attendants, etc., but they had subsequently been compelled to shut it up entirely. There has, I believe, been a more or less complete history written of Maxstoke Castle, which could be consulted by anyone interested in the subject, and I have therefore only referred to such matters as would not appear in a treatise of that kind. There is a barn on the property, which Dilke told me was the longest if not the largest in England, suitable to the time when rent was paid in produce and not in cash, and he told me that in that barn Shakespeare> once gave a performance, coming over from Stratford-on-Avon with his company for that purpose; he pointed out the stage on which it took place, and there certainly was an erection at the end of the barn which suggested a stage. There were two small lakes in the park, one of which went by the name of the "Hungry Pool"; it was full of pike which were indeed so hungry that they could be caught with almost anything and were frightfully thin and out of condition. There were probably few other small fish and the pike perhaps preyed upon each other. In a little island in the centre of one of the lakes was a large weeping-willow planted from one on Napoleon's grave at St. Helena.

I remember when Mr. Cope was staying at the castle we explored some of the rooms together in one of the uninhabited towers, when we found among other odds and ends tiny bits of broken armour and some triangular steel or iron spikes, which I had often noticed before but could make nothing of, and which he said were employed in the Middle Ages to stick in the ground in front of a defending force, in order to lame the horses of the enemy in a cavalry charge.

I used to spend a good deal of spare time in the congenial occupation of hunting for relics and mementoes of a bygone age, and among other things I sometimes came across rough sketches or scratches on the gate towers, probably the work of mediaeval archers with their arrowheads, and I once saw some ribald verses written with a diamond on a pane of glass evidently by some roué of the Elizabethan era, with the quaint writing and spelling of that period, and Dilke was delighted at the discovery, but the subject of the verses does not admit of their being recorded and the writer evidently did not wish to go down to posterity as their author, as although he gave the date — 1560 or thereabout — he omitted to add his name. I remember my friend Seymour Lucas, whom I took to Maxstoke after Dilke's death, would have liked to make a much longer stay at the castle, and I had a difficulty in getting him to the station, some miles distant, in time to catch the only available train.

I once said to Dilke, "There must have been a portcullis. What became of it? " He replied, "Oh, it came down in Captain Dilke's time, and as he didn't want the bother of having it put back he just had it thrown into the moat." This Captain Dilke — a captain in the navy — was the owner who preceded my friend's brother Charles. My friend seemed to regard this matter of the portcullis as a huge joke till I pointed out to him the enormity of the offence, when he went on to say in a more chastened spirit that he believed Captain Dilke, who appears to have been a perfect Goth, had had a good many things thrown into the moat, such as bits of armour or anything which necessitated trouble to keep in order, and when I expressed my horror at these barbarous proceedings he said, " Well, I've no doubt there are some things in the moat which it may have been a pity to throw away, and we'll have it drained some day and see what there is." Whereupon I entreated him to let me be present on such an interesting occasion. But, alas! it — like many other good resolutions — never came to anything.

There was a right of way through the park and the public were supposed to keep to the footpath, which, needless to say, they didn't always do, and Dilke had the gate labelled "Private" which led into the castle grounds. One day he and I were leaning over this gate when two young men came up to it, intending possibly to come through in spite of the notice board. At last, after waiting some time, one of them said to Dilke, "Have you taken a lease of that gate, guv'nor?"

On another occasion two hobbledehoys from Birmingham not only passed through the gate, but penetrated into the courtyard and stared at us through the window of the dining-room, where we were all having our lunch. Dilke, who was rather an imposing-looking person, came out and asked their names, which I don't remember, and address, which they gave as, say, "196 Paradise Row, Birmingham," for neither do I remember their exact address, whereupon he observed, "What would you say if I came to '196 Paradise Row,' and stared at you both, through the window, while you were eating your dinner?" This I thought was much to the point, and apparently they thought so too, for they retired.

Dilke told me of an amusing incident which happened when I was away from the castle. A couple of young men or boys — they generally seemed to hunt in couples — climbed over the private gate, which on this occasion was locked, and came into the courtyard, when Dilke ordered two of his men to lock them up in one of the towers, where he afterwards interviewed them and frightened them almost out of their wits, by telling them, as a magistrate for the county, that they had committed a most serious offence in breaking into a Royal residence — technically he was right in so describing it, as Richard III had actually stayed at the castle for a few days — and were liable to a very severe punishment. He told them finally that out of consideration for their youth and ignorance of both law and history he would take upon himself the responsibility of letting them go with a reprimand. He evidently greatly enjoyed the joke.

The avenue at Maxstoke dated from the time of Charles I and had remained intact up to the time of a very notable storm, when many trees were uprooted. This happened while I was at the castle, when I saw two immense trees blown down. The castle was built of stone from a quarry not far off, and I was able to trace the path or track traversed by the mediaeval workmen from the quarry to the castle.    Dilke told me that the breed of deer in the park was peculiar and the same as in Shakespeare's time. I certainly never saw any quite like them. They were almost black and very small, not bigger than small sheep. Occasionally one of the fallow deer would stray over from Stoneleigh Deer Park, when there would be a great hunt to oust or kill the intruder, and to prevent his fraternizing with the legitimate occupants.

Dilke was an excellent shot and we used to have big shooting parties, which he would have liked me to join, but I always had an instinctive, and perhaps absurd, dislike to killing things, so I used to join the shooting parties with the ladies, but never took a gun, except on rare occasions when I perhaps shot a rabbit or two. This peculiarity of mine I think I must have inherited from my father, whom I have frequently seen pick up toads which would stray into the roads at Thorpe in damp weather and place them in safety from the boys who used to stone them. I'm afraid we both had perhaps rather more sympathy with defenceless animals than with, at any rate, certain human beings. This was no doubt singular and perhaps reprehensible. But I did not carry my possibly sentimental scruples to a logical conclusion, since they did not extend to fish, as fishing was a form of sport which particularly attracted me, especially pike fishing, and I always lived in hope of being able to catch one of the monster pike for which the Norfolk Broads were celebrated — some of them scaled over thirty pounds — but I never succeeded in getting one over seven or eight pounds.  My awkwardness in throwing a fly prevented my being successful with trout, except in fishing in lakes from a boat, when skill in that direction was not necessary.

Christmas Days at Maxstoke Castle, where I have spent more than one, were quite ideal. The courtyard would be filled with a motley crowd: carol singers singing their carols, the bell-ringers, the church choir, and the village club members, from all of which Major and Mrs. Dilke would receive an ovation. Then there was the distribution of Christmas gifts: blankets and clothing for the old women, which Mrs. Dilke would apportion, and pipes and tobacco for the men, which the Major would distribute. I think we were all very happy on those occa-sions, and they really recalled the Christmas Days we used to read about and see in illustrations. My friend was always rather impulsive in his benefactions, and not nearly so judicious and discriminating as his wife. I have often heard her say that when he went for a walk, no matter what money he might have in his pocket when he started he never had any when he came back, and I have noticed the same thing myself; there would be a shilling for every girl who bobbed a curtsey and for every boy who touched his cap. His tenants took every advantage of this characteristic, and always tried to interview him if possible, rather than his agent, when they wanted any repairs or reductions of rent. Under these circumstances it was not surprising that, like the Squire of Baddesley Clinton, he was a comparatively poor man.

Every Sunday afternoon, weather permitting, the Major, Mrs. Dilke and I used to pay visits to the cottagers on the property, none of whom were required to pay rent after attaining a certain age, when we would take tea with one of them. Dilke had one great charm, in that he never allowed kindnesses or benefactions to assume an air of patronage, and his unfailing courtesy to an old cottage woman was as marked as it would be to a countess. One day when I was at the castle my friend received a letter from his connection, Sir Charles Dilke, to say that he should like to pay him a visit at Maxstoke, and Dilke invited him to stay for, I think, a week and asked me to come and meet him, which I am sorry to say I was unable to do. Sir Charles Dilke afterwards sent him a handsome volume, bound in vellum, of the pedigree of the family, which he said he thought my friend ought to possess as the head of the family.

We used sometimes to have picnic parties which would come over from Birmingham to see the castle, and I remember one fairly numerous one which sat down under the trees in the park, and presently one of the party came to ask permission to view the interior. Dilke, who was very good natured, sent them out a good lunch with a message that he hoped they would come in when they had finished it. As he hated coming forward on such occasions he said I must do showman, which I did to the best of my ability: pointing out the two entrance towers forming the gate and clock towers, and the four flanking towers, that is to say, the kitchen tower, the lady's tower, the dead man's tower, and the fourth, the name of which I can't remember. When, however, I got as far as the " dead man's tower " the funny man — there's always a funny man among these parties — called out for some one to hold him up, lest he should faint. His subsequent jokes about the armour and other interesting relics were equally inane. These relics included the splendid full-length portrait of Charles II, the buff coat of Timothy Fetherston, who was slain in Hyde Park, the shuffle board, the old portrait of the family jester and an historical chair in which one of our mediaeval kings is supposed to have sat. After investigating everything and passing their remarks I noticed they were consulting among themselves, and presently their spokesman came forward and said they had been talking the matter over, and had decided that I had been so civil and attentive that they wished to recognize my services by offering me five shillings — it may have been ten, I can't be sure. Dilke was delighted when I told him, and it showed, he said, how accurately he had gauged my capabilities as a showman.   I have referred to an " historical chair," among other interesting relics, as being a chair in which one of our mediaeval kings had sat. The history is as follows: At my first visit to the castle I noticed a remarkable old chair which Dilke told me was the one on which Henry VII was crowned, after the Battle of Bosworth. I said, "That's very interesting if you can prove it." Incidentally I don't think he was much concerned to prove it as he had few, if any, antiquarian tastes. He replied, "Well, all I know is my brother Charles married Miss Dixie, the daughter of Sir Beaumont Dixie, on whose property Bosworth Field is situated and on which — or near it — was the Blue Boar Inn. After the battle there is a tradition that a chair was brought out of the Blue Boar on which was crowned Henry, Duke of Richmond, afterwards Henry VII, and that, at any rate, is the chair which Sir Beaumont Dixie gave his daughter when she married, and at the same time made this statement."

There are several other beautiful and historical places where I have visited, besides Maxstoke and Baddesley Clinton referred to elsewhere. Indeed, Warwickshire abounds with such residences. "Guys Cliffe" was inhabited by Miss Percy, whom we knew. She was related to — or connected with — the Northumberland family, and we used to attend her garden parties, when our band would be engaged to play. There used to be a large picture at " Guys Cliffe " which was thought to be so terrible that people of weak nerves could not be trusted to look at it. It was therefore always kept covered, and only uncovered by special request. I think the subject was Ugolino. The picture always seemed to me, when I was allowed to see it, more grotesque than "terrible."

The Priory was a beautiful Elizabethan mansion where Queen Elizabeth once stayed. I used to go to dinner parties there; also to Charlecote, the seat of the Lucys of Shakespearian notoriety, and Clopton near Stratford-on-Avon, belonging to my friend Sir Arthur Hodgson, who has since joined the majority and who made a large fortune in Australia in sheep farming; he had the good taste to preserve the family portraits of the Cloptons when he bought or inhabited the home of the Cloptons.

Before concluding my reminiscences let me draw a picture of domestic life in a feudal castle, as it presented itself to me at that time.

Major and Mrs. Dilke and I are at breakfast in the room overlooking the courtyard on a fine summer morning. Presently a very old woman appears on the scene from a cottage somewhere beyond, who comes ostensibly to weed, but as there are no weeds she keeps up the illusion by occasionally stooping to pick up something which is not there. Mrs. Dilke throws up the window to exchange a few words with her about the weather, her rheumatism, or the health of her old man. The Major hands her out a plate off the breakfast table, with ham and eggs or whatever there happens to be. The Châtelaine, more frugal and judicious than the Lord of the Castle says, " Oh, Will, she'll never eat all that," and proceeds to give her a reduced, but still ample, portion. " Don't you believe it," he says. " She'll eat all that and more too. You give her the plateful, and when you get the plate back there won't be much left on it."

This, in fine weather, was an almost daily performance.

There used to be an enormous number of pigeons, which made their home in the disused towers and did a good deal of harm in picking out the mortar, but my friend could never be persuaded to serve them with a notice to quit. It would seem a fanciful idea to suppose that he was a favourite with them, on account of his regarding them as freeholders and allowing them to remain undisturbed, but it is a fact that when we both went out into the courtyard " to take the air " after breakfast, while I would be left severely alone, from every comer of the battlements and turrets would come a rush and a flurry of wings and he would be completely surrounded by the birds, who would perch all over him, until he waved them aside. There was one particular one he always called "Joseph," because he had, as he said, "a coat of many colours".

Well, as some of the happiest years of my life have been spent at Maxstoke, it is no wonder that I dwell with loving memory upon these trivial events which serve to recall them, however uninteresting they might otherwise appear, and lest I should be tempted to add to their number I will not presume further upon the patience or forbearance of my readers.


Last modified 30 November 2014