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WITH PICTURES BY ERNEST WALL-COUSINS AND FREDERICK GARDNER

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man, not even Charles Lamb, has land House in the west to Clerkenwell in

loved London better than Thackeray. the east, and it embraced the royal borough Thackeray might enjoy himself well of Kensington, the aristocratic region of enough at Brighton, find pleasure on a Mayfair, the clubland of St. James's, the Continental tour, and derive satisfaction Strand, the Temple, Covent Garden, and from a visit to America; but London was the unfashionable district of Bloomsbury. always shining in his inner eye. Thack- The student of Thackeray's life, turneray loved his London, and no man was ing to the writings of the novelist, will obbetter acquainted with it; but his London serve how often the places with which had its limits. It was not the London of Thackeray was acquainted figure in his the antiquarian, or of the topographer, works. The districts in which he lived, but of the man about town. He could the inns of court in which he had chameasily have lost himself in the neighbor- bers, the Bohemian haunts he frequented, hood of Fulham, and it is extremely im- the clubs to which he belonged, all are probable that he ever ventured into that impressed into the service, even as were the vast space airily described by dwellers at experiences of his life and many of the the other end of the metropolis as the people he knew. It would be nearly as "East End"; of the northern suburbs he easy to recreate certain parts of London knew little or nothing, and the Thames from his books as to trace the genealogy of was his southern boundary. He might many of his characters. He was not, inlocate Alderman Sir William Dobbin's deed, always exact in his books in the mathouse at Denmark Hill, and place some ter of locality, but his daughter, Lady other worthy citizen at Highbury; but he Ritchie, has related that, walking beside was about as unfamiliar with these regions her, he would point out the houses in which as with Timbuctoo, the charms of which he imagined the creatures of his brain to place he sang in some of his earliest verses. have lived. He would show the Osbornes' Thackeray's London stretched from Hol- house in Russell Square, the house where

Copyright, 1911, by THE CENTURY CO.

All rights reserved.

LXXXII - 39

319

.

Colonel Newcome lived in Fitzroy Square, deed, demolished ten years after the little Becky Sharp's house in Curzon Street, boy saw it, and the pillars of the colonnade and so on His characters were so real to that he remembered now support the porhim that often he was at pains to present tico of the National Gallery in Trafalgar them with a definite habitation.

Square. This was all Thackeray knew of Thackeray, who was born in India, first the metropolis before he went to Dr.

Turner's school, facing the Thames, on Chiswick Mall. There, being very unhappy, he found courage to attempt to run away. He ran down Chiswick Lane, but

when he came to the broad main road upon which that thoroughfare abuts, his nerve failed him, and the poor little lad slunk back to the school, and reentered the grounds, fortunately without his absence having

been discovered. It Charterhouse Scher

is said that Dr. TurTAKCIENS FREE

ner occupied Walpole House, which still stands, and is now occupied by Sir

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saw London in Novem-
ber, 1817, when he was
six years of age. “I re-
member peeping through
the colonnade at Carlton
House, and seeing the abode of the
great Prince Regent,” he recalled the
experience years after. "I can yet
see the guards pacing before the pal-
ace. The palace! What palace?
The palace exists no more than the
Palace of Nebuchadnezzar. It is but a
name now. Where be the sentries who

CHARTERHOUSE SCHOOL IN used to salute as the royal chariots drove TIME—THE CHAPEL-WASH-HOUSE COURT in and out? The chariots, with the kings inside, have driven to the realms of Herbert Beerbohm Tree, and that at WalPluto; the tall guards have marched into pole House it was where Miss Pinkerdarkness, and the echoes of their drums ton had her school, the school immortalare rolling in Hades. Where the palace ized by the fact that among her pupils once stood, a hundred little children are were Rebecca Sharp and Amelia Sedley. paddling up and down the steps to St. At Chiswick little William Makepeace James's Park.” Carlton House was, in- remained until 1822, when his mother,

Drawn by Ernest Wall-Cousins

THACKERAY'S a

LIVED HERE

a

who had married Major Carmichael Thackeray indulged. He had no love of Smyth, returned to England, and decided fighting for fighting's sake, nor did he care that he should go to the Charterhouse, at for any boyish games; he was happiest, like the other end of the town, where two of Dobbin after him, lying under a tree in the English humorists of the eighteenth the playground or, maybe, in the quaint century, Addison and Steele, had been Charterhouse Square, at the gates of the educated. Thackeray now became school, reading, for choice, a novel, or boarder in the house of an assistant mas- drawing thumbnail sketches in the margins ter, the Rev. Edward Penny, who lived of his books. in Wilderness Row, Clerkenwell Road, As time passed, Thackeray came to look and whose house was connected with the back on the Charterhouse with an eye that school-grounds by a tunnel running under became more and more kindly, until the the road. The house is still in existence, “Slaughter House School” of the earlier and upon it has been placed a tablet, the stories became the "Grey Friars” of “The rough lettering of which states:

Newcomes." Thackeray, who sent to his

old school — to WILLIAM MAKEPEACE

take a few THACKERAY

names at ran

dom - George 1822-1824

Osborne, the

younger RawThackeray at first was as unhappy at the don Crawley, Charterhouse as he had been at Dr. Tur- Clive Newner's.

He was quiet, nervous lad, and was perhaps a little frightened by the crowds of rough boys, most of them older than himself, that he encountered in the playground. He remained at the school until May, 1828, but the last four years he spent at No. 7 Charterhouse Square, where Mrs. Boyes made a home for lads at the Charterhouse and the Merchant Taylors' schools. There, if not content, he was at least far less misera- come, and Philip Firmin, in later years ble than in the previous years. He was frequently

found his way to the Charterolder and better able to take care of him- house. “To other than Cistercians, Grey self, and he had made friends with Mrs. Friars is a dreary place possibly," he wrote. Boyes's son, and with Leech and George “Nevertheless, the pupils educated there Stovin Venables. Venables it was who love to revisit it; and the oldest of us grow broke Thackeray's nose in a fight at Pen- young again for an hour or two as we come ny's; and when it had been successfully back to those scenes of childhood.” It was set, it was deliberately broken again by a his delight to give pleasure to the boys brutal bully. "I got at last big enough there—and to how many other boys elseand strong enough,” Thackeray has put where! “There 's A's son, or B's son, as on record, "to give the ruffian the soundest the case might be," he would say to a thrashing a boy ever had.” These are the companion; “let 's go across and tip him." only known pugilistic encounters in which His advocacy of tipping in one of “The

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Drawu by Ernest Wall.Cousins

PALACE GREEN

Roundabout Papers” is too well known Club.

Club. Years later Merivale asked the to be repeated here, but in this respect at great man if he remembered having done least he practised what he preached. "It is so. "Why, of course," said Thackeray, all very well to say that boys contract the promptly; "and what is more, I remember habit of expecting tips, that they become I gave you beefsteak and apricot omelet.” avaricious, and so forth,” he exclaimed. The young man was delighted that his

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“Fudge! boys contract habits of tart and host should recollect even the details of toffee-eating which they do not carry into the entertainment and expressed his satisafter-life. On the contrary, I wish I did faction. “Yes,” said Thackeray, twinlike tarts and toffee.” It was not only his kling, “I always gave boys beefsteak and money he gave to boys; he was always apricot omelet." willing to devote his time to amusing In his later days, however, it was the them. He would take them to the panto- hospital that sheltered the Brethren of the mime, and he would give them dinner first. Charterhouse rather than the school that On one occasion he took Herman Meri- attracted Thackeray, and the beautiful, vale, then a lad, to dinner at the Garrick sympathetic description in “The Newcomes" of the retreat that Thomas Sutton in Devonshire, then going to Cambridge provided for poor gentlemen is known to University, and afterward staying at all of us, and admired and loved. It was Weimar. When he returned to the methere that the preux chevalier Colonel tropolis in the autumn of 1831, it was to

prepare for the bar. He read with the conveyancer Taprell, who occupied the ground floor of No. 1 Hare Court, Temple, and he had chambers, either then or subsequently, at No. 2 Brick Court, close by, where Oliver Goldsmith had lived. “I have been many a time in the chambers in the Temple which were Goldsmith's, and passed up the staircase which Johnson and Burke and Reynolds trod to see their friend, their poet, their kind Goldsmith,” he said, in one of his lectures on the English humorists,“ – the stair on which the poor women sat weeping bitterly when they heard that the greatest and most generous of all men was dead within the black oak door.” Subsequently he removed to chambers at No. 10 Crown Office Row,

in the block of buildings where Charles & Guide Lamb was born. The quaint old Temple,

with its traditions, always made a strong appeal to the romance that was within him. “The man of letters,” he wrote, “can't but love the place which has been inhabited by so many of his brethren, or peopled by their creations, as real to us at this day as the authors whose children they were- and Sir Roger de Coverley walking in Temple Garden, and discoursing with

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Drawn by Frederick Gardner

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CAPTAIN COSTIGAN

Newcome sought refuge from the terrible Campaigner, and there that he said Adsum" when his name was called. The Charterhouse has changed in many respects since Thackeray visited it on Founder's Day, 1863, a fortnight before he died. The school, to which his daughters presented his bed as a souvenir, has been removed to Godalming; but Thomas Sutton's hospital stands to this day with its ancient buildings and its fine quadrangle but little disturbed. It is still a place of great peace, where a man who has done his life's work may well be content to await the summons to another and a better world with such patience and resignation as was shown by Colonel Newcome.

For three years after leaving the Charterhouse, Thackeray was absent from London, first studying at his stepfather's house

Gardus

Drawn by Frederick Gardner

BECKY SHARP

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