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LATER WITS AND HUMOURISTS:
CANNING, CAPTAIN MORRIS, CURRAN, COLERIDGE,
The two volumes here presented to the reader are the completion of a design, projected in 1860, for the illustration of the “Lives of Wits and Humourists," who flourished from Swift, STEELE, FOOTE, GOLDSMITH, THE TWO COLMANS, SHERIDAN, PORSON, SYDNEY SMITH, THEODORE Hook, and JAMES and HORACE SMITH, to the present time. This design it has been sought to accomplish by condensing the salient points, events, and incidents in the lives of these distinguished men, and presenting them by way of anecdote, in chronological order, so as to render more attractive this branch. of life-writing, in which history and biography are alike combined.
To this first portion of the Lives has been accorded a flattering reception by the reading public--such as to encourage the completion of the series, by the production of the “Later Wits and Humourits :"--GEORGE CANNING, CAPTAIN MORRIS, SAMUEL TAYLOR COLERIDGE, J. P. CURRAN, WILLIAM COBBETT, CHARLES LAMB, R. H. BARHAM, DOUGLAS JERROLD, MICHAEL KELLY, CHARLES MATHEWS, “ Tou Hill," THE "DOCTOR," Joux POOLE, TALLEYRAND, ARCHBISHOP WHATELY, SAMUEL ROGERS, SIR JOHN SOANE, Mrs. Piozzi, THOMAS HOOD, WORTHIES OF ISLINGTON, WALTER SAVAGE LANDOR, ALBERT SMITH, LEIGH HUNT, DR. MAGINN, WILLIAM MAKEPEACE THACKERAY, CHARLES DICKENS, FATHER PROUT, &c.
The materials for these two volumes have been mainly derived from the Autobiographies of the several personages sketched herein, aided by quotations and references to historical works and biographies, and the table-talk of the period, due regard being paid to the comprehensiveness of the Memoirs, and their authenticity and attractiveness for the general reader. Quotation (says Johnson) is a good thing; there is a community of mind in it; classical quotation is the parole of literary men all over the world.*
With this brief introduction, explaining the plan of the present work, the compiler submits it to the reader in the hope that it may be received with the like favour awarded to its predecessor.
Fifty years ago, the compiler of the “Anecdote Biography" i ublished Laconics ; or, the Best Words of the Best Authors.
CONTENTS OF VOL. I.
CANNING IN PARLIAMENT
SEEKING FOR PLACE.
DIPLOMATISTS AT HOME
CHARACTERISTICS OF MR. CANNING
MR. CANNING AS AN AMPUITRYON
MR. CANNING AND HIS SERVANT
CANNING'S PUBLIC LITE
A PENSION WELL APPLIED
QUEEN CAROLINE AND MR. CANXING