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APTAIN HAWLEY SMART, at the Garrick one day, at lunch, gave me a valuable friendly warning.
“In your book,” said he, “do not fall into that diary mistake, characteristic of most autobiographers; and some autobiographers indulge in it very badly. I mean writing: ‘May 14th. – Dined at the Duke of A——’s: present, Lord and Lady B——, Count C——, Marquis of D——, &c.’ Much better write down a list all the people you have met, and say: ‘Dined with, or met, this lot some time or other.’”
Unfortunately, I do not keep a diary, and have no list of “people I have known;” but I can truthfully say that during the last twelve or fourteen years I have had the privilege of meeting what the Society papers repeatedly call “everybody, who is anybody.” What! everybody? Well, nearly everybody! I have met Royal Princes in their palaces, and Republicans in their republic houses. I am personally acquainted with Bishops and Bradlaugh. I have shaken hands with Sarah Bernhardt and Miss Bessie Bellwood. I have been visited by millionaires who are nobodies, and beggars who are somebodies. I have exchanged courtesies with Gustave Doré, and another celebrated painter has exchanged umbrellas with me. I know Sims Reeves and “Squash.” I manage to get on with peers and peasants; I talk a little about the weather to the former, and a little (very little) about the crops to the latter.
I believe I am a Conservative, but I own to a great admiration for Gladstone. I am not alone in that respect, except that I “own up” my admiration, and other Conservatives do not. I regret exceedingly that I never met Lord Beaconsfield; but when I commenced to “go out,” he had almost ceased doing so. I met Mr. Gladstone at a garden party as recently as the autumn of 1887, and was asked to meet him in June, 1888. It is a pleasure to converse with him, or, rather, to hear him converse with you. At the former party, a lady said to me, “If that horrid man comes here, I shall walk through that window on to the lawn. I would not stay under the same roof with him.” She evidently thought there was no chance of his coming; in point of fact, she afterwards admitted as much to me. When he did arrive, she followed him about, curtsied as he passed, as if he were the Queen, repeatedly offered him her chair, and indulged in that particular kind of adoration in the presence which is usually indulged in by people who are ultra-bitter during the absence.
But though I have not kept a list of the notable people I have met, I have kept the letters of those who have written to me as a friend or acquaintance. I cannot count myself as one of the “pestilential nuisances who apply for autographs,” as Gilbert describes them in The Mikado; still, I must plead guilty to pasting in a book, or keeping in my desk, every letter addressed to me personally that has a good name attached. When I say every letter, I do not include letters addressed to me professionally or purely on business matters: those are of merely passing value to me. I simply treasure the letters of those with whom I have become actually acquainted. This collection is the collection of a Snob, no doubt; and I can only beg of those of my readers who are sensitive to Snobbish actions to pass this chapter over, for my sake as well as theirs.
I would add that my wife and I do not possess a card-basket, where the only countess’s card will keep shifting up to the top, of its own accord, in the most remarkable fashion; nor do we advertise our evening parties in the Morning Post, nor publicly announce that we have removed to a hired cottage at Datchet during the fixture of a telephone pole to the roof of our family mansion in Dorset (pronounced Dossit) Square.
I will take the letters as they come, simply calling attention to the contents or the writers as I imagine they may interest or amuse the readers. The first – the most interesting to me, perhaps, as it turned the tide of my professional life – is the letter from Arthur Sullivan, asking me to go on the stage, which has already appeared in a former chapter. The next is from J. R. Planché, whom I shall always remember with the greatest pleasure, and whose little parties were delightful.
The following is characteristic of J. R. Planché’s well-known courtesy:
The above is very flattering, and so is the following from Frederic Clay; and if I were a truly modest man, I should publish neither:
I afterwards became very intimate with Frederic Clay; and a great portion of one of his subsequent works (the Black Crook, I think) was composed while he was staying with my wife and myself at a tiny cottage which we rented during the autumn each year at Datchet. His last work of all he chiefly did at Datchet. It was called, I think, The Golden Ring, and the book was by G. R. Sims. He hired a cottage a few doors from mine, and as I passed to and fro of a morning I used to see him writing hard at his desk in front of the open window, and invariably greeted him with “Good-morning, Freddy; do you want any of your harmonies corrected?” – “Shall I score the drum parts for you?” – or some such nonsense. It will be remembered that he was seized with a serious illness after the production of the piece at the Alhambra. I grieve to say I seldom see him now, as he lives away in the country very quietly. He wrote a charming letter in pencil some months ago respecting a favourable notice he had seen of the pianoforte-playing of my little girl Sylvia at a “pupils’” concert. I have kept many of his letters, and value them. I wanted to see him about something, and suggested we should meet at the Beefsteak Club. This was his reply:
At the old Gallery of Illustration, in 1875, Corney Grain was suddenly indisposed, and I sang for him; and I was very pleased at the thought of giving a sketch at the very piano on which John Parry had played. Subsequently I received the following letter from Mrs. German Reed:
I sang and acted at the Gallery of Illustration on another occasion. Corney Grain was required to give his “Sketches at a Country House,” where he was to meet the Prince of Wales; and I undertook, besides giving my sketch “Theatricals at Thespis Lodge,” to act the part of the young lover (Grain’s part) in Very Catching, an excellent little piece by F. C. Burnand, and music by Molloy. In this, both Mrs. German Reed and Arthur Cecil played. I had to sing a sentimental duet with Miss Fanny Holland, “O’er the stones go tripping,” during which she had to rest on my shoulder as I led her from stone to stone. But there happened to be a great difference in the height of Grain and myself; and when Miss Holland found she could not stoop low enough to reach my shoulders, and that the strip of artificial water, which was arranged to well cover Grain’s ankles, was up to my knees, she fairly burst out laughing on the stage.
Next come rather amusing letters from the late Duchess of Westminster and Lady Diana Huddleston. The former concludes her letter thus:
The initials had reference to John Wellington Wells, the part in The Sorcerer I was playing at the time.
I had sent Lady Diana the name of a professional spiritualist, and here is an extract from her reply:
Letters of invitation follow from Frank Holl, R.A., George du Maurier, Nita Gäetana (Mrs. Moncrieff), Kate Field, and Earls of Fife and Wharnecliffe. Then comes a letter from F. C. Burnand, respecting my proposer for the Beefsteak Club. He suggested Sir Arthur Sullivan; but eventually Corney Grain proposed me. I think Frank Burnand is the most amusing man to meet. He is brimful of good humour. He will fire off joke after joke, and chaff you out of your life if he gets a chance. His chaff is always good-tempered. No one minds being chaffed by Burnand. I will not sing a song when he is in the room if I can possibly help it. He will sit in front of me at the piano, and either stare with a pained and puzzled look during my comic song, or he will laugh in the wrong places, or, what is worse still, take out his pocket-handkerchief and weep.
A short time ago we were dining at Mrs. Lovett Cameron’s, and were seated on either side of her. Throughout the dinner I had purposely been making some rude observations respecting the dishes, with which Mrs. Cameron was immensely amused. Eventually a “sweet” was handed round, consisting of little hard cakes of something resembling dark-brown toffee or hardbake, with cream piled on. Mrs. Cameron said to me, “You must not pass this dish – do have some.” I replied, “Well, I won’t have any of the cream – only some of the glue,” which the sweet certainly resembled. Burnand promptly replied. “Oh, are you going to stick here all night?”
Burnand’s parties are to be envied, and not forgotten. At one of his evening entertainments in Russell Square, he suggested we should get up a “bogus” band. I fell in with his idea at once, and it was left for me to arrange. I decided upon the overture to Zampa; and, to give a semblance of reality to the performance, arranged with Mr. Charles Reddie to preside at the piano; and, chaos or no chaos, he was to go steadily on. Frederic H. Cowen was the violoncello; the first violins were played by Mr. Samuel Heilbut, a capital amateur violinist, and by my brother, who was nearly as good. I played second violin, and was simply awful. Rutland Barrington played the piccolo; but as he could only play in one key, which, unfortunately, was not the one we were playing, the effect can be imagined. Last, but not least, Corney Grain conducted.
The time arrived for the performance, and the music-stands were placed in a circle in the crowded drawing-room; and, in order that there should be no jumble at the commencement, we decided to take the overture at exactly half its proper time.
I shall never forget the surprised look on the faces of Sir Julius Benedict and Mr. W. G. Cusins when we began. There was no idea, at first, it was a joke. We played the next andante movement with sublime expression and perfectly correctly, with the exception of Barrington’s piccolo, which was here more terribly conspicuous than before. This was rendered all the more ridiculous by the sweet, satisfied smile which Grain was assuming, after the fashion of an affected conductor.
The audience began to suspect something was up; but their suspicions were soon set at rest when the subsequent quick movement arrived. Reddie played on, and Heilbut stuck to it. Fred. Cowen, Weedon Grossmith, and myself put down our instruments and stared up at the ceiling, as if we had a few bars’ rest. Barrington played a tune of his own; and Grain, in an excited manner and in the German tongue, demanded him to desist. Barrington, who also speaks German, retaliated.
This German row was most natural and funny, and created roars of laughter. J. L. Toole, who was in the audience, and who did not see why he should not join in, forced his way through the people and seized hold of Weedon’s old Italian violin, and was about to bang it on the back of a chair. Weedon had a genuine fight to recover his fiddle, and had to remind Toole that it was not one of his own “properties.” Reddie and Heilbut still seriously stuck to the piano and violin. Grain then bullied me for not playing. A general altercation ensued; and as the final chords of the shortened overture were played, Grain seized me up under his arm, as if I had been a brown paper parcel, and marched out of the room with me.
After supper there was an extemporised Christmas Pantomime, in which Grain, Arthur Cecil, Fred. Leslie, Chas. Colnaghi, William Yardley, the brothers Grossmith, and Mrs. Cecil Clay (Miss Rosina Vokes) took part. It was great fun for audience and performers, and Miss Vokes was excellent. At the final tableau, Fred. Leslie and myself struck two matches to represent coloured fire. I dare say all this seems silly; but I have seen many very serious people silly after a jolly supper with jolly people, so I hope some allowance will be made for the Society Clown.
A little pencil sketch, by W. S. Gilbert, comes next in my book; “Bab” is an excellent draughtsman, as everyone knows. Next on the list are Annie Thomas (Mrs. Pender Cudlip) and Florence Marryat. The latter often signed herself “The Ship,” because one of the Birmingham papers, speaking of the “Entre Nous” entertainment, described her as “of pleasant appearance, with bright, frank features, somewhat massively moulded, unaffected manners, and with a carriage reminding one of the stately motion of one of those noble vessels of which the glorious old Captain loved to write.” The same paper, continuing, observes: “In the second costume recital of ‘Joan of Arc in prison,’ she appeared in the usual grey tunic and with massive manacles on her waist; Mr. Grossmith, sitting at the piano as a sort of mute but comical gaoler, ready to accompany her in a musical scéna at the end.”
I have before said that Arthur Cecil took a kind interest in me, and favoured me with many a valuable hint. I therefore print a letter of his (dated 1878, when I knew him only slightly) in full, with the assurance, from experience, that jealousy in the theatrical profession is the exception and not the rule:
It was a charity concert, and I may incidentally remark that I had to appear early in the programme, and when my turn came their Royal Highnesses had not arrived. Arthur Cecil, who was announced later on, said: “The Prince and Princess have heard my song, so you take my place.”
The above voluntary suggestion on his part needs no comment.
This letter is followed by ordinary letters from Irving, Toole, A. W. Pinero, Countess of Charlemont (the late), Viscountess Combermere, Herbert Herkomer, A.R.A., Earls of Londesborough and Dunraven, Mrs. Charlie Matthews, Mrs. Kendal, the Hon. Lewis Wingfield, Emily Faithful, and Kate Terry (Mrs. Arthur Lewis). Then comes a letter from Thomas Thorne, which is interesting because it is an invitation to dine with him to celebrate the thousandth night of Our Boys. Then follow Robert Reece (he persuaded me to set to music one of his songs, “A Peculiar Man,” which he need not have done, for he is a most excellent musician himself), John Oxenford (dated 1868 – a birthday congratulation), J. Ashby Sterry (who always addresses me “dear young Jaärge”), R. Corney Grain, Hermann Vezin, Lord Otho Fitzgerald, and Viscountess Mandeville. The letter from Lady Mandeville, referring to some of my songs, is amusing – an extract from which I give:
Thanks a thousand times for the songs, which were delightful. We tried them all last night and I am sure some of the neighbours wished us at the North Pole. ... I have sent to America for a charming pathetic song for you; the last line is “Let me hit my little brother before I die.”
A letter from J. B. Buckstone, giving me permission to play Paul Pry (en amateur); a most amusing letter from Howard Paul, describing his futile attempt to learn “The Muddle Puddle Porter” while “going up and down the Lake of Lucerne, under the shadow of the Rigi, and within sight of the historical Tell’s Platte;” a most flattering letter from Sir Julius Benedict, which modesty, &c., will not permit of my reproducing; Jacques Blumenthal (he simply had “a message to send me” inviting me to dine) and Henry J. Byron. I knew Byron when I was a boy, and I loved him because he was not above playing cricket with me on the sands at the seaside, when I was in trousers, or rather knickerbockers, which they resembled through my having outgrown them. In 1878 I wanted to purchase some clever words of his with a refrain, “Yeo, heave ho.” He wrote back from the Haymarket Theatre:
Everybody knows Byron was about the best punster existing. He was also the worst. I heard him make this observation at Margate: “I don’t like cockroaches because they ’encroaches.”
Then come Arthur à Beckett, Countesses of Wharnecliffe and Bantry, S. B. Bancroft, Lionel Brough, Viscounts Hardinge and Baring; a charming letter from Clement Scott, asking me for a contribution to a collection of theatrical stories; Sir Algernon Borthwick, Duke of Beaufort, Earl of Hardwicke, and Mrs. Keeley. The letter (dated 1882) from the latter lady, I value most highly, of course:
“Next, please,” as Mr. T. Thorne would say, as Partridge.
H.S.H. the Duke of Teck, Countess of Kenmare, James Albery (author of The Two Roses), Henry Labouchere, Miss E. Braddon, Joseph Hatton (a very old and esteemed friend of mine) and Professor Pepper.
The following is interesting to me, coming, as it does, from the most successful entertainer of his day. His songs, “A Life on the Ocean Wave,” “Cheer, Boys, Cheer,” “The Ivy Green,” “The Ship on Fire,” etc., will be ever remembered:
The following is from Nellie Farren:
Alfred Scott Gatty, Hamilton Aïdé Duke of Abercorn, Earl of Onslow, William J. Florence, (the popular American comedian), John Hare, W. Kuhé, W. Maybrick, (his “Nancy Lee” still haunts me), Chas. Wyndham, W. J. Hill, Oscar Wilde, and J. McNiel Whistler, from whose epistle I give an extract:
Then appears the well-known “butterfly” signature.
Madam Dolby, Madam Liebhart, Viscountess Folkestone, Lady Coutts Lindsay (whose charming collections of people at the Grosvenor Gallery some years ago will not be easily forgotten), Beatty Kingston, Frederick Boyle, Manville Fenn, Lady Chas. Beresford, Marchioness of Ormond, Lady Chesham, G. H. Boughton, A.R.A., Pro. Ray Lankester, Sir Coutts Lindsay, Earl and Countess of Donoughmore. Her ladyship writes:
... I am afraid we cannot go to London this season. There is an idea that digging turnips at Knocklofty would be a pleasing change. I should not mind the turnips if kind friends would come and help dig them. Have you and Mrs. Grossmith any sharp spuds, and would you like to race me in a drill? (I don’t know if turnips are planted in drills – potatoes are.) Are you afraid of the sea? It’s not very rough, and your chicks could play and fight with mine all day, and we would have a good time somehow.
Mrs. Alfred Wigan, Carlotta Leclercq, Viscountess Pollington, Harry Furniss, E. Willard, Sir Morell Mackenzie, Duchess of Abercorn (a kind letter referring to my severe illness in Jan., 1887), Harry Payne (certainly the best clown in my time), Rutland Barrington, Fred. Leslie, Mayer Lutz, Earl of Clarendon.
Pro. Hubert Herkomer, A.R.A., writes, in reply to my enquiry whether he was busy:
I am now at work on my thirty-first portrait this year – which does not count water-colour subjects. Can’t you spend a Sunday with me?
Milton Wellings, Lord Hay of Kinfauns, Arthur Stirling.
Sir Edward Sieveking, Baroness Burdett Coutts (a kind invitation for my wife and myself to see the Jubilee procession), Paul Rajon (the French etcher), E. Gilbert (whom the Daily Telegraph flattered me by designating the French Grossmith).
The following, from Hamilton Clarke, had reference to a small theatre work of mine which I had to score for an exceedingly limited orchestra:
Percy Fitzgerald (I shall naturally look forward to his Chronicles of Bow Street with special interest), Emily Lovett Cameron, Joseph Hollman, Duchess of Westminster (the present), H. S. Marks, R.A., Arthur Roberts, C. D. Marius, Wilford Morgan, George Giddens, Dr. Anderson Critchett, Bottesini, H.S.H. Prince Leiningen, Sir Frederick Leighton, P.R.A.
I had promised to write David James a song for Little Jack Sheppard, at the Gaiety, – a promise which I failed to keep. I had a good “intention,” but not an “idea.” The reward for my failure was this amusing letter:
A. Goring Thomas, Percy Reeve, Sir Percy Shelley, Fred. Barnard (with humorous sketch), John T. Bedford (author of “Robert,” in Punch).
A letter from Lady Freake reminds me of (to me) a memorable performance at Cromwell House. The musical triumviretta, Cox and Box, formed part of the programme:
I remember seeing at this entertainment the Dowager Countess of Waldegrave, who was the daughter of John Braham, the celebrated singer. But what most impressed me was an incident at the first rehearsal. Cecil, Grain, and I were under the impression that we had the well-fitted little theatre to ourselves; but suddenly two elderly and very prim ladies came and sat in the front row and watched us. There is nothing so disconcerting to actors as to be watched at the preliminary rehearsal. I cannot bear it even at the dress rehearsal. In the present instance we grumbled to ourselves and delayed commencing, hoping the two ladies would take the hint and depart. No such luck. One of them, the mother of an exceedingly clever amateur who has played Cox and Box all his life (I believe he was born playing it), suddenly said, in a loud voice:
“Why don’t they begin? Don’t they know what to do? I wish Johnnie were here; he could show them at once.”
Miss Hope Glen, Isidore de Lara, Wilhelm Ganz, Linley Sambourne, Charles Warner, Fred. H. Cowen, E. W. Royce, Miss Fortescue (informing me of the breaking off of the engagement between herself and Lord Garmoyle, now Earl Cairns), John Clayton, Lady Mildred Denison, Lady William Lennox, Lady Ventry, Lady Ardilaun, M. Rivière, Sir John Bennett, Madame Lemmens-Sherrington.
I am frequently asked, when singing professionally in private houses, if I am friendly with Mr. Corney Grain. Here is an extract from one of his letters. I had been suffering from sore throat, and could not fulfil a certain engagement, and he kindly sang in my stead. In return, I sent him a small souvenir in the shape of a “Tantalus.”
Dear George, – Thank you very much for your very handsome – and, moreover, very useful – present. It shall be entirely at your service from March 21st till the 6th April, when I hope, barring accidents, to be at The Willows, Datchet, where you have, not a general, but a particular invitation during that period.
Another of his letters terminates thus:
Countess of Bective, Marshall. P. Wilder (the American humorist), Gordon Thomson, Sir John Millais, John Hollingshead, Earl of Hopetoun.
At a party at Sir Arthur Sullivan’s one evening, I was asked to sing the Lord Chancellor’s enormous patter song. I could not remember it; so Lord Hopetoun, himself a most excellent humorous singer, volunteered to prompt me. The effect was most ludicrous; for Lord Hopetoun had really to sing quickly the whole of the song about one bar ahead of me. After this, Sir Arthur sat at the piano, and Lord Hopetoun and myself arrayed ourselves in a few antimacassars and performed a graceful ballet; that is to say, as graceful as the circumstances would permit.
A kind letter from my old friend, Alfred Cellier, respecting the death of my father, reminds me of another evening at Sir Arthur Sullivan’s. We had been previously to a dinner-party and subsequent reception at Lady Sebright’s, where I was introduced to Mrs. Langtry – it being, I believe, her first introduction to London Society.
Subsequently, Sullivan persuaded Cellier, Arthur Cecil, and myself, and I fancy a few others including Archibald Stuart Wortley, to return to his rooms at 9 Albert Mansions, where the gifted composer was then residing. We stayed very late – much later than I would dare stay up now. I left with Alfred Cellier, and he asked me if I could drop him in Park Lane, as he had another party to go to. There was every excuse for my being astonished, considering it was half-past four in the morning and the beautiful daylight had long since appeared. I acquiesced, and the next day asked Cellier if he did not find that everybody had gone.
“No, indeed,” replied Cellier ; “in fact, I was the first arrival.”
Rather an early card party!
Speaking of Mrs. Langtry, recalls to my mind a curious incident affecting both of us. I was asked to a musical party in Prince’s Gardens, and proceeded there after my work at the theatre. On arriving in the locality, and seeing the awning out, and the usual line of footmen, and the will-o’-the-wisp linkman, I shouted to the cabman, who was passing the door, to stop. I gave up my coat and walked into the drawing-room, being announced in the usual way. I found, however, that a ball was in full swing. I could not discover my host or hostess, although I met many people I knew. I soon ascertained that I had come to the wrong house, and, instead of being at Mrs. G——’s musical party, was at Sir William D——’s ball. I slipped downstairs – having explained the matter to a friend of Sir William’s – got my coat, and went to Mrs. G——’s, which was a few doors off. As I was proceeding upstairs I met Mrs. Langtry coming down, and she said:
“Oh, Mr. Grossmith, I’ve made such a mistake! I’ve come to the wrong house. I ought to be at the ball at Sir William D——’s. I couldn’t understand how it was there was singing and no dancing upstairs, and have only just discovered my mistake.”
I replied, “You maybe comforted; I have been to Sir William D——’s by mistake, when I ought to have been here.”
Lady Greville, Madame de Fonblanque, Brindley Richards. Henry S. Neville (asking me to play “Paul Pry” at the Crystal Palace), Earl of Desart, who, in kindly sending me an invitation, described the whereabouts of his house thus:
H. Beerbohm Tree, Countess of Wilton, Miss Millward, Dr. Louis Engel, H. Bracy, Kate Vaughan.
The following is from the once famous clown, the legitimate successor to Grimaldi, with whom he played:
He does not show it in his letter; for he had sketched, in coloured crayons, a tiny representation of himself in the motley – head and shoulders.
Sir Rivers Wilson, Eric Lewis, Lord Garmoyle (now Earl Cairns), Frank Miles, Herman Merivale, Kyrle Bellew, Jules Lasserre, Brandon Thomas, Alfred German Reed, Lady Fanny Fitzwygram, Mrs. Arthur Stirling, Alice Barnett (Lady Jane in Patience), Leonora Braham, Jessie Bond, Jenny Lee (Jo), Carlotta Addison, Alfred Scott Gatty, Countess of Londesborough (asking me to sit with his lordship and “cheer him up” at the time of his dreadful accident), Lady Dorothy Nevill.
Everybody knows that Lady Dorothy Nevill gives very charming luncheon parties, their chief characteristic being the odd assortment of celebrities. On one of these occasions the announcement of the guests, who, somehow or other, arrived in strange couples, was especially amusing. The servant threw open the drawing-room doors, and announced “Lord Pembroke and Mr. George Grossmith.” As I am only five-feet-five in height and comic in appearance, and his lordship is six-feet-six and rather serious, it is not to be wondered at that those already assembled indulged in a titter. The next announcement by the servant was “The Earl of Wharnecliffe and Mr. Justin McCarthy.” For political reasons alone, this was amusing. Then came “The Duke of Wellington and Mr. Corney Grain.” I don’t know why, but this sounded very funny. It is only fair to Lady Dorothy to state that these are not “surprise” parties. Her guests are always informed whom they are to meet.
The following letter is à propos of my débût at the Opéra Comique:
Besides being a very old and privileged friend of the famous and popular comedian, I have had the pleasure of being associated with him in business, having composed the music for Mr. Guffin’s Elopement and The Great Tay-kins, written by Arthur Law, and produced at Toole’s theatre.
Toole is fond of stories about other people. Here is one about him. Not being a musician, and not being a quick study, it becomes no easy task to drum a song, or especially duet, into his head. In The Great Tay-kins there was a “one-line-each” duet between him and Mr. E. D. Ward. I could not get Toole to get the rhythm right. He kept saying it was all right, but it was not. This is what it ought to have been:
This is how Toole first got it:
After a dozen rehearsals of these few bars, he got it thus:
The company were in roars of laughter; but Toole struggled on perfectly seriously until he got it. He was then as pleased as Punch, and insisted on my lunching with him, an invitation I was not likely to refuse.
The following is from Sir Algernon Borthwick, who was my proposer for the Garrick Club:
From MRS. JOHN WOOD.
The following, from George M. du Maurier, the incomparable Punch artist, has reference to the death of “Chang,” the enormous dog which he possessed, and which he so often immortalised on the pages of the above periodical:
I naturally conclude “my little list” with letters from Gilbert and Sullivan, to whom I shall ever feel grateful for their many kindnesses and the opportunities they have offered me of more or less distinguishing myself:
During my dangerous illness, Mr. Gilbert never failed a day to come up and enquire after me. He also came down to Brighton with D’Oyly Carte, and kept me in roars of laughter the whole time. This was one of the bright days during an anxious time. But to see Gilbert at his best, is to see him at one of his juvenile parties. Though he has no children of his own, he loves them, and there is nothing he would not do to please them. I was never so astonished as when on one occasion he put off some of his own friends to come with Mrs. Gilbert to a juvenile party at my own house.
The following had reference to a mock melodrama, written by myself, which Barrington, my brother, and I were to act at Sir Arthur’s on an occasion when he was entertaining the Prince of Wales, the Duke of Edinburgh, and other distinguished guests:
The following is an instance of the good feeling that has always existed between the authors and actors:
On second thoughts, I will conclude with a letter from myself to the purchasers of A Society Clown:
28 Dorset Square,
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