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I don't know anything more dismal than that business and bustle and mystery of a ruined man: those letters from the wealthy which he shows you: those worn greasy documents promising support and offering condolence which he places wistfully before you, and on which he builds his hopes of restoration and future fortune. My beloved reader has no doubt in the course of his experience been waylaid by many such a luckless companion.

He takes you into the corner; he has his bundle of papers out of his gaping coat pocket; and the tape off, and the string in his mouth, and the favourite letters selected and laid before you; and who does not know the sad eager half-crazy look which he fixes on you with his hopeless eyes? Changed into a man of this sort, Dobbin found the once florid, jovial, and prosperous John Sedley.

His coat, that used to be so glossy and trim, was white at the seams, and the buttons showed the copper. His face had fallen in, and was unshorn; his frill and neckcloth hung limp under his bagging waistcoat. When he used to treat the boys in old days at a coffee-house, he would shout and laugh louder than anybody there, and have all the waiters skipping round him; it was quite painful to see how humble and civil he was to John of the Tapioca, a blear-eyed old attendant in dingy stockings and cracked pumps, whose business it was to serve glasses of wafers, and bumpers of ink in pewter, and slices of paper to the frequenters of this dreary house of entertainment, where nothing else seemed to be consumed.

As for William Dobbin, whom he had tipped repeatedly in his youth, and who had been the old gentleman's butt on a thousand occasions, old Sedley gave his hand to him in a very hesitating humble manner now, and called him "Sir. Previous: Chapter 20 continued Next: Chapter 20 continued. Lawrence Bradbury two letters in his possession. Macmillan and Co. Causley, the owner of the only known copy of the rare pamphlet " Proceedings at the Thirteenth Anniversary Festival of The Royal General Theatrical Fund, ," has been good enough to permit me to copy the hitherto unreprintedspeechof Thackeray contained therein ; and Major William H.

Lambert, of Philadelphia, has most generously had photographed for insertion in this book four portraits of Thackeray in his possession, never before published. In the Foreword to the Bibliography I acknowledge further debts of gratitude for informa- tion given me in connection with that section. Elias Thackeray, Vicar of Dundalk — and Thackeray's tribute to him in "The Irish Sketch Book" — the Archdeacon's fifth son — and his family — William Make- peace Thackeray, grandfather of the novelist — the Thack- erays a typical Anglo-Indian family — the novelist's uncles and aunts — his cousin Sir Richmond Shakespear— Richmond Thackeray and Anne Becher, the novelist's parents — the birth of Thackeray Helena — stays with his guardian, Peter Moore, at Hadley — and afterwards with Mrs.

Becher, at Fareham — goes to school at Southampton — his un- happiness there — sent to Dr. Edward Penny's house in Wilder- ness Row — becomes a day-boy and lives at Mrs. Boyes's — his studies — his schoolfellows — his love of reading-, and especially of novel-reading — first attempts to write — his earliest verses — his passion for caricature — description of him as a schoolboy — his nose broken in a fight — he creates " Grey Friars " — visits his old school — Thackeray the great apostle of "tipping" — the Poor Brethren of the Charterhouse — a prototype of Colonel Newcome — Thackeray's description of Grey Friars in "The Newcomes" Mary — prepares for Cambridge — Larkbeare and Ottery St.

Brookfield and his wife — Edward Fitzgerald — Alfred Tennyson Goethe— "Grand Old Goethe" Pickwick's lucky escape" — illustrates most of his own books — aware of the limitations of his art — Charlotte Bronte on Thackeray as illustrator Yellowplush's other papers — strikes for higher pay — his qualifi- i. Trollope's interpretation of the Scriptures— his dislike of the Jews and the Roman Catholics — his attitude towards " Papal Aggression " — his attack on asceticism — his doubts of the infallibility of the Bible— his deep sense of religion — his fearless outlook on death.

Yellow- plush's Ajew " — his appreciation of many contemporary writers — Scott and Dumas his favourite novelists — his opinions of Swift, Sterne, Addison, Steele, Goldsmith, Prior and Gay — of Smollett and Fielding — his love for kindly writers — and happy endings Bradbury and Evans — Thackeray's letters to Aytoun in January — " Vanity Fair " published in monthly numbers — its sales in- crease — Thackeray's works never so popular as those of Dickens — " Currer Bell" dedicates "Jane Eyre" to Thackeray — Abraham Hayward praises " Vanity Fair" in the Edinburgh Review — the charge of cynicism brought against Thackeray — his defence — his philosophy — the text from which he preached — "Vanitas Vanitatum " — the gospel of love — Thackeray's char- acter criticised by his contemporaries — he created no heroes or heroines — his desire to draw men and women — his char- acters human — his portrait gallery — the novelist's depredators — his faults as a novelist — his asides— his method of writing — his style — his place in English literature John Brown and the Rev.

Whitwell Elwin — attacks on him — his moods — Mrs. Fields' opinion of him — his charity — and his kindness — interests himself in Louis Marvy and others — his sh3'ness — and his occasional savagery — his sense of fun — his conversation — some bons mots and impromptus — sadness the keynote to his character Pages CHAPTER XV PUNCH 1 Thackeray's earnings in — success of "Vanity Fair" in book- form — Thackeray resigns the assistant -editorship of the Examiner — and retires from the staff of Eraser's Magazine — his Christmas Books — the Times' attack on "The Kickleburys on the Rhine" — and Thackeray's reply, "An Essay on Thunder and Small Beer " — Thackeray sensitive to criticism — but makes jokes at his own expense — writes again for the Morning Chronicle — his contributions to Punch from — " Punch's Prize Novel- ists" — " Mr.

Brown's Letters to a Young Man About Town" — the " Proser Papers" — withdraws from Punch in 1S54 — his reference to his withdrawal in his article on John Leech — a slip of the pen — his letter to the proprietors of Punch concerning his resignation — he attends the dinners to the end — his indebtedness to Punch — Punch's tribute to him — and his to Punch — his friends and the staff — Douglas Jerrold — Thackeray's Ballads — " Bow Street Ballads" — "Lyra Hibernica " — his limitations as a writer of verse — his sense of parody — and of tenderness — "The Cane-Bottomed Chair"— "St.

Sophia of Kioff"— "The Chronicle of the Drum " — his merits as a writer of light and humorous verse James's Street — takes a house, No. Smith secures the publishing rights of " Esmond " — Thackeray's publishers — Thackeray's comments on " Esmond" — "Esmond's " place in literature — Thackeray and his daughters go abroad — he returns to London — prepares for the American lecture tour By per- mission of Majtr William H.


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Trinity College, Cambridge. Carmichael- Smyth in The Fraserians. William Makepeace Thackeray. GiBBS, September 12, Thackeray, M. J, Higgins, and Henry Reeve. Thackeray at the Play ,. By permission of Major William H. Punch's Fancy Ball. Elias Thackeray, Vicar of Dundalk — and Thackeray's tribute to him in "The Irish Sketch Book" — the Archdeacon's fifth son — and his family — William Makepeace Thackeray, grandfather of the novelist — the Thackerays a typical Anglo-Indian family — the novelist's uncles and aunts — his cousin Sir Richmond Shakespear — Richmond Thackeray and Anne Becher, the novelist's parents — the birth of Thackeray.

THE family of the Thackerays has been traced back to the fourteenth century, when there was a John de Thackwra who held of the Abbot of St.

William Makepeace Thackeray

Mary of Fountains a dwelling- house and thirty acres of land at Hartwich in , and, twenty-five years after, a William de Thackwra, who was tenant at will of a messuage and twenty-one acres at the same place. They were a prolific race, these de Thackwras, Thackras, and Thacquaryes, who early in the seven- teenth century began to adopt the now familiar form of the surname.

Then Walter Thackeray established himself at Hampsthwaite, a hamlet on the Nidd, near the forest of Knaresborough, in the West Riding of Yorkshire, and there for many decades the family re- mained, until this yeoman branch of the line came to an end with the death of Thomas Thackeray in , seven years before the birth of the novelist.

Long before this a scion of the race, one Elias Thackeray, more restless or more ambitious than the rest, had left the homestead, and gone to Christ's College, Cambridge, where fortune smiled upon him, for, becoming M. Not unmindful of the claims of his kindred, he charged himself with the welfare of a twelve-year-old nephew, Thomas, the son of his brother Timothy, whom in January he contrived to place on the foundation at Eton.

There the lad remained for six years, when he won a foun- dation scholarship at King's College, Cambridge, where he proceeded to a fellowship in Thomas then, for a while, returned to his old school as an assistant master, and, after an unsuccessful application in for the provostship of King's, in was appointed headmaster of Harrow. Thackeray," said Dr. Parr, one of his pupils, ''though a strict disciplinarian, possessed much kind- ness of temper, and much suavity of manner.

I have reason to love and revere him as a father as well as a master. Edmund Pyle, who wrote him down "a great scholar in the Eton way, and a good one in every way ; and a true Whig. He was in appointed chaplain to Frederick, Prince of Wales, and was marked out for further preferment. Pyle wrote in Thackeray, and when he came into the room my lord gave him a parchment, and told him he had long heard of his good character, and long been afraid he should never be able to give him any serviceable proof of the good opinion he had conceived of him ; that what he had put into his hands was the Archdeaconry of Surrey, which he hoped would be acceptable to him, as he might perform the duty of it yearly at the time of his leisure in the Easter holidays.

Thackeray held the archdeaconry for the remaining seven years of his life. It is only necessary here to mention three sons of Dr. To this last his relative, the novelist, paid tribute in ''The Irish Sketch Book" : — I was so lucky as to have an introduction to the Vicar of Dundalk, which that gentleman's kind and generous nature interpreted into a claim for unlimited hospitality ; and he was good enough to consider himself not only bound to receive me, but to give up previous engagements abroad in order to do so.

I need not say that it afforded me sincere pleasure to witness, for a couple of days, his labours among his people ; and indeed it was a delightful occupation to watch both flock and pastor. The world is a wicked, selfish, abominable place, as the parson tells us ; but his reverence comes out of his pulpit and gives the flattest contradiction to his doctrine, busying himself with kind actions from morning till night, denying to himself, generous to others, preaching the truth to young and old, clothing the naked, feeding the hungry, consoling the wretched, and giving hope to the sick.

Thackeray was a physician at Windsor, and in the autobiography of Mrs.

Selected Letters of William Makepeace Thackeray

One of these was on the foundation at Eton ; another was a midship- man in the navy ; and a third son, George, became Provost of King's College, Cambridge. Thackeray's youngest child, William Make- peace, grandfather of the novelist, born in , entered the East India Company's service. After a preliminary training in book-keeping, proficiency in which was essential for employment in John Com- pany's service, young William sailed in the Lord Camden for Calcutta.

His career in India was from the outset successful. In he was appointed Factor and Fourth in Council at Dacca, where he set up house with two sisters whom his advancement enabled him to summon from home. Jane married on October i6, , Major James Rennell, the geographer ; and later in the year Henrietta married from her sister's new home James Harris, the head of the East India Company's civil service in Eastern Bengal.

The Rennells did not go to England until , after the loss of their first-born ; but the Harrises returned forthwith. Harris purchased a country seat near Chelmsford and a town house in Great Ormond Street, then a more fashionable district than now ; but when he died it was found his cxtravag'ance had made deep inroads into his fortune, although enough was left for his widow to live comfortably at Hadley, and to provide an excellent educa- tion for the children. Two years later William Makepeace married Amelia, daughter of Lieutenant-Colonel Richmond Webb, a descendant of the victor of Weynendal, whom Thackeray has portrayed in "Esmond," and, having during his nine and a half years' sojourn in the East realised a competence, soon after sailed with his eighteen-year-old bride for England.

The young couple settled down at Hadley, near Chipping Barnet, and for the rest of their days led a simple, hospitable country life. Thackeray died in , and three years later was followed to the grave by her husband, who was buried under the shadow of the church of Monken Hadley, a picturesque building upon the tower of which may still be seen the battered frag- ments of an old beacon cage.

William Makepeace it was who founded the great Anglo-Indian Thackeray family which. Sir William Hunter says, ''formed a typical family of the Bengal Service in the days of John Company, threw out branches into the sister services, military and medical, and by a network of intermarriages created for them- selves a ruling connection both in India and in the Court of Directors at home. Four sons entered the Madras and Bengal civil services, a fifth entered the Indian army, a sixth became a barrister and journalist at Cal- 1 Sir W.

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Hunter : The Thacherays in India. Of these children, one of them the father of the novelist, brief mention must be made. The eldest, William Makepeace, was born in , and in his twentieth year was sent to Madras, where he was the first civilian to secure a reward under the rules of , framed for the encouragement of the study of Oriental languages for proficiency in Telugu.

His rise, like that of his father, was rapid. By Lord Clive he was appointed translator at head-quarters ; then, assistant to Sir Thomas Munro, Governor of the province ; and, later, the first judge of a new court established at Masulipatam. He became a member of the Board of Revenue in , and four years after was promoted to be Chief Secretary to the Madras Govern- ment. His health broke down in , and he went to England for a while, when the Court of Directors took the opportunity to commend his services in a despatch.

He returned to India in , and was appointed a provisional Member of Council and Presi- dent of the Board of Revenue in June ; but the long sojourn in a tropical climate had undermined his constitution, and he did not live long to enjoy his honours. He died on January 11, , while on a sea voyage undertaken in the hope of restoring his health. Webb Thackeray, who in , at the age of eighteen, went out to Madras as a writer, died within a year of his arrival. In the same service as the two brothers already mentioned was the fifth son, St. Charles, the youngest, became a barrister at Calcutta, but obtaining little practice, wrote leading articles for the Englishman and other papers.

He was the most brilliant of the brothers, but, succumb- ing to a passion for drink, he sank into an obscure grave in the mid forties. The stay-at-home sixth son, Francis , took holy orders, and retired to a Herefordshire parish, where he wrote several books, including a work on the ''State of Ancient Britain under the Roman Emperors" and the better known "History of William Pitt, Earl of Chatham," quoted repeatedly by Carlyle in '' Frederick the Great," and reviewed by Macaulay, who censured what he considered the author's extravagant praise of his hero. The two sisters who went out in to join their brother Richmond married soon after their arrival : Augusta to ''her brother's dearest friend," Mr.

Of the latter alliance came nine children. It was to this cousin that the novelist made appreciative reference in a " Roundabout Paper. He was always asking that question : of all kinsmen ; of all widows and orphans; of all the poor ; of young men who might need his purse or his service. I saw a young officer yesterday to whom the first words Sir Richmond Shakespear wrote on his arrival in India were, " Can I do anything for you?

William Makepeace Thackeray

His kind hand was always open. It was a gracious fate which sent him to rescue widows and captives. Where could they have had a champion more chivalrous, a protector more loving and tender?