The first poetess I ever met was a very remarkable one. I was but a boy and not far from where my parents lived in Dublin was a large pretentious house at the corner of Merrion Square where Sir William Wilde, Oculist and Otologist, and Lady Wilde, otherwise known as “Speranza,” poetess, resided. They were the parents of Oscar Wilde. Lady Wilde interested me inasmuch as her grandfather, the famous Archdeacon Elgee, who as a very old man and Rector of Wexford had christened me. Oscar Wilde, and his brother Willie, I recollect seeing in Eton jackets when home for their holidays. Lady Wilde was a very tall and stoutishly inclined woman, with the appearance and air of a tragedy queen of the Mrs. Crummles type. She might have walked out of the pages of Nicholas Nickleby, in fact, R. H. Sherrard in his life of Oscar Wilde rather hints that she did. I have the passage handy in one of the black boxes where I throw foolish things to deal with when opportunity arises, and one of these is reserved for those modern writers who belittle the most popular author of the last century—Charles Dickens. Here is the passage:
The great caricaturist, Dickens, whose notice few of his distinguished contemporaries escaped, seems tohave studied some of Lady Wilde’s peculiarities from afar, and the results of his observations may be found here and there in his books.”
The caricaturist, Dickens
! the old twentieth-century sneer of the absurd superior person.
And yet here is Lady Wilde, an actual person, described thus in this life of her son
: “A very tall woman—she looked over six feet high—she wore a long crimson silk gown which swept the floor . . . round what had been a waist an Oriental scarf embroidered with gold was twisted. The long, massive, handsome face was plastered with powder. Over her blue-black, glossy hair was a gilt crown of laurels. Her throat was bare, so were her arms, but they were covered with quaint jewellery. On her broad chest was festooned a series of large miniature brooches, evidently family portraits . . . this gave her the appearance of a walking family mausoleum. She wore white kid gloves, held a scent-bottle, a lace handkerchief, and a fan.”
Lady Wilde, had she been cleaned up and plainly and rationally dressed, would have made a remarkably fine model of the
grande dame, but with all her paint and tinsel and tawdry tragedy-queen get-up she was a walking burlesque of motherhood. Her husband resembled a monkey, a miserable-looking little creature, who, apparently unshorn and unkempt, looked as if he had been rolling in the dust. Monkeys were in those days dressed up and accompanied organ-grinders of the oily type. A Dublin woman, soliciting alms, was sharply rebuked by Sir William in Merrion Square—“Go away, go away, you beggars are a perfect nuisance.” “Beggar indade!” squealed the woman. “Beggar! an’ what are y’self thin when out with your I-talian masther wid a chain on ye.”
Opposite to their pretentious dwelling in Dublin were the Turkish Baths, but to all appearance neither Sir William nor his lady walked across the street. At all the public functions these two peculiar objects appeared in their dust and eccentricity. Living caricatures, in evidence that neither Hogarth nor Dickens in their respective periods had the need to invent characters. They are ready to hand in real life, needing only a little trouble and a modicum of perspicacity to find them.
Their son Oscar did not, in this particular peculiarity, take after his parents. His linen was conspicuous by its glossy whiteness. It was said he used his capacious cuffs to jot down his epigrams.
When he produced his famous play
A Woman of No Importance I inquired: “Who is Mr. Oscar Wilde’s washerwoman?” What a cynic she must be by this time? When she gets up his fine linen she must pause before she dips the expansive shirt cuffs of her æsthetically sarcastic customer into the seething soap-suds, for has she not during the last six months beheld startling epigrams hastily pencilled on the critic’s cuffs? As, for example, “Men marry because they are tired, women because they are curious,” and “If a man wants to get into society he must either feed people, amuse people, or shock people.” But surely the old washerwoman would hurriedly dip the pencilled linen into the tub when she

deciphered the following
: “The happiness of a married man depends on the woman he has not married,” and it must rather shock the worthy dame’s sensibilities to read: “A bad man is the sort of man who admires innocence and a bad woman is the sort of woman that a man never gets tired of.” I can picture to myself the soap-suds flying when the old lady’s eye is met by “All married men live like bachelors, and all bachelors like married men,” and she must have smiled when she read: “A well-tied tie is the first serious step in life.” But I have no doubt that, like Sir Beerbohm Tree, the washerwoman was “very proud to be associated with this work of art.” The work of art is “a new and original play of modern life,” entitled “A Woman of no Importance.” It certainly was new and original insomuch as it was totally devoid of action. It was beautifully dressed, and the excellent Haymarket company sat about on garden seats and drawing-room chairs, letting off Oscar Wilde’s sarcastic epigrams by the dozen, evidently, as I suggest, a collection of Oscar’s happy thoughts dotted down at odd times on his shirt-cuffs, and now produced strung together, without apparently any other reason than that of demonstrating the cleverness of the author.
Sir William Wilde was a wicked old man, there was no attempt to disguise the fact that he had many illegitimate children, one was in his own profession and had a good practice. With all the queer ways of this eccentric couple, it is no wonder that Oscar, their genius of a son, grew into an eccentric unnatural being. It would have been more surprising if he had not done so.

In those Victorian days most of the poetesses and authoresses affected the long flowing black velvet gown, low cut bodices, lace and jewellery. Even such a practical authoress as Mrs. J. H. Riddell was so attired when I, as a youth, lunched with her at Leyton, Essex, in the early seventies. On her writing-table an ordinary cup and saucer answered the purpose of an inkstand, the cup was half-full of ink and half a dozen feather pens lay diagonally across the saucer—these little affectations were a survival of the literary lady Thackeray described so well a generation before in his Character Sketches as “
The fashionable Authoress.”
While writing this I was sent the literary magazine,
The Irish Book Lover, for January 1920, which opens with some letters I wrote to a literary friend of mine in my youth, containing my first impression of Mrs. Riddell, under date of August 11th, 1873 “I like London very much indeed, and am sure will like it more the longer I reside here. I have only had my boxes over a few days, so at present am busy preparing my samples, if I might call them so. Having an introduction to a Mrs. Riddell, an authoress who wrote George Geith, City and Suburb, and edited St. Paul’s, etc., etc., I called on her, and had the honour and real pleasure of her company for several hours. I took lunch with her at her rural seat at Leyton, Essex, and came away with a note of introduction to Mrs. Ross Church, Editor of London Society, who unfortunately had left for the Continent for some months. Mrs. Riddell is a very charming and fine woman: she gave me several ‘tips’—woman’s

tips’ I ought to add—about literary circles. She is to ask me to some of their Bohemian parties, and take me with her to be introduced to all the ‘big-wigs.’ As you might expect, she is very severe on her sex’s endeavours in writing. Mrs.—— is ‘simply a brute,’ she throws in bits of religion to slip her fodder down the public throat. She says there is not a magazine in London paying, the libraries destroy the sale: they are too dear. But more anon.”
Mrs. Riddell had made a great reputation with her “
prize novel,” George Geith, but she was unhappily married, at least, I believe her husband through some queer way in business was resting somewhere at his country’s expense. This led Mrs. R. to work desperately hard, and by doing so she indirectly let me into a by-way in Bohemia—I have unfortunately come across a good many since—and that was how to publish (she published under another name) catch-advertisement ventures. I illustrated one profusely in the Caldecottian style, which brought in a number of advertisements, but only a few copies were printed—thus saving paper and printing—and I never received a penny for my work, or the advertisers much show for their money.
Another literary lady at the same time showed me another by-way, which thus easily opened the question with me—Do men write their own literary contributions
When I was a friendless and ambitious youth, arrived for the first time in London, I carried in my pocket next to my rapidly pulsating heart a letter from Tom Taylor, editor of
Punch, from himself to himself giving me his address, and a request to call and lunch with him on my

arrival. In consequence, I wended my way to Lavender Sweep, Clapham, where I found a house with india-rubber tubing tacked on to the hall door, to keep out draughts—and draughtsmen. Mr. Taylor was not at home. Subsequently I received an apologetic note, but no invitation.
Later on I met a literary lady, a friend of Mr. Taylor’s, at the first “
At Home” to which I was invited in London, at the house of Mrs. Ross Church, better known to the general public as Florence Marryat, the novelist, and I told her that although Tom Taylor had induced me to come to London he did not seem to trouble himself much about me. Her description of T. T. was not particularly complimentary. She said that he knew little about current Art, and that in fact she wrote most of his criticisms. I was sceptical about that point. “Well,” she said, “you will see that I have a deal of influence over him. He will be at your rooms at ten o’clock to-morrow morning.” And he was. He was a dull heavy man and anything but communicative or encouraging. For fully five minutes he shook me by the hand, until I feared his spectacles would have dropped off, but I noticed they were tied on to his head with a piece of string. It struck me that he was thinking of anything but of me; after a time I managed to show him my sketches, which he himself had asked me to do, when I met him in Dublin. He offered no criticism, but shook my hand for another five minutes, which proved to me that the lady who had sent him was right; he departed without saying anything and I never saw either Tom Taylor or the

lady again. I sent him ideas for
Punch once or twice which he rejected in this style. I kept them as specimens of untidy graphology, for, with the exception of James Payn, his writing was the most indistinct among literary men.

As soon as he departed and a new editor was appointed to
Punch, I joined the staff of that periodical, and at the “Table” caused some little amusement by my imitation of Tom Taylor, under whose editorship Punch had become so dull.
I recollect a rather pretty little woman I used to meet at Tinsley’s, the publisher. She wrote for him, but she also wrote other novels, that she declared—and Tinsley assured me he knew her statement to be true—she sold to Edmund Yates, who published them as his own productions. When she died I read with much interest the obituary notice of her written by Yates, which I, reading between the lines, was fully convinced confirmed the strange statement she herself had made. Anyway he never published another novel—any more than some of the wives of celebrated painters, who having become exhibitors themselves refrain from exhibiting after their husband’s death.
I was informed by a very able lady journalist, who was for a long time Paris correspondent of a leading London daily, that she came across Oscar Wilde in Paris, after his imprisonment in Reading Gaol. He was cowed, broken-down, and miserable, he implored her to call and see him, which she did, and he began to read to her a new play he had written, but just as he had finished the first act she was called away on professional work, and before she could again visit O. W.’s lodgings he had passed away. Some time after she saw a very brilliant and successful play which was attracting all play-going peoples. The name of a very clever dramatist, who had

already written attractive plays with much success but in a different style, was given as the author, who had turned his talents into a new channel and made a fresh departure. My lady friend assured me that Act I was identically the same, word for word, as the one scene read to her by Oscar Wilde.
So it comes to this—as far as I can judge—that some critics were not partially, but entirely, ignorant of their matter
; clever journalists posed as novelists with books written by literary lady “ghosts; pictures publicly exhibited were often not painted by those who signed them; plays were not always written by those who, for the sake of convenience, appended their names; Cabinet Ministers did not write the descriptive articles applauded by the public; nor did high legal luminaries always write their own books. These, my dear readers, are some of the by-ways and queer ways which had better not be followed too closely—some end in culs-de-sac and most of them are unsavoury.
Florence Marryat was a daughter of the famous writer, Captain Marryat, and she was, as I say, one of my earliest friends in London
; in fact, she gave me my first work.
She was a good-natured, energetic woman, and a prolific writer—but not a great one. She was at one time an operatic singer and then an actress, subsequently she became an entertainer and lecturer, but she was not great in any one subject. She was principally known as a believer in Spiritualism. That was her latest phase and one that took on. Her last books were all on that

There is no Death, The Risen Dead, a novel, and The Spirit World.
I used to go to the séances in her house, when she started the Spirit business, but I never saw anything out of the common, and I never read her books. Known as Mrs. Ross Church when I first met her, she decided to marry someone else, and discarded her husband, who I think was in the Army. Anyway, she sent all her friends and acquaintances, myself included, a statement in cold printer’s ink, informing us that she was not divorced, but that in future she wished to be known as Mrs. Lean. This little piece of eccentricity fell into her husband’s solicitor’s hands and thus ended the Church business. Edmund Downey was William Tinsley’s, the publisher’s, right-hand man in the late seventies and early eighties. In his interesting reminiscences of those Bohemian days he gives a very characteristic description of Florence Marryat. It so happened the authoress had written to the publisher to say she wanted him to publish her new novel, and as he decided to be “
out” when she called, he asked Downey to see her and find out what she wanted. Downey was not acquainted with Miss Marryat, and therefore asked how he could recognize her if she called and refused to give her name as visitors frequently did.
You’ll recognize her easily enough,” said the publisher. “She is a tall, striking-looking woman, and she’ll talk to you like a man.” The lady called, she looked round the office, and then, addressing Downey, said, “Is Bill in?” Downey fancied the inquirer might

be Miss Marryat, and replied that Mr. Tinsley was not in and asked her if he could do anything for her. “
I must see Bill himself,” she said. “Tell the old bounder I called.” “You’re Miss Marryat,” Downey ventured to remark. “Yes, but stop! How the devil do you know I’m Miss Marryat? I never saw you before.”
Florence Marryat was a bright, happy-go-lucky writer when I was a boy, and on my arrival in London she was editing a popular magazine in the office of Sampson Low, Marston, Rivington and Searle, a firm only equalled in the number of partners by the number of stone steps which ascended to their first-floor offices. Next door to these offices (now occupied by the Linotype Company) was the “
London Restaurant,” and a very good restaurant too!—situated over Partridge and Cooper’s at the corner of Chancery Lane. To that excellent place the fair editor of London Society and her favoured contributors frequently adjourned for lunch. I was one of the party, and with pleasure I record that on several occasions I stood the treat. “That will not do,” said my editor; “you are a young man and you cannot afford it.” I remained obdurate. “Well, I must repay you. So here goes—I’ll kiss you!” There was no means of escape, as another contributor held the door. I merely mention this little incident to show that, in those Bohemian days, business was carried on in a much more agreeable way than now.
In later years I met literary women in a different environment, and outside Bohemia. One I was asked

to meet at dinner for a special reason, which I should like to record. The lady who desired to “
renew” my acquaintance was the celebrated authoress, Mrs. Archibald Little, whose Intimate China had just then made a great hit.
She is a delightful and interesting lady, and I was curious to know why she had so mysteriously wished to meet me without disclosing her object. As we sat at dinner the mystery was disclosed. I was, so she declared, a man with a past. She knew, though others did not, a secret in my life. She had been so intimate with China there was nothing she did not know, and one thing she did know was the fact that I had been forced to leave the country. She put it carefully and mildly to me, that my departure was caused by my caricatures of high persons who demanded my instant removal.
Perhaps it will interest you to know, Mrs. Little, that although I have travelled much I have never been in China.”
I know, Mr. Furniss, you wish to forget it.”
It happened a long time ago as you have yourself admitted,” I remarked. “So you could have heard it only from old residents, and although I began life very early—I was on the press at the age of fourteen—yet at the date you are referring to——”
She was all attention and smiled, thinking I was about to confess the truth.
I was exactly three years of age. I could not have been very dangerous even if I were that extraordinary infant prodigy you describe.”

The facts were these
: My father was married twice, I being the youngest son of his second wife. The Furniss Mrs. Little had confused with me was my half-brother, a young man who was five-and-twenty years of age when I was born. He was in the Merchant Service—a very fine, handsome, talented fellow who gave up the sea for a time and settled in China. He was evidently an Admirable Crichton, for he was a clever artist and writer, he founded the Hong-Kong Punch. He was also a splendid singer, and a good actor. He opened a theatre and played in the old burlesque of the Italian Operas then so popular. I knew little of him except that he was a reckless, clever fellow who eventually returned to sea life and died when I was still a boy.
For one reason alone I was glad to pass as a very old man with a past, for it led to an interesting meeting with a very charming authoress.
I cannot say I ever
met Ouida, but I followed her once, without knowing it, along a few yards of a corridor at the Langham Hotel. I happened to be calling upon an American acquaintance, some time early in the eighties, and I observed in front of me a curious figure of a woman or child—I could not determine which—rather short in stature, with reddish hair lying loose on her shoulders. She was wearing a straight gown of nondescript character. As she turned, I noticed she had a large nose and small eyes, and was no longer young. I asked my friend if there was a lunatic in the room next to his, and he replied there was a Frenchwoman with a brain-storm, who imagined she was Ouida; and

we both heartily laughed at the idea. Subsequently, of course, I discovered my mistake.
I never could read Ouida’s novels with patience
; when I was young her name was held up as being typical of everything objectionable in literature.
I did, however, read with immense pleasure and admiration “
A Leaf in a Storm,” one of several stories collected under the title of A Dog of Flanders, which dealt with incidents in the Franco-Prussian war. I was about fifteen or sixteen years of age when the war took place, and followed with intense interest Ouida’s description of the brutal Germans. Baron Tauchnitz, who published the Continental edition, strongly objected to this description of the brutal treatment of the French peasants by German soldiers, but Ouida gallantly refused to alter her story.
Lady St. Helier (well known in Bohemian days as Lady Jeune), who was better acquainted with celebrities, both men and women, than any other London hostess, writes
It is always unwise to have preconceived ideas as to the character and appearance of any distinguished person.”
This statement prefaces the description of her first meeting with Ouida. She anticipated “
a graceful woman of middle age, with traces of great beauty, and brilliant conversation”—in fact, an ideal Egeria. In place of that, she found Ouida “small, insignificant-looking, with no pretension to beauty, her harsh voice, and manner almost grotesque in its affectation, completed the destruction of my ideal.”

In one particular instance women are cleverer than men, women appreciate their own good or attractive points, and lay themselves out to make the best of them. “
She was,” adds Lady St. Helier, “very vain, and inordinately proud of her remarkably small hands and beautiful feet, which she displayed with great prodigality.” I never knew a woman with a pretty foot and ankle that did not show it to advantage.
Ouida was one of the most extraordinary creatures—man or woman—the world has known, her colossal vanity, her eccentricities, her extravagance, her unpleasant personality and her talents were well known. Being unable to pronounce her own name as a little child she called herself Ouida. She maintained that “
The Public has no business with what my name is or is not. Ouida is all they have a right to know,” and it was her characteristic reply when asked the origin of the name by which she became famous.
She liked to receive guests dressed in white satin seated in a red satin arm-chair, her feet stretched out to show their beautiful proportions, and, with an eye for effect, she usually made her mother dress in black.
She always dressed to fit the position of the heroine she was depicting at the time. Several writers have described her. William Allingham—Tennyson’s friend and adviser, and himself a poet writes
: “She was dressed in green silk, with a clever, sinister face, her hair down, small hands and feet and a voice like a carving-knife.” And Henry James the novelist sums Ouida up thus: “She was curious, in a common, little way . . . of a most

uppish or dauntless little spirit of arrogance and independence . . . a little terrible and finally pathetic grotesque.”
Ouida was introduced to an American lady, the wife of a celebrated American writer
; after a short conversation Ouida, in her hard, uncompromsing way, abruptly said:
You are American?
I guess that’s so,” replied the lady.
I do not like Americans!” was Ouida’s extraordinary rejoinder.
Wall, that’s vairy ungrateful of you, for it’s we Americans, I guess, buy and read your filthy books.”
The remark of Lady St. Helier that I have just quoted, concerning the disappointments attendant on preconceived notions of distinguished people, was anticipated by Maginn. William Maginn, that wayward Irish genius and wit, immortalized by Thackeray in
Pendennis, said much the same thing as Lady St. Helier:
The desire of becoming acquainted in the body with those from whose minds we have long received delight, is natural enough, as is also the exception to find in the one the ‘outward and visible sign’ of the ‘inward and spiritual grace’ we have known in the other. But this is a desire, often, if not always, productive of disappointment, and could never, hardly, one would imagine, be more so than in the present instance.” This Maginn wrote apropos of his disappointment on first seeing Miss Mitford.
In the good old Victorian days women writers remained

in the villages they were born in, and, like the Brontë sisters, were seldom seen in towns. Before the times of photography and illustrated papers perhaps no woman writer’s appearance caused more comment and merriment than simple-minded Mary Russell Mitford, the author of
Our Village, a series of papers which ran through the Lady’s Magazine a hundred years ago, were subsequently collected in book form, and became famous. She has been described by her contemporaries as “short, rotund and unshapely.”
S. C. Hall described her as a “
stout little lady, tightened up in a shawl, a roly-poly figure, most vexatiously dumpy.” Even the refined poetess “L. E. L.” (Miss Landon) cried out when she beheld Miss Mitford for the first time: “Good heavens! A Sancho Panza in petticoats!
Lucas Malet’s father, Charles Kingsley, was a great friend of Miss Mitford and, as he lived near her in the country, frequently called at the celebrated woman’s shabby little cottage to enjoy a rest and a chat. It was in the shabby little parlour that Talfourd, Haydon, the painter, Amelia Opie, Jane Porter, Cary and other celebrities met the shabby little clever woman.
I expected to find Miss Braddon, the authoress of
Lady Audley’s Secret, Aurora Floyd (which I devoured in my youth), Dead Men’s Shoes, and Asphodel, a tall massive woman with an air of intense romance, with a strong face of a severe type, large dark dreamy eyes, a finely shaped nose, and firm lips; she would, I thought, be over-dressed, and slightly theatrical. This was how I

pictured her in my mind’s eye
; when she invited me to make one of a party at lunch at her beautiful house at Richmond I had the surprise of my life. My hostess turned out to be a stout, merry, homely little woman with a short turned-up nose, a large mouth, little twinkling eyes, a big head and hair thin and cropped. In fact, if she had been a man she would have made an excellent comedian. She was a woman of the world with plenty to say, and could say it amusingly—hers was a strong character, with apparently not a vestige of romance in it.
When the great Tichborne case was, for years, almost the sole topic of conversation, and the claimant—a butcher from Wapping—posed as Roger Tichborne, a famous “
scrap of paper” was found on which these memorable—and fatal—words were written:
Some men has brains and no money, and some men has money and no brains. I think that the men who has money and no brains was made for the men who has brains and no money.”
It is interesting to know that he had found this rough axiom in one of Miss Braddon’s novels, and it was not, as every one thought and still thinks, the unaided emanation of his gigantic intellect.
One might expect to find that accomplished author, Lucas Malet, the daughter of Charles Kingsley, that beetle-browed, hawk-eyed, beak-nosed, Gladstonian type of man, the lady who had the audacity to write
The Wages of Sin—the first of the modern school of lady novelists to throw a literary bomb into the centre of squeamish

people loaded with what she called “
the great and cruel riddle of sex”—a masculine-looking woman of the severe Kingsley type; instead of which she is a pleasant, handsome woman with a keen sense of humour.
When I took over the
Pall Mall Budget from Mr. Astor (the late Lord Astor) I renamed it the New Budget. I lost a fortune by it, as my predecessor had also done, but, then, being a millionaire, he could afford it—I could not. In the New Budget I published an appreciation of Lucas Malet, by one of my literary staff. It struck me as being very excellent, and it winds up in this way:
Though your style is epigrammatic, and you love to convey your meaning in vivid, sparkling phrases, you are never betrayed into inane verbal antics, or mere contortions and inversions of language, in a vain striving after effect. Nowadays our writers are apt to mistake a mere jingle of words for a witty saying, and to write ‘To be confident is not necessarily to be confidential,’ or ‘His caricatures were courtly rather than cautious,’ with the proud assumption that they have been epigrammatic, instead of the sneaking consciousness that they have been inane. You never do that, and so one can read and re-read your novels with pleasure. But then, of course, you write very slowly. Perhaps if you were to set yourself to turn out books at the rate of two a year your epigrams would begin to ring false, and you would take to mistaking sound for sense and verbal gymnastics for wit, like the rest of us. I am sure I hope you will never try.”
Mrs. Humphry Ward is moulded in the strong andunmistakable fine intellectual Arnold type—one can never mistake an Arnold. Some clever families run in distinctly marked types. The Terrys for instance. One can never mistake a Terry nose—that charming tip-tilted nose so fascinating in the pictures of Ellen Terry—any more than one can avoid noting the strong aquiline nose in the family of Arnolds
; so conspicuous in the intellectual face of Mrs. Humphry Ward. Mrs. Humphry Ward opens her interesting volume of A Writer’s Recollections with the following question: “Do we all become garrulous and confidential as we approach the gates of old age?” Of course we do, and my only regret is that that brilliant lady was neither garrulous nor confidential when I had the one opportunity of a pleasant—and to me—profitable chat.
The first time I met Mrs. Humphry Ward she was leaving her husband’s study in their house in Russell Square as I entered unexpectedly under peculiar circumstances, an event which, as it turned out, was of great importance. One morning, just as I was getting on my horse for my daily ride in the spring of 1887, I received a note from Mr. Humphry Ward asking me for some particulars about myself for a work on “
Men of the Time” he was compiling. It so happened I had just finished a most elaborate work, large framed pictures in black and white parodying the styles of all the Academicians of the day. Mr. Humphry Ward kindly visited my studio and was the first to see my tour de force. He wrote in the Times an important article heralding my venture, under the heading “An Artistic joke,” which title I eventually adopted. This article appeared on the leader page, and caused such an interest that I had to employ police to keep the crowd—a half-crown a head crowd too—in order outside the “house full” gallery in Bond Street.