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Hunt
Hunt
271

tained a selection of the best papers in these periodicals written in 1819–21 and in 1828. The publisher afterwards issued these volumes in two parts, double columns, at a moderate price, and they were several times reprinted. His next venture, one of the best-known of his periodicals, was 'Leigh Hunt's London Journal,' begun in 1834—'To Assist the Inquiring, Animate the Struggling, and Sympathise with All.' Partly modelled on Chambers's 'Edinburgh Journal' (established in 1832), it was a miscellany of essays, sketches, criticisms, striking passages from books, anecdotes, poems, translations, and romantic short stories of real life. Admirable in every way, it was, unhappily, too literary and refined for ordinary tastes, and ceased on 26 Dec. 1835. Christopher North praised it warmly in 'Blackwood's Magazine.' In 1835 Hunt published a poem called 'Captain Sword and Captain Pen; with some Remarks on War and Military Statesmen.' It is chiefly remarkable for its vivid descriptions of the horrors of war. He succeeded William Johnson Fox [q.v.] as editor, and contributed to the 'Monthly Repository' (July 1837 to March 1838). In it appeared his poem, 'Blue-Stocking Revels, or The Feast of the Violets,' a sort of female 'Feast of the Poets,' which was well spoken of by Rogers and Lord Holland. In 1840 was published 'The Seer, or Common-Places Refreshed,' consisting of selections from the 'London Journal,' the 'Liberal,' the 'Tatler,' the 'Monthly Repository,' and the 'Round Table.' The preface concludes: 'Given at our suburban abode, with a fire on one side of us, and a vine at the window of the other, this 19th day of October 1840, and in the very green and invincible year of our life, the 56th.' From 1840 to 1851 he lived in Edwardes Square, Kensington.

On 7 Feb. 1840 Hunt's fine play, in five acts, 'A Legend of Florence,' was brought out at Covent Garden Theatre. Its poetical qualities and brilliant dialogue secured for it a deserved success. During its first season it was witnessed two or three times by the queen. It was revived ten years later at Sadler's Wells, and in 1852 it was performed at Windsor Castle by her majesty's command. In a letter to the present writer, who had informed Hunt of its favourable reception in Manchester, he described with great satisfaction how highly the queen had praised it. In 1840 he wrote 'Introductory Biographical and Critical Notices to Moxon's Edition of the Dramatic Works of Wycherley, Congreve, Vanbrugh, and Farquhar.' He took great pains with these prefaces, which are written in his best style. Macaulay's essay on 'The Dramatists of the Restoration' was suggested by this volume. He also at this time wrote a 'Biographical and Critical Sketch of Sheridan,' prefixed to Moxon's edition of the works of that dramatist. In 1842 appeared 'The Palfrey; a Love-Story of Old Times,' with illustrations; a variation of one of the most amusing of the old French narrative poems, treated with great freshness and originality and unbounded animal spirits. In 1843 he published 'One Hundred Romances of Real Life, comprising Remarkable Historical and Domestic Facts illustrative of Human Nature.' These had appeared in his 'London Journal' in 1834–5. In 1844 his poetical works, containing many pieces hitherto uncollected, were published in a neat pocket-volume. In the same year appeared 'Imagination and Fancy, or Selections from the English Poets illustrative of those First Requisites of their Art; with Markings of the best Passages, Critical Notices of the Writers, and an Essay in answer to the Question, "What is Poetry?"' The prefatory essay gives a masterly and subtle definition of the nature and requisites of poetry. In 1846 he produced 'Wit and Humour, selected from the English Poets; with an Illustrative Essay and Critical Comments.' In the same year was published 'Stories from the Italian Poets, with Lives of the Writers,' 2 vols. These volumes summarised in prose the 'Commedia' of Dante, and the most celebrated narratives of Pulci, Boiardo, Ariosto, and Tasso, with comments throughout, occasional passages versified, and critical notices of the lives and genius of the authors. In 1847 he contributed a set of papers to the 'Atlas' newspaper, which were afterwards collected and published under the title of 'A Saunter through the West-End.' A very delightful collection of his papers in two volumes was published in 1847, entitled 'Men, Women, and Books; a Selection of Sketches, Essays, and Critical Memoirs, from the Author's uncollected Prose Writings.' They consist of contributions to the 'Edinburgh' and 'Westminster' reviews, the 'New Monthly Magazine,' 'Tait's Edinburgh Magazine,' 'Ainsworth's Magazine,' and the 'Monthly Chronicle.'

Thornton Hunt tells us that between 1834 and 1840 his father's embarrassments were at their worst. He was in perpetual difficulties. On more than one occasion he was literally without bread. He wrote to friends to get some of his books sold, so that he and his family may have something to eat. There were gaps of total destitution, in which every available source had been absolutely exhausted. He suffered, too, from bodily and mental ailments, and had 'great family suffer-