Open main menu

Page:Dictionary of National Biography volume 53.djvu/18

This page has been validated.

Smith's satiric essays, which were illustrated by John Leech, Crowquill, Kenny Meadows, Gavarni, and H. K. Browne, were published in successive volumes bearing the titles: ‘Beauty and the Beast,’ 1843; ‘The Physiology of Evening Parties,’ 1843; ‘The Natural History of the Gent,’ 1847; ‘The Natural History of the Ballet Girl,’ 1847; ‘The Natural History of Stuck-up People,’ 1847; ‘The Natural History of the Idler upon Town,’ 1848; ‘The Natural History of the Flirt,’ 1848; ‘A Bowl of Punch,’ 1848; ‘Comic Sketches,’ 1848; ‘A Pottle of Strawberries,’ 1848; ‘The Miscellany, a Book for the Field and Fireside,’ 1850; ‘Comic Tales and Sketches,’ 1852; ‘Picture of Life at Home and Abroad,’ 1852; ‘The English Hotel Nuisance,’ 1855; ‘Sketches of the Day,’ 1856, two series, consisting of pirated reprints of ‘The Flirt,’ &c.; ‘The London Medical Student, 1861, edited by Arthur Smith. He also wrote: ‘A Handbook of Mr. Albert Smith's Ascent of Mont Blanc,’ 1852, four editions, and edited ‘The Mont Blanc Gazette,’ 1858.

Arthur W. W. Smith (1825–1861), brother of the above, was born at Chertsey in 1825, and educated for the medical profession. With talents which might have qualified him for attaining high honours in science and literature, he devoted himself to the interests of his brother. Besides having the entire management of the entertainments at the Egyptian Hall from 1852 to 1860, he had confided to him by Charles Dickens the direction and arrangement of his readings in 1858; he also planned the second series of readings in 1861, but lived to attend only the first six in St. James's Hall. Dickens said of him, ‘Arthur Smith was always everywhere, but his successor is only somewhere’ (Forster, C. Dickens, 1874, iii. 145, 548). He was one of the committee of the Thames Fisheries Protection Society, and in 1861 wrote for it a brochure called ‘The Thames Angler.’ He edited the ‘London Medical Student’ in 1861, and contemplated issuing a collected edition of his brother's writings. He died at 24 Wilton Street, Belgrave Square, London, on 1 Oct. 1861, and was buried in Brompton cemetery (Era, 6 Oct. 1861, p. 9; Blanchard, Life, 1891, pp. 73, 261).

[Mont Blanc, 1860, with a Memoir by E. Yates, pp. vii–xxxvi; Illustrated Times, 8 Dec. 1855, pp. 437–8, with portrait; Illustrated London News, 1844 iv. 389 with portrait, 1853 xxii. 493 with portrait, 1860 xxxvi. 516, 534 with portrait; Illustrated News of the World, 1858, vol. i. portrait xxi.; Era, 27 May 1860, pp. 9, 10, 10 June p. 10; Lancet, 1860, i. 535; Drawing-room Portrait Gallery, 1st ser. 1859, portrait xxxv.; Lennox's Celebrities I have known, 2nd ser. 1877, ii. 5–20; Hodder's Memories of my Time, 1870, pp. 87–97; Yates's Recollections, 1885, pp. 151–68; Reynolds's Miscellany, 1853, x. 276–7, with portrait; Blanchard's Life, 1891, pp. 31, 728; Slater's Rare Editions, 1894, pp. 260–8; Goodman's The Keeleys, 1895, pp. 193, 224–34, 342–5, with portraits of A. R. Smith and his wife; Spielmann's History of Punch, 1895, pp. 49, 591; Fortnightly Review, May 1886, pp. 636–42; London Sketch Book, January 1874, pp. 3–6, with view of the Egyptian Hall, and Cuthbert Bede's Twelfth Night characters there at Christmas, 1855; see also Mr. Hardup's Ascent of the Mont de Piété, by Albert Smiff, in Yates and Brough's Our Miscellany, 1857, pp. 157–68.]

G. C. B.

SMITH, ALEXANDER (fl. 1714–1726), biographer of highwaymen, called himself ‘Captain Smith,’ but is known exclusively for the compilations executed for the booksellers during the reign of George I, which suggest that he was better known as a frequenter of police-courts and taverns than in military circles. It is not improbable that his industry was stimulated by the success obtained by Theophilus Lucas [q. v.] from his ‘Lives of the Gamesters,’ published in 1714. The works issued in Captain Alexander Smith's name were:

  1. ‘A Complete History of the Lives and Robberies of the most notorious Highwaymen, Footpads, Shoplifts, and Cheats of both Sexes in and about London and Westminster’ (2nd edit. London, 1714, 12mo, supplementary volume, 1720, 12mo; another edit., 2 vols. 1719, 12mo; 1719–20, 3 vols. 12mo); this curious work, which commands a high price, commences with a humorous account of Sir John Falstaff, and gives details, frequently no less mythical, about the Golden Farmer, Nevison, Duval, Moll Cutpurse, and a score of other notorious persons. The supplement of 1720 includes a ‘Thieves' Grammar.’
  2. ‘Secret History of the Lives of the most celebrated Beauties, Ladies of Quality, and Jilts, from Fair Rosamond down to this Time,’ London, 1715, 2 vols. 12mo.
  3. ‘Court of Venus, or Cupid restored to Sight,’ London, 1716, 2 vols. 12mo.
  4. ‘Thieves' New Canting Dictionary of the Words, Proverbs, Terms, and Phrases used in the Language of Thieves,’ London, 1719, 12mo.
  5. ‘The Comical and Tragical History of the Lives and Adventures of the most noted Bayliffs in and about London and Westminster … discovering their stratagems and tricks, wherein the whole Art and Mistery of Bumming is fully exposed,’ London, 1723, 8vo; 3rd edit. 1723. This shilling brochure had a great sale, mainly on account of the extreme coarseness of the drolleries,