Friday, November 11, 2011

Launching Hook


‘November 11.—Croker came to breakfast, and we were soon after joined by Theodore Hook, alias "John Bull"; he has got as fat as the actual monarch of the herd. Lockhart sat still with us, and we had, as Gil Blas says, a delicious morning, spent in abusing our neighbours, at which my three neighbours are no novices any more than I am myself, though (like Puss in Boots, who only caught mice for his amusement) I am only a chamber counsel in matters of scandal. The fact is, I have refrained, as much as human frailty will permit, from all satirical composition…

November 11, 1826 was a busy social day for Scott, meeting several people in addition to Hook and Lockhart.  Scott was journaling at this point (entry above).  John Gibson Lockhart wrote more on John Bull in his “Theodore Hook: a Sketch”: A day or two afterwards [in 1820], a nobleman of influence and talents called on Sir Walter, and asked if he could find him at Edinburgh some clever fellow to undertake the editorship of a newspaper about to be established in an English county-town. Sir Walter suggested that his lordship need not go so far a-field—described Hook's situation, and the impression he had received of him from his tabletalk and The Arcadian. This was all that occurred. Sir Walter heard no more of the provincial paper; but confessed when, towards the end of the year, John Bull electrified London, that he could not help fancying his mention of Theodore to this noble lord might have had its consequences. His lordship enjoyed much of the personal notice of George IV., and indeed could hardly have failed to meet Hook himself at Hertford House before he started for the Mauritius…’

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