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tober. This was the last opportunity I had of seeing my father. He drove me in his phaeton to Lymington, where I found the mail-coach which conveyed me to Southampton. On the following morning I embarked in one of the long stage-coaches then in use (like a modern omnibus), which conveyed me to London. It was a melancholy journey. My father's health was visibly failing ; though, as far as my bodily powers were concerned, I had pretty well recovered from the effects of my illness, my animal spirits were at a very low ebb. I had never before, and have never since then, been in so desponding a state of mind; and I shall never forget the feelings which oppressed me as I passed through the romantic scenery of the New Forest, or as I sate on the following day, with eleven other passengers, in the slow-going long coach. It seemed as if I was not equal to climbing the mountain which lay before me; yet I was sensible that I had no alternative, and that I must either climb it or starve. This state of mind, however, was not of long duration : I was soon hard at work, and forgot my anxieties. I now removed to some lodgings in May Fair, which, being situated between Hyde Park Corner and Great Windmill Street, enabled me more easily to divide my studies between the hospital and the school of anatomy. At the latter I had obtained some credit with Mr. Wilson and his colleague Mr. Thomas. The latter only delivered a few of the anatomical lectures, but it was understood that he was to superintend the dissections, and give an anatomical demonstration for an hour daily in the dissectingroom. He was not very fond of his vocation as a teacher, and as he was acquiring a considerable share of private practice, he was led to play truant a good deal. When he did so, he was accustomed to ask me to give the demonstration in his place; an arrangement which was attended with no difficulty, as both Mr. Wilson and the students were, or seemed to be, well satisfied with it, and as I felt myself sufficiently rewarded for the trouble which it gave me by the position in which it placed me above that of the ordinary students.

During this winter (1803–1804) I still con

tinued to attend the meetings of the Academical Society, and kept up my intercourse with my former friends about the Inns of Court. By great prudence I continued to live with sufficient comfort without making more than a very moderate demand on my father's limited means, and was never once in debt. I felt, however, that it would be very convenient to me indeed to have a little more money at my disposal. Some of my friends at this time obtained some additions to their incomes by writing for magazines and other publications. Ellis especially in great measure maintained himself in that way, and it came into my mind that I might follow his example. I offered a disquisition on the study of metaphysics to Richard Phillips, who published the Monthly Magazine' (and who was afterwards Sir Richard Phillips, and himself the author of a crazy work on Natural Philosophy). Phillips declined to accept it, in which he was quite right; it was a very absurd production. He did not, however, altogether decline my services. One of his speculations was the publication of a book under the name of The Annual


Biography, and, knowing that I had lived in Wiltshire, he proposed that I should write the life of Beckford of Fonthill, the author of "Vathek. As I knew nothing of this individual except some general reports, of which the less was said the better, I declined the proposal. I then offered some papers on literary subjects to Baldwin's 'Literary Journal,' a magazine which has been long since extinct. These were trumpery enough; nevertheless they were favourably received, and my vanity was soon gratified by seeing myself for the first time in print. The editor wrote to me that he was in my debt, and that I might receive a small sum that was owing to me whenever I could go to New Bridge Street for the purpose. I know not how it was that I never applied for the money. I found that I could not well follow two trades at the same time, and thus my literary adventures soon came to an end.

I have mentioned that when I parted with my father in the previous autumn his health was a good deal failing. It continued to fail through the winter, but he was so anxious not to interfere with the studies of my elder brother and myself that he would not allow us to be informed of it. In March an alteration for the worse took place rather suddenly; and before we were aware that his life was in any real danger he was no more. I had never before known what it was to lose any one for whom I had much affection, and I felt the loss most acutely. It dwelt on my mind long afterwards, and I well remember that for some months he was continually present to me in my dreams. My uncle, Charles Collins, who was an unmarried man, invited our whole family to his house at Salisbury, where we remained until after the funeral. I then returned to London forlorn enough, but less so than I should have been if I had not found much kindness and sympathy among some of my relations, especially Dr. and Mrs. Denman, Lady Staunton, and my cousins Mrs. Baillie and the present Sir George Staunton. The latter was two years older than myself, had been my playfellow when we were boys, and has continued my intimate friend, without our friendship having been interrupted for one instant,

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