Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Vol 1 Abbadie - Anne
Abbadie — Anne
Abbadie — Anne
MACMILLAN AND CO.
LONDON: SMITH, ELDER, & CO.
IN THE FIRST VOLUME.
DINNER TO MR. GEORGE SMITH.
[From the reports of the Times, Standard, Daily News, and Daily Chronicle of June 7, 1894.]
A complimentary dinner to Mr. George Smith was given by the contributors to the "Dictionary of National Biography" at the Westminster Palace Hotel on June 6th. Mr. Sidney Lee (the Editor) presided, and the following gentlemen were present:—Mr. Leslie Stephen, Lord Edmond Fitzmaurice, the Very Rev. the Dean of Westminster, Mr. Justice Mathew, Sir Theodore Martin, K.C.B., Sir William Flower, K.C.B., the Rev. Augustus Jessopp, D.D., Mr. E. Maunde Thompson, C.B., D.C.L., Sir Alexander Arbuthnot, K.C.S.I., Major Leonard Darwin, R.E., M.P., Dr. Norman Moore, Mr. John Murray, Mr. T. Humphry Ward, the President of C. C. C., Oxford, Mr. Sidney Colvin, Professor Ingram Bywater, Mr. R. C. Christie, the Rev. William Hunt, Mr. George Murray Smith, the Provost of Queen's College, Oxford, Mr. Austin Dobson, the Rev. Professor Bonney, F.R.S., Mr. G. A. Spottiswoode, Mr. Frederick Macmillan, Mr. George Aitchison, A.R.A., Mr. Joseph Knight, F.S.A., Dr. J. F. Payne, Sir Henry Trueman Wood, Mr. Oscar Browning, Professor J. K. Laughton, Mr. Alex. Murray Smith, Mr. A. F. Pollard, Mr. W. P. Courtney, Mr. Lionel Gust, F.S.A., Mr. Thompson Cooper, F.S.A., Mr. R. E. Graves, Mr. David Hannay, Mr. A. H. Bullen, Mr. G. Farwell Jones, Mr. C. L. Kingsford, Mr. G. P. Moriarty, Professor R. K. Douglas, Mr. J. A. Doyle, Mr. Arthur John Butler, the Rev. O. W. Tancock, Mr. Henry Norman, Mr. H. E. Murray, Mr. J. Aitchison, Mr. A. L. Hardy, Professor William Graham, Mr. W. A. S. Hewins, Mr. R Barry O'Brien, Mr. W. A. J. Archbold, Mr. A. F. Robbins, Mr. Arthur Cates, Mr. B. Daydon Jackson, Professor G. B, Howes, Mr, G. C. Boase, Mr, Robert Dunlop, Dr. Richard Garnett, Mr. J. G. Fitch, LL.D., Mr. Edmund Gosse, Mr. Cosmo Monkhouse, Mr. Walter Armstrong, Mr. F. T. Marzials, Mr. H. Yates Thompson, Mr. James Gairdner, Professor T. F. Tout, Mr. Francis Storr, Mr. Sidney Low, Mr. Reginald J. Smith, Mr. Gerald Duckworth, Mr. Harry J. C. Cust, M.P., Mr. Charles Kent, Dr.Hack Tuke, Mr. G. F. Warner, Mr. Henry Bradley, Mr. G. S. Boulger, Mr. D'Arcy Power, F.R.C.J.S., Mr. J. Bass Mullinger, Mr. Edward J. L. Scott, Mr. Norman MacColl, Mr. Charles Welch, F.S.A., Mr. G. A. Aitken, Mr. Walter Rye, Mr. F. M. O'Donoghue, Colonel Lluellyn, Mr. R. B. Prosser, the Rer. A. B. Buckland, Mr. A. Vian, Mr. William Carr, the Rev. J. H. Lupton, B.D., Mr. J. P. Anderson, Mr. A. E. J. Legge, Mr. E. Heron Allen, Mr. G. Thorn Drury, the Rev. Ronald Bayne, Mr. J. M. Rigg, Mr. Russell Spokes, Mr. C. T. Hagberg Wright, Colonel Vetch, R.E., the Rev. Prebendary Stephens, Colonel E. M. Loyd, R.E., Mr. R. C. Browne, Rev. C. H. Evelyn White, Mr. H. Frank Heath, Mr. James Tait, Mr. Alfred Cock, Q.C., Mr. A. H. Huth, Mr. John Macdonell, LL.D., Mr. C. G. Montefiore, the Rev. H. C. Beeching, Major Broadfoot, Mr. R. F. Scott, and Mr. Henry R. Tedder and Mr. Thomas Seccombe (Hon. Secretaries to the Organising Committee).
Among those contributors who sent letters of regret were Mr. James Bryce, M.P., the Bishop of Peterborough, Professor R. C. Jebb, M.P., Principal Ward (Owens College, Manchester), Canon Ainger, Mr. C. H. Firth, Mr. Henry Craik, C.B., Mr. George Jacob Holyoake, Mr. S. Rawson Gardiner, the Rev. Alexander Gordon, the Rev. W. H. Hutton, B.D., Mr. C. W. Sutton, Mr. Thomas Bayne, Mr. Richard Bagwell, Professor J. W. Hales, and Mr. Thomas Hodgkin, D.C.L. The Bishop of Peterborough wrote to the Chairman: "I need hardly say to you that I think Mr. Smith has been the greatest benefactor to English literature in our generation, and the future will increasingly reap the harvest of his enterprise."
After the health of the Queen had been duly honoured, Mr. Sidney Lee said: I have now to propose to you the toast of the evening. I need not tell you what you know already, that there are many better qualified for this honourable task than I. But however great may be my misgivings respecting my oratorical capacity, I can have none respecting the reception with which the toast of Mr. George Smith's health will meet in such an assembly as this. (Cheers.) At any rate I have had the advantage of reading the correspondence that has passed between yourselves and our secretaries; I know the sentiments that have drawn you hither, and I can speak of them with confidence. In my ordinary way of life I am no lover of heroics, as some of you may say you know to your cost—(laughter)—and it has occurred to me that I should be meting out to Mr. Smith the strictest justice were I to clothe my remarks in the Spartan simplicity of a dictionary article. got halfway across the field, even if one resigned it into such good hands as those of his successor. It was some consolation to feel that the team he had driven—if he might use so uncomplimentary a phrase (laughter)—might look back with no feelings of indignation to their driver. (Applause.) At the same time, he felt as if he were coming back as a ghost to hear his own funeral sermon, and he fancied that most ghosts, under these circumstances, would feel that the praises bestowed upon them, however sincere and kindly they might be, were rather more like a satire; that they represented much more what ought to have been achieved than what was actually done. But, incomplete as such work necessarily was—and everybody who had tried his hand at it must know that the best that could be done was only relatively good, and only an approximation of what such a work should be—he was contented to have done it, and he did not regret all the years of trouble that he had spent upon it. However, he did not wish to dwell more upon that. He would be content with a very simple epitaph:—
Affliction sore long time I bore;
Physicians were in vain;
Till I committed suicide,
And eased me of my pain.
He had died as an editor, and, unfortunately for some people, though happily for himself, he was still living in the ordinary sense of the word, and his great object at present was to live past the letter S—(laughter)—so that at any rate his friend Mr. Lee might not be troubled by the torture he foresaw he would undergo between his desire to speak kindly of an old friend and his stem sense of editorial justice. (Laughter.) He might mention as a little bit of autobiography that he came up to London thirty years ago, cast upon the inhospitable shores of literature from a far more respectable profession, and became connected with a journal of which Mr. Smith was the projector, so that when he began his work on the Dictionary he knew Mr. Smith well, and he believed they had perfect confidence in each other. To him that confidence was of the highest possible importance, as he could never have got through the work so far as he did if he had not known Mr. Smith was prepared to give him a perfectly free hand to let him save the ship, and to do everything that was necessary, not with a view to commercial profit, but to make it what they announced their intention of making it at the outset, an indispensable work for all serious students of English history and literature. (Applause.) It was impossible for any man to be better backed up than he was in the undertaking. That was simply one more case of what he believed to be a very general truth—that the relations between author and publisher, though no doubt unpleasant when the publisher was a rogue and the author a humbug—(laughter)— might, when honourable men met together, be productive of a lifelong friendship on both sides, which they would always rejoice to remember. He would, therefore, put his conclusions in a technical form appropriate to that evening, and would say that when the supplement came to be written it would be essential to put to "Leslie Stephen" a cross-reference "See George Smith," and in the article "George Smith" there would be a little reference to " Stephen Leslie." (Applause and laughter.)
The Chairman, in proposing "The Contributors," doubted whether any University in the Kingdom could produce, at short notice, a body of men equal in learning to those who contributed to the pages of the Dictionary. Their one object was to facilitate the progress of the work and to maintain its high character.
Dr. Jessopp, in acknowledging the toast, said that the time would come when even the last volume of the Dictionary would be written, and posterity would read with interest some account of the men who had been mainly responsible for the work.
Colonel Vetch also responded.
"Occasional Contributors," proposed by Dr. Norman Moore, and acknowledged by Mr. Justice Mathew and Mr. Sidney Colvin; and "The Editor of the Dictionary," proposed by Mr. Leslie Stephen, and acknowledged by the Chairman, were the other toasts.
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