On the purchase of The Gentleman's Magazine by Messrs. Chatto & Windus from Mr. Richard Gowing, who had edited it from 1874 to 1877, Knight became a contributor, and his articles appeared till within a very short time before his death. My friend Mr. Andrew Chatto has kindly shown me Knight's letters received by him during that period. These breathe all through the most kindly friendship and mutual regard. In a letter of the 17th of June, 1878, we find Knight ready to stand to his guns:—
"The paragraph about the Ministry you must read and judge about. I think it very important, but I cannot give up my authority. If you think it will cause an injury, I must stand it myself, as I will not bring others into a scrape. I am told it on good authority, and I think, if the newspapers don't get it, it is very important for us. . . . The few lines about my poor friend Sir Thomas Hardy might go also."
On the 12th of December, 1881, Knight writes:—
"Thanks for the 'Mary Stuart.' I have made a reference or two to it in 'Table Talk.'
Coat."My object in writing is just to say that I have only to-day been able to finish 'Joseph's Coat.' It certainly is a strikingly powerful, ingenious, and original novel. It is sympathetic also. Once or twice in the book I smell artifice, my scent being particularly keen, as it ought to be; but I think the author one of the first men of the day among novelists, and I paid him the compliment of shedding a few tears." The author was the late David Christie Murray.
LaureateAnother publication of Messrs. Chatto & Windus to which Knight occasionally contributed was The Idler. In 1895 the editor invited literary friends to contribute about two hundred words each on the selection of the next Poet Laureate. The following were those who complied : Sir Edwin Arnold, William Sharp, F. W. Robinson, Oscar Wilde, Coulson Kernahan, George Gissing, Norman Gale, Aaron Watson, Joseph Knight, I. Zangwill, Grant Allen, George Manville Fenn, William Archer, John Strange Winter, Clement Scott, Barry Pain, Richard Le Gallienne, Clark Russell, G. B. Burgin, Bernard Shaw, John Davidson, and E. Nesbit. Each of the replies, which appeared in the April number of The Idler, was illustrated by a small portrait of the author by Louis Gunnis and Penryn Stanley. Knight thus stated his views:—
"The only man who could accept the Laureateship is Mr. Swinburne, Mr. Morris's politics putting him out of the running. I cannot think the gentlemen who supply us with a constant stream