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CHAPTER VIII An Old-Time Publisher
 “That’s a strange man!” said I to myself, after I had left the house, “he is evidently very clever; but I cannot say that I like him much with his Oxford1 Reviews and Dairyman’s Daughters.”—Lavengro.  
Borrow lost his father on the 28th February, 1824.  He reached London on the 2nd April of the same year, and this was the beginning of his many wanderings.  He was armed with introductions from William Taylor, and with some translations in manuscript from Danish and Welsh poetry.  The principal introduction was to Sir Richard Phillips, a person of some importance in his day, who has so far received but inadequate2 treatment in our own.  Phillips was active in the cause of reform at a certain period in his life, and would seem to have had many sterling3 qualities before he was spoiled by success.  He was born in the neighbourhood of Leicester, and his father was “in the farming line,” and wanted him to work on the farm, but he determined4 to seek his fortune in London.  After a short absence, during which he clearly proved to himself that he was not at present qualified5 to capture London, young Phillips returned to the farm.  Borrow refers to his patron’s vegetarianism6, and on this point we have an amusing story from his own pen!  He had been, when previously7 on the farm, in the habit of attending to a favourite heifer:
During his sojournment in London this animal had been killed; and on the very day of his return to his father’s house, he partook of part of his favourite at dinner, without his being made acquainted with the circumstance of its having been slaughtered8 during his absence.  On learning this, however, he experienced a sudden indisposition; and declared that so great an effect had the idea of his having eaten part of his slaughtered favourite upon him, that he would never again taste animal food; a vow9 to which he has hitherto firmly adhered.
Farming not being congenial, Phillips hired a small room in Leicester, and opened a school for instruction in the three p. 56R’s, a large blue flag on a pole being his “sign” or signal to the inhabitants of Leicester, who seem to have sent their children in considerable numbers to the young schoolmaster.  But little money was to be made out of schooling10, and a year later Phillips was, by the kindness of friends, started in a small hosiery shop in Leicester.  Throwing himself into politics on the side of reform, Phillips now founded the Leicester Herald11, to which Dr. Priestley became a contributor.  The first number was issued gratis12 in May, 1792.  His Memoir13 informs us that it was an article in this newspaper that secured for its proprietor14 and editor eighteen months’ imprisonment15 in Leicester gaol16, but he was really charged with selling Paine’s Rights of Man.  The worthy17 knight18 had probably grown ashamed of The Rights of Man in the intervening years, and hence the reticence19 of the memoir.  Phillips’s gaoler was the once famous Daniel Lambert, the notorious “fat man” of his day.  In gaol Phillips was visited by Lord Moira and the Duke of Norfolk.  It was this Lord Moira who said in the House of Lords in 1797 that “he had seen in Ireland the most absurd, as well as the most disgusting tyranny that any nation ever groaned20 under.”  Moira became Governor-General of Bengal and Commander-in-Chief of the Army in India.  The Duke of Norfolk, a stanch21 Whig, distinguished22 himself in 1798 by a famous toast at the Crown and Anchor Tavern23, Arundel Street, Strand:—“Our sovereign’s health—the majesty24 of the people!” which greatly offended George III., who removed Norfolk from his lord-lieutenancy.  Phillips seems to have had a very lax imprisonment, as he conducted the Herald from gaol, contributing in particular a weekly letter.  Soon after his release he disposed of the Herald, or permitted it to die.  It was revived a few years later as an organ of Toryism.  He had started in gaol another journal, The Museum, and he combined this with his hosiery business for some time longer, when an opportune25 fire relieved him of an apparently26 uncongenial burden, and with the insurance money in his pocket he set out for London once more.  Here he started as a hosier in St. Paul’s Churchyard, lodging27 meantime in the house of a milliner, where he fell in love with one of the apprentices28, Miss Griffiths, “a native of Wales.”  His affections were won, we are naïvely informed in the Memoir, by the young woman’s talent in the preparation of a vegetable p. 57pie.  This is our first glimpse of Lady Phillips—“a quiet, respectable woman,” whom Borrow was to meet at dinner long years afterwards.  Inspired, it would seem, by the kindly29 exhortation30 of Dr. Priestley, he now transformed his hosiery business in St. Paul’s Churchyard into a “literary repository,” and started a singularly succe............
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