LORD  BYRON  and  his  TIMES
Documents Biography Criticism

Memoir of Francis Hodgson
Chapter XIX. 1827-1830

Vol. 1 Contents
Chapter I.
Chapter II. 1794-1807.
Chapter III. 1807-1808.
Chapter IV. 1808.
Chapter V. 1808-1809.
Chapter VI. 1810.
Chapter VII. 1811.
Chapter VIII. 1811.
Chapter IX. 1811.
Chapter X. 1811-12.
Chapter XI. 1812.
Chapter XII. 1812-13.
Chapter XIII. 1813-14.
Vol. 2 Contents
Chapter XIV. 1815-16.
Chapter XV. 1816-18.
Chapter XVI. 1815-22.
Chapter XVII. 1820.
Chapter XVIII. 1824-27.
‣ Chapter XIX. 1827-1830
Chapter XX. 1830-36.
Chapter XXI. 1837-40.
Chapter XXII. 1840-47.
Chapter XXIII. 1840-52.
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In 1827 a poetical pot-pourri, entitled the ‘Casket,’ was originated by Hodgson, and received contributions from several eminent men of letters, among whom were Rogers, Moore, Campbell, Wordsworth, James and Horace Smith, the authors of ‘Rejected Addresses,’ Merivale, Praed, and Montgomery. Rogers and Montgomery wrote the following replies to Hodgson’s first appeal for assistance:—

My dear Sir,—Inclosed are the verses, such as they are. They belong to the second part of a poem called ‘Italy,’ and it is but fair to tell you that I think of publishing them in the Spring, as soon as
the beginning of May, if not sooner. The first part I published some years ago.

With great esteem,
I remain yours most truly,
Saml. Rogers.
St. James’s Place, London: Dec. 17, 1827.

Reverend and dear Sir,—You will forgive my apparent neglect of your letter dated nearly a month ago, when I tell you that I have only just arrived at home, after an absence of more than five weeks, during which I travelled about from place to place, so frequently, that letters could not be forwarded to me, and I find an appalling heap on my table, several of them containing requests similar to that in yours. Whatever answer I may return to the rest—for I say ‘no’ as often as I can—I will endeavour to say ‘yes’ to your application, if you will allow me time. You do not say when you wish for the contribution; if you will inform me of the last moment when it will be acceptable, I will promise to do my best to come up with it, and bring my gift, whatever that may be, in my hand; for I, alas! do everything at the last moment, or rather delay everything till then, and do nothing right or in time. I am, however, so implicated in
tasks and duties, through which I cannot break, that unless you will allow me breathing-space, I dare not undertake even so small a commission as yours is. I write in great haste, and shall consider silence consent to my proposal; though asking time is an ominous phrase, in these commercial days, when a payment is to be made of a debt acknowledged, and I hereby acknowledge mine as aforesaid.

Meanwhile, I am truly your friend and servant,
J. Montgomery.
Sheffield: Dec. 1827.

About the same time Hodgson’s aid was solicited in furtherance of an object similar to his own by Alaric Watts, whose publication, the ‘Literary Souvenir,’ is described in the ensuing letters, and was continued as an annual until the year 1836. Its editor was subsequently connected with several newspapers, and also edited the ‘United Service Gazette,’ from 1833-43. His poems, entitled ‘Lyrics of the Heart,’ obtained for him a Government pension of £100 per annum.

8, North Bank, Regent’s Park.

Sir,—The very great pleasure I have derived from your poetical writings, and the desire I have to be
allowed to include some little poem from your pen in the next volume of the work of which I have herewith the honour to beg your acceptance, have led me to presume so far upon your kindness as to prefer my request to you without waiting for the favour of a personal introduction. The object of the ‘
Literary Souvenir’ is to present, in one volume, specimens of the style of a large proportion of the most distinguished writers of the day; as well as to afford some idea of the state of the Fine Arts, by engravings, by the most eminent engravers, of the well-known productions of British Artists.1 Among those writers who have either afforded or promised contributions for its pages are Sir Walter Scott, Mr. T. Campbell, Mr. Montgomery, Mr. Milman, Mrs. Hemans, Mr. Southey, Mr. Wilson, Mr. Lockhart, L. E. L., Hogg, Miss Mitford, Miss Porter, Mrs. Opie, Mr. Bowles, Delta, Mr. Dale, and various other well-known authors. In the volume of the work now preparing, I am desirous, if possible, to secure some little poem from every distinguished living poet; and as my plan will be quite incomplete unless I

1 Among those who contributed to the illustrations of the Literary Souvenir were Turner, Leslie, and Roberts; the engravings being executed by Heaton and other of the best engravers of the day.

shall succeed in obtaining something from your pen, I am inclined to hope you will not refuse my request. Should you not be disposed to concede me the favour I ask, I hope you will at least pardon me for the liberty I have taken.

I am, dear sir, with great esteem,
Your obedient servant,
Alaric A. Watts.

Between 10,000 and 11,000 the last ‘Literary Souvenir’ were printed, and as the ensuing volume will be every way more interesting, I have reason to expect that it will be even more popular.

Hodgson’s ready response to this appeal was thus acknowledged:—

You will perceive that I have printed one of your poems, which has been much admired and often quoted. I need not say how much I shall feel obliged by some similar communication for my next volume. You will be glad to hear that the success of the ‘L. S.’ has exceeded even that of the former volume, 9,000 having been circulated already. With renewed acknowledgments, etc.

Various letters from friends, written about this
date, are not without interest. The first was written, during a tour in Yorkshire, by
Dr. Samuel Butler, Head-master of Shrewsbury, and afterwards successively Archdeacon and Bishop of Lichfield.

Kirkby Lonsdale: July 1, 1826.

My dear friend,—I went from your house to Norton, where I stayed a day, then to Mr. Walker’s of Eastwood, near Rotherham, and thence to Col. Fullarton’s of Thryburgh. At half-past ten at night, I visited the keep of Conisborough Castle, without having an interview with Cedric’s or Athelstane’s ghosts; but their accompanying spirits, the owls, sang a fine chorus. I spent a day at Barmborough, and proceeded from Doncaster (without having seen the race-course) to Skipton in Craven, where I saw Skipton Castle, and thence proceeded to the magnificent scenery of Bolton Abbey, and three miles up the Wharf, through romantic woods, to the celebrated Strid, where the river contracts itself to a width of only four feet, but of enormous depth, and about which and some white doe of Rylstone, I am told, Wordsworth has prosed with his usual 1 . . . Hence I returned to Skipton, and

1 The expressions here used are not sufficiently complimentary to justify repetition.

proceeded to Helafield Peel (which, being translated into English, means the fortress in the field of Hela), where the father of one of my pupils, and his ancestors have resided, I believe, almost ever since the worship of Hela was known in Scandinavia. Yesterday I rode a black horse (one of Hela’s progeny) about twenty-four miles, to see some of the wonders of Craven, such as Gordale, Malham Cave, and Malham Tara—all curious in their way, but nothing so curious as my riding such a distance (more than I have ridden in the last six years collectively) and not being much fatigued. This morning I set off with the intention of reaching Ambleside, but have only proceeded two stages to this place, where I am spell-bound, neither horse nor chaise being to be had, on account of that detestable
Lawyer Brougham (quem Dii deæque perdant), with his perfectly useless opposition to the Lowthers of Appleby. I am truly out of humour. I hate Wordsworth, for daring to write about such a place as Bolton Abbey. . . . I hate Brougham, for interrupting the posting of His Majesty’s subjects on their lawful business, etc. . . .

Yours truly,
S. B.

Of nearly the same date is another letter from the same hand, written during a tour among the English Lakes:—

My dear friend,—I am all the better for my residence here, where I shall stay a week longer. You may think how much better I am than when we parted, when I tell you that I climbed a mountain 1,500 feet high yesterday, and, with the assistance of my friend Mr. Mathew, built an ancient fort on the top of it, and came down to dinner without feeling fatigued. I attribute this renovation to great amusement in the fishing department, and the peculiarly nourishing and well-flavoured properties of the Westmoreland mutton. Your historical annotations amused me much, but do not alter my opinion. As to the independence of Westmoreland, it is all a farce. The 1,300 voters for Brougham are as much the slaves of Lord Thanet and his friends, as the 1,760 for the Lowthers are the slaves of Lord Lonsdale. There are a few independent voters on both sides, and the rest sell their sweet voices or give them as they are bid; and what does it matter to you, or me, or them, whether the man’s name whom they vote for begins with a B or an L?

I think Archdeacon Wrangham is very appro-
priately fixed at Humanby, and therefore I cannot consent to let him exchange livings with you. We carry on the war here against the tyrants of the lake very successfully, and meditate a battle royal tomorrow and the next day on a celebrated lake—Wyborne Water—at the foot of Helvellyn, in the Vale of St. John, where are the fairy rocks and castle sung of in the ‘
Bridal of Triermain.’ The scenery here is indeed magnificent, particularly about Wyborne Water, and the rock called the Raven’s Crag, almost twice the height of Matlock High Tor, perpendicularly over the head of the lake. Coniston, too, with its gigantic old ruin, and its bare and rugged rocks, full of copper-mines, is very grand; while Windermere, with its wide valley and undulating hills and promontories, is full of milder beauties. But the most sublime of all is Ulleswater, in its two last reaches of Lyulph’s town and Paterdale, in rowing through which I had the satisfaction (and it was a satisfaction of the highest order) to be drenched with a thunderstorm. But the spirits of the clouds and the Fells spoke in angry and fearful tones.

My best regards to Mrs. H.

S. B.

Of nearly the same date is a letter from Hodgson to Drury, in which a recent visit to Eton at election-tide is described:—

We dined on a haunch, and went in the evening to a boat on the river, to see the boats come down, fireworks, etc., etc.; all very gay. Lonsdale was with his family in the next boat. He and I were very cordial throughout; and I certainly never heard a better sermon than he preached on Sunday morning in Eton Chapel. I called on all the Fellows and on the Provost, and was civilly received by all, kindly by some. George Thackeray, as ever friendly, and Charles Yonge, the heartiest of human beings. On the Sunday I dined with Hawtrey, met a large party of Coleridges, Pattesons, etc., etc.; pleasant enough, and a most luxurious and even recherché entertainment. Coleridge, the poet’s daughter, a beautiful girl; Nelson Coleridge, a fine rattling fellow, a faint shadow of poor Bland in early life. Monday, walked in Long Chamber after speeches, and dined in Hall. Walked up Windsor on Sunday, and saw the beautiful but utterly destructive alterations in the Castle. It is all window and no wall. An absolutely modernised, brand-new, Gothic mansion. The ancient Castle is
gone, and
Edward III.’s side broken into oriel windows, and let down into the Little Park by a succession of French parterres.

On Denman’s receiving his Patent of Precedence, so long and unjustly withheld by the vindictive animosity of George IV., Hodgson wrote a letter of cordial congratulation, which was as cordially acknowledged.1

Bakewell: Dec. 8, 1828.

My dear Denman,—It is with feelings of the most unfeigned delight that I have just read in the papers the announcement of the performance of a long-delayed act of justice. If what is said of a high personage be true, his conduct on this occasion enhances the value of the act, and makes it approach to an amende honorable. For your friends, although they must indeed feel on this occasion that ‘Worth makes the man etc.,’ 2 yet as Prunella has its value too, they cannot but rejoice at its falling on such worthy shoulders. God bless you,

1 Quoted by Sir Joseph Arnould in his Life of Lord Denman.

‘Worth makes the man, the want of it the fellow;
The rest is all but leather and Prunella.’

my dear Denman, and your wife and children.
Mrs. Hodgson joins cordially in the above, and

I am
Yours affectionately,
F. Hodgson.
December 14, 1828.

My dear Hodgson,—Your friendly remembrance has been more highly prized than any other of the numerous congratulations we have received. . . . It is really a very gratifying event, and has been done in such a manner as to confer honour on all the parties concerned.1 To me it is an augury ot good feeling and justice and liberality towards that numerous class who are punished for no crime, and whose punishment does but recoil to plague the inventors.

We all unite in every good wish to Mrs. Hodgson and yourself, and I need not say how truly and affectionately

I am always yours,
Thos. Denman.

1 It was through the intervention of the Duke of Wellington that the king at last consented to waive his objection to Denman’s promotion—an objection which had no sounder foundation than that of personal pique.


In February of this year, Hobhouse writes with reference to the forthcoming ‘Memoirs’ of Lord Byron:—

Dear Hodgson,—I am glad you have seen so much of Mr. Moore. He is a most jovial person, indeed, and would amalgamate completely with you. I am also very glad that you like what you have seen of his book. . . . I have, been exceedingly embarrassed in determining what to do respecting it. My wish is to help Moore, and yet I so totally disapprove biography of the modern fashion, that I am unwilling to lend myself to any such performance.

I did not want your assurance to be convinced you would not give up letters tending to hurt the feelings of the living, or the fame of the dead. I think I know you too well; and as Moore must write this life, I am not at all sorry he has had your assistance. When, or if ever, I come to Bakewell, I shall not forget your kind invitation.

Yours very truly,
J. C. Hobhouse.1

A month later Scrope Davies writes from Ostend,

1 Afterwards Lord Broughton de Giffard.

where he was then residing, in a style which gives some idea of the charm of his companionship, to which
Byron bears testimony in more than one passage of his letters and journal.

My dear Hodgson,—Your letter, having been directed to me paste restante, did not reach me till the 16th day after its arrival at Ostend. As for Moore’s letter, Heaven only knows how long it has been slumbering. We have no dead letters here. . . .

Sir James Wedderburn (Webster), whom you must have met at Newstead, has passed a few days here, on his road to Paris. Did you ever see Lady Frances? She is the only person I ever beheld in whom was everything that the eye looks for in woman. She, and she alone of all whom I have ever seen, had the ‘vultus nimium lubricus aspici,’ ‘that beauty over which the eye glides with giddy delight, incapable of fixing upon any particular charm.’ Goldsmith makes no acknowledgment to Horace, though he is indebted to him to the above amount. Sir James has survived Waterloo, but he has not survived his love of writing. He makes ‘born’ rhyme to ‘storm,’ and ‘suspect’ rhyme to ‘respect.’ About the latter, in vain do I assert that in English
Poetry a rhyme, to be just, should not be an ‘idem,’ but a ‘simile.’ He goes on rhyming and reasoning, and both with the same success. I recollect to have heard
B. Craven say that he once found some lines on the breakfast table at Belvoir where ‘women’ was made to rhyme to ‘chimney’ (sic): and a Mr. Elton at Brussels, when I declared that not one word rhymed to chimney, exclaimed: ‘What do you say to nimbly?’ The latter is, I have no doubt, perfectly orthodox at Bristol, as the former was at Belvoir. So that a rhyme is what Voltaire said of religion, a matter of geography.

Your letter has recalled to my mind scenes the recollection of which now constitutes my only delight. Bacon somewhere in his letters observes, ‘Aristotle saith young men may be happy by hope, so why should not old men and sequestered men by remembrance?’ The past and the future are the sole object of man’s contemplation. There is no present, or if there is, it is a point on which we cannot stand. While I am now writing the future becomes the past. Happiness then is a pursuit, not an attainment. In one of those runs with the Duke of Rutland’s hounds, when the fox is killed the sport is over, or to be enjoyed again only in recollection after dinner.


Will the present ministry stand? Sir R. Wilson says they cannot settle into permanent power. So Eldon is extinct. I cannot bear to hear his adulators talking about his giving a decision without turning to the right or to the left, whereas he looked to the right and to the leftl without giving a decision. But what have I to do with politics? W. Drury 2 is doing well at Brussels. He has upwards of seventy pupils. In the summer of last year, I encountered Polehampton at Antwerp, and with him Lewis, the fishing and shooting conduct of Eton. It was amusing to observe how they viewed everything through a bad pair of English spectacles.

Adieu! and when you have nothing else to do, write to one who is out of the world.

Yours truly,
Scrope Davies.

I have just escaped a duel for having written a couplet on an amateur actor.

Not to be hiss’d delights the dunce,
But who can groan and hiss at once?
10 Place d’Armes, Ostende.

1 And the Chancellor said, ‘I doubt.’

2 Died 1878, universally beloved and lamented.


It was in this year, 1828-9, that Harry Drury was a candidate for the Head-mastership of Harrow, in which candidature he was most unexpectedly defeated by a young man, who had only quite recently taken his degree, C. J. Longley, afterwards Archbishop of Canterbury. On this subject Drury himself writes in January, 1829:—

A thousand hands could not write all the letters I have to indite. Many thanks for your very judicious and kind testimonials. I have added sundry Bishops and Heads to my heap; what invaluable men to me are Butler of Shrewsbury, Maltby, and our own dear Bayley,1 Sutton, and Frere! All goes on very well. What an infinity of old friends does this bring out! I find I have 532 friends. Now how like Hawtrey was that sentence! I am still in very confident hopes of the result, and I am sure that Batten has no chance.

Yours ever,
H. Drury.

On the same subject, Charles Yonge, Lower Master at Eton, writes:—

I am very sorry to hear that there is understood to be a probability of Henry Drury not succeeding at

1 Archdeacon Bayley.

Harrow. This is certainly a most liberal age, but I do think it will be a most disgraceful transaction if they really determine to set aside the claims of a man who has now been thirty years in the service, and introduce (as we hear) a young man just come from college. I shall not, however, believe that he can lose it, until the matter is decided. Nevertheless, in the present day, we ought not to wonder at any absurdity, any wickedness, or any treason. Do you know they have been forced to send for a tutor for King’s from (O portentorum nefas!) St. John’s, who now lectures in your Chair?

Harrow: December 29, 1828.

My dear Hodgson,—I am just off for Eton on a visit to Keate; and am so heartily tired of writing letters that I must be brief. If’ the schoolmaster is abroad,’ so are the saints; they are making prodigious efforts, and so am I. Two Governors I consider secure; from one of them I have an actual promise. Peel has written privately to me most encouragingly. I have had a private conference with the Lord Chancellor, who has most zealously assisted me by writing and canvassing in all directions; and I heard yesterday from good authority (and if so, I am indebted for it to Lonsdale) that
Archbishop of Canterbury has written to Lord Aberdeen, requesting his vote for me. In short, everybody tells me I am certain of success. I have no opponent as yet but Mills!!! who has not the chance of a fraction of a vote. Batten will only stand if the saints think the case dubious.

Now for you. I have been staying a week at Eton, and this is what I learn. Carter has a prescriptive right, as Goodall deems it, as master (not assistant) to a fellowship whenever he stands.1 And why? Because, in the examination before the House of Commons, the Provost declared that the Masters were provided for by fellowships; Jesuitically saying afterwards, that he meant by Masters only the Head and Lower Masters. My friends are very numerous and very zealous, and perhaps a little too confident.

Ever most sincerely yours,
H. Drury.

I have heard from Tom Moore this morning.

Soon after the election Lonsdale writes:—

Henry Drury bears his disappointment admirably. His account of the new state of things at Harrow

1 Hodgson was at this time a candidate for an Eton fellowship.

is most satisfactory, and the feelings which he expresses on the subject most honourable to him.

Drury himself writes:—

Derbyshire has become formidable in distance to one who has scaled the Alps, and looked down on the sun rising over the Adriatic. I certainly get less and less locomotive, and ‘I rue it,’ as Goodall did something else; but I long very much to be with you for a few days. I walk much, very much, less than I did, not so much from advancing age as from the want of a companion. I cannot bear to carry off the boys from their amusements, and my girls and wife are sorry amblers.

Butler has written to press us all, in the most warm letter, to come to him at Shrewsbury for a fortnight or more. My brother Charles is on the Rhine. But prudence says ‘no’ to a scheme which would otherwise be delightful; and which would bring us in certain contact with you. At present, I have promised Longley (who is also invited) to go with him: but it may not be. Well!! To-day is Montem. How different now from when we attended it as corporals or polemen! Do you remember Corporal Cheesement? Sir W. Milman
Polehampton dine with me to-morrow. Thirty-two years ago the former would not have sat down to table with the latter. There has been no reaction here whatever since Longley’s enthronement. I am rather in low spirits.

Ever your sincere old friend,
H. Drury.

On the seal of this letter is a musical stave with the words ‘Good night, all’s well,’ a harmonious termination to so bitter a disappointment as Drury must have experienced in his defeat.

Lonsdale, now the incumbent of a large London parish, corresponded occasionally about this time with Hodgson, chiefly on religious subjects. In a letter on the vexed question of regeneration he writes:—

I have attentively looked over your report, the regulations stated in which appear to me very carefully and judiciously drawn up. . . . I saw the attack upon Bishop Monk (and other Bishops, etc.) in the ‘Record,’ which is quite the organ of a certain party in the Church, and is very well supported by them, as they make it a point of conscience to take it in. Nothing can be more uncandid than the general
tone of the criticism; and the dislike of the writer to our friend, and such as him, is cordial enough. But I must say, entre nous, that the sermon does neither him nor the cause much credit, as a composition; though I quite agree with you in thinking that it affords no ground for a charge of heterodoxy.

The regeneration question is indeed a vexatious and a hopeless one; though I do not see that it need be so, if truth and charity, and not faction, were the leading principles with the disputers. I cannot, however, allow that blame attaches to both sides in equal proportions. The Bishop of Chester, I think, somewhere suggests recourse in this case to the method so strongly recommended by your old friend Locke, viz.: a definition of ‘regeneration’ by the contending parties before dispute. It would thus be found that they who contend for baptismal regeneration, do not attach those ideas to the term, which they are accused of doing by their opponents.

I will not talk about the Reform Bill with you—I doubt with you we should not agree—not even upon the principle. Hallam, whose authority on such a question must have great weight, is decidedly against those with whom all his notions
and habits would lead him to agree—the Whigs—on the present occasion. Have you seen the weekly newspaper, set up and edited by
Arnold, the master of Rugby—the ‘Englishman’s Register?’ Four numbers are out; it is worth looking at. He is a decided reformer. The first article, entitled ‘Our Object,’ will put you at once in possession of his views. Fancy Keate being the conductor of a newspaper, in addition to his labours as teacher, legislator, executioner, etc.1

The occupations of a Head-master some fifty years ago were not so strictly limited, as in the present day, to school work and discipline. Dr. Keate held a canonry at Windsor, as well as a living; the multifarious avocations of Dr. Butler of Shrewsbury are touchingly described in the following letter:—

My dear friend,—Nothing has occasioned my silence but incessant, wearing, and exhaustive occupation. My papers now lie in heaps two feet high on two tables. I am in the midst of drawing petitions to both houses of Parliament respecting our school lawsuit, the perusal of papers for which is enough for a moderate man’s life; the assistance I am giving to the memoirs of Parr; the dreadful labour of
doing what no man ever yet has done—ascertaining the quantities (by reference) of proper names for an index to my maps, besides my usual labours with a fifth and sixth form of 120 boys, and the care and superintendence of all the rest, and of my archdeaconry, the latter a far more troublesome office than you may imagine; add to this some thirty or forty workmen who require some little superintendence (and even a little adds to what is much) and who have been now near five months at work, building me a house in the school-lane, the whole of which I have purchased, pulled down, and am rebuilding, and you may well imagine I am not able to reply by return of post.

I have fresh plagues at Kenilworth,1 which in the course of the last eight months will have cost me near four years of the clear income it produces. I heartily wish I had resigned it ten years ago. But a truce to torments which irritate me of late by their apparently endless multiplication.

The successes of his favourite pupil, now Greek professor at Cambridge, must have been some consolation to the over-worked Head-master, who thus curtly announces them:—

1 His living.

Greek ode:
B. H. Kennedy; Latin ode: B. H. Kennedy; Person Prize: B. H. Kennedy. O rare Ben! so my dream has not gone by contraries.

About this time Denman writes on various subjects, ecclesiastical and political, in a somewhat desultory style, of which the following fragment is a fair specimen:—

Do you know Townshend, the anti-Catholic champion? I was thrown into acquaintance and conversation with him for some hours (before a committee of the H. of C.), and rather interested by his conversation. Though he writes all on one side, he reads and buys all on all, and brought with him two of the best pro-Catholic pamphlets, which I had not read before. One of them, Lord Holland’s letter to Dr. Shuttleworth, is really on one point, the recent conversions and their effect on the great question, most admirable. I wonder whether Dr. S. will answer in print. Brougham writes that it will be hard indeed for C.1 to be obliged to make Philpott and Copleston bishops, and Copley Chancellor, for deserting and abusing him and his principles.

1 Canning.


Drury continued to bear his failure cheerfully, and soon wrote again in the genial style which characterised him:—

Three Governors have assured me that the prize was mine unanimously, had not Longley accepted; and that no word of disrespect to me was ever breathed; that all my competitors were deemed totally incompetent; but that the abstract idea of a ‘young Cam stranger’ was from the first sure to weigh over any claims, testimonials, or private friendship. And the matter of the election having now past . . . I cannot but congratulate Harrow on the acquisition it is likely to make, in a man at the same time so popular and so able as Mr. Longley, who, in a visit he has been paying me of a week, appears to me to have no other fault, but a predominant love of music. He and I are determined to act together in a most friendly and energetic manner. We are already sworn brothers. I feel no jealousy of him; am convinced, however ill I have been used, all is for the best; and look forward to bright and brilliant days once more for old Harrow.

Longley will introduce all I intended, I believe, and I trust (which I would and declared I should
have done) will gradually get rid of flogging, at least above the fourth form. I have recommended him to do private modern literature twice a week, of nights, with his upper boys. He will alter nothing of the basis of the system. He is to take no private pupils. Under these circumstances I should have lost half my income by my success. He gives up £2,000 per annum and only finds seven boys in
Butler’s house.

I suppose the fellowship at Eton was decided yesterday.1 Keate and the masters have been finely hoaxed about the great eight oar. The boys drest up cads to represent them, as Keate threatened expulsion to going on the water before Easter. The boys declared they would go. Accordingly all the masters, on horse and foot, assembled at the Brocas. The boys lined all the hedges and hooted them. The great eight appeared, rowed to Surley Hall, the masters all following, and back again, masters crying out, ‘Lord So and So, I know you.’ ‘Watson, you had better come to shore,’ etc. All Windsor and Eton out. The joke was so well kept up that they returned to the Brocas, the masters still on the bank, and disem-

1 This letter is quoted in part by Mr. Maxwell Lyte in his History of Eton College.

barked before they were discovered, or an idea formed but that they were Etonians. Keate then declared that there should be no Easter holidays, unless victims were given up. Some twenty of those who lined the hedges were then immolated; but, though most of the masters enjoy the joke, Keate sits in sullen retirement and eats his own soul.

I am going to spend the day at Hounslow, to see the glorious Protestant procession to Windsor. I suppose the Duke of Wellington, who is decidedly aiming at the sovereignty, will lie in ambush at Colnbrook, and make another Bridge of Lodi at Longford.

The beautiful old church at Bakewell was in urgent need of restoration—a work to which Hodgson applied himself with his usual energy, and to which he thus alludes in a letter to Drury:—

The tower of our old church is taken down, and without loss of life or limb to the workmen. But a part of the building is so decayed that, in propping it the other day (nam sic labentibus obstat villicus—i.e. the churchwarden), it gave such symptoms of nodding to a fall that the labourers desisted in alarm. A pleasant prospect!


Lonsdale’s next letter refers to the Divine Government of mankind.

I cannot but say to you that I cordially agree in your general view of the high matters upon which you have written. Your instances of predisposition appear to me very happily chosen; nor do I see that any conclusion but that to which you have come, can possibly be drawn from them. Still it will hardly be contended that very many individuals, equally well predisposed with those mentioned by you, have not existed, to whom the same degree of favour has not been shown. And with regard to nations, the Jews are continually spoken of in Scripture as having enjoyed their peculiar privileges, ‘because God had a favour unto them,’ with respect at least to their own qualities; though undoubtedly with express reference to the good qualities of their father Abraham. No less clear is it, that very different portions have been assigned to different nations throughout the world, in the dispensations both of nature and of grace. I think you misunderstood me when you thought me ‘disposed to allow too little to the God of nature.’ I perfectly agree with you as to the plain meaning of those passages in which God is spoken of as not
having ‘left Himself without witness,’ and as having given ‘a law in the hearts’ of men; and which
Ellis, in his ‘Knowledge of Divine Things,’ appears to me to have in vain endeavoured to explain away, if I remember him right. As perfectly do I concur with you (God forbid that I should not) in a conviction that, whatever may be the import of ‘certain texts,’ all things will in the end appear to have worked together for good, as far as the freedom allowed to men (for purposes even by us discernible as wise) would permit.

The result, however, of efforts which we cannot hope to surpass, forces upon us the conclusion, that the clouds and darkness round about ‘God’s dealings with man,’ must ever remain, in a very great degree, impenetrable, while we continue what we are. Still, there is light in the Gospel amply sufficient for guidance and consolation to the humble and sober mind. The ‘quiet day,’ to which you look forward, will be fully as gratifying to me, as to yourself. In the meantime believe me,

Dear Hodgson,
Always sincerely yours,
John Lonsdale.

A letter from Denman to his second daughter,
Mrs. Hodgson, contains an allusion illustrative of Denman’s ardent admiration of Fox.

Holkham:1 1829-30.

It is just midnight. The old year is in the act of leaving us, and the new year is darting into his place, when I address you, my dear Bess, from my solitary, but superb and tapestried, chamber, with all possible good wishes that the flight of time may be constantly marked with new blessings to you. We are taking holiday with Mr. Coke, who is all kindness and hospitality; Lady Anne unaffected, good-humoured, and very sensible and entertaining; the four boys perfect models of health, playfulness, and hardihood. . . . I wish you could see Sir Joshua’s original picture of Fox, painted for Lord Crewe, and left by his lordship to Coke;—the finest picture Reynolds ever painted, and one of the finest faces the Almighty ever formed. There is something inexpressibly attractive in the old gossip relating to him with which this place abounds.

We have been riding on the sea-sands among the wild geese to-day, and are to visit Hoghton, Lord Orford’s seat, to-morrow.

1 The seat of Mr. Coke, afterwards Earl of Leicester.