LORD  BYRON  and  his  TIMES
Documents Biography Criticism

My Friends and Acquaintance
R. Plumer Ward XX

Vol I Contents
Charles Lamb I
Charles Lamb II
Charles Lamb III
Charles Lamb IV
Charles Lamb V
Charles Lamb VI
Charles Lamb VII
Charles Lamb VIII
Charles Lamb IX
Charles Lamb X
Thomas Campbell I
Thomas Campbell II
Thomas Campbell III
Thomas Campbell IV
Thomas Campbell V
Thomas Campbell VI
Thomas Campbell VII
Lady Blessington I
Lady Blessington II
Lady Blessington III
Lady Blessington IV
Lady Blessington V
R. Plumer Ward I
R. Plumer Ward II
R. Plumer Ward III
R. Plumer Ward IV
R. Plumer Ward V
R. Plumer Ward VI
Appendix vol I
Vol II Contents
R. Plumer Ward VII
R. Plumer Ward VIII
R. Plumer Ward IX
R. Plumer Ward X
R. Plumer Ward XI
R. Plumer Ward XII
R. Plumer Ward XIII
R. Plumer Ward XIV
R. Plumer Ward XV
R. Plumer Ward XVI
R. Plumer Ward XVII
R. Plumer Ward XVIII
R. Plumer Ward XIX
‣ R. Plumer Ward XX
R. Plumer Ward XXI
R. Plumer Ward XXII
R. Plumer Ward XXIII
Horace & James Smith I
Horace & James Smith II
William Hazlitt I
William Hazlitt II
William Hazlitt III
William Hazlitt IV
William Hazlitt V
William Hazlitt VI
William Hazlitt VII
William Hazlitt VIII
Appendix vol II
Vol III Contents
William Hazlitt IX
William Hazlitt X
William Hazlitt XI
William Hazlitt XII
William Hazlitt XIII
William Hazlitt XIV
William Hazlitt XV
William Hazlitt XVI
William Hazlitt XVII
William Hazlitt XVIII
William Hazlitt XIX
William Hazlitt XX
William Hazlitt XXI
William Hazlitt XXII
William Hazlitt XXIII
William Hazlitt XXIV
William Hazlitt XXV
William Hazlitt XXVI
Laman Blanchard I
Laman Blanchard II
Laman Blanchard III
Laman Blanchard IV
Laman Blanchard V
Laman Blanchard VI
Laman Blanchard VII
Laman Blanchard VIII
R & T Sheridan I
R & T Sheridan II
R & T Sheridan III
R & T Sheridan IV
R & T Sheridan V
R & T Sheridan VI
R & T Sheridan VII
R & T Sheridan VIII
Creative Commons License

Licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 Unported License.
Produced by CATH

The following letters will speak for themselves. They were written immediately after the publication of “De Clifford; or, the Constant Man.”

R. Plumer Ward to P. G. Patmore.
“Okeover, March 30, 1841.

Dear Patmore,—I cannot help writing to say that I have finished ‘Cecil,’ and am greatly amused with its ineffable wit and impertinence. I feel your criticism in every line of it—‘flashy, and crammed too full of cleverness to be good for much, except to kill time.’ As I suppose Lord Howden* meant no more, it would not be fair to criticise it.

“As to its moral, it is entirely of the Bulwer school, savouring much of Pelham,

* For some weeks after the publication of “Cecil,” its authorship (since avowed by Mrs. Gore) was attributed to Lord Howden.

and the new plan of holding up one’s fathers and mothers to ridicule. Nevertheless, the epigrammatic turns and descriptions make it very pleasant; and the pathetic parts (though Emily Barnet is a failure) give promise of much power. As a proof of it, the gipsy gave me a sad nightmare. * * *

“By a puff in the ‘Observer’ I see the Baron de Clifford is out.

“Should you see any review, good, bad, or indifferent, in any other papers, morning, evening, weekly, or monthly, I will beg you to send them, and I will reimburse expenses directly. I suppose there can hardly be one in the ‘New Monthly.’ If there is, will you send it?

“I would gladly spare you this trouble, but I know not how to describe what I want to a common newsman, who can obey a matter of fact, but hardly a discretionary order, which a conditional one would be.

“If you have any more boudoir gossip, I shall be glad of it, being so much out of the world; but I own it is not fair to ask it, absorbed as you are. A reason why I should say adieu.

R. P. W.”
R. Plumer Ward to P. G. Patmore.
“Okeover, April 9, 1841.
“Dear Patmore,—
* * * * * *

“Very few things could give me more pleasure than what you communicated in your last; and I trust it will, for the present at least, quiet your not unnatural anxieties. I cannot at all flatter myself that anything was able to say to —— influenced his change of decision; but from very sincere regard for your interest, and very unceasing wonder, as well as regret, to think you in a position so totally unworthy your attainments and deserts, I should be glad to think I could have been of the smallest service; which, however, I do not.

“I would have answered your letter much sooner, but have been, I trust not dangerously, but uncomfortably ill, so as to be particularly disabled from writing, the attack having been of bilious giddiness. I quite enter into the propriety of your resolution, as soon as possible to set yourself free from the uncertainties of a situation so totally
unworthy of you. I, therefore, am glad to think you persist in the contemplation of using your own resources as an author, as well as, or in addition to, those to which you condescend, for so I must call it.

* * * * * *

“As to my bantling, I am an utter blank concerning it, having heard no one word about it, good or bad; except, indeed, from my sister-in-law, Lady Mulgrave, who, upon the information of about half the first volume, compliments me upon what she calls a freshness equal to ‘Tremaine.’ Well, if the world will think so too, no bad account.

Next week, I suppose, will bring something.

* * * * * *

“Enough this, for a still giddy man; so I will no more than that I am as usual, “Much yours,

“R. P. W.

“I could not make out the name you gave to your supposed author of ‘Cecil.’ Pray repeat it. I have looked in vain for any other review than yours of the ‘Engagement.’ Extraordinary!”

R. Plumer Ward to P. G. Patmore.
“Okeover, April 12, 1841.

My dear Patmore,—Very many thanks for your kind communication. In my total dearth of intelligence respecting my bantling, it was worth a good deal; and the —— is really very flattering. I am quite surprised at the non-appearance of the work till last Wednesday. My copies certainly came before. I suppose there will be a notice in the next ——, and I hope it will be by a certain friend of mine. I will spare you the trouble as to the next week, by ordering it of my newsman.

“Pray can you tell me the writer of the little scrap in the —— ——, whose play upon ‘Time’ you made me notice.

“You did not tell me the name I could not make out as the author of ‘Cecil.’ Sir Greorge Anson says it is reported to be a Mr. Fairchild; probably thicker skinned than he of ‘De Clifford.’ I saw the notice of the ‘Engagement’ in the ——, but, except the extract from your own ample review of it, it was I thought, rather meagre.


You said you had two reviews of De C. to accomplish. Is the other for the next ‘New Monthly?’

“I shall look out for your promised letter in answer to mine on your own subject, and only repeating, that there is no man’s well-doing in which I take a greater interest,

“I remain, dear Patmore,
“Much and truly yours,
”R. P. Ward.

“Since writing the above, I am much amused with a paragraph in the ‘Globe,’ Sir George Anson’s paper, which he has just brought me, fixing many of the characters in ‘De Clifford’ as portraits of originals, particularly Lord Rochfort, whom, it says, everybody will recognise. It is, at least, more than I can do myself, any more than Albany, and others mentioned. If this goes on, I shall have a fine kettle of fish, as Western says.

“Would you have me disclaim all this? or do you think it a refined puff oblique of the shop? The paragraph desires a key from the publisher; you know there is no such key. The only real bonâ fide sketch I know
of is my dearest and earliest friend, whose picture Manners descants upon at the Grange, under the initials of Sir M. S. S. This was certainly
Sir Michael Shaw Stewart, father of the late baronet, and this I should not be sorry for the world to know, if they thought it worth while. There are also resemblances here and there to Lord Mulgrave, my most revered connexion and friend, in Lord Castleton; but these are confined to his high sense of honour, disinterested plainness, and love of letters. All the other portraits are, as you know, of a class, not individuals.”

R. Plumer Ward to P. G. Patmore.
“Sunday, April 18, 1841.

“Well, I have to thank you for a great deal of good-natured zeal for my author feelings (I will not, after being so hackneyed in them, call them anxieties), in sending me the ——, the ——, and the ——.

“In the last, I doubt, there was much more than the mere transmission; for, besides that I know it is one of your papers, I am well persuaded that no one but yourself is, or can be, so kind as to write of me in a
manner so forcibly and brilliantly eloquent as that paper has done. It had all its due effect upon a large party here, and somewhat, no doubt, upon myself. For, allowing all I could for our friendship, and knowing your fiertè as to the independence of your opinions, I could not but believe, as well as hope, that there must be some merit in what had called forth such an eulogy; and so,
Master P. G. Patmore, I acknowledge that you have given me very great pleasure by what you have said, even if only a quarter of it were really deserved, and three quarters set down to the account of friendship.

“I begin to receive other notices besides those in the papers. I mean in private reports, which are very comfortable; but I can hardly hope that, sixteen years (it my age too) after ‘Tremaine,’ what Mrs. Austen says is thought can be true,—that De Clifford is more vigorous and equally fresh with ‘Tremaine.’

“And so, repeating thanks and good wishes, I am, as usual, yours,

“R. P. W.”
R. Plumer Ward to P. G. Patmore.
“Okeover, April 25, 1843.

Dear Patmore,—No end to my thanks to you. This day’s —— is more glowing even than the last. You are certainly resolved to allay any anxiety I might have (even were it greater than it is) as to the fate of ‘De Clifford.’ You have, I have no doubt, also given the tone to others, whose proofs of favour, through to-day’s post, in addition to those during the week, have flowed in beyond imagination. Can you help me to find out the authors of some of them, especially of the article in the ‘Britannia’? If Dr. ——, who I heard wrote in that paper, I shall be flattered. There was also a notice in the ‘Morning Herald,’ of last Tuesday (the 20th), very eloquent indeed, and very clear; perhaps, yours? If not, I should really like to know by whom, if you can help me.

“Many private letters (one from a gentleman, a Mr. Stevens, whom I don’t know, but evidently a person of reading and education,) ought also to satisfy me that I have got the town with me, and, as Pope said, ‘I will
therefore not fear the highflyers of Button’s.’

* * * * * *

“I see you have lost your dramatic mentor and neighbour Reynolds, who agreed so with me about your comedy. I have no patience with your modesty, and have long hoped said comedy would be in rehearsal. I also wish to hear more of your decision as to your other manuscripts, actual or intended. Pray write to me when you can, though I know how much you must be engaged. Meantime, believe me, always yours,

“R. P. W.”
R. Plumer Ward to P. G. Patmore.
“Okeover, May 2, 1841.

My dear Patmore,—“While I thank you for your letter, all I can say in answer to it is that you are a comical fellow, if that term can apply to a man who honestly confesses what I, for one, have long found out—that he is troubled with a morbid sensibility. I am in twenty minds whether, even now, though you have returned it, I will not still send my letter to Sir John. The awkwardness to me is nothing in comparison with a wish
to do what you may think might be becoming in you. I am restrained, therefore, only by your positive injunctions.

C. is a funny little fellow, with his silence, and his shrewdness, and his procrastination. If he is satisfied with the reception of “De Clifford,” I certainly am. It is beyond what I could hope, far more expect, and no post but brings me an account of its success.

“Best of all, I am held to be Manners. It could not please me more. And so no more at present from your friend,

“R. P. W.

“Since writing the above I have a letter from Mrs. Austen. She says there is a ‘most beautiful’ review of De C. in the ‘New Monthly,’ which she attributes to Theodore.”