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Memoirs of the Rev. Samuel Parr
Ch X. 1816-1820

Ch. I. 1747-1752
Ch. II. 1752-1761
Ch. III. 1761-1765
Ch. IV. 1765-1766
Ch. V. 1767-1771
Ch. VI. 1771
Ch. VII. 1771-1776
Ch. VIII. 1771-1776
Ch. IX. 1776-1777
Ch. X. 1779-1786
Ch. XI. 1779-1786
Ch. XII. 1779-1786
Ch. XIII. 1780-1782
Ch. XIV. 1786-1789
Ch. XV. 1786-1790
Ch. XVI. 1776-1790
Ch. XVII. 1787
Ch. XVIII. 1789
Ch. XIX. 1790-1792
Ch. XX. 1791-1792
Ch. XXI. 1791-1796
Ch. XXII. 1794-1795
Ch. XXIII. 1794
Ch. XXIV. 1794-1800
Ch. XXV. 1794-1800
Ch. XXVI. 1800-1803
Ch. XXVII. 1801-1803
Ch. XXVIII. 1800-1807
Vol. II Contents
Ch I. 1800-1807
Ch II. 1807-1810
Ch III. 1809
Ch IV. 1809-1812
Ch V. 1810-1813
Ch VI. 1811-1815
Ch VII. 1812-1815
Ch VIII. 1816-1820
Ch IX. 1816-1820
‣ Ch X. 1816-1820
Ch XI. 1816-1820
Ch XII. 1816-1820
Ch XIII. 1816-1820
Ch XIV. 1819
Ch XV. 1820-1821
Ch XVI. 1816-1820
Ch XVII. 1820-1824
Ch XVIII. 1820-1824
Ch XIX. 1820-1824
Ch XX. 1820-1825
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Produced by CATH
A.D. 1816—1820.
Dr. Parr’s friends in his later years—Mr. Chandos Leigh—Mr. Webb—Dr. Maltby—Dr. Butler—Mr. R. Kennedy—Mr. Corrie—Mr. Bartlam—Mr. Coke—Mr. Roscoe—Duke of Sussex—Dukes of Bedford, Norfolk, and Leinster—Lord Holland—Lord John Russell—Mr. Rogers, &c. &c. &c.—Dr. Parr’s admiration of female excellence in Mrs. Sheridan—Mrs. Opie—Mrs. Dealtry, &c.

Whilst Dr. Parr, advancing beyond the age of seventy, had, like all who approach the extreme limits of human existence, to lament the loss of most of his earliest, and many of his best friends; there were still many, in whose society he sought and found the enjoyments, which social intercourse always afforded him in so high a degree. Among these, in his immediate neighbourhood, besides his old friends, Mr. Greatheed, Mr. Tomes, and Mr. Parkes, were Mr. Twamley of Warwick, Dr. Middleton of Leamington, and the late truly upright and amiable Bayes Cotton, Esq. of Kenilworth; for whom, and for all the members of his large family,1 he entertained a sincere and affectionate regard.

He had also, in 1813, the happiness of acquiring an excellent neighbour and friend, in the late J. H.

1 “I give a ring to Samuel Cotton, Esq. of Basinghall-street, as a mark of my personal esteem for him and his family, and of my thankfulness for his meritorious kindness to my grand-daughters.”—Dr. Parr’s will.

Leigh, Esq.; who, about that time, came into possession of the noble mansion and vast estates of Stoneleigh Abbey; and, after his death another, in his son and successor, Chandos Leigh, Esq.:” of whom Dr. Parr expressed his opinion in the following terms—“a lively companion, an elegant scholar, a zealous patriot, and an amiable and honourable man.” He often congratulated the friends of liberty in Warwickshire, on the support which their cause must derive from the residence among them of one, so ardently devoted to it, and possessing the influence, which rank and fortune always command; and most of all, when adorned and dignified by cultivated talent, and by pure and elevated character.

Another event of recent date, which Dr. Parr hailed, he said, “with swelling pride and thrilling joy,” as happy for Warwickshire, was, the appearance of a zealous patriot, where it might be least expected, in the ranks of its gentry: among whom, perhaps, more than in any other county, the highest toryism, it is well known, thrives in all its vigour. This was Arthur Gregory, Esq. of Stivichall; who, rejecting the more confined and less generous views of those immediately around him, adopted as the result of his own inquiries, and avowed, from the impulse of his own high and independent spirit, the wiser and sounder principles, which derive the origin of all just govern-

1Three Tracts, &c.Juvenile Poems, &c. by Chandos Leigh, &c.—The gifts of the author, an ingenious poet, an elegant scholar, and my much-esteemed friend.”—Bibl. Parr. p. 523.

ment from the will of the people, and place the true end of it in its fitness to secure and promote their freedom, their improvement, and their happiness.

The writer is ambitious to record in his pages the honour of another distinguished patriot, ardent, active, long-tried, well-proved, of whom Dr. Parr entertained a high opinion; and whose exertions in cherishing the sacred flame of liberty, especially in times when it seemed to be almost expiring, have conferred the most important obligations on Warwickshire. To none, living within the precincts of the county, would it be necessary to subjoin the name of Francis Canning, Esq. of Foxcote.

Though from the days of John Rous, the celebrated antiquary, who died in the reign of Henry VII., through a long succession of years, Warwick has produced no person of eminence in learning or science; yet now it may boast of having given birth to a man of genius and a scholar, in Walter Savage Landor, Esq., author of “Gebirus,” and of “Idyllia Heroica,” &c., and is still more known to the public as the author of “Imaginary Conversations:” a work generally and justly admired for the originality of thought, the depth of reflection, and the free and fearless spirit of inquiry, which it exhibits; and for the style, always animated, and often powerful, in which it is written. Mr. Landor has, for some time past, ceased to reside in his native town; but, whilst a near neighbour, he was a frequent visitor of Dr. Parr, at Hatton; who, in a letter of introduction to a literary friend, thus speaks of him:—“In the course of the summer, you will be called upon by Mr.
Walter Landor, who is going on a tour to the lakes. He is my particular friend. He is impetuous, openhearted, magnanimous; largely furnished with general knowledge; well versed in the best classical writers; a man of original genius, as appears in his compositions both in prose and verse; a keen hater of oppression and corruption; and a steady friend to civil and religious liberty. I am confident you will be much interested by his conversation; and it is my good fortune to know that his talents, attainments, and virtues, amply compensate for all his singularities.”

Warwick may also reckon with pride another in the number of its native sons, Mr. Badams, who has acquired much and deserved celebrity by great powers of mind, ardently devoted to the pursuits of science and the improvement of the useful arts. Among the excellencies to be recorded by the biographer of Dr. Parr, one is the care and the kindness, with which he air ways noticed and fostered retired, modest, and especially youthful talent and merit. Many are the young men whom, at different times, he received into his protection; whom he aided by his instructions, guided by his advice, and encouraged by his praise; and among these may be particularly mentioned Mr. Badams, and Wm. Lowndes, Esq. The former is now rising high in fame and fortune, as an ingenious, laborious, and successful chymist, at Birmingham; the latter has appeared with distinguished reputation, as a barrister, in the Court of Chancery; and few have done more honour to the sagacity which first discerned and to the friendly anxiety and assiduity, which
afterwards watched and cherished the opening qualities of mind and character, which in these, and other instances, have since been displayed in their full expansion to the world.

The writer well remembers an interesting story told him by Dr. Parr, of a young man of promising abilities, whom he found in the station of a common servant; who, under his auspices, received an education sufficient to qualify him for entering into holy orders; who, in consequence of his strong recommendations, was regularly ordained by the bishop; and who is now a clergyman of the church, in the west of England. Other instances of a similar kind are well known to many of his friends.

Among those in his immediate neighbourhood, with whom Dr. Parr most frequently associated, and to whom he was most indebted for those little personal attentions which contributed to the ease and comfort of his later years, were the Rev. Elias Webb,1 and the Rev. John Kendall. For some time past, the Rev. Dr. Wade2 has been necessarily resident at Cambridge; yet he always rejoiced

1Virgilii Opera, cura et studio H. Justice.—This volume was given to Dr. Parr by his much-esteemed neighbour, the Rev. Elias Webb.”—Bibl. Parr. p. 695.

2 This gentleman adopts for his model the subject of these “Memoirs,” as the most perfect and attractive example of religious charity, which has been, in our time, exhibited. That he has largely imbibed the spirit he professes to admire, and that he is a disciple worthy of the master he has chosen to follow, is proved by his excellent “Letter to the late Mr. Canning,” in which he nobly declares himself the advocate of unlimited toleration; and by another letter, which is here, with his permission, subjoined. It is addressed to the present writer;

when opportunity offered to renew his visits at Hatton, and was always received with the kindest welcome. Of other clerical friends, there were few in whose society Dr. Parr more delighted than in that of the
Reverend Dr. Butler, Rann Kennedy, J. Corrie, and J. Yates.1 The two former are distinguished members of his own church; and the two latter were not less the object of his esteem, because they belonged to another. As his attentive and obliging amanuensis, who resided for some time under his roof, Dr. Parr owed much to the services of E. H. Barker, Esq. of Thetford, formerly of Trinity College, Cambridge, and Editor of “Henry Stephens’ Thesaurus.”

But there was no one of his friends in whom he

who is sure that his readers, if capable in any degree of admiring generous sentiments of candour, clothed in the most graceful and engaging forms, will peruse it with high delight.

1 See a tribute to the memory of Dr. Parr, given by the Rev. Mr. Yates in a sermon delivered at the New Meeting-house, Birmingham.—App. No. VIII.

reposed greater confidence, and for whom he felt more affectionate regard, than the late
Rev. John Bartlam, formerly his pupil, afterwards his almost constant domestic visitant; who devoted himself for many years, by every kind and prompt exertion of personal service, to his ease and happiness; and on whose death, which happened two years before his own, Dr. Parr said, and might well say, “that the loss of a companion so amiable, and of a friend so faithful, was to him irreparable.”

Dr. Parr’s love of social intercourse led him to seek the pleasures of it, beyond the limits of his own neighbourhood, by frequent excursions to the residence of distant friends; and so extensive was his acquaintance, that he found, in almost every part of the kingdom, those whose doors gladly opened to receive him. There were few of his numerous visits of which he was accustomed to speak with more satisfaction than those to Mr. Dealtry of Bradenham, Mr. Bartlam of Alcester, and Dr. Maltby of Bugden. It was impossible that he should not feel the honour and the pleasure of having been several times a welcomed guest at Arundel Castle, at Woburn Abbey, at Cossey Hall,1 and in the mansion of the Princess of Wales at Blackheath.

But gratifying to him, above most others, were his visits to Holkham, the seat of Thomas William Coke, Esq.; in whose friendly regards he had the happiness to obtain a high place. Here he often passed several weeks, in the full enjoyment of all the pleasures which a princely abode, surrounded

1 The seat of the present Lord Stafford.

by beautiful scenery, and splendid entertainments, graced and enlivened by well-informed and well-selected company, could afford. In a letter to his friend,
Mr. Parkes, dated Holkham, August 22, 1816, thus in gay and animated strains his pen flows on:—“I arrived here on Monday; and here for some time I shall stay. Oh! you ought to be with us! in a mansion so magnificent—with banquets so hospitable—in society so enlightened, and interesting—and with a host so intelligent, upright, polite, magnanimous, and benevolent. How do I wish you were here!—S. P.”

The pure and exalted character, traced by a few strokes in the above letter, is drawn with a stronger hand, and somewhat more at length, in the following dedicatory lines, beginning with what the distinguished patriot probably regards as not the least part of his praise. They are addressed to him, “as the personal and political friend of the late Charles James Fox—the faithful and independent representative of the county of Norfolk—the judicious and munificent promoter of agricultural improvements—the steady guardian of constitutional freedom—the resolute opposer of intolerance, corruption, and unnecessary war—a gentleman in his manners and spirit—and a Christian in his faith and practice.”

Speaking of the “great commoner,” as he loved to designate him, when his fair claims to the honours of the peerage had been the subject of discussion, Dr. Parr said, “Talk of titles! why, Coke of Norfolk is a higher title than any that kings can bestow!” A last grateful and admiring
testimony he has placed among the records of his “Will,” in the few expressive words following: “To his honoured friend and patron, Thomas Coke, Esq. of Holkham, whose exemplary virtues in public and private life shed additional lustre upon his ample fortune and his elevated station in society.”

But even the charms of Holkham scarcely exceeded, in Dr. Parr’s estimation, the pleasures which his visits afforded him at Allerton Hall, near Liverpool, at that time the residence of William Roscoe, Esq.1 The publication of “the Life of Lorenzo de Medici,” as already noticed, led to an epistolary correspondence; and from that time Dr. Parr conceived and cherished the desire of forming a personal acquaintance with the author: but it was not till the year 1806 that a favourable opportunity occurred. Early in the spring of that year, for the first time, he visited Mr. Roscoe at Allerton: and how much he was delighted by the attentions which he received, and by the society to which he was introduced, he has himself expressed in a letter, dated Hatton, March 25, 1806, of which the following is an extract:—“Dear Mr. Roscoe,—I am now in my sixtieth year. I have conversed with the wisest and most learned of my contemporaries; and I say to you, with great sincerity, that the days, I spent with you and your family, were among the happiest days of my life.

1Thesaurus Cornucopiæ et Horti Adonidis Græce, folio, &c.—This book was given me by my most enlightened and honourable friend, William Roscoe, Esq. of Liverpool. S. P.”—Bibl. Parr. p. 268.

I shall remember you; I shall esteem you; I shall praise you; I shall bless you, one and all, again and again. Yes! dear sir, I am thankful to Heaven, for granting me such an intellectual and such a moral repast. I shall again be thankful, if I am permitted again to see you and your wife and children. I am, &c.—S. P.”

A second visit to the same friendly circle, and to the same hospitable mansion, took place in the autumn of 1815; the pleasures of which Dr. Parr anticipated in the following letter, dated Hatton, Sept. 5, 1815:—

“Dear and excellent Mr. Roscoe,—I am looking eagerly forward to the visit which I am to pay you at Liverpool; and most sincerely do I rejoice that my long-tried friend, and much-respected patron, Mr. Coke, is to be of the party. Now, dear sir, I will open to you a little of my views, with unfeigned and unusual gladness. I shall first sojourn with you at Allerton, and shall take care my stay be not tiresome to you. I have promised to spend two or three days with Mr. Martin. I shall give one day to Dr. Crompton, and another to Mr. Shepherd.1 I very seldom preach, except in my own parish church; but, having lately made two sermons, I shall, perhaps, deliver them in your neighbourhood, if the Principal of Brazen-nose should be resident at Liverpool,

1Microcosmography, or a Piece of the World Discovered, &c.—The gift of my learned friend, the Rev. Mr. Shepherd of Gateacre, Oct. 6, 1815. S. P.”—Bibl. Parr. p. 377. Of the same friend Dr. Parr thus speaks in a letter to Mr. Roscoe:—“Give my best compliments and best wishes to my intelligent, high-spirited, and very honest brother pastor, Mr. Shepherd.”

and think it worth his while to offer me his pulpit. I heard the other day from Mr. Coke. He will write to me again from
Lord Anson’s, and fix the day on which we are to set out. I am, &c.—S. P.”

His renewed intercourse with a family, whom he so much esteemed, in company with his excellent friend and patron, and the enlightened society, which he met, rendered his second visit to Allerton Hall as delightful as the first. Thus he expressed his happy and grateful feelings, in a few lines of acknowledgment to his kind host and hostess:—

“And now, dear sir, I must entreat you and Mrs. Roscoe to accept my warm and unfeigned thanks for the hospitable and friendly reception, with which you honoured me at Allerton. To the latest hour of my life shall I remember my tour, with joy and even triumph. Within the same space of time, never was so much happiness, intellectual and moral, crowded upon my mind. Within the same circuit of place, I never met with so many enlightened and interesting companions. As I lay great stress on all the little courtesies, which endear man to man, I beg you will remember me, in strong terms of tenderness and respect, to Mrs. and Misses Roscoe and your sons, to Mr. and Mrs. Martin and their little ones, to Mr. and Mrs. Shepherd, to Dr. Bostock, Dr. Trail, &c. &c. &c. I am, with high regard, yours,—

S. Parr.”
“Hatton, November 20th.”

Among his distant excursions, one of the most frequent and most agreeable to Dr. Parr was a visit to the metropolis. Here, when his stay was
long, he usually went into lodgings, generally in Carey-street, near the residence of the eminent solicitor, and his own faithful legal adviser,
Henry Hoyle Oddie, Esq. This gentleman was a profound admirer of Mr. Pitt, and the intrepid defender of all his measures At his hospitable table, Dr. Parr was often engaged with him “in tremendous colloquial conflicts” on political subjects: on which occasions, says a friend who was sometimes present, “the violence of each was alarming; but they always parted in good humour.”—“His understanding,” said Dr. Parr, speaking of Mr. Oddie, “is one of the strongest I ever grappled with; and his heart is excellent: but, in politics, he is a fanatic.”1

On his arrival in Carey-street, Dr. Parr soon found himself numerously attended by friends, who hastened to him with their kind inquiries and obliging invitations; and often by strangers, who were desirous, from the celebrity of his name, to be introduced to his acquaintance. During his whole stay, though extended to the length of five or six weeks, he was generally engaged to dine out every day, with some public or private party.

From the time of rising to a late hour in the afternoon, he usually remained at his lodgings; and during almost the whole interval, he might have been said to hold a levee, so great was the number, and so constant the succession of persons, who came to see and converse with him. Though he was delighted with all this homage, yet he

1 New Monthly Mag. Aug. 1826.

would sometimes say with an arch smile, “How inconvenient it is to be so notorious!” In his morning dishabille, he was almost as regardless of appearances as in his library at Hatton; but this was carefully exchanged for all the pomp of the clerical dress, on going into company in the evening.1

There was another tax upon his time and his patience, which he was obliged to pay for the privilege of being “so notorious,” in sitting to artists for his picture or his bust: of the former of which there are probably not less than eight or ten, and of the latter, three or four. But that this was a tax not very reluctantly paid, may appear from the following letter addressed to his friend, Mrs. Edwards:—

“London, June 11, 1813.

“Dear Mrs. Edwards,—I thank you for sending the important papers. I have taken care to have what you told me conveyed to the Princess of Wales. Perhaps, in a few days, I shall see her. I dine with a grand party to-morrow. How would you rejoice to see the picture for which I am sitting at this very moment! It is a half-length; and is admired by dukes, archbishops, bishops, lords, and ladies. To-morrow it is to be inspected by some of the royal family. The frame is grand, like those at Guy’s Cliff.—Farewell!—To be sure, after all my fine doings here, I shall be quite stupid in the company of borough-babblers and country bumpkins. Oh! what would you give to ex-

1 New Monthly Mag. July, 1806.

change the female for the male attire, and to be as rakish as I am here!—Once more, farewell!—. The mark of x S. Parr.”

About the same time, and much in the same strain, he wrote to another of his friends:—

“Dear Mr. P.—I hope this will find you in the best health and spirits. I am overwhelmed and distracted by the kindness of my friends. Actually, I have not one moment clear from the engagements of calls, letters, and visitings. I am sitting for my picture to one artist, who will soon finish it; and must sacrifice hours to another, who is equally anxious to take my visage. You do right to tell me of B—’s misfortune. I shall give him a guinea. Again, I repeat, never, never was I so overwhelmed by dukes, bishops, lords, ladies, baronets, and scholars. Your true friend,—S. P.”

Among “the grandees,” as Dr. Parr usually styled them, alluded to in the above letter, who honoured him with their notice, the first mention is due to His Royal Highness the Duke of Sussex, by whom he was graciously received on the terms, not of mere acquaintance, but of friendly intimacy. His reverential and grateful testimony to the illustrious character of the Royal Duke, ennobled more by his excellent qualities than by his elevated rank, Dr. Parr has thus recorded in his “Last Will:”—“I leave a ring, value five guineas, to His Royal Highness the Duke of Sussex, as a mark of my well-founded and unalterable respect for his highly-cultivated understanding, his exalted spirit, and his truly constitutional prin-
ciples, worthy as they are of an English prince, the son of my late revered sovereign,
George III.”

On his part, the Royal Duke has proclaimed, in a manner worthy of himself, his high regard at once, for two eminent scholars and divines, distinguished in different ways, and attached to different religious communities—yet the object to each other of unfeigned esteem and affection—by placing, in his noble library at Kensington, as companion-pictures, the portraits of Dr. Parr and of Dr. Rees, painted by Mr. Lonsdale. Thus he has displayed the superiority of a mind, which, regarding all other differences as comparatively nothing, looks only to the great distinction of intellectual and moral excellence. When a friend of the writer, a member of the body corporate of London, well known for his attachment to the cause of constitutional liberty, and for his active exertions in its support,1 was visiting the Royal Duke, in his library—having first viewed the fine portrait of Dr. Parr, he turned to that of Dr. Rees, and uttered some expressions of surprise and pleasure at the honour thus done to a divine not of the national church. The liberal and enlightened prince, speaking with fervour, exclaimed, in reply, “I love that good old Non-Con!”

Dr. Parr often talked with high delight of the attentions which he received from another member of the royal family, the Duke of Gloucester; who, though he has not pursued exactly the same bold and decided course of political conduct as his royal rela-

1 Samuel Favell, Esq.

tive, is yet to be proudly numbered among the generous advocates of popular rights and liberties. On the death of the
Duke of Grafton in 1811, the honour of being his successor, as Chancellor of the University of Cambridge, was conferred, to the great joy of all the friends of freedom, in opposition to some powerful party interests, on the Duke of Gloucester; and none watched the progress of the election with more solicitude, or witnessed its success with more satisfaction, than Dr. Parr. Thus writing to a friend, he expresses himself:—“I was much disappointed in not seeing you at Cambridge Installation. Perhaps there never was any public festivity, where so much good sense was united with so much good humour and good manners; or where learning, wisdom, and true patriotism, had so large a share with rank and fortune, in the splendid exhibition which adorned it. It was the triumph of a good cause: the triumph of personal worth in our Chancellor, and of independence in his constituents.”—It must be added, that the Royal Duke was pleased to transmit, in a handsome and gratifying letter, his acknowledgments to Dr. Parr for his good wishes and his strenuous exertions, on the memorable occasion.

Next to royalty, of the high and the old nobility, always the object of his profound veneration,1 Dr. Parr had the honour and the happiness to reckon, in the number of his friends, the late and the present Dukes of Norfolk, the late and the

1 “Ilium ordinem ab adolescentia gravissimum sanctissimumque duxisset”—Cic.

present Dukes of
Bedford,1 the late Duke of Devonshire, the first and the present Marquis of Lansdowne, the late Earl of Donoughmore, Lord Holland,2 Lord Anson; and of those more recently raised to the peerage, Lord Erskine and Lord Hutchinson. Of illustrious commoners, friends of Dr. Parr, what more splendid names can be found than those of Mr. Fox, Mr. Burke, Mr. Windham, Mr. Sheridan, General Fitzpatrick, and Mr. Grattan?—though unhappily from two of these, as already noticed, during his later years, by the collision of political opinion, he was divided.

The lumina civitatis just mentioned, belong most of them to the age gone by. Of those of the present time, inspired by the same patriotic spirit, and guided by the yet more enlightened views which increasing knowledge continually unfolds, occur, in the list of Dr. Parr’s friends, the following names, worthy of all honour—the Marquis of Tavistock, Lord John Russell,3 Lord Althorpe, Sir Francis Burdett, Sir James Mackintosh, and Robert Smith, Henry Brougham, and Thomas Denman, Esqrs.

The three first of distinguished noble family,—

1Lord John Russell’s Memoirs of the Affairs of Europe, &c—The gift of his Grace the Duke of Bedford. S. P.”—Bibl. Parr. p. 41].

2Morcelli Inscriptiones.—From his sincere friend, Vassall Holland. There is no writer on the subject of inscriptions worthy to be compared with Morcellus. S. P.”—Bibl. Parr. p. 377.

3 “Quis est illo aut nobilitate, aut probitate, aut optimarum artium studio, aut innocentiâ, aut ullo genere laudis præstantior?”—Cic. Orat. pro Marcello.

and more distinguished still for those qualities which, according to the Roman poet, constitute “nobilitas sola atque unica,”—are mentioned, in the “Last Will” of
Dr. Parr, with profound respect “for their intellectual, their political, and their moral excellencies.” He has there recorded, also, his esteem and gratitude towards “his honoured patron,” Sir Francis Burdett; and his high regard for the four celebrated lawyers—no less celebrated as senators—whom he praises “for their talents, patriotism, and integrity.”

Among the literati, whom his visits to London gave him opportunities of meeting, Dr. Parr always mentioned with marked distinction, Samuel Rogers, Esq,1 and Mr. Pettigrew, Mr. Burges, and Mr. Baly of Cumberland-place. The first he admired as a poet, and greatly esteemed as a friend; and the last he praised for qualities which few would appreciate at a higher rate than himself, “as an acute verbal critic, and as a skilful writer of Greek heroics.” In the “Bibliotheca Sussexiana,” lately published, Mr. Pettigrew has displayed his accurate and extensive knowledge as a bibliographer; and Dr. Parr owed to him many obligations for information on the subject, and for assistance in the purchase of books.2 To his “learned friend,”

1 “I give a ring in token of high regard to Samuel Rogers, Esq., author of the justly celebrated poem on the ‘Pleasures of Memory.’”—Last Will of Dr. Parr.

2Pettigrew’s Memoirs of Dr. Lettsom, 2 vols Ptttigrew’s Eulogy on Dr. Lettsom.—The above two works were given me by my much respected friend, Mr. T. J. Pettigrew, surgeon, who purchased several books for me with great judgment. S. P.”~Bibl. Parr. p. 408.

Mr. Burges, Dr. Parr was united, not only by the love of letters, but also by attachment to the sacred cause of freedom, as noticed in the following inscription:—“To the Rev. Samuel Parr, LL.D., the staunch friend and advocate of liberty, civil and religious, this play, ‘
Sons of Erin, or the Cause of the Greeks,’ is sent as a parting memorial from the author, G. Burges.”1

During a visit in London, in the year 1813, Dr. Parr became acquainted with one of the most extraordinary men of his time, Lord Byron. Though, on his first introduction, he was not very graciously received by the high-born poet, yet this was succeeded by other and more agreeable interviews; and Dr. Parr was led to form a more favourable opinion of his temper and manners. It is at least certain that he was always eager to render the homage of his praise to the elevated genius by which that nobleman was distinguished;2 and that his writings were in the number of the very few works of modern poetry which Dr. Parr could be induced to read. His “Childe Harold,” he thought, incomparably his best production.

It is well known that Dr. Parr was severely

1 Bibl. Parr. p. 514.

2 “Speaking of Lord Byron to a friend—‘He holds my attention,’ said Dr. Parr, ‘and excites my feelings more strongly than any poet I ever read; except,’ added he, after a short pause, ‘the chorusses of Æschylus, and they make me mad.’—‘Byron! the sorcerer! he can do with me as he will. If it be to place me on the summit of a dizzy cliff; if it be to throw me headlong into an abyss; or if to transport me into Elysium, or to leave me alone, on a desert isle—his power is the same!’”—Monthly Mag. Jan. 1826.

satyrized in the “
Pursuits of Literature:” a work of great notoriety in its day; but which, as a virulent effusion of party-spirit, will probably soon pass into oblivion: and yet he always admired in its author the high attainments of the scholar, and the great powers of the writer. Regardless of the affront of which he had reason to complain, Dr. Parr was some years ago induced to solicit, in a letter to Mr. Matthias, the favour of his acquaintance; and the overture was received in the same spirit, in which it was offered. An exchange of literary presents, which was followed by other friendly civilities, is thus remembered and acknowledged by Dr. Parr in his “Last Will.” I bequeath a mourning ring to James Matthias, Esq. of Middle Scotland-yard, as a thankful acknowledgment to him for having presented me with that magnificent copy of Gray’s Works, which derives so large a share of its value from the taste, learning, sagacity, and moral principles of an editor, peculiarly qualified to do justice to the transcendental merits of such a scholar and such a poet as Mr. Gray.”1

Writing, during one of his visits in London, to his friend, Mrs. Edwards, thus he exultingly describes the pleasures and the gaieties of his town life:—

“Dear Mrs. Edwards,—This is written by B—, whom I detain in London, that he may see some

1Gray’s Works, edited by T. J. Matthias.—Presentation Copy.—No editor ever surpassed Matthias: whom I consider one of the most accomplished scholars of the present day. S. P.”—Bibl. Parr. p. 520.

of the fine sights, with an account of which he may regale your itchy ears, when he gets into the murky air of Warwickshire. I never was so dissipated, or so happy; and you shall hear some very fine things when I get home, if you behave prettily. On Tuesday,
Lord Moira was of our party. When I saw his ingenuous countenance and majestic air, the tears came into my eyes. There were besides, two earls, one viscount, one baronet, three countesses, Mr. Coke of Norfolk, three ladies, one plain miss, and one grave doctor. Yesterday I was in company with Lord Byron: his manners are amiable, and his genius is exquisite. It was a delightful day: though the company consisted of—whom? Why, nothing but lords and authors; and one man of merit, poignant wit, and a very good scholar. Would you not consent to dress as we males do, for the pleasure of dining with Mr. Grattan, Lord Donoughmore, Lord Hutchinson, and other folks, who have brains as well as titles? God bless you and Mr. E. I am, &c.—S. P.”

On occasion of another visit in London, much in the same strain, he writes to the same friend:—

“Dear Mrs. Edwards,—I write this to inform you that I am very well; and that my friends in town are more numerous than ever. I have seen the Duke of Bedford. I have dined with the Duke of Norfolk, and with the Duke of Gloucester, at his Royal Highness’s mansion; where I met Lord Erskine, who calls upon me to-day, to give me some books. I dined last Monday with Lords Donoughmore and Hutchinson; and met Mr. Grattan. He is by far the most wonderful man I
have yet seen. Drs.
Lambe and Winthrop1 wish me to dine with them. Never, never, never was I so suitably or so enviably situated, as in the hospitable house of Mr. and Mrs. Montagu. I am, &c.—S. P.”

Dr. Parr was accustomed to speak with something of the gallantry of old times, of the intelligent and accomplished females, whom he had the pleasure to reckon in the number of his friends or acquaintance. In one of his early publications, he has noticed, with approbation, the higher rank in the scale of intellectual and moral improvement, and even of literary distinction, to which women, of late years, have successfully aspired. “They are no longer considered,” says he, “as being what the God of heaven and earth never intended they should be—a useless incumbrance, or a glittering but empty ornament. They are found to be capable both of contributing to our convenience, and of refining our pleasures. Their weakness is, therefore, protected; their fine sensibilities become the object of a regard, which is founded on principle as well as on affection; and their talents are called forth into public notice. Hence the excellence which some of them have displayed in the elegant accomplishments of painting, music, and poetry, in the nice discriminations of biography, in the broader researches of history, and in moral compositions, where the subject is illuminated by the graces of an unaffected and natural eloquence. The truth of this assertion will be readily admitted in an age like our own, which may boast of an

1 See vol. i. p. 219, 220.

Aikin and a More, a Sheridan and a Stewart, a Brooke and a Burney, a Carter and a Montague.”1

The excellencies of female character, as presented to his own immediate observation, Dr. Parr was always quick in discerning, and fervent in admiring. Of Mrs. Sheridan,2 the mother of the celebrated orator, the third among the names just enumerated, he often spoke in terms of high and enthusiastic praise. He said that he had several times seen her, and that she was “quite celestial.” A monumental inscription, drawn up by him, commemorates the honour and the happiness of the husband, in having for his wife “the ingenious and amiable author of Sydney Biddulph, and of several dramatic pieces, which have been well received.”3 With equal or greater admiration, Dr. Parr used to talk of the first wife of Mr. Sheridan; and delighted to describe the extraordinary fascination of her person and manners, and the still more powerful attractions of her understanding and her heart. He cordially joined in the compliment of a distinguished prelate, that “she seemed to be the connecting link between angels and women.” During his occasional visits in London, he generally passed a day or two with her venerable mother, Mrs. Linley, then living, at an advanced age, in Southampton-street, Covent-garden. He said that he could discern in her countenance many of the traits which he had admired in her daughter; and, in reference to her,

1 Discourse on Education, p. 59. 77.

2 Moore’s Life of Sheridan, vol. i. p. 11.

3 See App. No. III.

he remarked that a fine woman in years is viewed with the same sort of feeling with which an old Roman would behold the Temple of the Gods in ruins.1

Of the literary ladies of his time, whose works he praised, and in whose society he delighted, one was Mrs. Opie. “She unites in herself,” said he to a friend, “qualities which we seldom see combined in the same female. She is well-looking; she writes well; she talks well, sings well, dances well; and is altogether not only a very amiable, but a very fascinating woman.”2 The writer, who had the pleasure of meeting, some years ago, Mrs. Elizabeth Hamilton, at Hatton, well remembers the cordial welcome, and the respectful attentions, with which she was received and entertained by her delighted host. Always animated in company, he seemed on that occasion to exceed himself in vivacity and gaiety of spirits; and to rejoice in the opportunity of doing honour to a lady of much literary fame; and still more nobly distinguished by the deep-fixed religious principles, and the high-toned moral sentiments, which marked her character. Dr. Parr entertained the highest respect for the genius and virtues of Mrs. Barbauld,3

1 ChMarsh1835.Parriana. Nov. 1826.

2Ibid. Aug. 1826.

3 Some one said, in Dr. Parr’s presence, that Mrs. Barbauld had written an excellent imitation of the style of Dr. Johnson. Parr—‘She imitate Dr. Johnson! Sir, she has the nodosity of the oak, without its strength—the noise of the thunder without its bolt—the contorsions of the sibyl, without her inspiration.’”—Dr. Gooch in Blackwood’s Mag. Oct. 1815. This

whose earthly course terminated nearly at the same time with his own. The opportunity of personal interviews did not often occur; but the writer, in the habit of visiting both, was often the bearer of messages of kind inquiry and friendly remembrance from one to the other.

Of one excellent lady, now living, Dr. Parr said, “she is for angels to admire, and for men to imitate;” and of another lady, “that her heart has the purity of crystal, without its hardness, and all its brightness, without any of its coldness.” In the fly-leaf of “Rivarol-Discours préliminaire du nouveau Dictionnaire de la Langue Francaise,” is inscribed as follows:—“This book was given to Dr. Parr by his beautiful, witty, sagacious, truth-speaking, warm-hearted, and unfortunate friend, Mrs. A. Green, of Lan-Saint-Frede, Monmouthshire.”

Writing to a female friend, thus he expresses himself:—“My dear H—,—Your eyes would have started with tears of joy, if you had read a letter which came to me this morning from two enlightened and pure-hearted ladies. If my frame were stronger, earth would be, in my present condition, almost an anticipation of heaven: and to Him who dwelleth in heaven, my soul ought to be and is

speech, ascribed by mistake to Dr. Parr, was uttered by Mr. Burke. There is in it far more wit than truth. It is remarkable that, of all his imitators, in Dr. Johnson’s own opinion, the best was Mrs. Barbauld: “for she had imitated,” he said, “not only the cadences of his sentences, but the cast of his thoughts.”

grateful for the exquisite and hallowed pleasure, He has enabled me to feel from the society of the great, the wise, and the virtuous.”

The following portraiture of female loveliness and dignity, shining forth with mild lustre in the character of a deceased lady whom he greatly venerated, is drawn with extraordinary beauty and energy. She was the daughter of Richard Langley, Esq. of Wykeham Abbey, in Yorkshire, and the relict of John Dealtry, M. D., once the highly-favoured pupil of Boerhaave, and afterwards an eminent physician in the city of York.

“The memory of this excellent woman was retentive: her judgment was exact; and the knowledge, which she had acquired from books, was both ornamental and useful; diffusing itself, without ostentation, over the gayest and the most serious subjects, and adapting itself without effort to the lighter and more important concerns of social life. Her penetration into the characters of those, with whom she conversed, was acute, not precipitate; and her remarks upon all their prominent and all their latent varieties were luminous from good sense, not dazzling from refinement. In the distinctions, which she made between merit and demerit, her understanding was neither misled by prejudice, nor warped by envy. Her praise was appropriate without exaggeration, and her censure was significant without asperity. Formed upon that plan of education, which prevailed in the reign of George II., her manners were agreeable and even impressive, from dignified case and uniform propriety; and she united the most unruffled tem-
per with the most delicate sensibility. By promoting in her family and in her neighbourhood those innocent recreations, which are suited to the vivacity of youth and the cheerfulness of manhood, she threw around old age an aspect at once amiable and venerable. Her morals were not only blameless, but exemplary; and as her principles of religion were the result of judicious inquiry and frequent meditation, they were exempt alike from the weaknesses of superstition and the reveries of fanaticism. They softened the heart, whilst they enlightened the head. They regulated her actions in this world; and they elevated her hopes to a future and a better state. For more than the space of twenty years, she was afflicted with blindness; and for that of three years, with palsy. But these evils, which, among the generality of mankind, might have clouded the brightness of every joy, and deepened the gloom of every sorrow, were borne by her with the steady fortitude of a heroine, and the humble patience of a Christian. She retained her wonted relish for the pleasures of social intercourse: she preserved the unimpaired and ready use of her intellectual faculties; and with the assistance of her children, as readers to her, she obtained for her curiosity the choicest gratification, which books can supply: she was rescued from those alternate vicissitudes of melancholy and inquietude, which often accompany the loss of sight and debility of limbs; and to her habit of observation upon the events of earlier and happier times, she daily added fresh stores of information, and found in them fresh materials for
calm and solemn reflection. Surrounded by the respect of her acquaintance, by the gratitude of her domestics, by the confidence of her friends, and by the most tender affection and dutiful attentions of an eldest son, the only surviver of two infant brothers, and also of two daughters, all of whom had resided with her from their youth, and who felt their own happiness inseparably connected with the comforts and enjoyments of a most deserving parent, she sunk without a struggle, Aug. 23, 1812, under the instantaneous and silent stroke of that death, the approach of which she had long contemplated with unfeigned and unshaken resignation to the will of her Creator.”