LORD  BYRON  and  his  TIMES
Documents Biography Criticism

The Autobiography of William Jerdan
Vol. III. Appendices

Vol. I. Front Matter
Ch. 1: Introductory
Ch. 2: Childhood
Ch. 3: Boyhood
Ch. 4: London
Ch. 5: Companions
Ch. 6: The Cypher
Ch. 7: Edinburgh
Ch. 8: Edinburgh
Ch. 9: Excursion
Ch. 10: Naval Services
Ch. 11: Periodical Press
Ch. 12: Periodical Press
Ch. 13: Past Times
Ch. 14: Past Times
Ch. 15: Literary
Ch. 16: War & Jubilees
Ch. 17: The Criminal
Ch. 18: Mr. Perceval
Ch. 19: Poets
Ch. 20: The Sun
Ch. 21: Sun Anecdotes
Ch. 22: Paris in 1814
Ch. 23: Paris in 1814
Ch. 24: Byron
Vol. I. Appendices
Scott Anecdote
Burns Anecdote
Life of Thomson
John Stuart Jerdan
Scottish Lawyers
Sleepless Woman
Canning Anecdote
Southey in The Sun
Hood’s Lamia
Murder of Perceval
Vol. II. Front Matter
Ch. 1: Literary
Ch. 2: Mr. Canning
Ch. 3: The Sun
Ch. 4: Amusements
Ch. 5: Misfortune
Ch. 6: Shreds & Patches
Ch. 7: A Character
Ch. 8: Varieties
Ch. 9: Ingratitude
Ch. 10: Robert Burns
Ch. 11: Canning
Ch. 12: Litigation
Ch. 13: The Sun
Ch. 14: Literary Gazette
Ch. 15: Literary Gazette
Ch. 16: John Trotter
Ch. 17: Contributors
Ch. 18: Poets
Ch 19: Peter Pindar
Ch 20: Lord Munster
Ch 21: My Writings
Vol. II. Appendices
The Satirist.
Authors and Artists.
The Treasury
Morning Chronicle
Chevalier Taylor
Foreign Journals
Vol. III. Front Matter
Ch. 1: Literary Pursuits
Ch. 2: Literary Labour
Ch. 3: Poetry
Ch. 4: Coleridge
Ch 5: Criticisms
Ch. 6: Wm Gifford
Ch. 7: W. H. Pyne
Ch. 8: Bernard Barton
Ch. 9: Insanity
Ch. 10: The R.S.L.
Ch. 11: The R.S.L.
Ch. 12: L.E.L.
Ch. 13: L.E.L.
Ch. 14: The Past
Ch. 15: Literati
Ch. 16: A. Conway
Ch. 17: Wellesleys
Ch. 18: Literary Gazette
Ch. 19: James Perry
Ch. 20: Personal Affairs
‣ Vol. III. Appendices
Literary Poverty
Ismael Fitzadam
Mr. Tompkisson
Mrs. Hemans
A New Review
Debrett’s Peerage
Procter’s Poems
Poems by Others
Poems by Jerdan
Vol. IV. Front Matter
Ch. 1: Critical Glances
Ch. 2: Personal Notes
Ch. 3: Fresh Start
Ch. 4: Thomas Hunt
Ch. 5: On Life
Ch. 6: Periodical Press
Ch. 7: Quarterly Review
Ch. 8: My Own Life
Ch. 9: Mr. Canning
Ch. 10: Anecdotes
Ch. 11: Bulwer-Lytton
Ch. 12: G. P. R. James
Ch. 13: Finance
Ch. 14: Private Life
Ch. 15: Learned Societies
Ch. 16: British Association
Ch. 17: Literary Characters
Ch. 18: Literary List
Ch. 19: Club Law
Ch. 20: Conclusion
Vol. IV. Appendix
Gerald Griffin
W. H. Ainsworth
James Weddell
The Last Bottle
N. T. Carrington
The Literary Fund
Letter from L.E.L.
Geographical Society
Baby, a Memoir
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A. page 5.

Whilst this sheet was passing through the press, in treating of the Guild of Literature, the following remarks occur in the “Morning Chronicle” (Sept 3), a journal (having no reference to its politics) which must always be prized for its literary ability and especially on literary subjects:—

“We have read the history of literature in vain, if we have not discovered that men of letters are not as other men. Knowledge and intellectual superiority are their own exceeding great reward; but it may be doubted whether we can make erratic genius prudent, or regulate the inconsistencies and caprices which so often fatally obstruct the success of the artist, by the most elaborate provision against the unavoidable accidents of fortune, or against the natural impulses of disposition or passion. This much, however, is certain—that, despite the melancholy annals of shattered genius, broken hopes, and blasted capabilities, the man of truth, honesty, and principle has very rarely suffered final shipwreck in pursuing or in imparting knowledge. Poverty sorely cripples intellect; but how ennobling and elevating are those records which remind us that intellect, coupled with principle and regulated by conscience, has seldom failed to conquer that ignoble hindrance! Johnson walked the streets of London without knowing where to lay his head; but the lesson of his life would be lost, if we were not to add that he died in competence.”

I dissent very little from this statement; but is it indeed to be deemed a literary triumph and cause of exultation, that after all
his sufferings and all his prodigious labours,
Johnson had actually the good fortune to die in competency. How glorious for literature—how decisive of the question of its equality with, if not advantages over other liberal pursuits! He could not be a Minister of State, nor a Bishop, nor a Judge, nor anything halfway up to any of these elevations; but what of that? What right had the mere literary, though mighty intellectual giant, to look so high? Lucky, and to be congratulated, was the author of the Dictionary, the “Rambler,” and “Rasselas,” &c &c, in reaching a pension and a competency of three or four hundred pounds a year!

At the same time Mr. Justice Talfourd has prefixed a biographical sketch of his schoolfellow, Mr. Deacon, to a pleasing posthumous work from his pen. He was no Johnson, but a literary enthusiast, gifted with considerable talents. He, too did not die in distress, thanks to newspaper employment; but how his enthusiasm was quelled, and his talents discouraged, and his life embittered for a long season, I can show from his disconsolate letters seeking work in the “Literary Gazette.”

B. page 35.

Coleridge’s facetiousness was very peculiar. It seemed like some gay flashing exotic which sprung out of, or was rather thrown out by, a dark heavy mould that seemed only calculated to bear lofty and umbrageous trees. The poem of “The Devil’s Thoughts,”
From his brimstone bed at break of day,
A walking the Devil is gone.
is now assigned to him in collections; but I have heard him tell that it was a joint production in which
Southey had a hand, as he had in several other things, and especially in an “Inscription on a Gravestone,” of remorseless animosity, which I cannot here repeat. It is a curious fact that an Epigram ascribed to him on
Job’s Bereavements, the point of which is that Satan not having taken his spouse, it happened that when everything was restored twofold, he had shown his short-sightedness by that omission! whilst I, unaware of this jeu, had written on the same subject with the concluding line anent the doubling of blessings,
“But we don’t hear a word of a couple of wives!”

I remember one of his pleasant stories, told con gusto, like that of his reading “Remorse” with Mr. Kinnaird, of a school performance of a drama on the breaking-up day, in which he played a part. Unluckily the character demanded a laugh, which the juvenile actor delivered thus, “ha! ha! ha! ha!” with due pause and emphasis of indiscretion between every ha! His father called out “laugh—laugh,” upon which he repeated the ha’s more emphatically than before, when the incensed pedagogue rushed upon the stage, and, cuffing the unfortunate performer, cried, “Laugh, Sir, laugh; why don’t you laugh?” to which the only response was the “hah, hah, hah’s,” with bursts of crying between, and certainly, at last, amid the uncontrollable laughter of the audience. It was a treat to hear the old man eloquent, with his sonorous voice and glittering eye, tell and act this juvenile tale, and compare himself to the boy in the Lupercalian sacrifice who was obliged to laugh when the priest pricked his forehead with the knife reeking with the blood of the victim goat.

C. page 46.

My Dear Sir,

“I feel myself unable, Irishman and grateful as I am, adequately to express to you my thanks for your very handsome notice of my book in this day’s ‘Literary Gazette.’ I really could not have expected so much from your circumscribed limits and your valuable time, still less from the merits of the publication itself. May I beg you will accept a hasty acknowledgment, which, in the most studied form, would be imperfect
compared to my feelings. With respect to returning the rough copy of my book, I will have to request the favour of your accepting a complete one in return, as a public memorial of the esteem of your

“Faithful and obliged servant,

W. Jerdan, Esq.”

Sir, *****

“I have myself had sufficient personal experience of both your liberality and critical acuteness, to assure me that you have hastened to avail yourself of what cannot but have appeared a fortunate opportunity of doing an act at once of justice and humanity, so strangely and ungenerously deferred by the prejudiced and mercenary portion of the press; in short, that you have imitated the example of the good Samaritan towards genius in circumstances so truly extraordinary and inauspicious.

“Most truly yours,

“Monday Night.

My dear Sir,

“When your letter was left at No. 10, Adelphi Terrace, this evening, I was fortunately with Mr. Bell, who, on merely looking at the signature, handed it to me. I say fortunately, for on reading it there are passages which seem to imply that an appeal had been made to you of a nature not very spirited, nor very becoming the gratitude which I already owed to you. I should indeed deeply lament that any friend of mine could for a moment be led to suppose me capable of that species of trespass on the benevolence of a total stranger. No, my dear Sir, whatever were my expressions (and I know not what they were), I never could mean, expect, or accept, any assistance from you, except through the medium of the arrangement which yourself suggested, and so kindly volunteered to manage on my behalf. This arrangement, which comprehended the transfer, and probable revival, of the ‘Harp’ and the MS. ‘Lays on Land,’ I was encouraged to think, and did myself think, would
prove more or less productive; but our wishes very often mislead us, and both you and I may have allowed ours to go beyond reality. With respect to the ‘Harp,’ as you make no mention of it, I suppose nothing is to be expected. Of the ‘Lays,’ I can only say that to the specimens inserted in your ‘
Gazette,’ I could add at present a good many others; but the bulk of my MSS. being at some considerable distance from London, I cannot bring them into action sooner than a fortnight or three weeks. It is certainly, as you remark, quite reasonable that there should be something to show; but I could engage the production of the necessary quantity of materials, if what I have already written could be considered any guarantee of their merit as compositions.

“I believe I mentioned to you the Irish demand for the ‘Harp,’ since which I have had letters from that quarter, stating an increased sale, so that I hope to find the first edition (if I have been treated fairly), now at least, completely gone. I shall linger in town till towards the end of the week, to see further, and if you think anything can, under all the circumstances, be done, may I beg to hear from you yet once again; but address myself, pray, and direct to ‘Mr. Fitzadam, care of H. N. Bell, Esq., 10, Adelphi Terrace,’ by post, if the speediest and most convenient to yourself.

“Whatever may be the result, your disinterested and generous friendship will ever have my sincerest gratitude and esteem.

“Most faithfully, my dear Sir,
“Yours, &c,

“Thursday Morning.

My Dear Sir,

“For some days past I have very anxiously expected a line or two from you, touching our projected poetical operations. Conformably to your suggestion, I wish to transfer the copyright of the ‘Harp,’ and the unsold part of the impression, if any, to Longman and Co., together with the ‘Lays on Land,’ in case they would think themselves justified in advancing any present
consideration for the whole. To use the most unlimited candour with you (for you have made one feel that confidence in your friendship, which long intimacy does not always warrant), I am at this moment utterly destitute of any other resource to enable me to remain here, unless by still further encroachments on the much abused generosity of one friend, the only one, who knows my situation, and without whose assistance I verily believe I should long since have fallen a victim to misfortune. If nothing tangible (as your silence appears to indicate) is likely to come from the proposed plan, I must leave London forthwith, and await a more auspicious moment. As you will be in town tomorrow, I beg you will leave a few words in reply to this at the ‘
Literary Gazette’ Office, where I will call for them. I am glad to find there has been a considerable order for the ‘Harp’ from Ireland. I have made some progress in preparing the ‘Lays’ for the press, but am much retarded by personal inconveniences and privations, from which my health suffers deeply. If gratitude for your goodness did not so entirely engross my mind, I should certainly feel compunction for all this gratuitous trouble; but your humanity will dispense with apologies.

“Believe me, my dear Sir,
“Most sincerely and faithfully,
“Yours, &c,


My Dear Sir,

Mr. Longman is still confined at Hampstead. I have consulted with my other partners respecting Fitzadam’s poems, and they are not inclined to advance money on the speculation. Warren, I have no doubt, will undertake the work on your recommendation; at all events, I hope you will not experience any inconvenience in the business. Accept our best thanks for your friendly attention, and believe me,

“Yours most truly,


The two following extracts, whilst negotiations were pending, portray so forcibly the anxieties of genius, that I cannot refuse
them a place for literary illustration in a work chiefly devoted to that end:—

“I take the liberty of leaving the MS. poems, so far as I have yet been able to collect and copy, for your inspection and further pleasure. Will you forgive me if I confess that it is not without considerable hesitation that I now venture to intrude this MS. on you after so many days silence on your part, and uneasy suspense on mine. In strict delicacy, I feel as if I ought to have awaited a communication from you, and so, in fact, I have till literally sick of hope deferred. As business required your presence in town on Friday last, I had flattered myself you would do me the favour to call, agreeable to my intimated wish, and as in your letter you substituted no other point of meeting where I could deliver to you the MS., which you were good enough to state you would bring to Paternoster Row that day, I remained, in consequence, the whole of Friday and Saturday in my room, in momentary expectation of seeing you ascend. Your more important and indispensable duties, no doubt, deprived me of that gratification, as well as of the pleasure of otherwise hearing from you since. May I hope that you will, in the way, and at the time most convenient to yourself, inform me of the result.

Oh, would I were among the bowers
Thy waters, Witham! love to lave,
Where Botolph’s far-distinguish’d towers
Look out upon the German wave;
There is a star upon that stream—
A flower upon those banks there blows,
Heaven cannot boast a lovelier beam,
Nor earth possess a sweeter rose.
How blest were I, how more than blest,
To sit me down those scenes among,
And there, the cot’s contented guest,
Divide my life ’twixt love and song.
To guard thee, sweet, and in thine ears
Plead passion, not perchance in vain,—
The very vision costs me tears
Of mingled tenderness and pain!
Alas! how different is my lot!
To drag out being far from thee,
Far from that dear, that sacred spot,
Which Witham laves in tears like me.
But, pilgrim of whatever shore,
No fate from thee my soul shall tear,
And even when life itself’s no more
My spirit will be with thee there.
Son of the storm, along the “vasty” world
Of wild, unstable waters wafted far,
Or obvious to the hissing death-bolt, hurl’d
Thro’ the red bursting of confronted war,
Was happiness—for then my worshipp’d star,
The sacred one of duty, brightly shone,
And, audible above the common jar,
My country’s voice and honour hail’d me on;
While hoarded hopes of glory to be won
Enhanced the strife where death and danger were,
To sternest ectasy!—but all is gone—
And nought is left me now to hope or dare—
Becalm’d upon thy stagnant pool, despair!
With not one attribute of life save breath—
And misery—friendless in my sordid shed,
Like the lone captive stretch’d on dungeon bed,
Numbering the slow sands as they creep away,
What recks to me such worse than living death?
Such gloomy eve of no inglorious day?
Oh, bitter doom! bitterer for unforeseen!
Within whose Upas shadow joy—hope—nay
The very spirit rots in dull decay—
Is life then stript to this sere, leafless thing?—
Beams of my morning! blossoms of my noon!
Whither, and wherefore, are ye fled so soon?
Weep, fond enthusiast! weep thy wither’d spring—
God! that my grave, as was my birth, had been
Amidst the living billows’ mighty swing,
Or pall’d beneath the battle’s blazing wing;
Then had I ’scaped this agony of keen,
Keen suffering—’scaped the curse to bear, by turns,
Ingratitude, that with a stony eye,
Like the vile, heartless Levite, passeth by—
Affected pity’s mockery—the spurns
Of pamper’d pride—perchance, the stings of poverty.
“47, Bedford-street, Strand.

“Dear Sir,

“Now that four tedious weeks have elapsed in painful expectation of the promised ‘prompt decision’ from the Row, your goodness will pardon me if I venture at last to ask, has anything yet been done? The natural impression on my mind, from such an ominous interval, is, that your friends have rejected the MS. Indeed, I concluded as much from the expiration of the first week, and, in consequence, wholly discontinued my notes of preparation till I should hear from you on the subject. Your silence has desolated me, and under the no small aggravation of knowing that you must have passed at least once a week within three doors of my lodging. May I intreat a line by return of post, to explain, as I have been detained here under hopes and sufferings, neither of which it is desirable to prolong. “With great sincerity, dear Sir,

“Yours, &c,


“I must not omit most humbly to thank you for your generous goodness in permitting me to draw on you—a liberty of which I could never avail myself, unless I was satisfied that you were perfectly indemnified by the trade.”

I at last made an arrangement with Mr. Warren, and the author writes in somewhat better spirits:—

“Wednesday Evening.

“I could not, my dear Sir, be otherwise than satisfied with any arrangement made by you, and I have the best reasons to be so, with the one you mention, so far as it goes. I have but one regret on the occasion, and that is, that I, who had no sort of claim on your friendship, and no capacity of repaying it, should have been the means of inflicting on you so vexatious a commission as this has proved. Your goodness, so unlike what I have hitherto experienced of this world’s character, quite
overpowers me. I will be at
Warren’s on Friday, at twelve, and will wait your coming.

“I am, my dear Sir, more than I can express,
“Your grateful and obliged servant.”


D. page 56.

This Mr. Tompkisson was an amateur in paintings, and had some fine landscapes by Wilson, on which he set a great value. Of him, and his pictures, and taste, dear comic Mathews told me the following anecdote one day, on the drive from Mr. Frederick Hodgson’s, at Barnes, to the Derby at Epsom; and I mention the place for the sake of adding that an assemblage in this most hospitable mansion during the Derby week for some years, including Hook, Mathews, Yates, Abbott, Sola, and other beaux esprits, well deserved to be marked with the white stone which commemorates very delightful human enjoyments. Alas! how the grizzly spectre intervenes between me and the retrospect! But to the story. A dealer came to Mr. Tompkisson with a superb picture, being assured how acceptable it would be to him to place so exquisite a specimen of the master among his favourite Wilsons. Mr. T. examined it closely, and expressed his opinion that it was not genuine. The owner pointed out the touches and features which established its origin; but still Mr. T. doubted, and at last, as a clencher, the dealer assured him that he had seen the artist paint upon it! “Well, then,” retorted the unconvinced connoisseur, “as you assert that upon your word of honour, I must believe you that it is a Wilson; but by G—, I would not believe it if I had seen him paint it myself!”

E. page 57.
“Bronwhylfa, St. Asaph, June 11th, 1821.

Mrs. Hemans presents her best compliments to the Editor of the ‘Literary Gazette,’ with many acknowledgments for his very polite attention in sending her the number of his Journal which has announced her success to the public in so gratifying a manner. She has also to express her sense of his kindness in procuring the insertion of the paragraph containing this intelligence in the principal newspapers—an attention which cannot fail to be serviceable to her publications.

“With regard to the remarks on Mrs. Hemans’ works, which have occasionally appeared in the ‘Literary Gazette,’ she begs to assure the Editor of that highly respectable Journal, that she can never feel otherwise than satisfied by any expression of fair and impartial criticism, and trusts she may always have sufficient candour to derive advantage from all observations dictated by such a spirit.

Mrs. Hemans waits to be decided by the opinion of her literary friends on the subject of publishing the poem which has been so highly honoured by the Royal Society of Literature. Should those friends not recommend its separate publication, it will give her much pleasure to avail herself of the privilege offered by the Editor of the ‘Literary Gazette.’ If, in the mean time, the accompanying unpublished little pieces, to which her name may be affixed, should be considered worthy of insertion in that Journal, Mrs. H. begs the Editor will do her the favour of accepting them.

Mrs. Hemans cannot conclude without a renewal of her sincere thanks for that gentleman’s liberal assurances of his disposition to serve her, and kind congratulations on her present very unexpected success.”

“Bronwhylfa, St. Asaph, July 9th.


“With the thanks I beg to offer for those numbers of the ‘Literary Gazette’ with which you have favoured me, I have also to express the gratification afforded me by the praises so liberally bestowed in them on one of my little compositions. If you are acquainted with the authors of the two beautiful pieces occasioned by my lines to the Ivy, I shall be much obliged by your presenting my acknowledgments to them.

“Praise so beautifully imagined, and so delicately expressed, as in the lines by Mr. Barton, cannot but be gratifying to deeper and purer feelings than those of mere vanity.

“I have the pleasure of sending another unpublished little piece, which is at your service, if you think it worthy of insertion. I hope the letter in which I took the liberty of consulting you, respecting my views of writing for a periodical work, has been received.

“I have the honour to be, Sir,
“Your obliged servant,


B. Barton’s note, with the poem alluded to, is also characteristic enough for insertion here:—


My dear Friend,

“Above are my verses to Mrs. H., a copy of which, addressed to her, I also enclose. I have not put my name to them, nor avowed them as mine in their commencement, because, where my object is to do honour to another, I would not, of myself, appear to be covertly seeking it. But as my name, owing to thy early notice of it, and the subsequent comments of the ‘Edinburgh Review,’ as well as other Journals, is now known as that of a Quaker Poet, I leave it entirely to thy discretion to introduce the above trifle in such way as may appear to thee most likely to attract attention to the article, if it seem to thee at all worthy of it. For the sake of Mrs. Heman’s poetry, which
I really wish to see popular, more than from any high value I set on this effusion, I wish it to be read. I must, I believe, request of thy courtesy to send me one copy of that particular number, as I wish to send one to my sister
Kach, and should not like to part with the one I take in.

“Thine ever most truly,

“B. B.”

The tributes alluded to by Mrs. Hemans were not undeserving of the feeling she expresses.—Ex. gr. by Fitzadam.

Sad Ivy! pall of glory past!
To desolation vow’d so long,
Thou art call’d to lovelier life at last
By the soft spell of Hemans’ song.
Such life as inspiration’s fire
Kindles through Nature unconfined—
Creative breathings of the lyre—
The immortality of mind.
What, though of old the chosen screen
Of Bacchus’ temples twined to be;
Yet all unloved such wassail scene,
Ill suited, lonely plant, to thee.
Still true to grief and solitude,
Thy faith has won the guerdon high,
Which Genius, in her holy mood,
Now pours around thee, ne’er to die.
Nor may that leaf old honours rue,
Transplanted e’en from brows divine,
When thus, sweet Poetess! anew
It blooms, for ever fresh, on thine.

The second by Bernard Barton; but I only copy two Stanzas of the ten of which it consists.

It is not that it long hath been
Combined with thoughts of festal rite;
The cup which thou has drunk, I ween,
Not always sparkles bright!
Nor is it that it hath been twined
Round Victory’s brow in days gone by;
Such glory hath no power to blind
Thy intellectual eye.
For thou canst look beyond the hour,
Elated by the wine-cup’s thrall—
Beyond the victor’s proudest power,
Unto the end of all.
And, therefore, would I round thy brow
The deathless wreath of Ivy place;
For well thy song has proved—that thou
Art worthy of its grace.

F. page 63.

It was rather a singular coincidence that at the very time I was, as it were, burnt out, the following proposal was made to embark in another undertaking (and the second offer of the kind within twelve months):—

“British and Foreign Library, 1, Lichfield-street,
“June 13.

Dear Sir,

“I am applied to by a Literary Junto of the first respectability to become their publisher for a new Review, to be published on the first of every month. The party concerned are all men of property and all unconnected with business, and myself the only tradesman belonging to it, from which I wish you to understand it is to be a perfectly independent journal, and not subservient to any bookseller, as my publications are such as hold criticism at defiance. I should like to consult you respecting the Editorship of it. There is a fund of ten thousand pounds ready for its support, and of course your payments as Editor, should it be worth your while, will be certain. I shall have business in your neighbourhood on Saturday evening, betwixt six and seven o’clock, and if you are at home shall feel obliged by five minutes of your time to discuss the matter.


“Its divisions will be three—English Literature, Foreign Literature, the Classics and Mathematics.

“Your obedient servant,

W. Jerdan, Esq.”

I was, however, more inclined to stick to my first love, especially as I was courting a bit of change by way of variety; and the new plan, consequently, fell to the ground.

G. page 102.
June 1st, 1820.


“Is Debrett’s Peerage the most accurate record we have of the present state of the nobility of the kingdom? If it be, the peerage, I must say is most miserably recorded. I have just been looking over his list of the Irish peers (in the eleventh edition, considerably improved, printed in 1817), and I do not think I overstep the modesty of calculation, when I assert that it contains at least as many errors as there are articles. It would take a little too much room to prove this assertion at length; but I shall give a couple of examples, selected almost at random.

“Vol. II. p. 989. We are informed that Thomas, 27th baron Howth, married in 1750, Isabella, the Earl of Kingston’s sister, who died in 1794: and that his second son, Thomas, was born in 1795. This, is I think, an important fact in midwifery. But let that pass. This son Thomas is at present bishop of Cork and Ross; and if the above date of his birth be correct, he must have made good use of his time. A bishop and doctor of divinity long before twenty, he may almost rival the most striking examples of precocity or nepotism; but when we find (p. 990) that he has eight children, one married in 1805, con-
sequently when her father was only ten years of age, and another (a clergyman too) in 1816, in his father’s twenty-first year, we must confess that miracles have not yet ceased. Again we are told (p. 990), that Lord Howth’s eldest daughter, Isabella, was married in 1773 to Lord Sidney, who died in 1744 without issue, which last circumstance I do not much wonder at, as he did not think proper to marry until twenty-nine years after his death. Her mother, I confess, as we have seen already, had a son a year after her decease: this, however, being I imagine a rare case, ought not to be drawn into a precedent. But this family seems to have a fancy for marriage after death, as we find (p. 990) the next daughter, Elizabeth, married in 1806, to Sir P. A. Irving, although the same grave authority informs us she died in 1799. This is a very authentic history; and I can assure your readers it would not be hard to find other tales as astonishing.

“Let us turn to Lord Clarina. There we learn (p. 1267) that Nathaniel William, the 2nd Lord, was born in 1796, married Penelope, daughter of M. R. Nertropp, Esq., had a daughter in 1797, and a son, (the present Lord Clarina) in 1798, beside other children, and died a Lieutenant-General in 1810, aged of course fourteen years. This is rapid promotion, and beats the old story of the captain crying for his pap. Besides, he thinks fit to inform us that Penelope, Baroness Clarina, died in 1815. This I am happy to contradict; her ladyship is still in the precincts of this world, and if health, good humour, and good looks, give any reason to expect a long life, I know nobody more likely to bid fair for it.

“Is not this scandalous carelessness? I have taken but two cases; but I could increase the list a hundred-fold with ease. It certainly is treating the purchasers very cavalierly, and I hope that the editors will take a little more pains with the next edition.

“I am, Sir, yours, &c,

P. P. P.
“July 12, 1820.


“Observing in one of your late numbers, various errata pointed out in Debrett’s account of the Peerage of Ireland, and feeling the same sort of interest in the Scots Peerage that your correspondent appears to do in the Irish, I am induced to submit to you the following list, which I found in the course of a few minutes, and in turning over merely a few pages. They are taken from the tenth edition, published in 1816. I have since compared them with the corresponding passages in the ‘thirteenth edition, considerably improved,’ printed in 1820; and shall add the result in each case.

“In the article, ‘Marquis of Tweeddale,’ we find it recorded, that George, seventh marquis, was married in 1785, and yet his fourth son, William, died in 1778. In 1820, this young nobleman is brought to life, and promoted to the rank of captain in the Rifle Brigade!

“‘Earl of Eglinton.’ In the account of this distinguished family, Archibald, Lord Montgomerie, is stated to have married Lady Mary Montgomery, daughter of Archibald, eleventh Earl of Eglinton, and sister of Jane, Countess of Crawford. Now every one who knows anything of the peerage of Scotland, could have informed the editor, that Lady Montgomery had only one sister, Lady Susan, who died unmarried; and that the late Countess of Crawford was sister to Lord Montgomery’s mother. This error is copied verbatim into the ‘considerably improved’ edition of 1820.

“‘Earl of Cassillis.’ Archibald, Lord Kennedy, born 1804, married 1814—date of his birth left out in the new edition (really 1794).

“‘Earl of Haddington.’ We find it recorded that this nobleman married in 1799, and that his son, Lord Binning, followed his example in 1802; the real date of Lord Haddington’s marriage was 1779; but the blunder is faithfully copied into the new edition.

“‘Earl of Dysart.’ In the account of this noble family, a remarkable circumstance is stated, viz. that Frances, daughter
of Lionel, third earl, died in 1707—the year before her father was born!—Copied faithfully into the new edition.

“‘Earl of Northesk.’ George, fourth earl, married in 1748, his eldest son was born in 1749, and his fourth in 1733. Repeated in the new edition.

“The above, Mr. Editor, I give, merely as a specimen of what is to be found in almost every page, nor is the new edition more free from errors than the preceding ones. In one case I find the real heir to an earldom, a gentleman married and having a numerous family, altogether omitted, and the reversion of the title bestowed on his uncle; while in another page, I find a nobleman’s brothers and sisters stated to be his children. I really feel it a duty to expose this extreme carelessness, most inexcusable certainly in a work of this kind, which is only valuable in proportion to its accuracy; and I am satisfied that your giving publicity to this statement will have the effect of rendering the fourteenth edition more accurate.

“I am, Sir,
“Your very obedient Servant,

“J. M.”
“29, Fetter Lane.


“Having given insertion to the two articles of P. P. and J. M. and thus afforded the writers, or rather the Writer, an opportunity of assailing the Peerage in its literal errors, I am induced to hope you will give insertion to my reply; which, as it is composed with more temper, cannot be less creditable to the columns of a Journal building its hopes for reputation on candour and consequent impartiality. I have said writer, because, if similarity of style can ever lead to identity, it is very evident in the present instance; and I may reasonably conclude that the next attack will be on the Peerage of England! thus perfecting the Tria Juncta in uno.

“To attempt perfection in a work crowded by so many difficulties, impediments continually obtruding, changes continually defeating, would be idle; so would my defence, did I seek more than in support of my claim to diligence, and unwearied and
incessant attention: on these points I may claim to justify myself. It was by these efforts my Peerage has obtained unrivalled patronage and support: I owe all that gratitude can urge, and future diligence secure.

“But it is not by diligence alone that the Peerage can arrive at accuracy; it must be assisted by occasional corrections from noble and other correspondents. Sir William Dugdale, Garter King of Arms, the learned author of the admirable History of Warwickshire, the History of St. Paul’s, and other works of the first order of merit—works, the splendid monument of his learning and talents;—he felt the almost insuperable difficulties of a Peerage; and, hopeless of accuracy, confessed his deficiency. Where a Dugdale failed, I could hardly hope for complete success. My efforts were an approach to accuracy; and, I may confidently and without vanity assert, that I have done more than any of my predecessors. Your correspondent P. P. says, ‘I do not think I overstep the modesty of calculation, when I assert, that it contains at least as many errors as there are articles.’ I shall not stop to enquire into the quantum of your correspondent’s modesty, of his accuracy in calculation, or whether there is more of malignity in his assertion than of candour in investigation. I can only reply that most of the errors he has so vauntingly detected might have been easily remedied by the introduction of a figure—mere errors of the compositor, or the dropping of a letter at press. These, Sir, are errors which candour would have supplied. In another part of the article of your correspondent, he charges me with scandalous negligence. Let me ask of your correspondent Sir, whether I may not, with more propriety, and without the loss of temper, charge him with scandalous meanness, in an assertion so wanton and unprovoked. With regard to the playfulness of his satire, I would fain remind him, that he becomes very serious when he would be amusing, and very amusing when he would be serious. To conclude, Sir, as I have never aimed at perfection, never hoping to accomplish it, let me request your correspondent’s attention to the following quotation from the Baronetage; and let me press upon his attention, that, as I have always invited and solicited corrections of the press, his corrections would have been attended to with more pleasure if they had been pointed out with a more liberal feeling:—


“‘Of his labours and industry in the pursuit, he would wish to say little. He has been abundantly recompensed for the time occupied in his very numerous personal applications, by the politeness and attention with which those applications have been honoured, and by the extensive aids which he has derived from them. The only regret which he feels in offering this result of his endeavours to the public, arises from a dread of too frequent error in treating on subjects, with regard to which perfect correctness is absolutely unattainable.’

“I am, Sir, yours, &c,

“Editor of the Peerage, Baronetage, and Imperial Calendar.”

“[Though unwilling to prolong the discussion on the errors in this useful publication, yet as we have admitted our correspondents (for we assure Mr. Debrett there are two) to be replied to, and as their answers are not only amusing from their humour, but calculated to produce a very desirable improvement in the future editions of the work, we trust that by doing so in the present instance, we shall confer a double benefit upon our readers— give them a good laugh, and cause the correction of a book, whose popularity is evinced by the number of editions through which it has gone.]

“August 10, 1820.


“I have perused with mingled feelings of mirth and compassion, the delectable epistle of Mr. John Debrett, Editor of the Peerage, Baronetage, and Imperial Calendar. Being a plain matter-of-fact man, I cannot hope to compete with that droll personage, in either wit or erudition, and must resign the field to him in those respects, without attempting to crack jokes or quote scraps of latin. Nor shall I take any notice of the personalities which that facetious chronicler has thought it necessary to have recourse to. Patient, however, of injuries as I am, I cannot consent to give up my personal identity. You, Mr. Editor, can assure Mr. Debrett that I, who glory in the signature of the triple P, am quite a different person from him of the bi-literal appellation of J. M. We are, I suspect, from different sides of the channel. Mr. Debrett has thus been affected in
a contrary way to the votaries of Bacchus, who are said to see every object double in their cups, whereas he has blended two people into one while pouring forth his indignation.

“Passing by all this buffoonery, let me call to Mr. Debrett’s recollection the true state of the case. I pointed out in his account of the noble families of Howth and Clarina, errors of the most palpable and ridiculous description; and I added that it was scandalously negligent to continue them in edition after edition, said to be carefully revised and corrected. In answer, he tells me, that it is very easy to rectify these errors (the existence of which he cannot deny), which, if true, renders his negligence in suffering them to remain unamended for so many years, still more inexcusable; and that I am a scandalously mean fellow, which, whether true or not, does not establish the correctness of his peerage.

“I confess, however, such is my obtuseness, that I cannot see wherein I am so scandalous. I gave for Mr. Debrett’s book four and twenty shillings under the impression that it was accurate. If not accurate, it is not worth as many pence: and every approach to inaccuracy, is a sensible, a calculable diminution of its value. And I re-assert that it contains as many errors as articles; but I must also repeat, that to prove the assertion at length, would occupy all your columns. If Mr. Debrett have the honesty to return me my twenty-four shillings, which I can assure him I regret parting with for his Peerage, I engage to forward him, by return of post four and twenty blunders as ridiculous as any already mentioned; but as he seems to wish for a farther exposé in public, I shall, with your permission, oblige him with a dozen specimens of his correctness, which I have collected in less than half-an-hour.

“1st. p. 54. We are told that the late Duke of Dorset was killed at Killarney in Ireland. Now his Grace met with the sad accident, that put an end to his life, above a hundred miles from Killarney, in a different province altogether. He might as well say that a gentleman killed in Norfolk, was killed in Cornwall. I confess I do not lay much stress on such blunders as these, because they are not very material. If I did I could glean a hundred of them by barely casting my eyes over his pages; but as we do not consult peerages for historical facts or
anecdotes, I shall only notice errors in what we principally do consult them for, that is, in dates.

“2nd. p. 73. George Paulett of Amport, twelfth Marquis of Winchester, married in 1812 Martha Ingoldsby, who died in 1796. In spite of this droll taste of marrying a woman sixteen years after her death, he had three children; and it is not the least wonderful circumstance, that he himself died in 1800, twelve years before his marriage. I have a dim recollection of reading in Mr. Lewis’s Tales of Wonder, an account of a ghost-wedding; but I did not know till now that he had such authentic warrant for the circumstance. I must farther remark, that it is rather scandalous in Mr. Debrett to assert that the noble lady of Sir Joseph Yorke was married twenty-seven years before her mother was united in the holy bonds of matrimony to her father; and that the late Marchioness of Winchester had a grandchild before she had a husband. I omit mentioning that he makes her son to be married a year after his mother. This is almost scandalum magnatum.

“3rd. p.231. Here is more scandal. Bennet, third Earl of Harborough, married, according to this authentic register, in 1748, having had children by his lady in 1739, 1741, 1743, and 1744. What follows is almost as bad. This Earl had a daughter Frances, married to Colonel Morgan in 1776, six years after her father’s death, which occurred in 1770; and yet we are told he left no surviving issue. What is the meaning of this? Does Mr. Debrett mean to insinuate that Lady Frances, though the Earl’s daughter, was not his child?

“4th. p. 986. Here we have scandal against a living lady. The Earl of Mexborough, he says, was married to his Countess, September 25th, 1782, and their daughter Eliza came into the world on the 20th of June preceding. Upon my word Mr. Debrett, this is taking a shocking liberty with Lady Mexborough’s character!

“5th. p. 1248. Again to it! William Townshend, eldest son of Lord Ventry, marries Miss Jones in 1797; but her son by him was born in 1793. On the part of the Hon. Mrs. Mullens, I must take upon me to contradict this calumny, and to expostulate warmly with Mr. Debrett for treating her in this manner, in his scandalous chronicle.


“6th. p. 375. Catherine, wife of Edward Devereux, eleventh Viscount Hereford, dies February 2nd, 1741, yet has a son on the 19th of the same month, and a daughter in 1743!

“7th. p. 1045. This fashion of Lady Hereford’s appears to have been adopted about the same time in Ireland; for we find that the mother of the first Viscount O’Neil died in 1742, and had her eldest son, the viscount, in 1748, six years after. It appears to me, however, that he is rather unfairly counted her eldest son, as her second son is born in 1746, which, I submit, is an earlier date. But that is a bagatelle here.

“8th. p. 980. We have another post-obit birth—a circumstance, I suspect, rather more frequent in this Peerage than in the Lying-in Hospital—in the case of Catherine, wife of the second Earl of Arran, who dies in 1770, and, according to custom, has a son in 1774, and daughters in 1775 and 1776. This would have been a valuable woman in a new colony.

“9th. p. 584. William Brabazon, Baron Ponsonby of Imokilly, was born in 1744, and married in 1726, only eighteen years before his birth. He had three children nevertheless, one of whom Mr. Debrett makes Knight of the Shire for Cork in 1817, though the gentleman at that time was not in parliament at all; and I perceive that the error is repeated in the revised and corrected edition for 1820. If an edition be published in 1850, I suppose he will still figure as M.P.

“10th. p. 899. Robert Fitzgerald, nineteenth Earl of Kildare, marries in March, 1708, Lady Mary O’Brien, who died in the February preceding. As usual, this hopeful marriage produces eleven children!

“11th. p. 966. Rev. Pierce Butler, third son of the second Earl of Carrick, dies in 1803, and as usual here, marries in 1806. His lady, I see, took a second husband. I hope her second match was more auspicious than her first. It must have been rather unpleasant to be married to a man who had been three years dead.

“12th. p. 1271-2. In the former of these pages, we are told that Richard Handcock was member for Athlone in 1800, and in the latter, that William Handcock, first Lord Castlemaine, represented that town from 1783 to 1801. Now William represented it until 1804, and I believe Richard never at all.
I should be obliged to
Mr. Debrett if he would tell me where he learned that the two Messrs. Handcock sat together for Athlone in 1800?

“There is my dozen for you. It will be in vain for Mr. Debrett to shift these errors on his pressmen. They arise from scandalous negligence somewhere; and it is little matter to the people who like me are out of pocket for Mr. Debrett’s bundle of inaccuracies, whether it is master or man that is to blame for them. I could not help laughing at the suggestion of the worthy editor, that I ought rather to have sent my corrections to him in a private letter, when I recollected how carefully he adds in his advertisement, prefixed to his worthy work, that all correspondence to him on the subject of the Peerage, should be post paid. This is, I suppose what he calls soliciting corrections; but the plain English of it is this—you have lost one pound four shillings by me, and now to enable me to make another edition more correct, you ought to throw away a few additional shillings in postage.

“I believe I take leave of Mr. Debrett here. He refers me to his Baronetage: I have seen that book. Does he wish to have my opinion on it? If so, let him say the word, and I am ready for it, in public or in private.

“I remain, Sir,
“Your humble Servant,

P. P. P.

“P.S. The pages refer to the edition of 1817; but the errors exist as well in the edition of 1820 as in the former one, not a single inaccuracy being corrected.”

H. page 232.


“The following is a free translation from the French, a little imperfect I must confess; for a waggish friend of mine maltreated the commencement of it (as far as the chasm) after I had parted with the original composition, and I was consequently obliged to patch his alterations and the remaining fragment together as well as I could.

“The writing came into my hands in the following manner:—As I was taking my chop in Sweetings-alley the other day, I observed that my next neighbour was in some distress, and that it appeared to arise from a pamphlet which he held in his hand. The person was about four feet and-a-half high, had a foreign aspect, and wore a small hat, almost receding to a point at the top, and which seemed altogether supported by the profusion of black, shaggy hair that adorned his head, and the whiskers that adorned his sallow cheeks. After having made a temperate meal off a kidney and a pint of beer (which circumstance I should have attributed to poverty had I not perceived a multitude of gold and silver rings on all his fingers), he wiped his eyes and addressed me. He said that he had the honour of being a Frenchman—that he had experienced the most profound and invincible attachment to Mademoiselle Bias for some years—that he was overwhelmed with sorrow at reading the statements made in M. Waters’ Pamphlet—that although he was penetrated with respect for M. Waters (who, as the head of an establishment wherein ‘artists’ from Italy and France were exclusively employed, must be a gentleman of the first taste), yet he must, it was with regret, but he must, as a native of the Great Nation, do something to wipe off the stigma that would attach to it, if the statements contained in the Pamphlet remained uncontradicted. Those statements he must at present presume arose from mistake, especially those which referred to Mademoiselle
Fanny Bias. He showed, and, indeed, lent me a letter that he had written to her in an idle hour. I turned the commencement of it into rhyme: it has suffered a little, as I stated before.

“I am, Sir,
“Your most obedient servant,

“X. X. X.”
Fanny Bias as Flora—dear creature! you’d swear,
When her delicate feet in the dance twinkle round,
That her steps are of light, and her home is the air,
And she only par complaisance touches the ground.”—
Oh! Med’moiselle Fanny!—Ah, ah! is it so?
Faith, and “His to some tune” you’d be turning your toe—
Methinks you have left your ethereal tent,
Where you dwelt like a nymph—nay, I’m forced to lament
That—Miss Bias—(though still may be lofty her bound)
No longer, “par complaisance, touches the ground;”
But, that when her bright presence she deigns to unfold
To us mortals—we mortals must pay her “in gold.”
But I jest
Oh! my Fanny—and was it for thee,
(The queen of the dance and the Flora of show)
To be like the D——s, or the craving Miss G.
Or that great, bouncing dancing-girl, Madame Le Gros.
Let V—— (who sings like a lord) still disclaim
All “haggling” forsooth, ’cause ’twill sully his fame—
Let the “Buffo, B. C.” in his impudence ask
Fourteen covers” to fatten him fit for his task—
Let the Milanese Miss, and the Lady at Turin
Provoke one, with eight stipulations alluring—
The other with five—but such five—by my life!
It tempts one to wish for Miss T. for a wife.
Away with these o’er-reaching wretches, but you
To mix with the paltry, exorbitant crew!!
I feel “au desespoir:” you were all my delight,
I loved you—I thought you a daughter of light—
Oh! come forward, my love, and the slander deny,
Or begone, like an angel, at once to the sky;
And if you ne’er drop from your dwelling again,
I shall know it was envy that drove you from men.
Till I hear from you, Fanny, I’ll never believe
That I could be cosened, or you could deceive—
Let me hear! and ’till then you shall live in my heart
As tho’, like my destiny, never to part.
If you’re silent I’ll think that you’ve wander’d above,
And there, too, shall wander Pontarlier’s love.
My good wishes shall follow you, darling afar,
And should in the heaven, some beautiful star
Ever flash its pale lustre alone upon me,*
I shall know ’tis the home, sweet, allotted to thee.
Signed, “Louis, Cæsar, Jean, Hector, Pythagore de Pontarlier.”


“I send you some lines on a subject which, after Dryden’s ‘sounding line,’ it may perhaps be deemed presumption to touch. It is, generally speaking, but an indifferent production, which requires explanatory notes. I will hazard one, however, for the benefit of the ‘country gentlemen’ who read your paper, and beg them to observe that by the ‘Master Spirits’ of the time, I mean to allude to the following poets. I will name them in the Order in which they occur in the poem, viz., Byron, Moore, Campbell, Wordsworth, Southey, Coleridge, Scott, and the author of the poem entitled ‘Paris in 1815’ * * * *

Look down, look down, Cecilia!
Where’er thou dwellest—haply seated high
On some bright planet, or erratic star,
(That casts its light irregular)
Sending to darken’d globes unwonted day,
And touching distant spheres with harmony—
Oh, fair and sweet Cecilia!
Now, from thine orb where music takes its birth
And all concenter’d is the world of sound,
Albeit at times there streams around
Soft notes, or bursts of mirth,
(Gladdening the melancholy minds of earth)
Look down and bless this day!

* This assertion may be hazarded with some degree of safety. X. X. X.

Not, as in old times, would I celebrate
Thy powers upon the heart by sound alone;
But class thee with the Muse who lived of yore
(Oh! who could then thy power disown!)
Upon that far and sacred shore,
Where still Parnassus shrouds
His white head in Olympian clouds,
Soaring sublime, and holier from his lonely state.
Greece! Land of my idolatry!
Not all deserted are thy slopes of green;
Altho’ the dull Turk passes by,
Mocking thy beauties with his heavy eye;
And tho’ the Greek no more be seen
Before thy marble altars kneeling,
Where once Apollo from his shrine
Spoke those oracles divine,
Joy, grief, success, or death, to man revealing;
Yet one high Pilgrim on thy green hath trod,
The native of a distant land,
Feeling and breathing all the god—
Within the pure Castalian stream
Fearless he dipp’d his hand,
And carried to a grateful lip,
The water bards alone may sip,
And madden not:—and then Parnassus thee,
And thee soft flowing Castaly,
(Worth both to deck his theme)
And many a long forgotten name
Defrauded of its fame.
He gather’d as he roam’d along,
And weaved the whole within his lofty song.
That song shall live for ever—Oh! and thou,
Cecilia, when thou strik’st the string
May haply deign to sing,
Blending Athenian fame with Harold’s woe;
Thus shall sweet Poesy (a nymph divine)
Mix her wild numbers with thy strain,
And from her prolific brain
Shall pour those high impassion’d words of fire,
Subduing thee to aid her mighty line,
And join thy witching skill to soften or inspire.
Hark! on the wings a note hath gone,
As sad as youthful mother ever sung,
When she in grief hath hung
Over her child, abandon’d and alone—
And now the tones increase
Like Eastern music floating on the air;
And sounds of death seem jarring there,
Wails and low choking tones—then all is peace:
And oh! the mingling of those chords between—
Words such as poets chant are given,
Embodying thoughts that spring like name to heaven.
Still is the bard unseen—
Yet fancy decks him out with laurels green
And Grecian garments as of old;
For lost Leander’s fate he told,
And all his song was of that land,
Sunk beneath a Moslem hand;
Its sea of blue that softly smiles
Clasping the Ægæan’s countless isles;
Its pillars—tombs—its temples—towers,
And oh! its once resistless powers
Fall’n, fall’n, and in decay;
And all its spirit pass’d away.
But now comes one whose blither measure
Tells of love and pleasure,
Crown’d with a rich fantastic wreath,
Whence Asian odours breathe:
Like Anacreon’s self advancing,
See he flings his eyes around,
Bacchantes to his music dancing
By the airy numbers bound.
Now o’er the angry waters of the West
A soft voice, peaceful as the halcyon dove,
Breathes a strain of love;
And as it sounds, the charm’d waves sink to rest:
Beautiful Gertrude! hath thy poet died?
He who from Susquehanna’s side
Drew the sweet tale which all the world admire—
Ah! where is now his buried lyre?
Why is the voice that told of hope to men
Silent? or hath it lost its fire?
Cecilia! bid him touch his lyre again.
There like a hermit, in his mountain home,
One philosophic bard is kneeling—
Along the glittering heaven his glances roam,
And o’er the forest depths and grassy vales
To Skiddaw’s mighty race allied,
(Around whose head the screaming eagle sails,
And builds his lair within their hearts in pride,)
And with the slopes that grace Helvellyn’s side
In deep and speechless feeling
He seems to commune, there, as if alone.
His spirit from that lonely place had caught
The truths which Nature has so long and vainly taught.
And him beside is Roderick’s poet seen
Crown’d with laureate branches green:
And he a wondrous man, who gave away
His prime of life to metaphysic lore,
And the fair promise of his younger day
Abandon’d—for his song is heard no more—
And silent too one poet passes by,
The “bard of ladye love and chivalry,”
The golden violet twines his brow,
But his Northern harp is muffled now;
And if across the wires by chance be flings
His hand—his hand is cold, or mute the strings.
But who is he on whose dark front sublime
Genius hath stamp’d her characters of fire?
Oh! with a mighty hand he sweeps the lyre,
And as the numbers rise on high,
Hark! from a neighbouring clime,
As if to drown his harmony,
Crouching rebellion sends an angry cry—
The strain is changed—and grief usurps the song
Where triumph and prophetic sounds before
Were heard—and anguish deep and suffer’d long
By her who on a foreign shore
Did cast her sorrows in a nation’s arms,
That hushed her dark alarms,
And with a soft and pitying eye
Looked down on her adversity.
Her grief was told in many a lofty line:
But, “Paris,” wherefore stays thy poet now?
Half of the tale remains, and on his brow
The single laurel waits its partner wreath divine.
* * * * * *
Oh! ye master spirits of my time,
Forgive, forgive, that I have dared to talk
Of ye, and in your temple walk,
And trifle with your names or themes sublime.
I am a wanderer on the sacred hill,
And round the humbler slopes at times do stray,
And listen to—Oh! far away—
The music of your own Castalian rill.
If that I counsel yet to speak again,
And yield yourselves to that so holy rage
That doth the poet’s soul engage,
’Tis that ye may not pass those hours in vain
From whence (else haply doomed to harm)
Ye can draw such a charm.
Oh! never let those thoughts and pictured things
(Whether of grief or mirth),
And those remote, mysterious ponderings
Die shapeless at their very hour of birth:
It is the penalty of mighty minds,
(And well may it be borne for fame)
That future ages always have a claim
Upon the poet’s and the patriot’s soul;
And this they whisper on the passing winds
That voiceless by the dull, and poor in spirit roll.
Have I forgot thee, then, sweet maid,
Whom minstrels court and covet for their own?
Thee, to whose slightest tone
My heart its secret vows hath purely paid.
As to thine image on its starry throne—
Like the divinest gifts of poesy,
Are thine—and oh! thy small and fainting notes
(Whether by nightingales, on summer eves
Utter’d from amongst the leaves,
Or from the young larks’ shrill yet silver throats,)
Have powers as great—and as resistless ties
As deeper harmonies—
Throughout the realm one magic sway prevails,
And equal is thy low or loftiest sound.
Whenever it assails,
Obedient to its touch the fine-strung nerves resound.
Farewell! thou sweet Cecilia! yet I may,
On some far-future day,
Again implore thy soft, thy witching aid
(If of the poet’s idlesse then afraid),
And ask thee once again
To leave celestial joys awhile,
And shame the indolence of gifted men
With thy inspiring voice and half reproving smile.

Thou shalt stand
A Deity, sweet woman, and be worshipped!— Ford.
Gone from her cheek is the summer bloom,
And her breath has lost all its faint perfume,
And the gloss hath dropp’d from her golden hair,
And her forehead is pale tho’ no longer fair.
And the spirit that sate on her soft blue eye
Is struck with cold mortality;
And the smile that play’d on her lip hath fled
And every grace hath now left the dead.
Like slaves they obeyed her in height of power
But left her all in her wintry hour:
And the crowds that swore for her love to die,
Shrank from the tones of her last sad sigh:
And this is man’s fidelity.
’Tis woman alone with firmer heart
Can see all those idols of life depart,
And love the more; and soothe and bless
Man in his utter wretchedness.
The western skies are no longer gay,
For the sun of the summer has died away,
Yet left no gloom:
For ere the spirit of heaven went,
He tuned night’s shadowy instrument,
And hung on every leaf perfume.
To each sweet breeze that haunts the world,
And sleeps by day on the rose-leaf curled,
A warmth he gave:
He has left a life in these marble halls
And beauty on yon white waterfalls,
And still at his bidding these dark pines wave.
Rich is the sun with his golden hair,
And his eye is too bright for man to bear:
And when he shrouds
His brow in vapour, and all the west
Strews gold (as ’twould welcome a kingly guest),
He looks like a god on his throne of clouds.
Yet I know an eye as bright as his,
And a smile more soft, and lips of bliss,
Oh! lovelier far:
And an arm as white as the milk-white dove,
And a bosom all warm and rich with love,
And a heart, as the hearts of angels are!
She listens now to my wild guitar,
And she hides her behind yon lattice bar;
(A girl’s delight.)
Yet she never will let me linger long,
But comes and rewards my twilight song,
And treats her love with—a kiss by night
Listen! from the forest boughs
The voice, like angel of the spring,
Utters his sweet vows
To the proud rose blossoming.
And now beneath thy lattice, dear,
I am like the bird complaining,
Thou above (I fear),
Like the rose disdaining.
From her chamber in the skies
Shouts the lark at break of morning,
And when daylight flies,
Comes the raven’s warning.
This of gloom and that of mirth,
In their curious numbers tell,
But thoughts of sweeter birth
Teacheth the nightingale.
Oh! thou delightful soul of poetry!
That ever mortals should contemptuous glance
On thy divinest dreamings. What a trance
Had they who wrote high books of chivalry,
And those pure tales Italian! Some did lie
Half slumbering on the “shores of old romance,”
And saw by the moonlight tiny spirits dance—
Some held strange converse with the talking winds,
Or shouted to the foaming cataracts,
And hence drew thoughts that shall not pass away.
And some there were who (these were mighty minds)
Gave a bright perpetuity to facts,
Which else had perished. From such labours they
Found joy and yielded it—and so may I.
Quick, quick—the uncorked Bacchus gushes!
See how the crimson devil rushes
Through the narrow neck to life!
See! what blushing bubbling strife
Springs from years of cellar’d quiet—
Come, let’s vanquish this red riot:
Let’s drink down the fragrant fever.
This is no soda—weak deceiver,
Sparkling round a tasteless rim:
’Tis rich madness to the brim.
It is wit—’tis wealth—’tis wine—
Champaign liquor—strength divine—
Incense that might kiss the sky—
Rare and ravishing poetry.
Look, sirs, ’twill obscure the moon,
And make the stars sing out of tune.
Drink, oh! rare Olympian stuff;
When shall we ever have enough?
Drink! huzza! the room is turning
Round, and the cat’s green eyes are burning;
And our fat friend there, the vicar,
Languisheth for some more liquor.
Quick, let’s have one more large flask,
Strong as Sampson, boy—we’ll mask
Grief, and Care’s harsh wrinkles, quite
Smooth with this brave red and white.
Now, what’s this? ’Tis Burgundy!
Jove, I know its amorous eye,
Its slender neck, its graceful shape—
Quick, uncork the bottled grape!
Quicker, lest my thirst decay;
Give the imperial creature way.
Ha! this kiss to ease my pain—
This, to cool my fiery brain—
This, because my friends are kind—
This, for that my foes are blind;
May they choke on water diet.
As for me—but let’s be quiet—
Let us leave Champaign to boys,
And drink this calm, which never cloys.
Look! what unpretending liquor;
This will never make us bicker
Like its hot unruly brother,
This—’tis gone—bring out another!
It is yet an age to dawn,
(An hour) our wit is scarcely born.
Bring a dozen. So, what’s this?
Port? No matter; shall we miss
Such a bottle black and bright?
See! ’tis like the flooding night
When the starry darkness glistens,
And the perfumed ether listens
To the mad-brained lover’s wooings,
Heedless of our sober doings.
So have I said—so have I sung
When youth upon my temples hung,
And twenty summers crisped my hair;
But now the shrivell’d bigot, Care,
Hath tied the licence of my tongue,
And turned my locks all silver white;
And that bright hag, the sleepless night,
Hath witch’d my heart, and iced my powers
Thro’ her pale enchanted hours;
My friends are gone, my hopes are fled,
And all my dreaming days are dead!

I am a member of a society consisting of certain distinguished persons, whose manners or merits have raised them above the level of the world. Upon this Society some busy people, who would fain be considered the wits of the day, have thought proper to inflict the absurd title of ‘Dandies.’ This folly gives us but little concern, and we have pretty distinctly traced it to a certain short-sighted elderly gentleman, who was some time since blackballed on an application to be admitted a member of our club. If we are wrong in this idea, we are at least secure in (then) attributing this silly appellation to the envy of some obscure scribbler—possibly some ragged fellow who has been cut by ‘one of us,’ and who has satisfied at once his hunger and his malice by levelling bad jokes at his betters.

You seem, Sir, to have more good nature than many of your contemporary editors, and appear to me to be not altogether unworthy of being admitted into our mysteries. For the gratification of yourself and your readers, you shall know something about us. Our Sect or Society is unquestionably the first and most select in the empire of taste. It is an ‘imperium in imperio,’ as the poet says. Our form of government is an absolute (but not hereditary) monarchy, and our laws are framed as far as possible, according to the strictest letter of courtesy. We number in our list the witty and the most illustrious; no person whose claims to distinction have not been confirmed by the jealous admiration or envious notice of the ‘crowd’ can be admitted a member of the ‘Gentleman’s Club,’ and even then not till he has undergone a certain probation, and cleansing himself from the sins of vulgar heresies.

No oaths are permitted by the laws, though some few excla-
mations, as ‘By Gad,’ ‘Pon hanneur,’ &c, are tolerated in emergencies.

No member is allowed to incur the risk of being stifled by the air east of Temple Bar without special consent (unless he be obliged to go to the Bank for money), and the privilege of being choked, or distended at a city banquet, can only be acquired by ballot. This point, however, is sometimes ceded to the intelligent and illustrious, our society not being destitute of the spirit of discovery, and being really anxious to ascertain all the real gradations between themselves and absolutely savage nature. No person wearing shoes in the morning or boots in the evening can be admitted a member of the Society. The same penalty attaches to those who presume to stare at pretty women without the aid of an eye-glass. Every member, on being admitted into the Society, must forswear the use of some liquid called ‘porter,’ and must abjure also a certain herbaceous plant or grass of disagreeable odour, entitled (I believe) ‘cappage’ or ‘cabbage.’ (This plant, I think, B. once said had been adopted by the State in a season of scarcity, and was afterwards prescribed, as aliment, for tailors.) No person who has smoked tobacco, or drank punch since he came to years of discretion, can possibly be admitted without the most thorough purgation. Bruisers are not admitted, nor coachmen, whether professors or amateurs, though some of the former are retained on the ‘establishment,’ at a liberal salary, to avenge any insult offered to the Society.

Puns and jokes of all sorts are prohibited. In short, there are fifty other regulations equally conducive to mirth and good humour.

Ours is an elective monarchy, and though, as I have said, we number amongst us the most illustrious persons of the time, our choice is never determined without the most severe scrutiny into the habits and character of the candidate. There is now, unhappily, an interregnum with us for poor B., who was elected unanimously and with the expression of a feeling almost to acclamation. The recollection makes me shudder even now he has retired without giving up the sceptre of command. We had hoped to have offered it to a certain distinguished individual who has been labouring with indifferent success for some years to eclipse the rest of mankind in dress. B. however objected
to transfer the sceptre to that gentleman’s hands. It was found necessary, therefore, to resort to a general meeting, in order (by repeating old laws and framing new ones) to relieve us at once from the tenacity of B. I attended the meeting, and the following memoranda (copied from the Secretary’s book) may serve to give you an idea of the manner in which we conduct business.

N.B. It is to be observed that the secretary is not a member. It was intended originally that none but members should be present at our discussions, and that the office of Secretary should be ‘endured in rotation.’ This plan, however, (owing to the indifferent writing of some members, and the bad spelling of others,) was found inconvenient.


“Memoranda made at a general meeting of the ‘Gentleman’s Club,’ held at the Thatched House Tavern on the 9th day of June, 1816.

“The secretary read the requisition for a meeting in order to appoint a president, and in order that the applications of various persons for admission into the Society be taken into consideration.

“The Hon. Mr. S. then rose, and moved that the Society was in want of a head. This was agreed to after an observation by Lord P.—that he ‘really never could see the use of a head.’

“Lieutenant ——, of the ‘Gards,’ moved, rather abruptly, that the weather was insupportable, and that the Society should adjourn to a more convenient season.

“The Duke of —— objected to the disordered state of the Society, &c., and assured the meeting that he thought it much better to exist in hot weather than in hot water (applause).

“A new Member, in a pink waistcoat, suggested, in a low conciliating tone, that any gentleman whose stays should be found oppressive might be at liberty to retire, paying his fine.—Agreed to nem. con.

“The Hon. Mr. S. then moved that the meeting do resolve that the law respecting president be repealed, and forthwith proceed to elect a head!

“The Marquis T. said the title, head, was too extensive; it
comprehended more than suited the views of the Society, and moved by way of amendment that the title ‘Grand Master’ be adopted by the Society.—Agreed to after some discussion.

“The following noblemen and gentlemen were then successively put in nomination for the office of Grand Master of the Society:—

“The Duke of ——.

“Murmurs—a general expression of discontent—no ballot took place. Lord P. (curling his mustachios) swore that was rather too good.

“The Earl of Drum.

“Silence. A member observed at last that the Earl had once been caged all night for breaking lamps!—Lieutenant really could not see the objection (a smile). The Earl was blackballed.

“Lord Viscount ——.

“A general laugh. One member said that his lordship’s spelling was not such as would become a ‘Grand Master.’—Lieutenant ——, in some warmth, protested against such remarks. He considered that the Viscount could spell as well as himself (viz., the Lieutenant); at any rate he knew that his lordship could always spell for himself.—Mr. S. observed that ‘his lordship was in the habit of drinking porter’ at Newmarket, and he played at twopenny whist and brag with the blacklegs.—General symptoms of disgust.—Blackballed.

“Lord George ——.

“A Member said that Lord George was a common author.—Mr. S. admitted that Lord George had been guilty of writing a book; but he contended that as it never sold, no objection could be maintained on that score. One member asserted that the book contained jokes. This was repelled, and the book was referred to for a joke, without success.—Mr. S. said there did not appear to be a ‘mens vivida’ (or disposition to wit) in Lord George, and as he could find nothing particularly ludicrous, excepting only an ‘invocation (by Lord George) to genius,’ he must be acquitted.—Only one blackball.

“Mr. R—.

“The Secretary was desired to request Mr. B. to awake and retire. This was effected with some difficulty, and he was put
in nomination.—A young member, in light blue cossacks, said it would be an eternal disgrace to the Society if it were to nominate a tradesman.—Mr. S. objected to this (good-naturedly), and said that the man was a merchant, and that as he had been admitted a member, he doubted whether Sir ——’s objection would lay.— A member, in a straw-coloured cravat, said that R. was not-awriously in the daily habit of eating ‘cappage.’—A general shrugging of shoulders. (The Secretary here asked whether he should not write ‘cabbage.’ The reply was that it was immaterial.) All the balls were black.

“Here the door-keeper came in, and said that Mr. R. had requested him to ‘go for a pot of porter.’ All the members astonished; one enquired what was the nature of porter? to which his neighbour answered, that he believed it was a medicine used as a palliative or soporific. Mr. S., however, defined it to be ‘an intoxicating beverage, like port, much drank by the lower orders.’ The door-keeper was ordered to retire, and a vote of expulsion passed against Mr. R.

“Mr. S. now said that as several of the honourable members were asleep, he should move to adjourn the meeting sine die.

“Agreed to nem. con.

“Signed, C. H——.

“This is a faithful transcript of the minute-book.

“I had intended to have sent you some characters of our most celebrated members, but I am tired of writing. Perhaps I may resume my pen on some future day.

“I have the honour to be, Sir,
“Yours, &c.

I. page 232.
By J. Read.
Threescore and ten I can remember well,
Within the volume of which time I’ve seen
Hours dreadful, and things strange; but this sore night
Hath trifled former knowings.—Macbeth.
Whose flag has braved, a thousand years,
The battle and the breeze.—Campbell.
The sun went down in splendour—as he went
A crimson glory streak’d the Occident,
Lingering like hope: and clouds were floating, bright
As ruby islands in a sea of light:
Awhile they wore all hues—then wavering, weak,
Waned like the blush that warms a virgin’s cheek,
Till all was lost: then Twilight drew her hood,
Dropp’d with pale stars; and scowling Darkness stood,
Like a dim spectre, on the Eastern hill,
Vestured in clouds, and lingering there until
His hour had come: then sobbing gusts plain’d by—
The vex’d wave flung his silver crest on high—
The sea-gull shriek’d on rapid-wheeling wing—
The steed prick’d up his ear, as hearkening
To far, far sounds—neigh’d, started, toss’d his head
Then, bounding off, gazed fierce and spirited;
The watch-dog bay’d; the patient steer drew nigh—
There was a calm petition in his eye;
Unsocial birds forsook the wild woods far,
And peck’d and flutter’d at the lattice bar—
Nought breath’d untroubled—
* * * * * *
Hark! the ruffian squalls
Rock to their base those bastion-circled walls,
Whose towery crown, by time or siege unbow’d,
Frowns on the deep, and stays the passing cloud.
* * * * * *
How baleful dark! tho’ brief an hour be gone
Since, thro’ the bright-edged rack that hurried on,
The Moon look’d out unsullied: while I gazed,
Athwart her path the vivid meteor blazed;
And, as that herald of the brooding gale
Wing’d noiseless on, her crescent brow wax’d pale:
She heard the rebel deep disown her sway
And, like offended Beauty, turn’d away.
Then swoop’d the winds which hurl the giant oak
From Snowdon’s altitude;—the thunder broke
In deep, percussive, peals—so near, that earth
Shook as it threaten’d a volcano’s birth:
And, while the angled lightning quiver’d by
(Like types of a celestial tongue) the eye
Recoil’d within itself—oppress’d and awed—
As tho’ it saw the written wrath of God
Gleam on the black and cloud-leaf book of Night,
In letters of unutterable light!
* * * * * *
It seems as Ocean, weary of repose,
With all his storms, in bold rebellion rose,
To bow that Flag, obey’d where’er it veers,
Which braved their fury for a thousand years!
Yet, Ocean! thou hast been our friend—tho’, thus
Convulsed with rage, the eye grows tremulous
That gazeth on thee! as might one, whose skill
Had brought by spells some spirit to his will,
Start—each deep wish indulged—to find it turn
In wrath upon himself, and fiercely spurn
The bondage it had brook’d. Thy mighty arm
Was stretch’d between us and the locust-swarm
That made all earth an Egypt! our Ally
When none beside was our’s—and Destiny
Had doom’d us Ishmael’s lot, opposing thus
Our hand to all, and every hand to us!
And thou hast borne us thro’—triumphant borne—
The sun of glory spotless and unshorn!
Those days of strife-—tho’ not their memory—cease,
And all, but only thou, repose in peace:
Alas! ere ebbs this barrier-trampling tide,
The throb of many a temple shall subside;
And beating hearts which sicken at thy roar,
Be hush’d to rest—and palpitate no more!
* * * * * *
Now faint, and far, comes on the wail of death—
Heard as the tempest seems to pause for breath;
And now the sheeted levin glares upon
A peopled deck, that idly hopes to shun
Those ambush’d banks o’er which the breakers rave—
A crash—a shriek—the ocean is their grave!
Would that owe victim might appease the blast!
Oh no—the cry of death is deepening fast;
And minute-guns, above the surging swell,
Boom on the gale the Pilot’s passing-bell!
And there be some to whom this morning’s sun
Reveal’d the cliffs their thoughts had dwelt upon
Through exiled years; and bade, all peril past,
The warm heart hail its native hills at last—
As fair to-morrow’s sun those hills may greet,
But then the surf shall be their winding-sheet!
And there be others struggling with the spite
Of warring elements, whose souls were bright
To mark, at evening’s close, the little space
Which but delay’d Affection’s bland embrace;
And now they roll the aching eye-ball round,
And meet but death—the drowning and the drown’d:
Yet fond, fair arms shall yield the clasp they sought—
Yea, wildly clasp,—but they shall heed it not!
* * * * * * *

O, I have suffer’d
With those that I saw suffer! a brave vessel,
Who had, no doubt, some noble creatures in her,
Dash’d all to pieces. O, the cry did knock
Against my very heart—poor souls, they perish’d!
* * * * * *
. . . . . Not a soul
But felt a fever of the mad, and play’d
Some tricks of desperation.—Tempest.
How many now are pondering o’er the lot
Of friends afar—Unthought of, half, forgot,
Till this compassion-waking moment brings
Their image back, with all their sufferings!
The haughty Maid recals the youth she drove
To seek a grave for ill-requited love—
Sees all the worth she would not see before,
And bears in turn the agonies he bore.
A Father brings the outcast boy to mind
His sternness forced to brave the waves and wind;
Alas, too late compunction wrings his breast,—
His child hath rested—where the weary rest!
Yes, tho’ while present those we loved might err
In many actions—tho’ the mind prefer
A stranger at the moment, for some boon
Of nature, chance, or art, which falls in tune
With passing whim—yet, like the butterfly
(Whose wings grow dim by handling) presently
Their gloss is gone; and then our thoughts recal
Worth overlook’d, and let each failing fall
To deep oblivion. Yes, the sun that parted
In clouds, will shine when we are softer-hearted!
And absence softens hearts; and time hath pow’r
To clear those clouds which stain’d a peevish hour—
Call recollections from their pensive gloom,
Like kind, but injured spectres from the tomb—
Accusing with their smiles. Oh, this should move
The soul to those it loves—or ought to love;
’Twould bar reproach!
Yet, ’tis not always fair
To read the bosom thro’ the eye—for there
A sleepless, an untold-of worm may lurk,
And do, although it ’plain not, deadly work;
And make men seem unkind to those whom heaven
Hath heard them plead for, when the heart was riven
With its own griefs. If such are breathing, sure
Life lends no joy?—they live not—they endure—
And (were there not a world beyond this scene)
Than thus to be ’twere better not have been!
* * * * * *
Flash courses flash! the war-ship’s mast is shiver’d—
Smote by the cloud-sped bolt that o’er it quiver;d!
A broader flame the midnight blackness broke—
Her magazine receives the thunder-stroke;
And fires that vault which stars no longer pave,
As though a sun were bursting from the wave!
Bewildering, giddy glare! the echoes reel
From cliff to cliff, replying to the peal
That red explosion rang along the sky;
It seem’d as if its cloud-voiced potency
Surprised the rocks to utterance! the bay
Heaved liquid flame beneath the sudden day,
Whose dawn was death: and some, who cursed tho night,
Hid their pale eyes from that appalling light.
* * * * * *
Sped by her star a gallant ship drew near
The signal-shot flash’d frequent from her tier—
She struck, and stagger’d, in her mid career;
Then, swift as thought, her fragments strew’d the spray,
As some enchanted castle melts away!
* * * * * *
A crowded skiff was labouring for the land—
The wreck they fled drove mastless and unmann’d.
Bold the attempt, but fruitless, to elude
The swiftly rolling billows which pursued:
Their bark had rubb’d the sand, but fail’d to reach
Ere mountain waves broke o’er it on the beach,
And dash’d them to the earth:—they rise—they spring—
Vain as the wounded plover’s fluttering!
For, oh! as if some sea-fiend mock’d their toil,
The big wave caught them in its swift recoil.
One youth was left—the lightning as it sped
Show’d those who baulk’d the sea-dog of the dead,
Fling forth the coil he shivering grasp’d—and now,
While some shade back the tangle from his brow,
An age-worn man that freezing eye surreys,
Where life late play’d—alas, no longer plays!
Smites his scathed breast—and cries (in tones which speak
The heart’s last burst of anguish ere it break)
“How have I sigh’d to hail thy wanderings done—
And meet we thus at last—my son! my son!”
* * * * * *
The storm relents not—as the tiger’s mood
Becomes blood-thirsty by the taste of blood,
It growls for other victims! Hast thou been
The near spectator of a ship-wreck scene?
Heard the unanswer’d cry of sore distress?
Mark’d the strong throes of drowning eagerness?
The body madden’d by the spirit’s pain?
The wild, wild working of the breast and brain?
The haggard eye that horror-widen’d, sees
Death take the start of sorrow and disease?
For such were heard and seen—so close at hand,
A cable’s length had reach’d them from the land;
Yet, farther off than ocean ever bore—
Eternity between them and the shore!
Some sought the beach with many a sob and strain,
But felt each sinew fetter’d by a chain
Which dragg’d them writhing down: a secret hand
Buoy’d others up, and cast them on the land—
Miraculously saved! a few were there
Who pray’d with fervent, and confiding pray’r—
Alas, too few! the many still would cling
To toil and tears—to life and suffering;
And some, whose anguish might not brook to wait
That shunless doom, plunged headlong to their fate:
Yet nature struggled till the last thick gasp;
It was a misery to see them grasp
The sliding waves, and clench the hand, and toil
Like a spent eagle in the whirlwind’s coil—
Till, dash’d against some floating spar or mast,
On Ocean’s rocking couch they slept at last.
Pale, panic-struck, the youth falls prostrate—reft
Of senses that had madden’d were they left:
The harden’d fool, whose life of enterprise
Long verged on death, in drunken frenzy dies:
And helpless woman’s wail, upon the wave,
Pleads at the heart which yearns in vain to save.
But there were some, in hopelessness of soul,
Who pined at heart to reach the destined goal;
Yes, long had spurn’d the load of life unawed,
But dared not rush uncall’d before their God:—
Or haply, pride, which trembled at a stain,
Or, haply love for those they would not pain,
Had moved to give the fatal purpose up—
Unedged the steel, and spill’d the poison-cup:
These, bitter days, soul-racking nights had tried—
And ’scaped, perchance, the curse of suicide.

How like a younker, or a prodigal,
The scarfed bark puts from her native bay,
Hugg’d and embraced by the strumpet wind!
How like the prodigal doth she return;
With over-weatherd ribs, and ragged sails,
Lean, rent, and beggar’d by the strumpet wind!
An anxious, lingering, perilous voyage past,
An India ship hail’d Albion’s land at last!
Moor’d in the Downs, her mighty pinions close
Like some far-flying bird that sought repose;
While, crowding on the deck, a hundred eyes
Turn’d shoreward—flush’d with pleasure and surprise.
That eve they anchor’d, from th’ horizon’s hem
The virgin Moon, as if to welcome them,
Rose from her rest—but would no more reveal
Than the faint outline of her pale profile;
Tho’ soon (as maids forego their fears) she gave
Her orbed brow to kiss the wanton wave
Till—like a scornful lover, swoln by pride,
Because too fondly loved to be denied,
The rude wave spurn’d her off, and raised that loud
And angry blast which scream’d through sail and shroud,
The live-long night on which my harp is dwelling.
Meanwhile, the swarthy crew, each care dispelling,
Had sported thrice three summer suns away
Since they had cast their anchor in the bay.
Oh, none save Fortune’s step-sons, doom’d to roam
The deep, can prize a harbour and a home!
The temperate breeze their sun-bronzed temples blessing—
A native shore the gladden’d eye refreshing—
The painted pinnace dancing from the land
Freighted with friends—the pressure of the hand
Whose pulse throbs happy seconds—the warm gush
Of blood into the cheek, as it would rush
With the heart’s welcome ere the tongue could half
Perform its office—feeling’s telegraph!
Impassion’d smiles, and tears of rapture starting—
Oh, how unlike the tears which fell at parting!
And all were theirs—that good ship’s gallant crew—
As tho’ each joy which absence render’d due
Were paid in one bright moment: such are known
To those long sever’d, loving, loved, alone!
* * * * * *
A gorgeous freight that broad-sail’d vessel bore—
The blazing diamonds and the blushing ore;
Spices that sigh’d their incense, till the sails
Were fann’d along on aromatic gales
From Orient lands. Then marvel not if he
Who there is chief should look exultingly
Back on the storms he baffled, and should know
The bosom’s warmest wildest overflow
While gazing on the land which laugh’d before him—
The smooth sea round—the blue pavilion o’er him!
Yet felt he more than ever sprang from these,
For love demanded deeper sympathies;
And long in lonely bower had sigh’d for him
A fond fair Bride, whose infant Cherubim
Oft spirit-clouded from its playthings crept,
To weep beside its mother while she wept.
But, oh, they met at length! And such sweet days
Already proved as leave a light which plays
Upon the memory when their warmth is gone—
The fount thus treasures sunbeams, and shines on
Thro’ dusk and darkness. Like some happy mother,
Joy mark’d the hours pursuing one another—
A wreath of buoyant angels! Yet, as they
Wheel’d laughing round, oft sigh’d—to make them stay!
* * * * * *
This was a day of banqueting on board;
And swan-wing’d barks, and barges many-oar d
Came crowded to the feast. The young—the gay—
The beautiful—were there. Right merrily
The pleasure boats glide onward—with swift prow
The clear wave curling, till around each bow,
With frequent flash, the bright and feathery spray
Threw mimic rainbows at the sun in play.
The ship is won, the silken chair is lower’d—
Exulting Youth and Beauty bound on board;
And, while they wondering gaze on sail and shroud,
The flag flaps o’er them like a crimson cloud.
* * * * * *
Young Pleasure kiss’d each heart! from Persia’s loom
An ample awning spread its purple bloom
To canopy the guests; and vases, wreathed
With deep-hued flowers and foliage, sweetly breathed
Their incense, fresh as zephyrs when they rove
Among the blossoms of a citron grove:
Soft sounds (invisible spirits on the wing)
Were heard and felt around them hovering:
In short, some magic seem’d to sway the hour,
The wand-struck deck becomes an orient bower!
A very wilderness of blushing roses,
Just such as Love would chuse when he reposes.
The pendant orange from a lush of leaves
Hangs like Hesperian gold; and, tied in sheaves,
Carnations prop their triple coronals:
The grape, out-peeping from thick foliage falls
Like cluster’d amethysts in deep festoons;
And shells are scatter’d round which Indian moons
Had sheeted with the silver of their beams:
But O, what, more than all, the scene beseems,
Fair, faultless forms, glide there with wing-like motion—
Bright as young Peris rising from the ocean!
* * * * * *
Eve darken’d down—and yet they were not gone;
The sky had changed—the sudden storm came on!
One waved on high a ruby-sparkling bowl—
Youth, passion, wine, ran riot in his soul:
“Fill to the brim,” he cried, “let others peer
Their doubtful path to heaven—my heaven is here!
This hour is mine, and who can dash its bliss?
Fate dare not darken such an hour as this!”
Then stoop’d to quaff—but (as a charm were thrown)
His hand, his lips, grew motionless as stone:
The drunkness of his heart no more deceives—
The thunder growls, the surge-smote vessel heaves;
And, while aghast he stared, a hurrying squall
Rent the wide-awning, and discover’d all!
Across their eyes the hissing lightning blazed—
The black wave burst beside them as they gazed;
And dizzily the thick surf scatter’d o’er them;
And dim and distant loom’d the land before them;
No longer firm—the eternal hills did leave
Their solid rest, and heaved, or seem’d to heave!
O, ’twas an awful moment—for the crew
Had rashly, deeply drank, while yet they knew
No ruling eye was on them—and became
Wild as the tempest! peril could not tame—
Nay, stirr’d their brutal hearts to more excess;
Round the deserted banquet-board they press,
Like men transform’d to fiends, with oath and yell:
And many deem’d the sea less terrible
Than maniacs fiercely ripe for all, or aught,
That ever flash’d upon a desperate thought!
Strange laughter mingled with the shriek and groan—
Nor woman shrank, nor woman wept alone.
Some, as a bolt had smote them, fell—and some
Stared haggard wild—dismay had struck them dumb.
There were of firmer nerve, or fiercer cast,
Who scowl’d defiance back upon the blast—
Half scorning in their haughty souls to be
Thus pent and buffetted. And tenderly,
Even then, to manly hearts fair forms were drawn,
Whose virgin eyes had never shed their dawn
Before—soft, beautifully shy—to flush
A Lover’s hope; but, as the Dove will rush
Into the school-boy’s bosom to elude
The swooping goshawk—woman, thus subdued,
Will cling to those she shunn’d in lighter mood—
The soul confess emotions but conceal’d—
Pure, glowing, deep, tho’ lingeringly reveal’d;
That true camelion which imbibes the tone
Of every passion-hue she pauses on!
O, ’tis the cheek that’s false—so subtly taught
It takes not of its colour from the thought;
But, like volcanic mountains veil’d in snow,
Hides the heart’s lava, while it works below!
And there were two who loved, but never told
Their love to one another: years had roll’d
Since Passion touch’d them with his purple wing,
Tho’ still their youth was in its blossoming.
Lofty of soul, as riches were denied,
He deem’d it mean to woo a wealthy bride:
And (for her tears were secret) coldly she
Wreathed her pale brow in maiden dignity.
Yet each had caught the other’s eye reposing—
And, far as looks disclose, the truth disclosing;
But when they met, pride check’d the soul’s warm sigh,
And froze the melting spirit of the eye—
A pride in vulgar hearts that never shone;
And thus they loved, and silently loved on.
But this was not a moment when the head
Could trifle with the heart! the cloud which spread
Its chilling veil between them, now had past—
Too long awaking—but they woke at last!
He rush’d where clung the fainting fair one—sought
To soothe with hopes he felt not, cherish’d not:
And, while in passionate support he prest,
She raised her eyes—then swiftly on his breast
Hid her blanch’d cheek—as if resign’d to share
The worst with him—nay, die contented there.
That silent act was fondly eloquent,
And to the youth’s deep soul, like lightning, sent
A gleam of rapture—exquisite yet brief
As his (poor wretch) that in the grave of grief
Feels Fortune’s sun burst on him, and looks up
With hope to heaven—forgetful of the cup,
The deadly cup his shivering hand yet strain’d—
A hot heart pang reminds him—it is drain’d!
Away with words! for when had true love ever
A happy star to bless it?—Never, never!
And oh, the brightest after-smile of Fate
Is but a sad reprieve, which comes—too late!
* * * * * *
The riot shout peal’d on—but deep distress
Had sunk all else in utter hopelessness:
One mark’d the strife of frenzy and despair—
The most concern’d, and yet the calmest there;
In bitterness of soul beheld his crew—
He should have known them, and he thought he knew;
The blood-hound on the leash may fawn, obey—
Hell tear thee, should’st thou cross him at his prey!
One only trust survives a—doubtful one—
But oh, how cherish’d, every other gone!
“While hold our cables, fear not”—As he spoke
A sea burst o’er them, and their cables broke!
Then, like a lion bounding from the toil,
The ship shot thro’ the billows’ black recoil:
Urged by the howling blast—all guidance gone—
They shuddering felt her reeling, rushing on—
Nor dared to question where, nor dared to cast
One asking look—for that might be their last!
* * * * * *
What frowns so steep in front—a cliff? a rock?
The groaning vessel staggers in the shock!
The last shrieks rise * * *
* * * Hark! whence that voice they hear
Loud o’er the rushing waters—loud and near?
Alas, they dream—’tis but the ocean roar—
Oh no, it echoes from the swarming shore!
Kind Heaven! thy hand was there: with swelling bound
The vast waves heaved the giant hull aground;
And, ebbing with the turning tide, became,
Like dying monsters, impotent and tame.
Wedged in the sand their chafing can no more
Than lave her sides, and deaden with their roar
The clamorous burst of joy. But some there were
Whose joy was voiceless as their late despair—
Whose heavenward eyes, clasp’d hands, and streaming cheeks,
Did speak a language which the lip ne’er speaks!
O, he were heartless, in that passionate hour,
Who could not feel that weakness hath its power,
When gentle woman, sobbing and subdued,
Breathed forth her vow of holy gratitude,
Warm as the contrite Mary’s when forgiven—
An angel smiled recording it in heaven!

O heavens! is’t possible a young maid’s wits
Should be as mortal as an old man’s life?
Nature is fine in love: and, where ’tis fine,
It sends some precious instance of itself
After the thing it loves.
He is dead and gone, lady,
He is dead and gone;
At his head a grass-green turf,
At his heels a stone. Hamlet.
’Tis midnight. Eyeless Darkness, like a blind
And haggard witch, with power to loose and bind
The spirits of the elements at will,
Draws her foul cloak across the stars, until
Those demons she invoked to vex the waves
Have dived and hid them in their ocean-caves:
And they are fled—though still the mighty heart
Of Nature throbs: and now that hag doth start
(Her swarth cheek turning pale in bitter spite)
For thro’ her brow she feels the cold moonlight
Shoot like a pain, as on a western hill
The setting Planet of the night stood still,
Just parted from a cloud: no more the blast
Wail’d, like a naked spirit rushing past,
As tho’ it sought a resting-place in vain:—
The storm is lull’d: and yet, it is a pain
To tell what wreck and ruin strew’d the shore—
Each wave its freight of death or damage bore!
Here, stain’d and torn, a royal flag was cast;
There lay a broken helm, a shatter’d mast;
And oh, the saddest relic of the storm,
Yon wave conveys a seaman’s lifeless form!
* * * * * *
’Tis morn—the waning mists with shadowy sweep
Draw their cold curtains slowly from the deep:
’Tis morn—but gladness comes not with her ray:
The bright and breathing scene of yesterday
Is gone, as if that swift consuming wing
Had brush’d the deep which smote Assyria’s king,
And left his Host, like sear leaves, withering!
The sea swells full, but smooth—to Passion’s thrill,
Tho’ spent her tempest, heaves the young heart still:
A bleakness slumbers o’er it—here and there
Some desolate hull, forsaken in despair,
Drives idly, like a friendless outcast thing
“Which still survives the world’s abandoning:
Where are her sails—her serried tiers’ display—
Her helm—her wide flag’s emblem’d blazonry—
Her crew of fiery spirits—where are they?
* * * * * *
Far scatter’d groups, dejected, hurried, tread
The beach in silence, where the shipwreck’d dead
Lie stiff and strain’d: among them (humbling thought!)
They seek their friends—yet shrink from what they sought,
As on some corse the eye, recoiling, fell—
Tho’ livid, swoln—but recognised too well!
Apart, disturb’d in spirit, breathless, pale—
Her unbound tresses floating on the gale—
A Maiden hasten’d on:—across her way,
As tho’ he slept, a lifeless sailor lay:
She paused, and gazed a moment—shudder’d, sank
Beside that victim on the wave-wash’d bank—
Bent shivering lips to press his haggard cheek,
But started backward with a loathing shriek!
Fond wretch! thy half-averted eyes discover
The cold and bloodless aspect of the Lover!
* * * * * *
Their tale is brief. The youth was one of those
Who spurn the thought of safety or repose
Whilst Peril stalks the deep: where’er display’d,
The flag which sues for succour has their aid—
The foe man’s, or the friend’s;—no pausing then
To question who implore them—they are men!
A noble race—and, tho’ unfamed, unknown,
A race that England should be proud to own!
He, with a few as generously brave,
Had heard the death-wail rising from the wave,
And in an ill-starr’d moment sought to save.
The life-boat reach’d the foundering ship—her crew
With greedy haste secured the rope it threw;
And, in the wild avidity for life,
Rush’d reeling in: alas, that fatal strife
But seal’d their doom! the flashing billows roar
Above their heads—one pang—they strove no more!
* * * * * *
He did not love unloved; for sue who prest
That clay cold hand so madly to her breast,
Believed his vows; and but for Fortune’s scorn
Young Love had smiled on this their bridal morn:
But oh, his years are few who hath not felt
That, while we grasp, the rainbow bliss will melt;
That hopes, like clouds which gleam across the moon,
Soon pass away, and lose their light as soon!
The weltering mass she folds, but yesternight
Heaved warm with life—his rayless eye was bright:
And she whose cheek the rose of rapture spread,
Raves now a maniac—widow’d, yet unwed:
And reckless wanderings take the place of woe—
She fancies joys that glow not, nor can glow;
Breathes in a visionary world, and weaves
A web of bliss—scarce falser than deceives
The reasoning heart: oft sings and weeps; and now
Entwines a sea-weed garland for her brow,
And says it is a marriage wreath. Meanwhile
Her calm vague look will dawn into a smile,
As something met her eye none else should see:
She folds her hands and bends imploringly
To sue its stay;—with wilder gesture turns,
And clasps her head, and cries—“It burns, it burns!”
Then shakes as if her heart were ice. * *
* * * * * * Not long
The soul, the frame, could brook such bitter wrong:
Beside her lover’s that distracted head
Rests cold and calm—the grave their bridal bed.
By —— Beresford, Trinity College, Cambridge.
Underneath the greenwood tree
There we dwell right merrily,
Lurking in the grassy lane,
Here this hour—then gone again.
You may see where we have been,
By the burned spot on the green,
By the oak’s branch drooping low,
Wither’d in our faggots’ glow—
By the grass and hedgerow cropped,
Where our asses have been grazing,
By some old torn rag we dropp’d,
When our crazy tents were raising.
You may see where we have been,
Where we are—it is not seen.
Where we are—it is no place
For a lazy foot to trace.
Over heath and over field,
He must scramble who would find us,
In the copse-wood close concealed,
With a running brook behind us.
Here we list no village clocks,
Livelier sound the farm-yard cocks,
Crowing, crowing round about,
As if to point their roostings out.
And many a cock shall cease to crow
Or ere we from the copse-wood go.
On the stream the trout are leaping,
Midway there the pike is sleeping.
Motionless, self-poised he lies,
E’en as an arrow through the skies!
We could tie the noose to snare him,
But by day we wisely spare him;
Nets shall scour the stream at night,
By the cold moon’s trusty light.
Scores of fish will not surprise her,
Writhing with their glittering scales,
She’ll look on, none else the wiser,
Give us light and tell no tales,
And next day the sporting squire
Of his own trout shall be the buyer.
Till the farmer catch us out
Prowling his rich barns about;
Till the squire suspect the fish,
Till the keeper find his hares
Struggling in our nightly snares;
Till the girls have ceased to wish,
Heedless what young lads shall be
Theirs in glad futurity;
Till the boors no longer hold
Awkwardly their rough hands out,
All to have their fortunes told,
By the cross-lines thereabout;
Till these warnings, all, or some,
Raise us (not by heat of drum)
On our careless march to roam,
The copse shall be our leafy home.
By Mr. Cartwright.
Oh, holy spirit, oft when eve
Hath slowly o’er the western sky
Her gorgeous pall begun to weave
Of gold and crimson’s richest dye;
I’ve thought the gentle gales thy breath,
The murmuring of the grove thy voice,
And heaven above and earth beneath
In thee seemed to rejoice.
Sweet visions then that sleep by day
Thy magic wand hath made my own,
As brilliant as the clouds that play
Around the sun’s descending throne;
And I have striven in many a song
To pay my homage at thy shrine,
A worthless offering for a throng
Of joys, by thee made mine.
What tho’ the idle wreath would fade
By weak, tho’ willing fingers twined,
Soon gather’d to oblivion’s shade;
Not less the task would soothe my mind.
Inspired by thee, I ceased to pine,
Nor thought on aught that cross’d my bliss,
And borne to other worlds of thine,
Forgot the pangs of this.
But this was all in earlier days
When boyhood’s hopes were wild and high,
And, eaglet like, I fixed my gaze
Where glory’s sun blazed thro’ the sky,
But fate and circumstance forbade
The noble, tho’ presumptuous flight;
Those hopes are blasted and decay’d
By disappointment’s blight.
My soul is daring now, as then,
Tho’ fate denies its strong desire,
Still, still, I hear the voice within—
The stirring voice that cries, Aspire.
It haunts me like the sounds that ring
In dying guilt’s distemper’d ear,
When round his couch dim hovering
His crimes like ghosts appear.
W. JERDAN. 365
And aye some demon in my sight
Displays what wreaths for others bloom,
The fame that gilds their life with light,
The halo that surrounds their tomb;
And “Gaze, presumptuous fool,” he cries,
“Unhonoured, blest, thou ne’er shalt be,
But pine for ever—there to rise
Where springs no flower for thee.”
Oh, Poesy, thou too hast now
“Withdrawn thy wonted influence,
When most I need thy tender glow
To renovate my aching sense;
No more thy dreams before me pass
In swift succession bright and fair,
And when I would unveil thy glass
Thou show’st me but despair.
Whenever now I seek these bowers
Where Fancy led her steps to thee,
Before my eyes a desert lowers,
The cold reality I see;
My gloomy bosom’s joyless cell
No ray of thine illumines more,
Which once could guide my spirit well,
O’er every ill to soar.
By all the intense love of thee,
Which fires my soul, and thrills my frame;
By tears thou giv’st thy words to be
When struggling feelings have no name—
Return, return, by thee upborne,
And by a yet unvanquish’d will,
The malice of my fate I’d scorn,
In woe triumphant still.

K. page 301.

I hope there is no reader on earth who would be so cruel to an autobiographer—a person who acts the part of a great medicine for the cure of the bile—as to deny him the comfort of two or three pages of Appendix to fill up the sheet with a few trifling specimens of his other writings.

When Haydon’s “Christ’s entry into Jerusalem” was exhibited in the Egyptian Hall, M. Jerricault’s “Raft of the
Medusa” was opened in the room below; and passing from the former to the latter,
Wilkie was amused with a pun, which I thus put into rhyme—

Down Bullock’s stair a wit, who punned and laught,
From Haydon’s picture went to see the Raft.

Quoth he—

“It is a desperate way on foot to go,
Quite from Jerusalem to Jericho!”
Really, P ——, I am sorry you thought of this thing—
The pleasures of both it will cramp;
For your poor wife will feel she’s “the Slave of the Ring,”
Whilst you are “the Slave of the Lamp.”

These, I venture to say, in order to anticipate criticism, belong to the class which Lord Brougham calls knob-bed epigrams, on account of their want of point. But any epigram is better than none: witness James Smith’s, when asked to write on the statue of George III., in Cockspur-street—
A pigtail of copper
Is not proper—
A very poor piece of fine-art criticism, and only equalled by the bard of a Highland chief, seldom seen in the garb of old Gaul, who, on a similar request, shouted
In the Tartan
He looks like a Spartan—
The sequel was stopped by laughter. As some amends I will quote a capital one, by
Miss Rose Wheeler, who soon after became Mrs. Bulwer. At a small evening party at Mrs. Bishop’s (see page 180), it was proposed that we should all go to Mr. De Ville’s the next day and have our casts taken. The only recusant was a young surgeon who was there with his “intended,” and he stood out so pertinaciously that his “beauty” began to pout and demand reasons—the truth was, his hair was carroty and dyed. At last, alarmed at his mistress’s resentment, he
yielded to go, and Miss Wheeler, borrowing a pencil from me, wrote (under the rose for my perusal) the following impromptu:—
Poor fellow, to her frown he yields at last,
No more he can resist her angry eye:
Now he has set his all upon a cast,
And he will stand the hazard of the dye.

On the Duke of York’s horse, “Moses,” winning at Ascot, I pleased H. R. H. with a jeu

At Ascot when swift Moses won
(A thing not done by slow fits)
What thought his royal owner on?
He thought, the joke I’ll tell to you,
(His Highness is a Bishop too,)
On Moses and the Profits.
Patient.—Doctor, (h) I’m wery (h) ill (h) indeed,
(H) and vant fresh (h) air (h) I’m feeling.
Doctor.—You must be lowered, buy a vig,
And get a nouse at (h) Ealing.
Keeping Tom’s wedding-day, his friends
Boozed till their brains were addled;
They drank his “Bridal Day!” Tom sighed
“That same day I was saddled.”
Poor Helen’s dead! said punning Ned,
His eyes with tears (of joy) flowing;
Hark to that bell,—I’m passing well,
Although there is my Nell going.
A woman’s vow is far too long
Upon the marriage-day;
For surely where a woman loves,
She’ll honour and obey.
I taught love to as warm a heart
As e’er within a bosom beat;
Above, I saw ’twas Etna’s snow,
Below, I felt ’twas Etna’s heat.
Alas, alas, how is it now?
That heart’s warm pulses all are told,
That living snow soil’d by the grave,
That bosom’s fires for ever cold.
For me the light of love is o’er:
What have I then with life to do?
I ne’er can taste its joys again—
But, Mela, I can follow you!
Fat Moll, the cook, who had a certain spice
Of humour in her, even though out of place,
By advertising gave the town advice
That she was willing to renew her race,
And roast, and boil, and bake, and stew, and sweat, and pant,
For any regular “Plain Family” in want.
Now Mrs. Mugg, whose features grim and droll,
Were imaged in her children and her spouse,
To take her place invited monstrous Moll;
Who cried, whilst looking at the ill-looked house,
For Ordinary, or for Plain, I’d toil ’tis true,
But curse me if I’ll cook for such an ugly crew.
[This was signed “Dr. Kitchiner.”]