Gossip in a Library
Edmund Gosse

Part 3 out of 4

Gilbert White was already a middle-aged man when he was drawn into
correspondence by Thomas Pennant, a naturalist younger than himself,
who had undertaken to produce, in four volumes folio, a work on
_British Zoology_ for the production of which he was radically
unfitted. It has been severely, but justly, pointed out that wherever
Pennant rises superior, either in style or information, to his own
dead level of pompous inexactitude, he is almost certainly quoting
from a letter of Gilbert White's. Yet no acknowledgment of the
Selborne parson is vouchsafed; "even in the account of the
harvest-mouse," says Professor Bell, "there is no mention of its
discoverer." Nevertheless, so rudimentary was scientific knowledge
one hundred and thirty years ago, that Pennant's pretentious book was
received with acclamation. The patient man at Selborne sat and smiled,
even courteously joining with mild congratulations in the rounds of
applause. Fortunately Pennant did not remain his only correspondent.
The Hon. Daines Barrington was a man of another stamp, not profound,
indeed, but enthusiastic, a genuine lover of research, and a gentleman
at heart. He quoted Gilbert White in his writings, but never without
full acknowledgment. Other friends followed, and the recluse of
Selbourne became the correspondent of Sir Joseph Banks, of Dr.
Chandler, and of many other great ones of that day now decently

Meanwhile, he was growing old. Any sharp winter might have cut him
off, as he trudged along through the deep lanes of his rustic parish.
Early in 1770 Daines Barrington, tired of seeing his friend the mere
valet to so many other pompous intellects, had proposed to him to
"draw up an account of the animals of Selborne." Gilbert White put the
fascinating notion from him. "It is no small undertaking," he replied,
"for a man unsupported and alone to begin a natural history from his
own autopsia." Pennant seems to have joined in the suggestion of
Barrington, for White says (in a letter, dated July 19, 1771, which
did not see the light for more than a century after it was written):

"As to any publication in this way of my own, I look upon it with
great diffidence, finding that I ought to have begun it twenty years
ago; but if I was to attempt anything, it should be something of a
Nat: history of my native parish, an _Annus historico-naturalis_,
comprising a journal of one whole year, and illustrated with large
notes and observations. Such a beginning might induce more able
naturalists to write the history of various districts, and might in
time occasion the production of a work so much to be wished for, a
full and compleat nat: history of these kingdoms."

Three years later he was still thinking of doing something, but
putting off the hour of action. In 1776 he was suddenly spurred to
decide by the circumstance that Barrington had written to propose a
joint work on natural history. "If I publish at all," said Gilbert
White to his nephew, "I shall come forth by myself." In 1780 he is
still unready: "Were it not for want of a good amanuensis, I think I
should make more progress." He was now sixty years of age. Eight years
later he was preparing the Index, and at last, in the autumn of 1789,
the volume positively made its appearance, in the maiden author's
seventieth year. Few indeed, if any, among English writers of high
distinction, have been content to delay so long before testing the
popular estimate of their work. His book was warmly welcomed, but the
delightful author survived its publication less than four years, dying
in the parish which he was to make so famous. Gilbert White was, in a
very peculiar sense, a man of one book.

Countless as have been the reprints of _The Natural History of
Selborne_, its original form is no longer, perhaps, familiar to many
readers. The first edition, which is now before me, is a very handsome
quarto. Benjamin White, the publisher, who was the younger brother of
Gilbert, issued most of the standard works on natural history which
appeared in London during the second half of the century, and his
experience enabled him to do adequate justice to _The History of
Selborne_. The frontispiece is a large folding plate of the village
from the Short Lythe, an ambitious summer landscape, representing the
church, White's own house, and a few cottages against the broad sweep
of the hangar. On a terrace in the foreground are portrait figures of
three gentlemen standing, and a lady seated. Of the former, one is a
clergyman, and it has often been stated that this is Gilbert White
himself; erroneously, since no portrait of him was ever executed;[1]
the figure is that of the Rev. Robert Yalden, vicar of Newton-Valence.
The frontispiece is unsigned, and I find no record of the artist's
name. It is not to be doubted, however, that the original was painted
by Samuel Hieronymus Grimm, the Swiss water-colour draughtsman, who
sketched so many topographical views in the South of England.

[Footnote 1: That discovered in 1913 has yet to prove that it
represents Gilbert White in any way.]

The remaining illustrations to this first edition, are an oval
landscape vignette on the title-page, engraved by Daniel Lerpiniere;
a full-page plate of some fossil shells; an extra-sized plate of
the _himantopus_ that was shot at Frensham Pond, straddling with
an immense excess of shank; and four engravings, now of remarkable
interest, displaying the village as it then stood, from various points
of view. They are engraved by Peter Mazell, after drawings of Grimm's,
and give what is evidently a most accurate impression of what Selborne
was a century ago. In these days of reproductions, it is rather
strange that no publisher has issued facsimiles of these beautiful
illustrations to the original edition of what has become one of the
most popular English works. For the use of book-collectors, I may go
on to say that any one who is offered a copy of the edition of _The
History of Selborne_ of 1789, should be careful to see that not merely
the plates I have mentioned are in their places, but that the engraved
sub-title, with a print of the seal of Selborne Priory, occurs
opposite the blank leaf which answers to page 306.

It is impossible for a bibliographer who writes on Gilbert White to
resist the pleasure of mentioning the name of his best editor and
biographer. It was unfortunate that Thomas Bell, who was born eight
months before the death of Gilbert White, and who, quite early in life
began to entertain an enthusiastic reverence for that writer, did
not find an opportunity of studying Selborne on the spot until the
memories of White were becoming very vague and scattered there. I
think it was not until about 1865 that, retiring from a professional
career, he made Selborne--and the Wakes, the very house of Gilbert
White--his residence. Here he lived, however, for fifteen years,
and here it was his delight to follow up every vestige of the great
naturalist's sojourn in the parish. White became the passion of
Professor Bell's existence, and I well recollect him when he was
eighty-five or eighty-six years of age, and no longer strong enough
in body to quit his room with ease, sitting in his arm-chair at the
bedroom window, and directing my attention to points of Whiteish
interest, as I stood in the garden below. It was as difficult for Mr.
Bell to conceive that his annotations of White were complete, as it
had been for White himself to pluck up courage to publish; and it was
not until 1877, when the author was eighty-five years of age, that his
great and final edition in two thick volumes was issued. He lived,
however, to be nearly ninety, and died in the Wakes at last, in the
very room, and if I mistake not, the very spot in the room, where his
idol had passed away in 1793.

As long as Professor Bell was alive the house preserved, in all
essentials, the identical character which it had maintained under its
famous tenant. Overgrown with creepers to the very chimneys, divided
by the greenest and most velvety of lawns from a many-coloured furnace
of flower-beds, scarcely parted by lush paddocks from the intense
green wall of the coppiced hill, the Wakes has always retained for my
memory an impression of rural fecundity and summer glow absolutely
unequalled. The garden seemed to burn like a green sun, with crimson
stars and orange meteors to relieve it. All, I believe, has since
then been altered. Selborne, they tell me, has ceased to bear any
resemblance to that rich nest in which Thomas Bell so piously guarded
the idea of Gilbert White. If it be so, we must live content with

_The memory of what has been,
And never more may be_.


and sold by John Raw; sold also by Longman, Hurst, Rees, and Orme,
Paternoster Row, London_. 1810.

It may be that, save by a few elderly people and certain lovers of
old _Gentleman's Magazines_, the broad anonymous quarto known as _The
Diary of a Lover of Literature_ is no longer much admired or even
recollected. But it deserves to be recalled to memory, if only in that
it was, in some respects, the first, and in others, the last of a long
series of publications. It was the first of those diaries of personal
record of the intellectual life, which have become more and more the
fashion and have culminated at length in the ultra-refinement of Amiel
and the conscious self-analysis of Marie Bashkirtseff. It was less
definitely, perhaps, the last, or one of the last, expressions of the
eighteenth century sentiment, undiluted by any tincture of romance,
any suspicion that fine literature existed before Dryden, or could
take any form unknown to Burke.

It was under a strict incognito that _The Diary of a Lover of
Literature_ appeared, and it was attributed by conjecture to various
famous people. The real author, however, was not a celebrated man. His
name was Thomas Green, and he was the grandson of a wealthy Suffolk
soap-boiler, who had made a fortune during the reign of Queen Anne.
The Diarist's father had been an agreeable amateur in letters, a
pamphleteer, and a champion of the Church of England against Dissent.
Thomas Green, who was born in 1769, found himself at twenty-five in
possession of the ample family estates, a library of good books, a
vast amount of leisure, and a hereditary faculty for reading. His
health was not very solid, and he was debarred by it from sharing the
pleasures of his neighbour squires. He determined to make books and
music the occupation of his life, and in 1796, on his twenty-seventh
birthday, he began to record in a diary his impressions of what he
read. He went on very quietly and luxuriantly, living among his books
in his house at Ipswich, and occasionally rolling in his post-chaise
to valetudinarian baths and "Spaws."

When he had kept his diary for fourteen years, it seemed to a
pardonable vanity so amusing, that he persuaded himself to give part
of it to the world. The experiment, no doubt, was a very dubious one.
After much hesitation, and in an evil hour, perhaps, he wrote: "I am
induced to submit to the indulgence of the public the idlest work,
probably, that ever was composed; but, I could wish to hope, not
absolutely the most unentertaining or unprofitable." The welcome his
volume received must speedily have reassured him, but he had pledged
himself to print no more, and he kept his promise, though he went on
writing his Diary until he died in 1825. His MSS. passed into the
hands of John Mitford, who amused the readers of _The Gentleman's
Magazine_ with fragments of them for several years. Green has had many
admirers in the past, amongst whom Edward FitzGerald was not the least
distinguished. But he was always something of a local worthy, author
of one anonymous book, and of late he has been little mentioned
outside the confines of Suffolk.

It would be difficult to find an example more striking than the _Diary
of a Lover of Literature_ of exclusive absorption in the world of
books. It opens in a gloomy year for British politics, but there is
found no allusion to current events. There is a victory off Cape
St. Vincent in February, 1797, but Green is attacking Bentley's
annotations on Horace. Bonaparte and his army are buried in the sands
of Egypt; our Diarist takes occasion to be buried in Shaftesbury's
_Enquiry Concerning Virtue_. Europe rings with Hohenlinden, but the
news does not reach Mr. Thomas Green, nor disturb him in his perusal
of Soame Jenyns' _View of Christianity_. The fragment of the _Diary_
here preserved runs from September 1796 to June 1800. No one would
guess, from any word between cover and cover, that these were not
halcyon years, an epoch of complete European tranquillity. War upon
war might wake the echoes, but the river ran softly by the Ipswich
garden of this gentle enthusiast, and not a murmur reached him through
his lilacs and laburnums.

I have said that this book is one of the latest expressions of
unadulterated eighteenth-century sentiment. For form's sake, the
Diarist mentions now and again, very superficially, Shakespeare,
Bacon, and Milton; but in reality, the garden of his study is bounded
by a thick hedge behind the statue of Dryden. The classics of Greece
and Rome, and the limpid reasonable writers of England from the
Restoration downwards, these are enough for him. Writing in 1800 he
has no suspicion of a new age preparing. We read these stately pages,
and we rub our eyes. Can it be that when all this was written,
Wordsworth and Coleridge had issued _Lyrical Ballads_, and Keats
himself was in the world? Almost the only touch which shows
consciousness of a suspicion that romantic literature existed, is a
reference to the rival translations of Burger's _Lenore_ in 1797. Sir
Walter Scott, as we know, was one of the anonymous translators; it
was, however, in all probability not his, but Taylor's, that Green
mentions with special approbation.

In one hundred years a mighty change has come over the tastes and
fashions of literary life. When _The Diary of a Lover of Literature_
was written, Dr. Hurd, the pompous and dictatorial Bishop of
Worcester, was a dreaded martinet of letters, carrying on the
tradition of his yet more formidable master Warburton. As people
nowadays discuss Verlaine and Ibsen, so they argued in those
days about Godwin and Horne Tooke, and shuddered over each fresh
incarnation of Mrs. Radcliffe. Soame Jenyns was dead, indeed, in the
flesh, but his influence stalked at nights under the lamps and where
disputants were gathered together in country rectories. Dr. Parr
affected the Olympian nod, and crowned or checkmated reputations. "A
flattering message from Dr. P----" sends our Diarist into ecstasies
so excessive that a reaction sets in, and the "predominant and final
effect upon my mind has been depression rather than elevation." We
think of

_The yarns Jack Hall invented, and the songs Jem Roper sung.
And where are now Jem Roper and Jack Hall?_

Who cares now for Parr's praise or Soame Jenyns' censure? Yet in our
Diarist's pages these take equal rank with names that time has spared,
with Robertson and Gibbon, Burke and Reynolds.

Thomas Green was more ready for experiment in art than in literature.
He was "particularly struck" at the Royal Academy of 1797 with a sea
view by a painter called Turner:

"Fishing vessels coming in with a heavy swell in apprehension of a
tempest, gathering in the distance, and casting as it advances a night
of shade, while a parting glow is spread with fine effect upon the
shore; the whole composition bold in design and masterly in execution.
I am entirely unacquainted with the artist, but if he proceeds as he
has begun, he cannot fail to become the first in his department."

A remarkable prophecy, and one of the earliest notices we possess of
the effect which the youthful Turner, then but twenty-two years of
age, made on his contemporaries.

As a rule, except when he is travelling, our Diarist almost entirely
occupies himself with a discussion of the books he happens to be
reading. His opinions are not always in concert with the current
judgment of to-day; he admires Warburton much more than we do, and
Fielding much less. But he never fails to be amusing, because so
independent within the restricted bounds of his intellectual domain.
He is shut up in his eighteenth century like a prisoner, but inside
its wall his liberty of action is complete. Sometimes his judgments
are sensibly in advance of his age. It was the fashion in 1798 to
denounce the Letters of Lord Chesterfield as frivolous and immoral.
Green takes a wider view, and in a thoughtful analysis points out
their judicious merits and their genuine parental assiduity. When
Green can for a moment lift his eyes from his books, he shows a
sensitive quality of observation which might have been cultivated to
general advantage. Here is a reflection which seems to be as novel as
it is happy:

"Looked afterwards into the Roman Catholic Chapel in Duke Street. The
thrilling tinkle of the little bell at the elevation of the Host
is perhaps the finest example that can be given of the sublime by
association--nothing so poor and trivial in itself, nothing so
transcendently awful, as indicating the sudden change in the
consecrated Elements, and the instant presence of the Redeemer."

Much of the latter part of the _Diary_, as we hold it, is occupied
with the description of a tour in England and Wales. Here Green is
lucid, graceful, and refined: producing one after another little
vignettes in prose, which remind us of the simple drawings of the
water-colour masters of the age, of Girtin or Cozens or Glover. The
volume, which opened with some remarks on Sir William Temple, closes
with a disquisition on Warton's criticism of the poets. The curtain
rises for three years on a smooth stream of intellectual reflection,
unruffled by outward incident, and then falls again before we are
weary of the monotonous flow of undiluted criticism. _The Diary of a
Lover of Literature_ is at once the pleasing record of a cultivated
mind, and a monument to a species of existence that is as obsolete as
nankeen breeches or a tie-wig.

Isaac D'Israeli said that Green had humbled all modern authors to the
dust, and that he earnestly wished for a dozen volumes of _The Diary_.
At Green's death material for at least so many supplements were placed
in the hands of John Mitford, who did not venture to produce them.
From January 1834 to May 1843, however, Mitford was incessantly
contributing to _The Gentleman's Magazine_ unpublished extracts from
this larger _Diary_. These have never been collected, but my friend,
Mr. W. Aldis Wright, possesses a very interesting volume, into which
the whole mass of them has been carefully and consecutively pasted,
with copious illustrative matter, by the hand of Edward FitzGerald,
whose interest in and curiosity about Thomas Green were unflagging.


PETER BELL: _A Tale in Verse, by William Wordsworth. London: Printed
by Strahan and Spottiswoode, Printers-Street: for Longman, Hurst,
Rees, Orme and Brown, Paternoster Row_. 1819.

None of Wordsworth's productions are better known by name than _Peter
Bell_, and yet few, probably, are less familiar, even to convinced
Wordsworthians. The poet's biographers and critics have commonly
shirked the responsibility of discussing this poem, and when the
Primrose stanza has been quoted, and the Parlour stanza smiled at,
there is usually no more said about _Peter Bell_. A puzzling obscurity
hangs around its history. We have no positive knowledge why its
publication was so long delayed; nor, having been delayed, why it was
at length determined upon. Yet a knowledge of this poem is not merely
an important, but, to a thoughtful critic, an essential element in the
comprehension of Wordsworth's poetry. No one who examines that body of
literature with sympathetic attention should be content to overlook
the piece in which Wordsworth's theories are pushed to their furthest

When _Peter Bell_ was published in April 1819, the author remarked
that it had "nearly survived its _minority_; for it saw the light in
the summer of 1798." It was therefore composed at Alfoxden, that
plain stone house in West Somersetshire, which Dorothy and William
Wordsworth rented for the sum of L23 for one year, the rent covering
the use of "a large park, with seventy head of deer."

Thanks partly to its remoteness from a railway, and partly also to
the peculiarities of its family history, Alfoxden remains singularly
unaltered. The lover of Wordsworth who follows its deep umbrageous
drive to the point where the house, the park around it, and the
Quantocks above them suddenly break upon the view, sees to-day very
much what Wordsworth's visitors saw when they trudged up from Stowey
to commune with him in 1797. The barrier of ancient beech-trees
running up into the moor, Kilve twinkling below, the stretch of fields
and woods descending northward to the expanse of the yellow Severn
Channel, the plain white facade of Alfoxden itself, with its easy
right of way across the fantastic garden, the tumultuous pathway down
to the glen, the poet's favourite parlour at the end of the house--all
this presents an impression which is probably less transformed,
remains more absolutely intact, than any other which can be identified
with the early or even the middle life of the poet. That William and
Dorothy, in their poverty, should have rented so noble a country
property seems at first sight inexplicable, and the contrast between
Alfoxden and Coleridge's squalid pot-house in Nether Stowey can never
cease to be astonishing. But the sole object of the trustees in
admitting Wordsworth to Alfoxden was, as Mrs. Sandford has discovered,
"to keep the house inhabited during the minority of the owner;" it was
let to the poet on the 14th of July 1797.

It was in this delicious place, under the shadow of "smooth Quantock's
airy ridge," that Wordsworth's genius came of age. It was during the
twelve months spent here that Wordsworth lost the final traces of the
old traditional accent of poetry. It was here that the best of the
_Lyrical Ballads_ were written, and from this house the first volume
of that epoch-making collection was forwarded to the press. Among the
poems written at Alfoxden _Peter Bell_ was prominent, but we hear
little of it except from Hazlitt, who, taken over to the Wordsworths
by Coleridge from Nether Stowey, was on a first visit permitted to
read "the sibylline leaves," and on a second had the rare pleasure
of hearing Wordsworth himself chant _Peter Bell_, in his "equable,
sustained, and internal" manner of recitation, under the ash-trees
of Alfoxden Park. I do not know whether it has been noted that the
landscape of _Peter Bell_, although localised in Yorkshire by the
banks of the River Swale, is yet pure Somerset in character. The poem
was composed, without a doubt, as the poet tramped the grassy heights
of the Quantock Hills, or descended at headlong pace, mouthing and
murmuring as he went, into one sylvan combe after another. To give it
its proper place among the writings of the school, we must remember
that it belongs to the same group as _Tintern Abbey_ and _The Ancient

Why, then, was it not issued to the world with these? Why was it
locked up in the poet's desk for twenty-one years, and shown during
that time, as we gather from its author's language to Southey, to
few, even of his close friends? To these questions we find no reply
vouchsafed, but perhaps it is not difficult to discover one. Every
revolutionist in literature or art produces some composition in which
he goes further than in any other in his defiance of recognised rules
and conventions. It was Wordsworth's central theory that no subject
can be too simple and no treatment too naked for poetic purposes. His
poems written at Alfoxden are precisely those in which he is most
audacious in carrying out his principle, and nothing, even of his, is
quite so simple or quite so naked as _Peter Bell_.

Hazlitt, a very young man, strongly prejudiced in favour of the new
ideas, has given us a notion of the amazement with which he listened
to these pieces of Wordsworth, although he was "not critically nor
sceptically inclined." Others, we know, were deeply scandalised. I
have little doubt that Wordsworth himself considered that, in 1798,
his own admirers were scarcely ripe for the publication of _Peter
Bell_, while, even so late as June 1812, when Crabb Robinson borrowed
the MS. and lent it to Charles Lamb, the latter "found nothing good in
it." Robinson seems to have been the one admirer of _Peter Bell_ at
that time, and he was irritated at Lamb's indifference. Yet his own
opinion became modified when the poem was published, and (May 3, 1819)
he calls it "this _unfortunate_ book."[1] In another place (June 12,
1820) Crabb Robinson says that he implored Wordsworth, before the book
was printed, to omit "the party in a parlour," and also the banging of
the ass's bones, but, of course, in vain.

[Footnote 1: The word _unfortunate_ is omitted by the editor,
Thomas Sadler, perhaps in deference to the feelings of Wordsworth's

In 1819 much was changed. The poet was now in his fiftieth year. The
epoch of his true productiveness was closed; all his best works,
except _The Prelude_, were before the public, and although Wordsworth
was by no means widely or generally recognised yet as a great poet,
there was a considerable audience ready to receive with respect
whatever so interesting a person should put forward. Moreover, a new
generation had come to the front; Scott's series of verse-romances was
closed; Byron was in mid-career; there were young men of extraordinary
and somewhat disquieting talent--Shelley, Keats, and Leigh Hunt--all
of whom were supposed to be, although characters of a very
reprehensible and even alarming class, yet distinctly respectful in
their attitude towards Mr. Wordsworth. It seemed safe to publish
_Peter Bell_.

Accordingly, the thin octavo described at the head of this chapter
duly appeared in April 1819. It was so tiny that it had to be eked out
with the Sonnets written to W. Westall's Views, and it was adorned
by an engraving of Bromley's, after a drawing specially made by
Sir George Beaumont to illustrate the poem. A letter to Beaumont,
unfortunately without a date, in which this frontispiece is discussed,
seems to suggest that the engraving was a gift from the artist to the
poet; Wordsworth, "in sorrow for the sickly taste of the public
in verse," opining that he cannot afford the expense of such a
frontispiece as Sir George Beaumont suggests. In accordance with these
fears, no doubt, an edition of only 500 was published; but it achieved
a success which Wordsworth had neither anticipated nor desired. There
was a general guffaw of laughter, and all the copies were immediately
sold; within a month a ribald public received a third edition, only to
discover, with disappointment, that the funniest lines were omitted.

No one admired _Peter Bell_. The inner circle was silent. Baron Field
wrote on the title-page of his copy, which now belongs to Mr. J. Dykes
Campbell, "And his carcass was cast in the way, and the Ass stood by
it." Sir Walter Scott openly lamented that Wordsworth should exhibit
himself "crawling on all fours, when God has given him so noble a
countenance to lift to heaven." Byron mocked aloud, and, worse than
all, the young men from whom so much had been expected, _les
jeunes feroces_, leaped on the poor uncomplaining Ass like so many
hunting-leopards. The air was darkened by hurtling parodies, the
arrangement of which is still a standing _crux_ to the bibliographers.

It was Keats's friend, John Hamilton Reynolds, who opened the attack.
His parody _(Peter Bell: a Lyrical Ballad_. London, Taylor and Hessey,
1819) was positively in the field before the original. It was said, at
the time, that Wordsworth, feverishly awaiting a specimen copy of his
own _Peter Bell_ from town, seized a packet which the mail brought
him, only to find that it was the spurious poem which had anticipated
Simon Pure. _The Times_ protested that the two poems must be from the
same pen. Reynolds had probably glanced at proofs of the genuine poem;
his preface is a close imitation of Wordsworth's introduction, and the
stanzaic form in which the two pieces are written is identical. On the
other hand, the main parody is made up of allusions to previous poems
by Wordsworth, and shows no acquaintance with the story of _Peter
Bell_. Reynolds's whole pamphlet--preface, text, and notes--is
excessively clever, and touches up the bard at a score of tender
points. It catches the sententious tone of Wordsworth deliciously, and
it closes with this charming stanza:

_He quits that moonlight yard of skulls,
And still he feels right glad, and smiles
With moral joy at that old tomb;
Peter's cheek recalls its bloom,
And as he creepeth by the tiles,
He mutters ever--"W.W.
Never more will trouble you, trouble you_."

_Peter Bell the Second_, as it is convenient, though not strictly
accurate, to call Reynold's "antenatal Peter," was more popular than
the original. By May a third edition had been called for, and this
contained fresh stanzas and additional notes.

Another parody, which ridiculed the affection for donkeys displayed
both by Wordsworth and Coleridge, was called _The Dead Asses: A
Lyrical Ballad_; and an elaborate production, the author of which I
have not been able to discover, was published later on in the year,
_Benjamin the Waggoner_ (Baldwin, Craddock and Joy, 1819), which,
although the title suggests _The Waggoner_ of Wordsworth, is entirely
taken up with making fun of _Peter Bell_. This parody--and it is
certainly neither pointless nor unskilful--chiefly deals with the
poet's fantastic prologue. Then, no less a person than Shelley,
writing to Leigh Hunt from Florence in November of the same year,
enclosed a _Peter Bell the Third_ which he desired should be printed,
yet in such a form as to conceal the name of the author. Perhaps Hunt
thought it indiscreet to publish this not very amusing skit, and it
did not see the light till long after Shelley's death. Finally, as
though the very spirit of parody danced in the company of this strange
poem, Wordsworth himself chronicled its ill-fate in a sonnet imitated
from Milton's defence of "Tetrachordon," singing how, on the
appearance of _Peter Bell_,

_a harpy brood
On Bard and Hero clamourously fell_.

Of the poem which enjoyed so singular a fate, Lord Houghton has
quietly remarked that it could not have been written by a man with a
strong sense of humour. This is true of every part of it, of the stiff
and self-sufficient preface, and of the grotesque prologue, both of
which in all probability belong to 1819, no less than of the story
itself, in its three cantos or parts, which bear the stamp of Alfoxden
and 1798. The tale is not less improbable than uninteresting. In the
first part, a very wicked potter or itinerant seller of pots, Peter
Bell, being lost in the woodland, comes to the borders of a river, and
thinks to steal an ass which he finds pensively hanging its head over
the water; Peter Bell presently discovers that the dead body of the
master of the ass is floating in the river just below. (The poet, as
he has naively recorded, read this incident in a newspaper.) In the
second part Peter drags the dead man to land, and starts on the ass's
back to find the survivors. In the third part a vague spiritual
chastisement falls on Peter Bell for his previous wickedness. Plot
there is no more than this, and if proof were wanted of the inherent
innocence of Wordsworth's mind, it is afforded by the artless
struggles which he makes to paint a very wicked man. Peter Bell has
had twelve wives, he is indifferent to primroses upon a river's brim,
and he beats asses when they refuse to stir. This is really all the
evidence brought against one who is described, vaguely, as combining
all vices that "the cruel city breeds."

That which close students of the genius of Wordsworth will always turn
to seek in _Peter Bell_ is the sincere sentiment of nature and the
studied simplicity of language which inspire its best stanzas. The
narrative is clumsy in the extreme, and the attempts at wit and
sarcasm ludicrous. Yet _Peter Bell_ contains exquisite things. The
Primrose stanza is known to every one; this is not so familiar:

_The dragon's wing, the magic ring,
I shall not covet for my dower.
If I along that lowly way
With sympathetic heart may stray
And with a soul of power_.

Nor this, with its excruciating simplicity, its descriptive accent of

_I see a blooming Wood-boy there,
And, if I had the power to say
How sorrowful the wanderer is,
Your heart would be as sad as his
Till you had kiss'd his tears away!

Holding a hawthorn branch in hand,
All bright with berries ripe and red;
Into the cavern's mouth he peeps--
Thence back into the moonlight creeps;
What seeks the boy?--the silent dead!_

It is when he wishes to describe how Peter Bell became aware of the
dead body floating under the nose of the patient ass that Wordsworth
loses himself in uncouth similes. Peter thinks it is the moon, then
the reflection of a cloud, then a gallows, a coffin, a shroud, a stone
idol, a ring of fairies, a fiend. Last of all the poet makes the
Potter, who is gazing at the corpse, exclaim:

_Is it a party in a parlour?
Cramm'd just as they on earth were cramm'd--
Some sipping punch, some sipping tea,
But, as you by their faces see,
All silent and all damned!_

So deplorable is the waggishness of a person, however gifted, who has
no sense of humour! This simile was too much for the gravity even of
intimate friends like Southey and Lamb, and after the second edition
it disappeared.


THE FANCY: _A Selection from the Poetical Remains of the late Peter
Corcoran, of Gray's Inn, student at law. With a brief Memoir of his
life. London: printed for Taylor & Hessey, Fleet Street_. 1820.

The themes of the poets run in a very narrow channel. Since the old
heroic times when the Homers and the Gunnlaugs sang of battle with the
sleet of lances hurtling around them, a great calm has settled down
upon Parnassus. Generation after generation pipes the same tune of
love and Nature, of the liberal arts and the illiberal philosophies;
the same imagery, the same metres, meander within the same polite
margins of conventional subject. Ever and anon some one attempts to
break out of the groove. In the eighteenth century they made a valiant
effort to sing of The Art of Preserving Health, and of The Fleece and
of The Sugar-Cane, but the innovators lie stranded, like cumbrous
whales, on the shore of the ocean of Poesy. Flaubert's friend, Louis
Bouilhet, made a inartful attempt to tune the stubborn lyre to music
of the birthday of the world, to battles of the ichthyosaurus and the
plesiosaurus, to loves of the mammoth and the mastodon. But the public
would have none of it, though ensphered in faultless verso, and the
poets fled back to their flames and darts, and to the primrose at the
river's brim. There is, however, something pathetic, and something
that pleasantly reminds us of the elasticity of the human intellect in
these failures; and the book before us is an amusing example of such
eccentric efforts to enlarge the sphere of the poetic activity.

This little volume is called _The Fancy_, and it does not appear to me
certain that the virtuous American conscience know what that means. If
the young ladies from Wells or Wellesley inquire ingenuously, "Tell us
where is Fancy bred?" we should have to reply, with a jingle, In the
fists, not in the head. The poet himself, in a fit of unusual candour,

_Fancy's a term for every blackguardism_,

though this is much too severe. But rats, and they who catch them,
badgers, and they who bait them, cocks, and they who fight them, and,
above all, men with fists, who professionally box with them, come
under the category of the _Fancy_. This, then, is the theme which the
poet before us, living under the genial sway of the First Gentleman of
Europe, undertook to place beneath the special patronage of Apollo.
The attractions, however, of _The Learned Ring_, set all other
pleasures in the shade, and the name, Peter Corcoran, which is a
pseudonym, is, I suppose, chosen merely because the initials are
those of the then famous Pugilistic Club. The poet is, in short, the
laureate of the P.C., and his book stands in the same relation to
_Boxiana_ that Campbell's lyrics do to Nelson's despatches. To
understand the poet's position, we ought to be dressed as he was; we

_to wear a tough drab coat
With large pearl buttons all afloat
Upon the waves of plush; to tie
A kerchief of the king-cup die
(White-spotted with a small bird's eye)
Around the neck,--and from the nape
Let fall an easy> fan-like cape_,

and, in fact, to belong to that incredible company of Corinthian Tom
and Jerry Hawthorn over whom Thackeray let fall so delightfully the
elegiac tear.

Anthologies are not edited in a truly catholic spirit, or they would
contain this very remarkable sonnet:


"_None but himself can be his parallel."

With marble-coloured shoulders,--and keen eyes,
Protected by a forehead broad and white--
And hair cut close lest it impede the sight,
And clenched hands, firm, and of punishing size,--
Steadily held, or motion'd wary-wise
To hit or stop,--and kerchief too drawn tight
O'er the unyielding loins, to keep from flight
The inconstant wind, that all too often flies,--
The Nonpareil stands! Fame, whose bright eyes run o'er
With joy to see a Chicken of her own.
Dips her rich pen in_ claret_, Under the letter R, first on the score,
"Randall,--John,--Irish Parents,--age not known,--
Good with both hands, and only ten stone four!_"

Be not too hard on this piece of barbarism, virtuous reader! Virtue is
well revenged by the inevitable question! "Who was John Randall?"
In 1820 it was said: "Of all the great men in this age, in poetry,
philosophy, or pugilism, there is no one of such transcendent talent
as Randall, no one who combines the finest natural powers with the
most elegant and finished acquired ones." Now, if his memory be
revived for a moment, this master of science, who doubled up an
opponent as if he were plucking a flower, and whose presence turned
Moulsey Hurst into an Olympia, is in danger of being confounded with
the last couple of drunken Irishwomen who have torn out each other's
hair in handfuls in some Whitechapel courtyard. The mighty have
fallen, the stakes and ring are gone forever, and Virtue is avenged.
The days of George IV. are so long, long gone past that a paradoxical
creature may be forgiven for a sigh over the ashes of the glory of
John Randall.

It is strange how much genuine poetry lingers in this odd collection
of verses in praise of prizefighting. There are lines and phrases that
recall Keats himself, though truly the tone of the book is robust
enough to satisfy the most impassioned of Tory editors. As it happens,
it was written by Keats's dearest friend, by John Hamilton Reynolds,
whom the great poet mentions so affectionately in the latest of all
his letters. Reynolds has been treated with scant consideration by the
critics. His verses, I protest, are no whit less graceful or sparkling
than those of his more eminent companions, Leigh Hunt and Barry
Cornwall. His _Garden of Florence_ is worthy of the friend of Keats.
We have seen how his _Peter Bell_, which was Peter Bell the First,
took the wind out of Shelley's satiric sails and fluttered the
dove-cotes of the Lakeists. He was as smart as he could be, too clever
to live, in fact, too light a weight for a grave age. In _The Fancy_,
which Keats seems to refer to in a letter dated January 13th, 1820,
Reynolds appears to have been inspired by Tom Moore's _Tom Crib_, but
if so, he vastly improves on that rather vulgar original. He takes as
his motto, with adroit impertinence, some lines of Wordsworth, and
persuades us

_nor need we blame the licensed joys,
Though false to Nature's quiet equipoise:
Frank are the sports, the stains are fugitive_.

We can fancy the countenance of the Cumbrian sage at seeing his words
thus nimbly adapted to be an apology for prize-fighting.

The poems are feigned to be the remains of one Peter Corcoran,
student at law. A simple and pathetic memoir--which deserved to be as
successful as that most felicitous of all such hoaxes, the life of
the supposed Italian poet, Lorenzo Stecchetti--introduces us to the
unfortunate young Irishman, who was innocently engaged to a charming
lady, when, on a certain August afternoon, he strayed by chance into
the Fives Court, witnessed a "sparring-exhibition" by two celebrated
pugilists, and was thenceforth a lost character. From that moment
nothing interested him except a favourite hit or a scientific
parry, and his only topic of conversation became the noble art of
self-defence. To his disgusted lady-love he took to writing eulogies
of the Chicken and the Nonpareil. On one occasion he appeared before
her with two black eyes, for he could not resist the temptation of
taking part in the boxing, and "it is known that he has parried the
difficult and ravaging hand of Randall himself." The attachment of the
young lady had long been declining, and she took this opportunity of
forbidding him her presence for the future. He felt this abandonment
bitterly, but could not surrender the all-absorbing passion which was
destroying him. He fell into a decline, and at last died "without a
struggle, just after writing a sonnet to _West-Country Dick_."

The poems so ingeniously introduced consist of a kind of sporting
opera called _King Tims the First_, which is the tragedy of an
emigrant butcher; an epic fragment in _ottava rima_, called _The
Fields of Tothill_, in which the author rambles on in the Byronic
manner, and ceases, fatigued with his task, before he has begun to get
his story under weigh; and miscellaneous pieces. Some of these latter
are simply lyrical exercises, and must have been written in Peter
Corcoran's earlier days. The most characteristic and the best deal,
however, with the science of fisticuffs. Here are the lines sent
by the poet to his mistress on the painful occasion which we have
described above, "after a casual turn up":

_Forgive me,--and never, oh, never again,
I'll cultivate light blue or brown inebriety;[1]
I'll give up all chance of a fracture or sprain,
And part, worst of all, with Pierce Egan's[2] society.

Forgive me,--and mufflers I'll carefully pull
O'er my knuckles hereafter, to make them, well-bred;
To mollify digs in the kidneys with wool,
And temper with leather a punch of the head_.

_And, Kate!--if you'll fib from your forehead that frown,
And spar with a lighter and prettier tone;--
I'll look,--if the swelling should ever go down,
And these eyes look again,--upon you, love, alone!_

[Footnote 1: "Heavy _brown_ with a dash of _blue_ in it" was the fancy
phrase for stout mixed with gin.]

[Footnote 2: The author of _Boxiana_ and _Life in London_.]

It must be confessed that a less "fancy" vocabulary would here have
shown a juster sense of Peter's position. Sometimes there is no
burlesque intention apparent, but, in their curious way, the verses
seem to express a genuine enthusiasm. It is neither to be expected nor
to be feared that any one nowadays will seriously attempt to advocate
the most barbarous of pastimes, and therefore, without conscientious
scruples, we may venture to admit that these are very fine and very
thrilling verses in their own unexampled class:

_Oh, it is life! to see a proud
And dauntless man step, full of hopes,
Up to the P.C. stakes and ropes,
Throw in his hat, and with a spring
Get gallantly within the ring;
Eye the wide crowd, and walk awhile
Taking all cheerings with a smile;
To see him strip,--his well-trained form,
White, glowing, muscular, and warm,
All beautiful in conscious power,
Relaxed and quiet, till the hour;
His glossy and transparent frame,
In radiant plight to strive for fame!
To look upon the clean-shap'd limb
In silk and flannel clothed trim;--
While round the waist the kerchief tied
Makes the flesh glow in richer pride.
'Tis more than life, to watch him hold
His hand forth, tremulous yet bold,
Over his second's, and to clasp
His rival's in a quiet grasp;
To watch the noble attitude
He takes,--the crowd in breathless mood,--
And then to see, with adamant start,
The muscles set,--and the great heart
Hurl a courageous, splendid light
Into the eye,--and then--the_ FIGHT.

This is like a lithograph out of one of Pierce Egan's books, only much
more spirited and picturesque, and displaying a far higher and more
Hellenic sense of the beauty of athletics. Reynolds' little volume,
however, enjoyed no success. The genuine amateurs of the prize-ring
did not appreciate being celebrated in good verses, and _The Fancy_
has come to be one of the rarest of literary curiosities.


ULTRA-CREPIDARIUS; _a Satire on William Gifford. By Leigh Hunt.
London, 1823: printed for John Hunt, 22, Old Bond Street, and 38,
Tavistock Street, Covent Garden_.

If the collector of first editions requires an instance from which
to justify the faith which is in him against those who cry out that
bibliography is naught, Leigh Hunt is a good example to his hand. This
active and often admirable writer, during a busy professional life,
issued a long series of works in prose and verse which are of every
variety of commonness and scarcity, but which have never been, and
probably never will be, reprinted as a whole. Yet not to possess the
works of Leigh Hunt is to be ill-equipped for the minute study of
literary history at the beginning of the century. The original 1816
edition of _Rimini_, for instance, is of a desperate rarity, yet not
to be able to refer to it in the grotesqueness of this its earliest
form is to miss a most curious proof of the crude taste of the young
school out of which Shelley and Keats were to arise. The scarcest
of all Leigh Hunt's poetical pamphlets, but by no means the least
interesting, is that whose title stands at the head of this chapter.
Of _Ultra-crepidarius_, which was "printed for John Hunt" in 1823, it
is believed that not half a dozen copies are in existence, and it has
never been reprinted. It is a rarity, then, to which the most austere
despisers of first editions may allow a special interest.

From internal evidence we find that _Ultra-crepidarius; a Satire
on William Gifford_, was sent to press in the summer of 1823, from
Maiano, soon after the break-up of Hunt's household in Genoa, and
Byron's departure for Greece. The poem is the "stick" which had been
recently mentioned in the third number of the _Liberal_:

_Have I, these five years, spared the dog a stick,
Cut for his special use, and reasonably thick?_

It had been written in 1818, in consequence of the famous review in
the _Quarterly_ of Keats's _Endymion_, a fact which the biographers of
Keats do not seem to have observed. Why did Hunt not immediately print
it? Perhaps because to have done so would have been worse than useless
in the then condition of public taste and temper. What led Hunt to
break through his intention of suppressing the poem it might be
difficult to discover. At all events, in the summer of 1823 he
suddenly sent it home for publication; whether it was actually
published is doubtful, it was probably only circulated in private to a
handful of sympathetic Tory-hating friends.

_Ultra-crepidarius_ is written in the same anapaestic measure as _The
Feast of the Poets_, but is somewhat longer. As a satire on William
Gifford it possessed the disadvantage of coming too late in the day to
be of any service to anybody. At the close of 1823 Gifford, in failing
health, was resigning the editorial chair of the _Quarterly_, which he
had made so formidable, and was retiring into private life, to die in
1826. The poem probably explains, however, what has always seemed a
little difficult to comprehend, the extreme personal bitterness with
which Gifford, at the close of his career, regarded Hunt, since the
slayer of the Della Cruscans was not the man to tolerate being
treated as though he were a Della Cruscan himself. However narrow the
circulation of _Ultra-crepidarius_ may have been, care was no doubt
taken that the editor of the _Quarterly Review_ should receive one
copy at his private address, and Leigh Hunt returned from Italy in
time for that odd incident to take place at the Roxburgh sale, when
Barron Field called his attention to the fact that "a little man, with
a warped frame, and a countenance between the querulous and the angry,
was gazing at me with all his might." Hunt tells this story in the
_Autobiography_, from which, however, he omits all allusion to his

The latter opens with the statement that:

'_Tis now about fifty or sixty years since
(The date of a charming old boy of a Prince)--_

Mercury was in a state of rare fidget from the discovery that he had
lost one of his precious winged shoes, and had in consequence dawdled
away a whole week in company with Venus, not having dreamed that it
was that crafty goddess herself, who, wishing for a pair of them, had
sent one of Mercury's shoes down to Ashburton for a pattern. Venus
confesses her peccadillo, and offers to descend to the Devonshire
borough with her lover, and see what can have become of the ethereal
shoe. As they reach the ground, they meet with an ill-favoured boot
of leather, which acknowledges that it has ill-treated the delicate
slipper of Mercury. This boot, of course, is Gifford, who had been a
shoemaker's apprentice in Ashburton. Mercury curses this unsightly
object, and part of his malediction may here be quoted.

_I hear some one say "Murrain take him, the ape!"
And so Murrain shall, in a bookseller's shape;
An evil-eyed elf, in a down-looking flurry,
Who'd fain be a coxcomb, and calls himself_ Murray.
_Adorn thou his door, like the sign of the Shoe,
For court-understrappers to congregate to;
For_ Southey _to come, in his dearth of invention,
And eat his own words for mock-praise and a pension;
For_ Croker _to lurk with his spider-like limb in,
And stock his lean bag with waylaying the women;
And Jove only knows for what creatures beside
To shelter their envy and dust-liking pride,
And feed on corruption, like bats, who at nights,
In the dark take their shuffles, which they call then flights;
Be these the court-critics and vamp a Review.
And by a poor figure, and therefore a true,
For it suits with thy nature, both shoe-like and slaughterly
Be its hue leathern, and title the_ Quarterly,
_Much misconduct, and see that the others
Misdeem, and misconstrue, like miscreant brothers;
Misquote, and misplace, and mislead, and misstate,
Misapply, misinterpret, misreckon, misdate,
Misinform, misconjecture, misargue; in short,
Miss all that is good, that ye miss not the Court_.

* * * * *

_And finally, thou, my old soul of the tritical,
Noting, translating, high slavish, hot critical,
Quarterly-scutcheon'd, great heir to each dunce,
Be Tibbald, Cook, Arnall, and Dennis at once_

At the end, Mercury dooms the ugly boot to take the semblance of
a man, and the satire closes with its painful metamorphosis into
Gifford. The poem is not without cleverness, but it is chiefly
remarkable for a savage tone which is not, we think, repeated
elsewhere throughout the writings of Hunt. The allusions to Gifford's
relations, nearly half a century earlier, to that Earl Grosvenor
who first rescued him from poverty, the well-deserved scorn of his
intolerable sneers at Perdita Robinson's crutches:

_Hate Woman, thou block in the path of fair feet;
If Fate want a hand to distress them, thine be it;
When the Great, and their flourishing vices, are mention'd
Say people "impute" 'em, and show thou art pension'd;
But meet with a Prince's old mistress_ discarded,
_And_ then _let the world see how vice is rewarded_--

the indications of the satirist's acquaintance with the private life
of his victim, all these must have stung the editor of the _Quarterly_
to the quick, and are very little in Hunt's usual manner, though he
had examples for them in Peter Pindar and others. There is a very
early allusion to "Mr. Keats and Mr. Shelley," where, "calm, up above
thee, they soar and they shine." This was written immediately after
the review of _Endymion_ in the _Quarterly_.

At the close is printed an extremely vigorous onslaught of Hazlitt's
upon Gifford, which is better known than the poem which it
illustrates. In itself, in its preface, and in its notes alike this
very rare pamphlet presents us with a genuine curiosity of literature.


ENGLAND'S TRUST AND OTHER POEMS. _By Lord John Manners. London:
printed for J.G. & J. Rivington, St. Paul's Church Yard, and Waterloo
Place, Pall Mall_. 1841.

My newspaper informed me this morning that Lord John Manners took his
seat last night, in the Upper House, as the Duke of Rutland. These
little romantic surprises are denied to Americans, who do not find
that old friends get new names, which are very old names, in the
course of a night. My Transatlantic readers will never have to grow
accustomed to speak of Mr. Lowell as the Earl of Mount Auburn, and I
firmly believe that Mr. Howells would consider it a chastisement to
be hopelessly ennobled. But my thoughts went wanderting back at my
breakfast to-day to those far-away times, the fresh memory of which
was still reverberating about my childhood, when the last new Duke was
an ardent and ingenuous young patriot, who never dreamed of being a
peer, and who hoped to refashion his country to the harp of Amphion.
So I turned, with assuredly no feeling of disrespect, to that corner
of my library where the _peches de jeunesse_ stand--the little books
of early verses which the respectable authors of the same would
destroy if they could--and I took down _England's Trust_.

Fifty years ago a group of young men, all of them fresh from Oxford
and Cambridge, most of them more or less born in the purple of good
families, banded themselves together to create a sort of aristocratic
democracy. They called themselves "Young England," and the chronicle
of them--is it not patent to all men in the pages of Disraeli's
_Coningsby_? In the hero of that novel people saw a portrait of the
leader of the group, the Hon. George Percy Sydney Smythe, to whom also
the poems now before us, _parvus non parvae pignus amicitiae_,
were dedicated in a warm inscription. The Sidonia of the story was
doubtless only echoing what Smythe had laid down as a dogma when he
said: "Man is only truly great when he acts from the passions, never
irresistible but when he appeals to the imagination." It was the
theory of Young England that the historic memory must be awakened in
the lower classes; that utilitarianism was sapping the very vitals of
society, and that ballads and May-poles and quaint festivities
and processions of a loyal peasantry were the proper things for
politicians to encourage. It was all very young, and of course it
came to nothing. But I do not know that the Primrose League is any
improvement upon it, and I fancy that when the Duke of Rutland looks
back across the half-century he sees something to smile at, but
nothing to blush for.

One of the notions that Young England had got hold of was that famous
saying of Fletcher of Saltoun's friend about making the ballads of
a people. So they set themselves verse-making, and a quaint little
collection of books it was that they produced, all smelling alike
at this time of day, with a faint, faded perfume of the hay-stack,
countrified and wild. Mr. Smythe, who presently became the seventh
Viscount Strangford and one of the wittiest of Morning Chroniclers,
only to die bitterly lamented before the age of forty, wrote _Historic
Fancies_, Mr. Faber, then a fellow of University College, Oxford, and
afterwards a leading spirit among English Catholics, published _The
Cherwell Water-Lily_, in 1840, and on the heels of this discreet
volume came the poems of Lord John Manners.

When _England's Trust_ appeared, its author had just left Cambridge.
Almost immediately afterward, it was decided that Young England ought
to be represented in Parliament, where its Utopian chivalries, it was
believed, needed only to be heard to prevail. Accordingly Lord John
Manners presented himself, in June 1841, as one of the Conservative
candidates for the borough of Newark. He was elected, and so was the
other Tory candidate, a man already distinguished, and at present
known to the entire world as Mr. W.E. Gladstone. On the hustings, Lord
John Manners was a good deal heckled, and in particular he was teased
excessively about a certain couplet in _England's Trust_. I am not
going to repeat that couplet here, for after nearly half a century
the Duke of Rutland has a right to be forgiven that extraordinary
indiscretion. If any of my readers turn to the volume for themselves,
which, of course, I have no power to prevent their doing, they will
probably exclaim:

"Was it the Duke of Rutland who wrote _that?_" for if frequency of
quotation is the hall-mark of popularity, his Grace must be one of the
most popular of our living poets.

There is something exceedingly pathetic in this little volume. Its
weakness as verse, for it certainly is weak, had nothing ignoble about
it, and what is weak without being in the least base has already a
negative distinction. The author hopes to be a Lovelace or a Montrose,
equally ready to do his monarch service with sword or pen. The Duke of
Rutland has not quite been a Montrose, but he has been something less
brilliant and much more useful, a faithful servant of his country,
through an upright and laborious life. The young poet of 1841,
thrilled by the Tractarian enthusiasm of the moment, looked for a
return of the high festivals of the Church, for a victory of faith
over all its Paynim foes. "The worst evils," he writes, "from which we
are now suffering, have arisen from our ignorant contempt or neglect
of the rules of the Church." He was full of Newman and Pusey, of the
great Oxford movement of 1837, of the wind of fervour blowing through
England from the common-room of Oriel. Now all is changed past
recognition, and with, perhaps, the solitary exception of Cardinal
Newman, preserved in extreme old age, like some precious exotic, in
his Birmingham cloister, the Duke of Rutland may look through the
length and breadth of England without recovering one of those lost
faces that fed the pure passion of his youth.

The hand which brought the flame from Oriel to the Cambridge scholar
was that of the Rev. Frederick William Faber, and a great number
of the poems in _England's Trust_ are dedicated to him openly or
secretly. Here is a sonnet addressed to Faber, which is very pleasant
to read:

_Dear Friend! thou askest me to sing our loves,
And sing them fain would I; but I do fear
To mar so soft a theme; a theme that moves
My heart unto its core. O friend most dear!
No light request is thine; albeit it proves
Thy gentleness and love, that do appear
When absent thus, and in soft looks when near.
Surely, if ever two fond hearts were, twined
In a most holy, mystic knot, so now
Are ours; not common are the ties that bind
My soul to thine; a dear Apostle thou,
I a young Neophyte that yearns to find
The sacred truth, and stamp upon his brow
The Cross, dread sign of his baptismal vow!_

The Apostle was only twelve months older than the Neophyte, who was
in his twenty-third year, but he was a somewhat better as well as
stronger poet. _The Cherwell Water-Lily_ is rather a rare book now,
and I may perhaps be allowed to give an example of Faber's style.
It is from one of many poems in which, with something borrowed too
consciously from Wordsworth, who was the very Apollo of Young England,
there Is yet a rendering of the beauty and mystery of Oxford, and
of the delicate sylvan scenery which surrounds it, which is wholly

_There is a well, a willow-shaded spot.
Cool in the noon-tide gleam,
With rushes nodding in the little stream,
And blue forget-me-not.

Set in thick tufts along the bushy marge
With big bright eyes of gold;
And glorious water-plants, like fans, unfold
Their blossoms strange and large.

That wandering boy, young Hylas, did not find
Beauties so rich and rare,
Where swallow-wort and pale-bright maiden's hair
And dog-grass richly twined.

A sloping bank ran round it like a crown,
Whereon a purple cloud
Of dark wild hyacinths, a fairy crowd,
Had settled softly down.

And dreamy sounds of never-ending bells
From Oxford's holy towers
Came down the stream, and went among the flowers,
And died in little swells_.

These two extracts give a fair notion of the Tractarian poetry, with
its purity, its idealism, its love of Nature and its unreal conception
of life, Faber also wrote an _England's Trust_, before Lord John
Manners published his; and in this he rejoices in the passing away
of all the old sensual confidence, and in the coming of a new age of
humility and spirituality. Alas! it never came! There was a roll in
the wave of thought, a few beautiful shells were thrown up on the
shore of literature, and then the little eddy of Tractarianism was
broken and spent, and lost in the general progress of mankind. We
touch with reverend pity the volumes without which we should scarcely
know that Young England had ever existed, and we refuse to believe
that all the enthusiasm and piety and courage of which they are the
mere ashes have wholly passed away. They have become spread over a
wide expanse of effort, and no one knows who has been graciously
affected by them. Who shall say that some distant echo of the Cherwell
harp was not sounding in the heart of Gordon when he went to his
African martyrdom? It is her adventurers, whether of the pen or of the
sword, that have made England what she is. But if every adventurer
succeeded, where would the adventure be?

The Duke of Rutland soon repeated his first little heroic expedition
into the land of verses. He published a volume of _English Ballads_;
but this has not the historical interest which makes _England's Trust_
a curiosity. He has written about Church Rates, and the Colonies, and
the Importance of Literature to Men of Business, but never again of
his reveries in Neville's Court nor of his determination to emulate
the virtues of King Charles the Martyr. No matter! If all our
hereditary legislators were as high-minded and single-hearted as the
new Duke of Rutland, the reform of the House of Lords would scarcely
be a burning question.


IONICA. _Smith Elder & Co., 65, Cornhill_. 1858.

Good poetry seems to be almost as indestructible as diamonds. You
throw it out of the window into the roar of London, it disappears in a
deep brown slush, the omnibus and the growler pass over it, and by
and by it turns up again somewhere uninjured, with all the pure fire
lambent in its facets. No doubt thoroughly good specimens of prose do
get lost, dragged down the vortex of a change of fashion, and never
thrown back again to light. But the quantity of excellent verse
produced in any generation is not merely limited, but keeps very
fairly within the same proportions. The verse-market is never really
glutted, and while popular masses of what Robert Browning calls
"deciduous trash" survive their own generation, only to be carted
away, the little excellent, unnoticed book gradually pushes its path
up silently into fame.

These reflections are not inappropriate in dealing with the small
volume of 116 pages called _Ionica_, long ago ushered into the world
so silently that its publication did not cause a single ripple on the
sea of literature. Gradually this book has become first a rarity and
then a famous possession, so that at the present moment there is
perhaps no volume of recent English verse so diminutive which commands
so high a price among collectors. When the library of Mr. Henry
Bradshaw was dispersed in November 1886, book-buyers thought that they
had a chance of securing this treasure at a reasonable price, for it
was known that the late Librarian of Cambridge University, an old
friend of the author, had no fewer than three copies. But at the sale
two of these copies went for three pounds fifteen and three pounds
ten, respectively, and the third was knocked down for a guinea,
because it was discovered to lack the title-page and the index. (I do
not myself think it right to encourage the sale of imperfect books,
and would not have spent half a crown on the rarest of volumes if I
could not have the title-page. But this is only an aside, and does not
interfere with the value of _Ionica_.)

The little book has no name on the title-page, but it is known that the
author was Mr. William Johnson, formerly a master at Eton and a fellow
of King's College, Cambridge. It is understood that this gentleman was
born about 1823, and died in 1892. On coming into property, as I have
heard, in the west of England, he took the name of Cory, So that he is
doubly concealed as a poet, the anonymous-pseudonymous. As Mr. William
Cory he wrote history, but there is but slight trace there of the author
of _Ionica_. In face of the extreme rarity of his early book, friends
urged upon Mr. Cory its republication, and he consented. Probably he
would have done well to refuse, for the book is rather delicate and
exquisite than forcible, and to reprint it was to draw public attention
to its inequality. Perhaps I speak with the narrow-mindedness of the
collector who possesses a treasure; but I think the appreciators of
_Ionica_ will always be few in number, and it seems good for those few
to have some difficulties thrown in the way of their delights.

Shortly after _Ionica_ appeared great developments took place in
English verse. In 1858 there was no Rossetti, no Swinburne; we may say
that, as far as the general public was concerned, there was no
Matthew Arnold and no William Morris. This fact has to be taken into
consideration in dealing with the tender humanism of Mr. Johnson's
verses. They are less coruscating and flamboyant than what we became
accustomed to later on. The tone is extremely pensive, sensitive, and
melancholy. But where the author is at his best, he is not only, as
it seems to me, very original, but singularly perfect, with the
perfection of a Greek carver of gems. The book is addressed to and
intended for scholars, and the following piece, although really a
translation, has no statement to that effect. Before I quote it,
perhaps I may remind the ladies that the original is an epigram in the
Greek Anthology, and that it was written by the great Alexandrian
poet Callimachus on hearing the news that his dear friend, the poet
Heraclitus--not to be confounded with the philosopher--was dead.

_They told me, Heraclitus, they told me you were dead;
They brought me bitter news to hear and bitter tears to shed
I wept, as I remembered, how often you and I
Had tired the sun with talking and sent him down the sky.

And now that thou art lying, my dear old Carian guest,
A handful of grey ashes, long long ago at rest,
Still are thy pleasant voices, thy nightingales, awake;
For Death, he taketh all away, but these he cannot take_.

No translation ever smelt less of the lamp, and more of the violet
than this. It is an exquisite addition to a branch of English
literature, which is already very rich, the poetry of elegiacal
regret. I do not know where there is to be found a sweeter or tenderer
expression of a poet's grief at the death of a poet-friend, grief
mitigated only by the knowledge that the dead man's songs, his
"nightingales," are outliving him. It is the requiem of friendship,
the reward of one who, in Keats's wonderful phrase, has left "great
verse unto a little clan," the last service for the dead to whom it
was enough to be "unheard, save of the quiet primrose, and the span of
heaven, and few ears." To modern vulgarity, whose ideal of Parnassus
is a tap-room of howling politicians, there is nothing so offensive,
as there is nothing so incredible, as the notion that a poet may
hold his own comrade something dearer than the public. The author of
_Ionica_ would deserve well of his country if he had done no more than
draw this piece of aromatic calamus-root from the Greek waters.

Among the lyrics which are entirely original, there are several not
less exquisite than this memory of Callimachus. But the author is not
very safe on modern ground. I confess that I shudder when I read:

"_Oh, look at his jacket, I know him afar;
How nice," cry the ladies, "looks yonder Hussar_!"

It needs a peculiar lightness of hand to give grace to these
colloquial numbers, and the author of _Ionica_ is more at home in the
dryad-haunted forest with Comatas. In combining classic sentiment with
purely English landscape he is wonderfully happy.

There is not a jarring image or discordant syllable to break the
glassy surface of this plaintive _Dirge_:

_Naiad, hid beneath the bank
By the willowy river-side,
Where Narcissus gently sank,
Where unmarried Echo died,
Unto thy serene repose
Waft the stricken Anteros.

Where the tranquil swan is borne,
Imaged in a watery glass,
Where the sprays of fresh pink thorn
Stoop to catch the boats that pass,
Where the earliest orchis grows,
Bury thou fair Anteros.

On a flickering wave we gaze,
Not upon his answering eyes:
Flower and bird we scarce can praise,
Having lost his sweet replies:
Cold and mute the river flows
With our tears for Anteros_.

We know well where this place of burial is to be. Not in some glade
of Attica or by Sicilian streams, but where a homelier river gushes
through the swollen lock at Bray, or shaves the smooth pastoral
meadows at Boveney, where Thames begins to draw a longer breath for
his passage between Eton and Windsor.

The prevailing sentiment of these poems is a wistful clinging to
this present life, a Pagan optimism which finds no fault with human
existence save that it is so brief. It gains various expression in
words that seem hot on a young man's lips, and warm on the same lips
even when no longer young:

_I'll borrow life, and not grow old;
And nightingales and trees
Shall keep me, though the veins be cold,
As young as Sophocles_.

And again, in poignant notes:

_You promise heavens free from strife,
Pure truth, and perfect change of will;
But sweet, sweet is this human life,
So sweet, I fain would breathe it still;
Your chilly stars I can forego,
This warm, kind world is all I know_.

This last quotation is from the poem called _Mimnermus in Church_. In
this odd title he seems to refer to elegies of the Colophonian poet,
who was famous in antiquity for the plaintive stress which he laid on
the necessity of extracting from life all it had to offer, since there
was nothing beyond mortal love, which was the life of life. The author
of _Ionica_ seems to bring the old Greek fatalist to modern England,
and to conduct him to church upon a Sunday morning. But Mimnermus is
impenitent. He confesses that the preacher is right when he says that
all earthly pleasures are fugitive. He has always confessed as much at
home under the olive tree; it was because they were fugitive that he
clung to them:

_All beauteous things for which we live
By laws of time and space decay.
But oh! the very reason why
I clasp them, is because they die_.

There is perhaps no modern book of verse in which a certain melancholy
phase of ancient thought is better reproduced than in _Ionica_, and
this gives its slight verses their lasting charm. We have had numerous
resuscitations of ancient manners and landscape in modern poetry
since the days of Keats and Andre Chenier. Many of these have been so
brilliantly successful that only pedantry would deny their value. But
in _Ionica_ something is given which the others have not known how
to give, the murmur of antiquity, the sigh in the grass of meadows
dedicated to Persephone. It seems to help us to comprehend the little
rites and playful superstitions of the Greeks; to see why Myro built a
tomb for the grasshopper she loved and lost; why the shining hair of
Lysidice, when she was drowned, should be hung up with songs of
pity and reproach in the dreadful vestibule of Aphrodite. The noisy
blasphemers of the newest Paris strike the reader as Christian
fanatics turned inside out; for all their vehemence they can never
lose the experience of their religious birth. The same thing is true
of the would-be Pagans of a milder sensuous type. The Cross prevailed
at their nativity, and has thrown its shadow over their conscience.
But in the midst of the throng there walks this plaintive poet of
the _Ionica_, the one genuine Pagan, absolutely untouched by the
traditions of the Christian past. I do not commend the fact; I merely
note it as giving a strange interest to these forlorn and unpopular

Twenty years after the publication of _Ionica_, and when that little
book had become famous among the elect, the author printed at
Cambridge a second part, without a title-page, and without
punctuation, one of the most eccentric looking pamphlets I ever
saw. The enthusiastic amateur will probably regard his collection
incomplete without _Ionica II_., but he must be prepared for a
disappointment. There is a touch of the old skill here and there, as
in such stanzas as this:

_With half a moon, and clouds rose-pink,
And water-lilies just in bud,
With iris on the river-brink,
And white weed-garlands on the mud,
And roses thin and pale as dreams,
And happy cygnets born in May,
No wonder if our country seems
Drest out for Freedom's natal day_.

Or these:

_Peace lit upon a fluttering vein,
And self-forgetting on the brain;
On rifts by passion wrought again
Splashed from the sky of childhood rain,
And rid of afterthought were we
And from foreboding sweetly free.

Now falls the apple, bleeds the vine,
And, moved by some autumnal sign,
I who in spring was glad repine
And ache without my anodyne;
Oh! things that were! Oh! things that are!
Oh! setting of my double star!_

But these are rare, and the old unique _Ionica_ of thirty years
earlier is not repeated.


THE SHAVING OF SHAGPAT. _An Arabian Entertainment. By George Meredith.
Chapman and Hall_. 1856.

It is nearly forty years since I first heard of _The Shaving of
Shagpat_. I was newly come, in all my callow ardour, into the covenant
of Art and Letters, and I was moving about, still bewildered, in a
new world. In this new world, one afternoon, Dante Gabriel Rossetti,
standing in front of his easel, remarked to all present whom it should
concern, that _The Shaving of Shagpat_ was a book which Shakespeare
might have been glad to write. I now understand that in the warm
Rossetti-language this did not mean that there was anything specially
reminiscent of the Bard of Avon in this book, but simply that it was
a monstrous fine production, and worthy of all attention. But at the
time I expected, from such a title, something in the way of a belated
_Midsummer Night's Dream_ or _Love's Labour's Lost_. I was fully
persuaded that it must be a comedy, and as the book even then was
rare, and as I was long pursuing the loan of it, I got this dramatic
notion upon my mind, and to this day do still clumsily connect it with
the idea of Shakespeare. But in truth _The Shaving of Shagpat_ has no
other analogy with those plays, which Bacon would have written if he
had been so plaguily occupied, than that it is excellent in quality
and of the finest literary flavour.

The ordinary small collection of rarities has no room for three-volume
novels, those signs-manual of our British dulness and crafty disdain
for literature. One or two of these _simulacra_, these sham-semblances
of books, I possess, because honoured friends have given them to
me; even so, I would value the gift more in the decency of a single
volume. The dear little duodecimos of the last century, of course, are
welcome in a library. That was a happy day, when by the discovery of
a _Ferdinand Count Fathom_, I completed my set of Smollett in the
original fifteen volumes. But after the first generation of novelists,
the sham system began to creep in. With Fanny Burney, novels grow too
bulky, and it is a question whether even Scott or Jane Austen should
be possessed in the original form. Of the moderns, only Thackeray
is bibliographically desirable. Hence even of Mr. George Meredith's
fiction I make no effort to possess first editions; yet _The Shaving
of Shagpat_ is an exception. I toiled long to secure it, and, now that
I hold it, may its modest vermilion cover shine always like a lamp
upon my shelves! It is not fiction to a bibliophile; it is worthy of
all the honour done to verse.

Within the last ten years of his life we had the great pleasure of
seeing tardy justice done at length to the genius of Mr. George
Meredith. I like to think that, after a long and noble struggle
against the inattention of the public, after the pouring of high music
for two generations into ears whose owners seemed to have wilfully
sealed them with wax, so that only the most staccato and least happy
notes ever reached their dulness, George Meredith did, before the age
of seventy, reap a little of his reward. I am told that the movement
in favour of him began in America; if so, more praise to American
readers, who had to teach us to appreciate De Quincey and Praed before
we knew the value of those men. Yet is there much to do. Had George
Meredith been a Frenchman, what monographs had ere this been called
forth by his work; in Germany, or Italy, or Denmark even, such gifts
as his would long ago have found their classic place above further
discussion. But England is a Gallio, and in defiance of Mr. Le
Gallienne, cares little for the things of literature.

If a final criticism of George Meredith existed, where in it would
_The Shaving of Shagpat_ find its place? There is fear that in
competition with the series of analytical studies of modern life
that stretches from _The Ordeal of Richard Feverel_ to _One of our
Conquerors_, it might chance to be pushed away with a few lines of
praise. Now, I would not seem so paradoxical as to say that when
an extravaganza is held up to me in one hand, and a masterpiece of
morality like _The Egoist_ in the other, I can doubt which is the
greater book; but there are moods in which I am jealous of the novels,
and wish to be left alone with my _Arabian Entertainment_. Delicious
in this harsh world of reality to fold a mist around us, and out of it
to evolve the yellow domes and black cypresses, the silver fountains
and marble pillars, of the fabulous city of Shagpat. I do not know any
later book than _The Shaving_ in which an Englishman has allowed his
fancy, untrammelled by any sort of moral or intellectual subterfuge,
to go a-roaming by the light of the moon. We do this sort of thing no
longer. We are wholly given up to realism, we are harshly pressed upon
on all sides by the importunities of excess of knowledge. If we
talk of gryphons, the zoologists are upon us; of Oolb or Aklis, the
geographers flourish their maps at us in defiance. But the author of
_The Shaving of Shagpat_, in the bloom of his happy youthful genius,
defied all this pedantry. In a little address which has been
suppressed in later editions he said (December 8, 1855)

"It has seemed to me that the only way to tell an Arabian Story was by
imitating the style and manner of the Oriental Story-tellers. But such
an attempt, whether successful or not, may read like a translation. I
therefore think it better to prelude this Entertainment by an avowal
that it springs from no Eastern source, and is in every respect an
original Work."

If one reader of _The Shaving of Shagpat_ were to confess the truth he
would say that to him at least the other, the genuine Oriental tales,
appear the imitation, and not a very good imitation. The true genius
of the East breathes in Meredith's pages, and the _Arabian Nights_, at
all events in the crude literality of Sir Richard Burton, pale before
them like a mirage. The variety of scenes and images, the untiring
evolution of plot, the kaleidoscopic shifting of harmonious colours,
all these seem of the very essence of Arabia, and to coil directly
from some bottle of a genie. Ah! what a bottle! As we whirl along in
the vast and glowing bacchanal, we cry, like Sganarelle:

_Qu'ils sont doux--
Bouteille jolie--
Qu'ils sont doux
Vos petits glou-glous;
Ah! Bouteille, ma mie;
Pourquoi vous videz-vous?_

Ah! why indeed? For _The Shaving of Shagpat_ is one of those very rare
modern books of which it is certain that they are too short, and even
our excitement at the Mastery of the Event is tamed by a sense that
the show is closing, and that Shibli Bagarag has been too promptly
successful in smiting through the Identical. But perhaps of all gifts
there is none more rare than this of clearing the board and leaving
the reader still hungry.

Who shall say, in dealing with such a book, what passage in it is best
or worst? Either the fancy, carried away utterly captive, follows the
poet whither he will, or the whole conception is a failure. Perhaps,
after the elemental splendour and storm of the final scene, what
clings most to the memory is how Shibli Bagarag, hard beset in the
Cave of Chrysolites, touched the great lion with the broken sapphire
hair of Garraveen; or again, how on the black coast of the enchanted
sea, wandering by moonlight, he found the sacred Lily, and tore it
up, and lo! its bulb was a palpitating heart of human flesh; or how
Bhanavar called the unwilling serpents too often, and failed to win
her beauty back, till, at an awful price she once more, and for the
last time, contrived to call her body-guard of snakes hissing and
screaming around her.

There is surely no modern book so unsullied as this is by the modern
spirit, none in which the desire to teach a lesson, to refer knowingly
to topics of the day, or worst of all, to be incontinently funny,
interferes less with the tender magic of Oriental fancy, or with the
childlike, earnest faith in what is utterly outside the limits of
experience. It belongs to that infancy of the world, when the happy
guileless human being still holds that somewhere there is a flower to
be plucked, a lamp to be rubbed, or a form of words to be spoken which
will reverse the humdrum laws of Nature, call up unwilling spirits
bound to incredible services, and change all this brown life of ours
to scarlet and azure and mother-of-pearl. Little by little, even our
children are losing this happy gift of believing the incredible, and
that class of writing which seems to require less effort than any
other, and to be a mere spinning of gold thread out of the poet's
inner consciousness, is less and less at command, and when executed
gives less and less satisfaction. The gnomes of Pope, the fays and
"trilbys" of Nodier, even the fairy-world of Doyle, are breathed upon
by a race that has grown up habituated to science. But even for such
a race it must be long before the sumptuous glow and rich triumphant
humour of _The Shaving of Shagpat_ have lost all their attraction.


ABBEY, Edwin A.
_Abuses stript and whipt_
Akenside, Mark
Alfoxden, Wordsworth at
_All for Love_, Dryden's
_Almahide_, Mlle. de Scudery's
_Amasia_, John Hopkins'
_Amazon Queen_, Weston's
_Amboyna_, Dryden's
Amory's _Life of John Buncle_, Thomas
_Anthony_, Earl of Orrery's _Mr_.
_Arcadia_, Sidney's
Ardelia (Lady Winchilsea)'s Poems
Arnauld, Antoine
Arnold, Matthew
_Artamenes_, La Calprenede's
_Astree_, D'Urfe's
d'Aurevilly, Barbey
Austen, Jane
_Autobiography_ of Leigh Hunt
Avison, Charles

Baldwin, William
_Ballad of the Book Hunter_, Lang's
Balzac, Honore de
Bancroft's _Sertorius_
Banks, Sir Joseph
Barnacle Goose Tree, The
Barrington, Hon. Daines
Beaumont, _Peter Bell_ and Sir George
Behn, Mrs. Aphra
Bell, _Professor_ Thomas,
_Benjamin the Waggoner_
Blener Hasset, Thomas
Boileau, Nicolas,
Boisrobert, Francois
Boitard, Louis
Bossuet, Jacques
Boswell, James
Bouilhet, Louis
_Boxiana_, Egan's
Boyle's _Parthenissa_
Bradshaw, Library of Henry
_Britannia_, Brooke's _Discovery of Errors in_,
_Britannia_, Camden's
_British Princes_, Howard's
Brooke, Christopher
Brooke, Ralph
Browne, Sir Thomas
Browne, William
Browning, Robert
Brummell, Beau
Brunfelcius, Otto
_Buncle_, Amory's _Life of John_
Burger's _Lenore_
Burke, Edmund
Barney, Dr.
Burney, Fanny
Burton, Sir Richard

Calprenede, La
Cambridge described by Camden
Camden's _Britannia_
Campbell, J. Dykes
Campion, Thomas
Carew, Thomas
Carlisle's _Fortune Hunters_
_Carnival_, Porter's
_Cassandra_, La Calprenede's
Caylus, Count
Chandler, Dr.
Charles I.
_Cherwell Water-Lily_, Faber's _The_
Church, Dean
Cibber, Theophilus
_Citizen of the World_, Goldsmith's
_Clelie_, La Calprenede's
_Cleomina_, Eliza Haywood's _Secret History of_
_Cleopatra_, La Calprenede's
Cleveland, Duchess of
Coleridge, S.T.
Collins, William
Congreve, William
_Constant Couple_, Farquhar's
Corcoran, Peter, _i.e_. J. H. Reynolds
Corneille, Pierre
Corneille, Thomas
Cornwall, Barry
Cory, William, _see_ Johnson, William
_Couches de L'Academie_, Furetiere's
Coventry, Rev. Francis
Coventry, Henry
Coypel, Drawings by
Croker, J.W.
Cromwell, Oliver
Crowne, John
_Cyrus, Le Grand_

_David_, Smart's _Song to_
Davies of Hereford, John
_Death's Duel_
De Boissat
Defoe, Daniel
Dennis, John
De Quincey, Thomas
Deshoulieres, Mme.
Desmarais, Regnier
De Tabley, Lord
_Dialogues_, La Mothe le Vayer
_Diary of a Lover of Literature_, Green's
Dictionary, The Romance of a
Dioscorides of Anazarba,
D'Israeli, Isaac
D'Israeli's _Coningsby_
Dobson, Mr. Austin
Dodonaeus, Rembertus
Donne, Dr. John
Dryden, John
Dryden, Funeral of
_Dunciad_, Pope's
Dupuy, Mlle.
D'Urfe's _Astree_
"Dwale" (nightshade)

EGANS'S _Boxiana_, Pierce
_Egoist_, Meredith's _The_
_Elegy in Country Churchyard_, Gray's
_England's Trust_, F.W. Faber's
_England's Trust_, Lord John Manners'
_England's Worthies_, Winstanley's
_English Ballads_, Lord John Manners'
_English Poets_, Winstanley's _Lives of_
_Enquiry Concerning Virtue_, Shaftesbury's
_Epistolary Poems_ of Charles Hopkins
_Epsom Wells_, Shadwell's
_Excursion_, Wordsworth's

FABER, Frederick William
_Fall of Princes_, Lydgate's
_Fancy, The_, J.H. Reynolds'
Farmer, Dr.
Farquhar, George
_Fatal Friendship_, Trotter's
_Feast of the Poets, The_
_Ferdinand Count Fathom_, Smollett's
Ferrers, George
Field, Barron
Fielding, Henry
Finch, Heneage (Earl of Winchilsea)
Finch, Poems of Anne (Lady Winchilsea)
FitzGerald, Edward
_Fortune Hunters_, Carlisle's _The_
_Francaise, Histoire de l'Academie_
_Francion_, Sorel's
Fuchsius, Leonard
Furetiere, Antoine

_GARDEN of Florence_, Reynolds'
Gardiner, Lord Chancellor Stephen
Garrick, David
Garth, Dr.
_Gentleman's Magazine, The_
Gerard, John
Gibbon, Edward
Gibbons, Dr. (Physician)
Gifford, William
Gladstone, W.E.
Goldsmith, Oliver
Goose Tree, The
Grafton, Isabella, Duchess of
Gray, Thomas
Green, Thomas
Green's _Diary of a Lover of Literature_
Grierson, Professor
Grundtvig, Bishop
_Gulliver's Travels_, Swift

HANMER, Sir Thomas
Harrington's _Oceana_
Harvey, Rev. R.
Hawkesworth, John
Haywood, Eliza
Hazlitt, William
_Herbal_, Gerard's
----, Henry Lyte's translation of Dodonaeus'
----, Dr. Priest's translation of Dodonaeus'
Herrick, Robert
Hesketh (Yorkshire botanist)
_Hesperides_, Herrick's
Hill, Aaron
Hill, Dr. John
_Hilliad_, Smart's _The_
_Histoire de l'Academie Francaise_ (The Hague Edn.)
_Historic Fancies_, Lord Strangford's
Hoare, William
Holland, Philemon
_Hop Garden_, Smart's _The_
Hopkins, Charles
Hopkins, Ezekiel, Bishop of Derry
Hopkins, John
Hove, F.H. Van (Engraver)
Howard, Hon. Edward
_Humorous Lovers_, Duke of Newcastle's
Hunt, Leigh
Hurd, Dr., Bishop of Worcester
Hyde, Edward, Earl of Clarendon

_IBRAHIM_, Mlle. de Scudery's
_Idalia_, Eliza Haywood's
_Ionica_, William Johnson's

Jeffrey, Francis
Jenyns, Soame
Johnson, Dr. Samuel
Johnson, Thomas (Botanist)
Johnson, William
Jonson, Ben
Joyner, William
Jusserand, J.J., _English Novel in the Time of Shakespeare_

King, Dr. Henry
Kip, William

LAMB, Charles
Lang, Andrew
La Rochefoucauld
Lee, Nathaniel
Le Gallienne, Mr.
_Le Grand Cyrus_
_Lenore_, Burger's
Lerpiniere, Daniel
_Les Chats_, Moncrif's
Lesdiguieres, Duchess of
_Letters of Lord Chesterfield_
_Liberal, The_
Locker-Lampson, Frederick
Lombard (Antiquary)
Longueville, Mme. de
Louis XIV
_Love and a Bottle_, Farquhar's
_Love and Business_, Farquhar's
_Love in Excess_, Eliza Haywood
Loveday, Robert
Lydgate's _Fall of Princes_

MAINE, Duchess of
Manners, Lord John (_see_ Rutland, Duke of)
Manship, Samuel
Marot, Clement
Marshalsea Prison
Marvell, Andrew
Mason, William
Mazell, Peter (Engraver)
_Memoirs of a Lady of Quality_
_Memoirs of Several Ladies of Great Britain_, Amory's
Mentzelius, Christian
Meredith's, _The Shaving of Shagpat_
Mezeray, Francois
Milton, John
_Mimnermus in Church_, Johnson's
_Mirror for Magistrates, A_
Mitlord, John
_Mithridates_, Lee's
_Moll Flanders_, Defoe
Moncrif, Augustin Paradis de
Montagu, Lady Mary Wortley
Moore's _Tom Crib_, Thomas
Murray, John

_NASH, Beau_
Newbery, Francis
Newbery, John (Publisher)
Newcastle's _Humorous Lovers_, Duke of
Niccols, Richard
Nichols, John Bowyer
Norden, John
Nottingham, Sonnet to the Earl of

_OCEANA_, Harrington's
Orford, Countess of (_Pompey the Little_)
Orrery, Earl of
Ortelius, Abraham
Osborne, Dorothy
Otten (Engraver)
Otway, Thomas

_PAMELA_, Richardson's
_Paradise Lost and Paradise Regained_, Milton's
_Parleying_, Brownings
Parr, Dr.
_Parthenissa_, Boyle's
Payne, John, (line-engraver)
Pellisson-Fontanier, Paul
Pennant, Thomas
Percy, Bishop of Dromore, Dr. Thomas
_Peter Bell: A Tale in Verse_, Wordsworth's
_Peter Bell; A Lyrical Ballad_, Hamilton's
_Peter Bell the Third_, Shelley's
Peter Corcoran
_Pharamond_, La Calprenede's
_Philemon to Hydaspes_, Coventry's
Phillips, John
Pindar, Peter
Plays, A Volume of Old
_Poems_ of Anne Finch (Lady Winchilsea)
_Poems_ of Christopher Smart
Poet in Prison, A (_The Shepheards Hunting_)
Poets, A Censor of
_Poets_, Winstanley's _Lives of English_
_Polexandre_, Gomberville's
_Pompey the Little_, F. Coventry's
Pope, Alexander
Porter, Major Thomas
Praed, W. Mackworth
_Prelude_, Wordsworth's, _The_
Priest, Dr.
_Pseudodoxia Epidemica_, Browne's

_QUARTERLY Review, The_
Queensberry, Duchess of

Racine, Jean
Radcliffe, Dr. John
Raleigh, Sir Walter
Randall, John
Ravenscroft, Edward
Reynolds' _Peter Bell_, John Hamilton
---- _The Fancy_
Richardson, Samuel
Richelieu, Cardinal
_Rimini_, Leigh Hunt's
Robinson, Henry Crabb
Robinson, Perdita
Rochefoucauld, La
_Roman Bourgeois, Le_, Furetiere's
_Roman Empress_, Joyner's
Roscommon, Earl of
Rossetti, Dante Gabriel
Rowe, Nicholas
_Roxana_, Defoe
Roy (Poet)
Rutland, Poems of Duke of

SACKVILLE, Lord Buckhurst, Thomas
Sadler, Thomas
_Sampson Agonista_, Milton's
Sandford, Mrs.
Savage, Richard
Scott, Sir Walter
Scudery, Mlle. de
Sedley, Sir Charles
_Selborne_, White's _The Natural History of_
_Sertorius_, Bancroft's
Settle, Elkanah
Sevigne, Mme. de
Shadwell, Thomas
Shaftesbury's _Enquiry Concerning Virtue_
_Shaving of Shagpat_, George Meredith's _The_
_Shepheards Hunting_, Wither's _The_
_Shipwreck_, Falconer's _The_
Shirley, James
Sidney's _Arcadia_
_Sir Harry Wildair_, Farquhar's
Skelton's Contribution to _Mirror for Magistrates_
Smart, Christopher
Smollett, Tobias
Smythe (_see_ Lord Strangford), George Percy Sydney
Solly, Edward
_Song to David_, Smart's
Sorel, Charles
Southerne, Thomas
Southey, Robert
_Spleen, Ode on the_
Stecchetti, Lorenzo
Stone, Nicholas
Strangford, Lord
Suckling, Sir John
_Sugar Cane_, Grainger's _The_
Swift, Dean

TEMPLE, Sir William
Thackeray, W.M.
_Tom Crib_, Moore's
_Tom Jones_, Fielding
Tooke, Horne
Tradescant, John
_Traveller_, Goldsmith's _The_
Trotter's _Fatal Friendship_, Catherine
Turner, J.M.W.
Tyers, Thomas

_Ultra-crepidarius_, Leigh Hunt's
_Usurper_, Howard's

Vanbrugh's _Aesop_
Vaughan, Henry
Vayer, La Mothe le
Verlaine, Paul
Verrall, Dr. A.W.
_View of Christianity_, Soame Jenyns'

_WAGGONER_, Wordsworth's _The_
_Waggoner, Benjamin the_
Walker, Anthony (Engraver)
Walpole, Horace
Walton, Izaak
Warburton, Bishop


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