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them “fine lines, and expressive of his own feelings amidst the wreck and desolation of his fortunes at Abbotsford.
HENRY LUTT RELL.
Another man of wit and fashion, and a pleasing versifier, was HENRY LUTTRELL (1770–1851), author of Advice to Julia: a Letter in Rhyme, 1820, and Crockford House, 1827. Mr Luttrell was a favourite in the circle of Holland House: “none of the talkers whom I meet in London society, said Rogers, “can slide in a brilliant thing with such readiness as he does. The writings of these witty and celebrated conversationists seldom do justice to their talents, but there are happy descriptive passages and touches of light satire in Luttrell's verses. Rogers used to quote an epigram made by his friend on the celebrated vocalist, Miss Tree:
On this tree when a nightingale settles and sings, The tree will return her as good as she brings.
The following are extracts from the Advice to Julia:
[London in Autumn.]
'Tis August. Rays of fiercer heat
[The November Fog of London.]
First, at the dawn of lingering day,
382 Thy dazzling lights and mimic thunders;
Let Carbon in thy train be seen,
HENRY GALLY KNIGHT.
Some Eastern tales in the manner and measure of Byron were written by an accomplished man of fortune, MR HENRY GALLY KNIGHT (1787–1846). The first of these, Ilderim, a Syrian Tale, was published in 1816. This was followed by Phrosyne, a Grecian Tale, and Alashtar, an Arabian Tale, 1817. Mr Knight also wrote a dramatic poem, Hannibal in Bithynia. Though evincing poetical taste and correctness in the delineation of Eastern mannersfor Mr Knight had travelled—these poems failed in exciting attention; and their author turned to the study of our mediaeval architecture. His Architectural Tour in Normandy, and Ecclesiastical Architecture of Italy from the Time of Constantine to the Fifteenth Century—the latter a splendidly illustrated work—are valuable additions to this branch of our historical literature.
CROW E-SAYERS-H E LEN MARIA WILLIAMS.
Several other minor poets of considerable merit at the beginning of this period, were read and admired by poetical students and critics, who have affectionately preserved their names, though the works they praised are now forgotten. “How little Crowe is known even to persons who are fond of poetry!’ exclaimed Samuel Rogers (Table Talk); and Wordsworth also mentions Crowe's excellent loco-descriptive poem, Lewesdon Hill, which went through three editions between 1788 and 1804. Its author, the REv. WILLIAM CRowe, was Public Orator in the university of Oxford. We subjoin one of the episodes in Lewesdon Hill, descriptive of the wreck of the Halsewell, East Indiaman, on the coast of England in 1786:
See how the sun, here clouded, afar off
Was lost, by Neptune's wild and foamy jaws
DR FRANK SAYERs of Norwich (1763–1817) has been specially commemorated by Southey, though even in 1826 the laureate admitted that Sayers was “out of date. The works of this amiable physician consisted of Dramatic Sketches of the Ancient Northern Mythology, 1790; Disquisitions, Metaphysical and Literary, 1793; Nuga Poeticae, 1803; £ 1805; &c. The works of Sayers were collected and republished, with an account of his life, by William Taylor of Norwich, in 1823.
HELEN MARIA WILLIAMs (1762–1827) was very early in life introduced to public notice by Dr Kippis, who recommended her first work, Edwin and Elfrida (1782). She went to reside in France, imbibed republican opinions, and was near suffering with the Girondists during the tyranny of Robespierre. She was a voluminous writer both in prose and verse, author of Letters from France, Travels in Switzerland, Narrative of Events in France, Correspondence of Louis XVI., with Observations, &c. In 1823 she collected and republished her poems. To one of the pieces in this edition, she subjoins the following note: “I commence the sonnets with that to Hope, from a predilection in its favour, for which I have a proudreason: it is that of Mr Wordsworth, who lately honoured me with his visits while at Paris, having repeated it to me from memory, after a lapse of many years.”
Sonnet to Hope.
0 ever skilled to wear the form we love!
LEIGH HUNT, a poet and essayist of the lively and descriptive, not the intense school, was born at Southgate, in Middlesex, October 19, 1784. His father was a West Indian; but being in Pennsylvania at the time of the American war, he espoused the British interest with so much warmth, that he had to leave the new world and seek a subsistence in the old. He took orders in the Church of England, and was some time tutor to the nephew of Lord Chandos, near Southgate. His son—who was named after his father's pupil, Mr Leigh—was educated at Christ's Hospital, where he continued till his fifteenth year. “I was then, he says, “first deputy Grecian; and had the honour of going out of the school in the same rank, at the same age, and for the same reason
as my friend Charles Lamb. The reason was, that I hesitated in my speech. It was understood that a Grecian was bound to deliver a public speech before he left school, and to go into the church afterwards; and as I could do neither of these things, a Grecian I could not be.” Leigh was then a poet, and his
father collected his verses, and published them with a large list of subscribers. He has himself described this volume as a heap of imitations, some of them clever enough for a youth of sixteen, but absolutely worthless in every other respect. In 1805, Mr Hunt's brother set up a paper called The News, and the poet went to live with him, and write the theatrical criticisms in it. Three years afterwards, they established, in joint-partnership, The Examiner, a weekly journal still conducted with distinguished ability. The poet was more literary than political in his tastes and lucubrations; but unfortunately, he ventured some strictures on the prince-regent, which were construed into a libel, and he was sentenced to two years' imprisonment. The poet's captivity was not without its bright side. He had much of the public sympathy, and his friends —Byron and Moore being of the number—were attentive in their visits. One of his two rooms on the “ground-floor he converted into a picturesque and poetical study: “I papered the walls with a trellis of roses; I had the ceiling coloured with clouds and sky; the barred windows were screened with Venetian blinds; and when my bookcases were set up, with their busts and flowers, and a pianoforte made its appearance, perhaps there was not a handsomer room on that side the water. I took a pleasure, when a stranger knocked at the door, to see him come in and stare about him. The surprise on issuing from the borough, and passing through the avenues of a jail, was dramatic. Charles Lamb declared there was no other such room except in a fairy tale. But I had another surprise, which was a garden. There was a little yard outside railed off from another belonging to the neighbouring ward. This yard I shut in with green palings, adorned it with a trellis, bordered it with a thick bed of earth from a nursery, and even contrived to have #" plot. The earth I filled with flowers and young trees. There was an apple-tree from which we managed to get a pudding the second year. As to my flowers, they were allowed to be perfect. A poet from Derbyshire (Mr Moore) told me he had seen no such heart's-ease. I bought the Parnaso Italiano while in prison, and used often to think of a passage in it, while looking at this miniature piece of horticulture:
Mio picciol orto, A me sei vigna, e campo, e silva, e prato-Baldi.
My little garden, To me thou’rt vineyard, field, and wood, and meadow.
Here I wrote and read in fine weather, sometimes under an awning. In autumn, my trellises were hung with scarlet runners, which added to the flowery investment. I used to shut my eyes in my arm-chair, and affect to think myself hundreds of miles off. But my triumph was in issuing forth of a morning. A wicket out of the garden led into the large one belonging to the prison. The latter was only for vegetables, but it contained a cherry-tree, which I twice saw in blossom.”
This is so interesting a little picture, and so fine an example of making the most of adverse circumstances, that it should not be omitted in any life of Hunt. The poet, however, was not so well fitted to battle with the world, and apply himself steadily to worldly business, as he was to dress his garden and nurse his poetical fancies. He fell into difficulties, and has been contending with them ever since. On leaving prison, he published his Story of Rimini, an Italian tale in verse, containing some exquisite lines and passages. He set up also a small weekly paper, called The Indicator, on the plan of the periodical essayists, which was well received. He also gave to the world two small volumes of poetry, Foliage, and The Feast of the Poets. In 1822, Mr Hunt went to Italy to reside with Lord Byron, and to establish The Liberal, a crude and violent melange of poetry and politics, both in the extreme of liberalism. This connection was productive of mutual disappointment and disgust. The Liberal did not sell; Byron's titled and aristocratic friends cried out against so plebeian a partnership; and Hunt found that the noble poet, to whom he was indebted in a pecuniary sense, was cold, sarcastic, and worldly minded. Still more unfortunate was it that Hunt should afterwards have written the work, Lord Byron. and Some of his Contemporaries, in which his disappointed feelings found vent, and their expression was construed into ingratitude. His life has been spent in struggling with influences contrary to his nature and poetical temperament. The spirit of the poet, however, is still active and cheerful. In 1835, he produced Captain Sword and Captain Pen—a poetical denunciation of war. In 1840, he greeted the birth of the Princess-royal with a copy of verses, from which we extract some pleasing lines:
Behold where thou dost lie,
* *: Byron and Some of his Contemporaries, vol. ii. p. 258.
Nor the doctor's learned looks,
In the same year Mr Hunt brought out a drama, A Legend of Florence, and in 1842 a narrative poem, The Palfrey. His poetry, generally, is marked by a profusion of imagery, of sprightly fancy, and animated description. Some quaintness and affectation in his style and manner fixed upon him the name of a Cockney poet; but his studies have lain chiefly in the elder writers, and he has imitated with success the lighter and more picturesque parts of Chaucer and Spenser. Boccaccio, and the gay Italian authors, appear also to have been among his favourites. His prose essays have been collected and published under the title of The Indicator and the Companion, a Miscellany for the Fields and the Fireside. They are deservedly popular—full of literary anecdote, poetical feeling, and fine sketches both of town and country life. Other prose works, original and selected, have been published by Mr Hunt, as Sir Ralph Esher, a novel; The Town, its Memorable Characters and Events; The Old Court Suburb; lives of Wycherley, Congreve, and Farquhar, &c. These are all pleasant, readable works. In 1858, he produced a dramatic piece which was successful on the stage. The egotism of the author is undisguised; but in all Hunt's writings, his peculiar tastes and romantic fancy, his talk of books and flowers, and his love of the domestic virtues and charities—though he has too much imagination for his judgment in the serious matters of life— impart a particular interest and pleasure to his personal disclosures. In 1847, the crown bestowed a pension of £200 a year on the veteran poet.
[May Morning at Ravenna.] [From Rimini.]
The sun is up, and 'tis a morn of May
Come gleaming up, true to the wished-for day, Sorrows I’ve had severe ones,
A little rainy, and, towards nightfall, chill;
To T. L. H., Six Years Old, during a Sickness.
Sleep breathes at last from out thee,
And balmy rest about thee
I sit me down, and think
Of all thy winning ways:
Yet almost wish, with sudden shrink,
Thy sidelong pillowed meekness,
Thy heart in pain and weakness,
The little trembling hand
That wipes thy quiet tears,
These, these are things that may demand
Blessed is the turf, serenely blessed,
To the Grasshopper and the Cricket.
Green little vaulter in the sunny grass,