LORD  BYRON  and  his  TIMES
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Memoir of Francis Hodgson
Chapter VI. 1810.

Vol. 1 Contents
Chapter I.
Chapter II. 1794-1807.
Chapter III. 1807-1808.
Chapter IV. 1808.
Chapter V. 1808-1809.
‣ Chapter VI. 1810.
Chapter VII. 1811.
Chapter VIII. 1811.
Chapter IX. 1811.
Chapter X. 1811-12.
Chapter XI. 1812.
Chapter XII. 1812-13.
Chapter XIII. 1813-14.
Vol. 2 Contents
Chapter XIV. 1815-16.
Chapter XV. 1816-18.
Chapter XVI. 1815-22.
Chapter XVII. 1820.
Chapter XVIII. 1824-27.
Chapter XIX. 1827-1830
Chapter XX. 1830-36.
Chapter XXI. 1837-40.
Chapter XXII. 1840-47.
Chapter XXIII. 1840-52.
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In the spring of the following year some letters, addressed to Hodgson at Cambridge by his father, contain sensible criticisms of current literature and politics.

Barwick: March 5, 1810.

My dear Frank,—We had been for some time expecting to hear from you, and therefore your letter by yesterday’s post was received with much pleasure. Mr. Coke I should hope has some small chance of getting Gladestry. But the Chancellor 1 I understand is notorious both for making promises and breaking them.

I do not think the Walcheren inquiry will

1 Lord Eldon.

turn the ministry out. The expedition was set about too late, as indeed all our military schemes always are; but, considering the circumstances, as much was done as could be expected. The loss of so many men by sickness is the only thing to be regretted.
Lord Chatham was not the fittest person to execute it; his subsequent conduct is not to be defended. So I give him up. The epigram1 is excellent.

I read the ‘Monthly Review’ some days ago, and immediately recognised your hand in two of the articles—the Persius2 and the ‘Chatterton.’ They both are well done and do you credit. You will say I am growing fastidious, for I do not admire Dr. Ireland’s learned book on Paganism, &c. At this time of day such stale objections ought not to be stirred. When Rome existed and was heathen they might be proper, but not so now. They have lost all their interest. The book, however, is a proof of the various research and consummate judgment of the writer. The Westminster boys when they heard it must have been amused if not edified

‘The Earl of Chatham, with his sword drawn,
Stood waiting for Sir Richard Strahan;
Sir Richard, longing to be at ’em,
Stood waiting for the Earl of Chatham.’

2 Stowes’s  Translation of Persius.

by the lecturer. It was impossible for them to understand what he was about. I read it through with some attention, and admire very much the abstracts given from
Austin and Cicero, and Varro, cum multis aliis et Graecis et Latinis. His observations on your note respecting Socrates 1 came from Mosheim and a sermon of Barrows; and they were well founded; but his expression that Socrates did not teach a proper creation, is a very improper one. Any writer less affected would have said, Socrates did not teach a creation properly so called; but ohe, jam satis.

My time has been much engaged2 of late in pursuing a gang of villains who have long infested Leeds and this neighbourhood. Eleven are already in York Castle, where I purpose going on Monday to be present at their trials, and to give some of them a good word to the judge; who I hope will be my old friend and schoolfellow, Sir Simon Le Blanc; we have not met since we parted in the year 1766 at the Charter House. We all join in our love, and a wish to hear from you soon.

Yours always,
J. Hodgson.

1 Vide supra, p. 89.

2 Mr. Hodgson was a very active magistrate.

From the same to the same.
Barwick: March 28, 1810.

My dear Son,—I have been for some days working myself up to a resolution to answer several letters of a much longer date than yours, but have taken you first, as a proof that you stand before all others in my thoughts and affection. Indeed you have put a question to me that rather required an earlier notice. Shall you go to Rugby this year, if the same office1 is offered to you? Not if you are a loser by the honour. But I should think that might be remedied by a candid statement of the facts to your friend Dr. Wooll. The examiner ought to have a remuneration clear of all expenses. Then it would be an object worth seeking. This is my opinion; I leave you to judge if it is well founded. It has struck me that if Sir J. Cotterell could be prevailed on to apply to the Chancellor of the Exchequer for the living of Gladestry, the procrastinating Lord Eldon would be driven to a decision. I am sorry to be obliged to believe all the hard things you say of him; but he has certainly committed himself to such censure in too many instances.

1 That of Classical Examiner of the Upper Forms.


Turning out Mr. York, for a silly boy, I certainly do not approve of. If his being unshaken in his attachment to the present Government be a fault, it surely is a venial one; and if his being rewarded for it is blameable, I suspect there are not many who would not gladly submit to the same blame on the same account. Mr. York is a man of character, of family, and of considerable talents, and must be respectable, whether he is your county member, or for any petty borough. The epigram on ‘Gratia gratiam parit’ is very fair. Mr. Bull must be excused in all his absurdities for the sake of his old Whig principles. But what think you of Lord Erskine and Mr. Clifford, and their wish to exclude from the bar all persons engaged in periodical papers? Such an infamous project was never heard of; but it may be forgiven, if for no better reason, than from having been the occasion of that noble burst of eloquence from Mr. Stephens and Sheridan. The ‘Battle of Falkirk’ I have not yet seen, but my longing is increased both by your remarks and those of the ‘Critical Review.’ The translation1 of the ‘Georgics,’ which are noticed in the last ‘Monthly Review,’ I have no sort of wish

1 Stawell and Deare’s.

to know more of. I more than suspect I know the critic.

I am glad to hear Mr. Bland is doing well at Amsterdam. In these fearful times the ministers of the Church have a difficult task to perform, in an enemy’s country, with an unsettled Government. I augur favourably from the union between Bonaparte and the Austrian princess. It may lead to that which the sword could never bring to pass. I saw my old schoolfellow Le Blanc at York, and was cordially recognised by him at a large party to whom he gave a dinner. We returned to our boyish days, and he seemed pleased with the recollection of our former intimacy. As a judge he is far above my praise. Such mildness in expounding the laws, and such firmness in enforcing them, gave me a very high opinion of his head and heart. My villains, at least six of them, are sentenced to transportation for seven years; but, in order to convict them, it was found necessary to admit four of them as evidence.

The Edinburgh severe tribunal has passed sentence on our present Ministers with such diabolical malice, and has given such an alarming picture of the evils it supposes to be impending, that were it to obtain credit it would be impossible to go to
our beds with any degree of comfort or security. But are we to judge of the state of affairs from the factious babbling of a
Waithman or a Wardle, or the intemperate and ill-informed opinions of young partisans, or from the general demeanour of the majority of the public? They seem to be perfectly satisfied that the State is not going to ruin; nor can they be otherwise when they see a disposition in their rulers to reform all abuses, to correct all unnecessary expenditure, to encourage commerce and agriculture, and whatever tends to improve and enrich the country; above all, when they see the laws so impartially and so promptly executed, and even-handed justice protecting and punishing all persons without favour or distinction, according to their merits. If dinner had not been announced I could have improved the panegyric by entering on a detail of the meritorious services of Mr. Perceval, Lord Castlereagh, and Lord Chatham.

I am ever, dear Frank, yours,
James Hodgson.
From the same to the same.
Barwick: April 26, 1810.

My dear Son,—I have been so very unwell for the last fortnight as to have been in some degree
obliged to defer till now making an acknowledgment of your last letter. . . . . Thank you for the epigrams! Your pupil room, under the auspices of two such demigods,1 must be the ipsissimus locus scientiæ et sapientiæ. In answer to your query respecting
Butler’sAnalogy,’ I will transcribe a note which I made many years ago, and which stands now in the first blank page of Archbishop Secker’s Sermons, vol. I. ‘The merit of these sermons consists in explaining, clearly and popularly, the principles delivered by Butler in his famous book of the “Analogy,” &c., and in showing the important use of them to religion.’ Upon this I observed at the time: ‘This remark applies more particularly to Secker’s first three sermons, vol. i.’

Dr. Burney of Greenwich has lately published an abbreviated edition of ‘Pearson on the Creed.’ Perhaps it may be more readable than the original. After all, the book, the whole book, is aureum opus.

I lament your separation from the ‘Quarterly Review,’ because the last two numbers have given me a high opinion of the writers in it. Dr. Ireland has shown his transcendent abilities in more than one article if I am not mistaken. I have not seen the last ‘Monthly,’ and therefore cannot say anything

1 Locke and Pearson.

of its merits. But I should imagine one Review quite enough for one critic. It pleases me much to hear you speak so handsomely of
Mr. Griffiths.1

I am happy to add your mother is getting better. She has been out once in the carriage, and we are going again to-day to call on the new proprietors of Parlington, Mr. and Mrs. Oliver Gascoigne.

We all join in love and best wishes,

Yours always,
J. Hodgson.
From the same to the same.
Barwick: May 16, 1810.

My dear Frank,—Only six days you will please to take notice from the date of your last, for which habeo gratias. Certainly Terence, if he did not write better plays than Plautus, &c., wrote his own language with greater purity and elegance. I know he was called ‘dimidiate Menander,’ but a nick-name may imply excellence as well as defect.

I have not, indeed, been engaged in reviewing essays upon Plato, but I have been re-reviewing certain manuscripts that once a week are submitted to our village critics. This morning, indeed, I have

1 Editor of the Monthly.

been deep in the ‘
Monthly,’ and much pleased with the first article, Maurice’s translation of the ‘Iliad.’ The critic1 seems to be no ordinary hand, and to be well acquainted with the different merits of rhyme and blank verse. I was glad to perceive he had a good opinion of Cowper’s talents in general, though no admirer of his ‘Homer.’ But I do not agree as to the pompous inanity of the author of the ‘Task.’ Crabbe I have not read, and for the present feel satisfied with the copious extracts in the ‘Review.’ I had almost let slip Homer’s astronomical simile, of the correctness of which I once was convinced by the remark of a countryman, a carpenter I believe. ‘Mrs. Plunkett’ I shall certainly not cut, if uncut; and if cut, I shall not open. Marsh’s letter I have sent for. He cannot exercise the lash too severely on a set of scoundrels who set no bounds to their imposture. I agree with you entirely as to the absurdity of our very learned Doctors shooting over the heads of their readers and hearers. But stripped of their fine dress, I suspect they would lose some of their admirers. But what is so useful or so attractive as plain sense in plain language! Warburton I have read, and thought him, when intelligible, a very superior writer.

1 This was Francis Hodgson.

There was an excellent critique on the correspondence between him and
Bishop Hurd in one of the last Quarterly Reviews. ‘Hyloe’ was the name of one of Bishop Berkeley’s dialogues on the non-existence of matter out of the mind. Such reasonings are not substantial enough for me. Dr. Burney’s edition of Pearson seems to be like spoiling a pudding by taking the plums out of it.

The political ferment of the last month is, from the proper firmness of the Ministry, beginning to subside. The extreme party seem at last to be aware of the mischief that must arise from indiscriminate abuse. Wardle and Waithman would never have taken such liberties, had not Windham and Whitbread set them the example. Mr. Ponsonby, the vir pietate gravis ac meritis, hath amply redeemed all past perverseness by his admirable speech. As for Sir Francis,1 yet a little while and he will be forgotten. His tutor blames, it is said, his late conduct. But this I much doubt. Deportation will probably be the fate of some of these worthies, if they renew their machinations. The thieves I committed to York, and who are now lying in the hulks, are to be sent off to South Wales2 by the first conveyance. This is the last

1 Burdett. 2 New South Wales.

favour I could show them for expressing publicly their wish to return to Barwick, for no other purpose than that of murdering me and two or three others. But are these men so bad as Burdett and Company?

We all join in wishing you health and happiness.

James Hodgson.

In the preceding month Francis Hodgson had received a letter from his cousin, John Hodgson, of Lincoln’s Inn, which contains a vivid description of the imprisonment of Sir Francis Burdett.

Lincoln’s Inn: April 9, 1810.

My dear Frank,—The review of Anstey’s works is at length completed; I hope it will make ten or twelve pages, but it has been written piecemeal and amidst many interruptions, and I cannot pride myself much upon it. However, such as it is, Griffiths shall have it to-night or to-morrow. You have, of course, seen how civil the ‘Critical’ has been to you.

Sir Francis Burdett was taken to the Tower this morning. As he had repeatedly declared, both publicly and privately, that he would not surrender, it was necessary to resort to force.
His house was accordingly invested this morning, between nine and ten, by a large party of civil officers, headed by the Sergeant-at-Arms, and backed by a very strong military guard; and, admission being refused, the door was broken open, and the windows on the first floor scaled. He made no personal resistance, and was therefore conveyed into a carriage, and, attended by a regiment of Horse Guards, was safely lodged in the Tower. As the Guards passed through Fenchurch Street and that neighbourhood the mob grew so troublesome and insulting that they were obliged to fire, and a sort of skirmishing took place, in which one man was killed, and some others wounded. When the service was performed the Guards left the City by the way of London Bridge. I long very much to see the Tower with its ditch filled, guns mounted, drawbridge up, &c.; I hear it looks quite grand.

I cannot quite agree in your opinions of this business. With respect to the commitment of Gale Jones, although I am rather surprised at the existence of such a power, I cannot see any ground to dispute it. All text writers of every age acknowledge it, the most liberal and constitutional judges have uniformly approved of it, and the precedents are as old as there are journals of the House, and
the earliest of them speak of the power as one of the undoubted privileges of the House of Commons. Nor do I see any indiscretion in the exercise of the power in Jones’s case: he was by his own confession guilty, and the publication was of a mischievous tendency. His detention in prison is entirely owing to his refusal to make a proper apology to the House and to petition for his discharge. With respect to
Sir Francis himself, he had admitted the power of the House to commit one of its own members; and surely when they had resolved that his letter was a libel, it was too gross a one to merit anything but the highest punishment they could inflict. It would have been better in my opinion if neither of these absurd publications had been noticed at all; but, as they were noticed, the House was bound to maintain its dignity, and vindicate its ancient and established rights and privileges.

The riots have been very considerable, especially on Saturday night when the Horse Guards were obliged to be very active, and some blood was certainly spilt, but I do not think it clear that any life was lost till this morning. Cannon were planted in Soho, Bloomsbury, and Lincoln’s Inn Squares, and quite a park of artillery opposite the offender’s house in Piccadilly. I understand there are
fourteen thousand troops in London. Meantime
Bonaparte is getting happily married and settled at Paris.

Let me hear from you soon; and believe me dear Frank, yours very affectionately,

John Hodgson.

On another occasion Sir Francis Burdett was conveyed by river to avoid the mob—an event which suggested to Hodgson the following political squib, to which are appended some lines on other political agitators of the period.

Her ladyship sits in Wimbledon bower
To see her dear lord return from the Tower,
With the merry merry cleavers’ jocund tone,
And the merry merry sound of the marrow-bone.
But Sir Francis returns another way,
For thus to him Lord Moira did say:
Air—‘Begone, dull Care.’
‘Begone, Burdett! I prithee begone from me;
Begone, Burdett, as soon as you’ve paid your fee!
(Aside with deep reflection.)
The Speaker may dance, and the Serjeant may sing,
So merrily pass the day;
For I’ve held it always the wisest thing
To row Burdett away.’
Mrs. Waithman behind the counter doth sit
A-measuring out the linen so nice.
But where is her mate, ‘the terror of Pitt?’
He’s giving the councilmen good advice.
Air—‘Oh, the joys beyond expression!’
‘Oh, the joys of speechifying!
Oh, the rapture mouthing brings!
Idly raving, basely lying,
Damning laws, insulting kings.
Oh, how blest the linendraper
Who all day makes speeches bright—
And in the “Statesman,” moderate paper,
Reads them o’er again at night!’
Mrs. Jones is placed at the British Forum
To welcome her Gale with due decorum;
For no longer in Newgate must he stay,
And they’ve turn’d him out of his lodging to-day;
They’ve turn’d him out ere his friends approach,
And whipp’d him off in a hackney coach.
Air—‘Strawberry Hill.’
‘Let others praise Mac’ullum,
And Dodd and Glennie tell;
But little folks love John Gale Jones,
Love John Gale Jones as well.
With some men Hague and Hogan
May bear away the bell,
But not a patriot in the town
Doth John Gale Jones excel,’ &c.

Denman, writing about the same time, encloses some characteristic lines on a recent election.

’Tis over! This tool of contractors and knaves—
This hireling of hirelings—this servant of slaves—
Despised in our heart and condemn’d by our voice—
Must be sent to the House as the man of our choice.
The defender of all for which Britain should fight,
The gallant young champion of freedom and right,
Whom each eye greets with gladness, each bosom admires,
Overpower’d, not subdued, from the contest retires.
What heart so devoted to fortune can be,
What heart so abandoned, oh Glory, by thee,
As to hug the dishonour which vict’ry makes sweet,
And prefer such a triumph to such a defeat?
The event for a moment let patriots deplore—
Let liberty droop for a moment—no more!
Her rights basely ravish’d she soon shall reclaim,
Her force unabated, her spirit the same.
Thro’ each generous bosom that spirit shall spread,
When all the vile arts that opposed it are dead,
When duty and shame at corruption shall spurn,
And insulting oppression make cowardice turn, &c.

A letter of yours came yesterday; another this morning, enclosing one which I immediately despatched to Richmond. You may depend on my going there as soon as the numberless little but necessary things which the election has put out of my head are tolerably got through. What a strange, divided state the Hugonots are got into!
The great general denomination will, I fear, be broken into a variety of sects, Pædobaptists, Independents, Millenarians, &c. I am a good deal disposed in my own mind to the scheme of the Fifth Monarchy. But you, who talk of gloominess and solitude and consequent despondency, how enviable must your situation be, with
Paley and Bland, whom you will see before or soon after this letter, in your immediate neighbourhood! I hope there is a half-way house, and shall picture to myself a beautiful little cottage covered with straggling vines, and surrounded with a large rambling sort of garden, &c.

Just before the long vacation Hodgson wrote to his father enclosing some verses on Windham.

Cambridge: June 15, 1810.

My dear Father,—I am quite ashamed to see the distance between the date of your last letter and that of the present. But I should have written much sooner had I not wished to give you an account of a visit which my uncle and cousins have been paying me at Cambridge. They came on Saturday and went away on Wednesday last. The time passed very pleasantly in examining halls, and chapels, and libraries; some of which sights were
new even to myself. On the last day they had an opportunity of hearing of a pretty severe display of university discipline; for the stern Calvinist of Queen’s,
Dr. Milner, expelled four young men for certain irregularities, which have passed for some years with reprehension much less rigorous. The party seemed much pleased with their visit; and I was very glad to have an opportunity of showing them the lions.

What a strange mysterious business the attempt to assassinate the Duke of Cumberland—but what a loss the public have had in Windham! Great and good as he was, he would have been missed in any times, but in the present his death is a general calamity. Some of the attendants upon his funeral, which took place at Felbrig, passed through this town yesterday. Surely he should have been buried in Westminster Abbey! The thought struck me so forcibly that I prepared an epitaph for him, which I transcribe for you below. Tell me if you think it is tolerable: worthy of its subject I am aware it is not.

Ye sacred stones, by English mourners prest,
Where Fox and Chatham’s son in concord rest,
Open your vaults, and at their honour’d side
Place the third prop of England’s falling pride.
What worthy claimant of this hallow’d tomb
Lives yet to check his country’s awful doom?
Close, close your vaults, ye stones, for ever close,
Where glory’s last Triumvirate repose.
Oh! timely call’d to share the patriot’s grave,
Nor see the ruin’d State thou couldst not save.
Windham, adieu! by all the good approved,
By Johnson honour’d, and by Burke beloved,
In Truth’s decay to high-soul’d Virtue true,
Thou setting star of ancient Fame, adieu!
What prescient terrors at thy loss arise!
What tears of sorrow fill Reflection’s eyes!
Who now remains, with treasured Learning fraught,
To wake like thee the teeming world of thought?
Who now remains in rival ardour strong,
To roll the tide of eloquence along?
Prompt at thy call creative Fancy came,
And Reason bore thee on her wings of flame:
Fancy unfelt by Slavery’s venal crew,
Reason too bright for Dulness’ owlet view.
Rejoin, blest shade, the sons of Genius fled,
And swell the synod of the virtuous dead.
Revered companion of the good and wise,
Rejoin thy loved precursors in the skies.

I am glad you like the review of ‘Maurice.’ That of the ‘Minstrels of Acre,’ and ofWallace,’ in the last month, were also mine. Look in future for Christie’sEtruscan Vases,’ Girdlestone’sPindar,’ Butler’sÆschylus,’ and Drummond’sHercula-
nensia;’ and
Walter Scott’sLady of the Lake.’ A noble poem!

My lectures are over, and my brother tutor has arrived. But I shall stay here till commencement, working at my reviews. This will be the first week in July; and I shall then accompany a college friend, who drives me across country to Harrow. From thence I shall turn my face northwards, and, getting into some ‘leathern convenience’ at Barnet, shall early in August, I hope, reach Barwick. Friends in London are quite well again. May this letter find you, my mother and sister,1 in health and spirits! The blessing of the latter I begin to feel more sensibly every day. Singula de nobis anni praedantur euntes. Adieu, my dear father! With kindest love ever yours,

F. H.

The Latin quotation in the last sentence of this letter was unconsciously prophetic. In accordance with his intention, mentioned above, Francis Hodgson spent the greater part of his vacation at Barwick, and on the day of his departure for Cambridge his father, having seen him off by the coach from Leeds, sat on the bench as a magistrate, and, on his return to Bar-

1 Married to her cousin the Rev. G. F. Coke, and died young.

wick in the evening of the same day, died quite suddenly of heart disease. His character is sketched in outline in a letter of condolence addressed by an old and favourite pupil,
Cecil Jenkinson, afterwards Lord Liverpool, to his friend and former companion Francis Hodgson.

Ditchford Hall: October 20, 1810.

My dear Frank,—I received the melancholy news conveyed to me by your letter the day before yesterday, and should have expressed to you my feelings sooner had not a particular engagement on that day, and the circumstance of the post not going out yesterday from Shrewsbury, prevented me from so doing. It is impossible for me to express to you how much I lament the event which has deprived you of a kind and affectionate father, and myself of an old, sincere, and valued friend. My obligations to your father are so well known to you that, was it not for fear of the accusation of ingratitude, it would be needless for me to mention them in this place. From the period of time which was passed by me at sea my education would have been deplorable had I not received from him that fostering aid and assistance which enabled me to appear at the university little inferior in my classical studies to those whose education had been con-
ducted by the more certain and regular process of public education. His manner of instruction was not the least part of the obligation I owe your father; he inspired me with that desire of knowledge which alone enabled me to make the rapid progress I did. I must beg that you will at a proper moment convey to your mother those feelings of sorrow which I have attempted but faintly to express. It would be, I am sure, unnecessary for me to tell you that my attachment to your father will be remembered by me towards those whom he has left behind. I hope, if your avocations call you at any time either towards this county or London, that you will favour me with a visit, and that you will believe that you can never have a more sincere or affectionate friend than

This sudden and unexpected death involved Francis Hodgson in serious pecuniary difficulties. His father had held successively the livings of Humber in Herefordshire, of Keston in Kent, of South-Repps in Norfolk, and lastly of Barwick-in-Elmet in Yorkshire, besides having been minister of the Savoy Chapel in the Strand, and chaplain to Lords Hawksbury and Dunmore. The frequent re-
movals which these several preferments entailed had occasioned considerable expenses, and the rectory house and grounds at Barwick had recently undergone various important alterations and improvements. The rector, moreover, had long been accustomed to exercise open-handed liberality to his poorer parishioners, and, in anticipation of his future ample capabilities of repayment of loans, had left out of sight the uncertainty of life. Francis Hodgson at once determined to discharge all his father’s debts—an undertaking which for some years continued to embarrass him, until the extraordinary generosity of his friend,
Lord Byron, placed him once more in a position of independence.