LORD  BYRON  and  his  TIMES
Documents Biography Criticism

Memoir of Francis Hodgson
Francis Hodgson to James Hodgson, 15 June 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.
Creative Commons License

Licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 Unported License.
Produced by CATH
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.