LORD  BYRON  and  his  TIMES
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Memoir of Francis Hodgson
Chapter XVII. 1820.

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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Notwithstanding the various duties incidental to the position of Vicar of Bakewell, and Surrogate of that portion of the diocese of Lichfield, Hodgson found time for the education of many private pupils, all of whom regarded him with feelings of sincere respect and affection. Nor were lighter obligations disregarded. A constant correspondence was kept up with numerous friends, old and new; the agreeable society of the neighbourhood was fully enjoyed; and every branch of ancient and modern literature was eagerly explored. Denman, in a letter to Merivale, about this period, writes that he has lately met Hodgson, ‘the picture of health, and with a stock of
learning (according to
Bland) increased by his solitary life in the High Peak to a superhuman extent.’ All movements which had for their object the improvement of the intellectual, moral, or social condition of the poorer classes received cordial co-operation from Hodgson, and the various Church Societies always found in him an energetic supporter, his efforts being rendered more effectual by the ready sympathy of faithful friends. In answer to an appeal in the cause of education, Denman writes with that large-hearted liberality which ever distinguished him:—

My dear Hodgson,—My donation is £10, my subscription £2. I contribute from a strong desire to see the education of the people practically carried into effect, from no minute comparison of the different schemes suggested, but with a full conviction that any education is better than the ignorance which now prevails—the fruitful source of profligacy, crime, and suffering.

Yours ever,
T. Denman.

Early in the same year Merivale writes:—

Drury is in remarkably high health and good humour. Denman waiting to be let loose on the world of
politics with the ardour and impatience of the war-horse in Job, tempered, however, with so excellent a judgment and discretion that I would stake fifty lives on the success of his first display in Parliament.

In a few months from the date of this letter all England rang with Denman’s name, and universal homage was paid to that noble spirit of independence which characterised his speeches in the House of Lords on the occasion of the trial of Queen Caroline.

Of nearly the same date is a letter from John Bird Sumner, afterwards Archbishop of Canterbury, an old Etonian and Cambridge friend of Hodgson, which is highly characteristic of its writer’s pious, gentle disposition.

Mapledurham, near Reading: July 19, 1820.

My dear Hodgson,—Your letter was a very agreeable surprise to me. Not that I had lost sight of you, for I heard with great pleasure of your translation from the uncertainties of a curacy to the pleasant town of Bakewell, and have often since attempted to strengthen my recollections of its taper spire and the retired valley in which it stands—am I not right? We passed through it many years ago, in
the course of a tour to the Caves and the Lakes. Besides which, I heard of you more recently at Kenilworth, my native place, where a sister of my mother still lives, the only remaining link of those large and spreading branches of our family which formerly grew together there. I heard of you, too, in a very agreeable way, as preaching a sermon warm from the heart, and faithful to the Gospel: and allow me to hope that the Gospel has brought rest to your own soul, and that you are now preaching to others the same word of reconciliation. The title of your volume, as well as the account which I heard of your sermon, leads me to believe that you, who could never feel anything slightly, have now felt as it deserves the importance of that office which we are called to discharge, and of that salvation which we are empowered to make known. ‘
Sacred Leisure1 had struck me in the advertisement before I received your letter, and I have provided for its meeting me at Eton, where I am going, as in duty bound, to celebrate election on Saturday next. For you must be told, and will

1 Sacred Leisure, a collection of poems on religious subjects, published by Hodgson in 1820, containing many beautiful thoughts expressed in language which proved the writer’s faculty for graceful lyrical composition.

hear with pleasure, that before I had resided a year in the cloisters I came into possession of a very good and well-conditioned living by
Few’s death—Mapledurham, four miles from Reading; and here we reside eight months in the year in an excellent parsonage, and surrounded by a beautiful country, the Thames flowing at the bottom of my garden. So that my lot is in a fair ground, and I am amply repaid for the hateful trade1 which I plied for fifteen years. Mrs. Sumner is in excellent health, and delighted with our present life and place of residence.

You desire me to mention old friends absent from Eton, but I scarcely remember any mutual friends remaining to us except Ekins, who is living, as he always did, in comfort and quiet between Salisbury and Chiddingford, and perhaps I might add Thackeray (Provost of King’s). But if there is anyone of whom you want a more particular account, I shall be glad if it gives you a reason for writing again to me; when you may likewise tell me something about your own family, to whom I should wish to be known, but I fear without any immediate prospect of becoming so. However, though you are fixed far in the wilds remote from

1 That of an assistant-master at Eton.

public view, we are within easy reach of anyone who comes towards London; and I shall be sincerely glad if you will at any time bend your route to Mapledurham. In the meanwhile believe me, my dear

Most sincerely yours,
J. B. Sumner.

Dean Ireland also writes to acknowledge Hodgson’s latest poetical publication.

Islip, near Oxford: Monday, July 10, 1820.

My dear Sir,—Your letter found me in this retreat, where I had been passing a few days in order to recruit myself for the expected labours of London. The labours are now suspended, and I shall cling to the retreat with more satisfaction, as six or seven continued months of a town life have given me a more than usual relish for the satisfactions afforded me even in this ‘Umbræ.’ It is a homely little village, but there is a pretty garden and an excellent house for the rector. Besides this, Oxford is within sight, an object which revives all the charms of the time when Gifford and I were young men and full of ardent expectations, which a kind Providence has realised to both of us.


It is probable that some chapter business may call me for a short time to Westminster, when I shall certainly obtain a sight of the ‘Sacred Leisure.’ If I am left here undisturbed it shall travel to me from thence. But in truth the world is all too turbulent for such a subject, at present at least; hereafter I hope we shall return to the usual enjoyment of our literature, and there will be time once more for religion and morals to enter.

I direct this to you somewhat at random. There is, I believe, more than one Bakewell, but the post distance marked on your letter seems to point to Derbyshire. I always wish for your happiness, and beg you to believe me,

Very truly yours,
J. Ireland.

Some letters from Harry Drury afford amusing insight into the conditions of foreign travel in the year 1820.

My dear Hodgson,—Adieu pro tempore. With a Roman friend I am off for Rome on the 24th of this month (August) for two months. As I travel in an English landaulet over the Alps; where, when
Italiam læti socii clamore salutant,
the echo shall reverberate to the Peak in a letter from your Drury. Seriously, all my arrangements are made, my money and carriage arrangements particularly; and, as I was always of a roaming disposition, I intend to stretch so far across the Pomptina Palus as to visit the præceps Anio at Tivoli. Old
John Heath supplies letters of credit to all the principal cities, and my companion is Williams’s brother, of the Ionian corps, who has resided abroad sixteen years, and who was my former companion to Paris and the Low Countries. I can speak French fluently, and Italian is all but his native tongue. If you write to me at Genoa, poste restante (you must pay your postage, and the foreign post days in London are Fridays and Tuesdays), on or about the 3rd August, I shall be sure to receive your letter on my return, as also another, ten days afterwards, directed to me, poste restante, at Lyons. This will be kind-hearted and charitable, my Narva, and on my honour you shall hear from me while others are taking their siesta. Our delightful tour is thus arranged. We have a very nice warranted landaulet, with a seat behind that the view may not be incommoded. We post all the way to Rome and back; and, as seven weeks are allowed us, shall be impudent enough to
take eight (!) We dine with
Merivale at six next Monday, and get to Dover, travelling all night; from Calais to Dijon, through Cambray and Rheims, we shall go day and night without stopping, and cutting the often-seen Paris. From Dijon over the Jura to Geneva. We then take slowly the north of the Lake, for its views, Lausanne, Vevay, etc., till the roads join and conduct us through the Vallais over the Simplon. Envy me in the Simplon. Drury on an alp! Thence to the ‘Te Lari maxime,’ the Lago Maggiore, on which we are to sail to the Isole Borrome’e, sending our carriage round to Arona, as one does from Whittlesea Mere to Yaxley Barracks. Milan, two days allowed. Cross the Po over the bridge of boats at Piacenza; Bologna, and so forth to Florence; thence the high road by Arezzo, Terni, &c., over the Apennines to Rome. We shall return by Siena to Leghorn. From thence I must either accompany my carriage through the Mediterranean in a felucca to Genoa, or be carried in a sedan chair the same distance. I am not quite clear that I shall not prefer the latter. From Genoa I shall go through the unhealthy rice grounds of Alexandria to Turin, thence by Mont Cenis to Lyons, Paris, &c.

Do you pray for those who travel by land or by
water; and if the malaria, and its dreadful consequences in the Campagna, with which I am threatened, and against which the vox universa guards me, should carry me off,
Debita spargas lacryma favillam
Pinguis amici.

Adieu, but write for Heaven’s sake to Genoa and Lyons, and eke to Paris a week after. I sincerely hope your new Poems sell well, for though I love Bertram Risinghame better than Cain, and Wilfrid better than Abel, yet that does not make me the less inclined to the sobriety and elegance of the Muse of my oldest friend.

H. D.
Genoa: August 22, 1820.

I have had a most delightful tour; and by no means the least pleasing part of my adventures was the receiving an epistle from you this morning at the Post Office. I am staying here some days after a long sojourn among the Apennines, over which I have been partly drawn in a wicker basket by oxen. I have written my tour verbatim to my wife, who will retain the letters; and, if you will flatter me so much, after my mother has perused it, you shall have it for a long winter evening. I am
vain enough to think it will please you; at all events it will bring back several classical reflections, though, alas! I have not been at Rome. Heat, malaria, and revolution all conspired to render that impossible: but it was not till after the entreaties of friends and natives, who told me I was throwing myself into the jaws of destruction, that I reluctantly abandoned my plan of visiting the Immortal City, when within 150 miles of the Capitol! As I natter myself you will read my tour, in which you are quizzed as an Improvisatore, I shall herein merely give you the contents of the chapters. Two hours and a half changed my country from England to France, and one week brought me to Geneva. The Palace of Compeigne and Rheims Cathedral, which reminded me of your friend Whittington, were new to me. Champagne and Burgundy I completely traversed. The former is a flat, sterile, hideous country; the latter is a country
Molliter acclivi qua viret uva jugo.
It is indeed very beautiful, or, rather, appeared so before the grand features of nature commenced their development. After leaving Dijon and Poligny in Franche Compté, I entered on the Jura,
which, much as it has been surpassed since, yet was then magnificent with its pine forests and deep ravines. I went sixty miles over the Jura, and from its last summit saw what is said to be the finest view in the world: all Switzerland before me like a map. The Lake of Geneva (on the banks of which I visited
Voltaire at Ferney, Gibbon at Lausanne, and Byron at Chillon, where he has cut his name on the pillar), Mont Blanc, and the Alps of Savoy, covered with snow under an exhausting sun, etc.

Turin: August 25.

A burning sirocco, which had been sweeping the sands of Turin, confined me to my bed with languor and ennui, and prevented my finishing my letter to you from Genoa. I wish, indeed, to say as little now as possible, for you must peruse ‘A Tour on the Continent,’ on my return. A few days carried me entirely through the Pays de Vaud and the Vallais, where I coasted the Rhone, now magnificent from the melting of the snows, nearly to its source. From the Simplon I looked down, like Hannibal, on the plains of Italy. At Milan and Florence I have been highly entertained. I have sailed eighty miles on the Mediterranean in a felucca, and to-morrow shall pass Mont Cenis, in
my way through Savoy to Lyons. I shall be at Paris in less than a fortnight, where I feel myself as much at home as at Exeter.

But I must go and see the Superga, so adieu. I really would write the whole sheet full, but I wish you to read me fully.

Your affectionate friend,
Henry Drury.

The Po flows under my window, just about as broad as the Thames at Richmond: would you were at the Po with me, or I at the Thames with you!

Rue Rivoli, Paris: September 5.

My dear Hodgson,—I only arrived from the Southern clime late last night, with a severe bilious attack upon me, caused by the Indian heats and perpetual day and night work in a carriage. I am now staying out,1 with my window looking over the garden of the Tuileries. But what is Paris to me after
Tot congesta manu præruptis oppida saxis;
Fluminaque antiques subter labentia muros.
I have read your second letter; the first I answered

1 An Eton boy who is out of school in consequence of illness, real or imaginary, is said to be ‘staying out.’

from Piedmont. Before this you will have absolved me from all neglect, and honoured the motive why I do not detail my travels. O that you had been my companion! Our souls reciprocally Horatian, Virgilian, Ovidian, Claudianian, etc., sparks would have been mutually elicited. I have seen no news from England yet, but garbled bits of trial in the Italian paper. . . . . In a few days I shall again be in Old England, from which I have now been absent nearly seven weeks. I have kept up a correspondence daily with my family, and I hope it will have been the means of teaching my elder children geography in an easy manner. I was thunder-struck at Lyons—and in a short voyage I made down the Rhone to Vienne—with the stupendous remains of Roman magnificence. The aqueduct at Lyons, did nothing else remain to tell us of the people who planned and executed it, would give an idea of Messieurs the Romans which no reading can possibly convey. At Vienne there is a perfect temple of the age of
Augustus. The very roof and entablature are now as they were 1800 years back. But hush! you must read my tour at Christmas. Although I shall dine to-day in the Palais Royal, yet not the dainties of kidneys fried in champagne, or ortolans
garnished with cocks’-combs; not the vintages of Chambertin and Lafitte, will give me half so much pleasure as a beef-steak and a bottle of port at the Union Hotel, Dover. When I return to my own dear country you shall hear again from your ever sincere, etc.

Apropos of the practice of ‘staying out’ at school alluded to above, a letter written to his father by Merivale’s eldest son, Herman,1 then a boy at Harrow, fourteen years of age, proves that such periods need not always be unprofitable, and affords a remarkable instance of an early development of the powers of discriminating criticism. The subject and the writer of this essay must have been equally interesting to Hodgson, to whom Merivale immediately sent it.

May 7, 1820.

I have not lost anything by staying out, for there were three holidays last week, and almost every exercise otherwise excused, and I have made amends by reading hard all the time I have stayed out. I have just finished the fourth volume of Gibbon, and

1 Herman Merivale, C.B., afterwards fellow of Balliol, 1827; Professor of Political Economy at Oxford, 1837; Permanent Undersecretary for the Colonies, 1848, for India, 1859. Brother to the present Dean of Ely.

drawn up my remarks on it on paper, which I shall show you when I see you next. I never was more amused by any book in my life; and I must think that whatever is said of the duty of impartiality in an historian, a controversial spirit, such as appears in his chapters, is much more entertaining; for it exercises the mind in endeavouring to find replies to his assertions, and keeps one’s attention alive, in a manner which a dry recital of facts cannot do. I have been able perfectly to satisfy myself in looking for answers to the charges he brings against Christianity, for, as I get further in the book, his intention continually appears more plain, although I could not perceive it at first. His notes are entertaining, and, as
Uncle Harry 1 possesses the greater part of his books of reference, I can easily satisfy myself on that head. The thing that struck me as most unjust is, that he passes over the apostasy of his favourite Julian without offering a single word either in its support or its condemnation. Yet in other instances he is sufficiently severe against any disposition to turn with the tide of fortune. If I always find as much pleasure as now in the relation of historical facts, I do not

1 Harry Drury’s sister married Merivale. Their son was in his uncle’s house at Harrow.

think I shall ever be disposed to turn to fiction for amusement.

By far the most interesting fact to me, of the history, is that of the Arian controversy. For the review of the different sects and heresies written by a sceptic is necessarily impartial, although he employs the bitterness of his satire against all together. Before I read this I used to think that the Arian system had some affinity to the Unitarian of the present day; and indeed I do not trust thoroughly in Gibbon in his description of it. He speaks of it as the belief that the Son was a part of the Triune Deity, but that the Son and the Holy Ghost were reckoned as subservient to the Father. As I do not thoroughly trust in this explanation of what I never thoroughly understood, the creed of the Arian sect, I think I shall look into Mosheim’sEcclesiastical History’ for it. I should like to be directed to a good and impartial history of the various heresies that vary from the Catholic belief; it would be one of my most pleasing studies to me. Gibbon touches but lightly on the Manichees and philosophical sects. The extravagances of their belief appear to have chiefly consisted in speculative creeds, and originated in the uniting the Platonic system with the Christian faith.


Gibbon is exceedingly severe on the animosity between the supporters of the όμοούσιον of the Nicene Creed and orthodox party, and the partisans of the Semi-Arian όμοούσιον; and this difference of a letter does certainly appear at first very ridiculous. But surely there can be nothing more different than the ideas of consubstantiality and similarity, which are the import of the two words, though I wish they could have invented names which would seem to imply greater difference at first. The name of όμοούσιον probably originated in the compliance of a part of the Arian sect, and their wish to smooth the difficulties which separated them from the Catholics; although the upshot was very different. In one place he asserts that the Arians in adversity did not probably display as much fortitude as the Homoousians, when the latter were in subjection to their adversaries, because the Arians, who degraded the Son of God, had not the same zeal and expectation of favour from Him as the Catholics, who raised Him to equal dignity with the Father. But as this rests on mere probability, none of the writings of Arians having been suffered to exist, I should be disposed to reject the inference, particularly on recollecting that the Dominicans of the fifteenth century, who rejected the Immaculate
Conception of the Virgin Mary, showed at least as much zeal in their own cause as the Franciscans, who asserted it. In your next letter, if you have leisure, I wish you would write to me your thoughts on the subject of the divisions of the Church under Constantine, or direct me to some book which you think might assist me in the investigation. I have only one more thing to say on this subject; that Gibbon appears particularly cautious on the subject of miracles, which many zealous Protestant writers appear to have impugned without any imputation of scepticism. I mean the miracles performed by the professors of Christianity. Of course, as to myself, I have very little doubt that the power of performing miracles was granted to several of its first professors, after the age of the apostles, in order that the infant Church might be propagated quicker, and I attribute its increase in great measure to this power; but I certainly do not suppose that a power so dangerous was any longer to be granted, when corruptions had begun to creep into the system of the believers. Gibbon passes them over pretty fairly in silence, until he comes to an age in which he can with safety attack them; merely saying that it is dangerous either fully to receive or fully to reject the accounts.
The artful manner in which the history of some of the chief fathers of Christianity in the age of
Constantine and his successors is treated, is truly wonderful. He begins by praising them as bulwarks of the Catholic faith, etc., continues to praise them, but, as he descends into minutiae, carefully bringing forward their most reprovable acts, while all the time he appears either to defend them, or to impute them to the frailties of human nature. When he finds nothing particular to find fault with, he generally characterises them, though in a very covert manner, as artful, ambitious, and turbulent men, disposed, in their writings, to give up always the truth and impartiality of history to the interests of the Catholic Church.

I do not know whether you like to have the long letters I write to you filled with this sort of observations on what I read, but I was encouraged to write this letter, as when I first learnt Italian you desired me to do the same, and were pleased with the long letters I used to write on that subject. However, I shall not stay out any longer, and consequently shall not read so much as I hitherto have, particularly as the fine weather seems to be beginning again, and I shall be out a great deal; but I shall not give up reading altogether, and shall be
much obliged to you if you will direct me, as I said before, to some book concerning those sects. Tell me if I can be of any service to you in finding out tracts respecting Devonshire antiquities. I have sent you all I could find in the ‘
Archæologia;’ anywhere else I will look, if you will tell me of any books Uncle Harry has where I could find them. As I wrote to you last Thursday I have not much else to say; but I think it will be better for you as well as myself, if instead of sending you the exuberance of my fancy twice a week in the shape of doubled half-sheet, I should wait till they collect sufficiently to fill a whole one. The affairs of the war will go on rather slower, but it will not be the worse for that.

I remain your affectionate son,
J. H. M.

During a visit to Chatsworth in the autumn of the following year Hodgson was introduced to Elizabeth, Duchess of Devonshire, best known to fame as ‘Lady Elizabeth Foster,’ who wrote to him soon after her departure on the subject of a conversation on ancient and modern poetry.

Wortley Hall: October 27, 1821.

Sir,—I feel extremely obliged to you for the note which I received from you on Thursday evening
previous to my leaving Chatsworth. It would be fortunate for
Silius Italicus if he was to be in such hands as yours. My own inquiries went chiefly to information on the subject, and to know if there was any Italian translation, that was reckoned good, but the opinion which you expressed about the merit of his Poem rather weakened my zeal. I beg of you, Sir, to be assured of the pleasure it gave me to have made your acquaintance at Chatsworth, and to believe me much yours,

E. Devonshire.

Nearly of the same date is an account by Hodgson of a tour in Yorkshire, in search of a sea-side resort. No easy matter some fifty years ago.

On Monday the 24th we set forth in our carriage for Sheffield, uncertain to what part of the Yorkshire coast to direct our way. Dr. Knight, however, decided us, by recommending the waters as well as the bathing of Scarborough; and we proceeded by Rotherham, Doncaster, and Ferrybridge to York. The country about Rotherham is some of the richest both for pastures and cornfields in England; and it has very beautiful views especially from Winnow-Hill on the Doncaster side.
The stout old Saxon ruin of Conisborough Castle, celebrated in ‘
Ivanhoe,’ rises boldly enough out of its surrounding wood, on the road side. Doncaster, you know, is one of the neatest towns in England; for clean-swept pavement, bright brass-knockers, houses looking all newly painted, and windows without a speck, down a long broad street, it is perfection. We advanced, early morning of Tuesday, for Ferrybridge, which you well recollect, and walked up the river side opposite Brotherton. By Tadcaster we proceeded the same day to York, and I certainly was agreeably surprised to find my first impressions of the Minster increased rather than diminished, after an interval of so many years. We examined it thoroughly, and heard the anthem. I have not seen Westminster Abbey since the last improvements in the interior; but, at present, the grandeur of York predominates in my imagination. On Wednesday evening we got to Malton, missing Castle Howard, Lord Carlisle’s seat, which should be taken by the way. But we were eager to get to the sea, and there we arrived on Thursday, a journey of a hundred and ten miles with one horse, in four days, and that very leisurely executed, by means of early and late travelling, and resting in the middle of the day. Scarborough entirely failed,
after an accurate search for lodgings. Those on the Cliff, which are the only possible ones, if you wish a view and a feel of the sea, require the strength of a Hercules to carry you Antæus-like up the hill from the beach; for as to walking it two or three times a day, it is impossible for an invalid, with any advantage to health, or indeed continuance to life. As we wished therefore to live, as much as possible, on the sea-shore, and inhale sea-breezes all day long, we started again on Friday, and drove down the coast, twenty miles, to Burlington. Here we took lodgings close to the pier, and had as much sea-air as we could wish, with a very fine view of the vessels coming close under our window into harbour. We stayed a fortnight at this place, and should have stayed still longer, but the incessant noise of the loading and unloading of vessels actually drove us away, with all the stoppages of all the sailors of Ulysses in our ears. There was literally not another house in the place, with a view of the sea, the sine quâ non of a saltwater bathing-place, that was not equally noisy; and having before explored Hornsea, the only tolerable place between Burlington and Hull, but too far from the water, we directed our mare northward, up the coast, and, passing by Filey Bay,
where there is a noble beach, illuminated with dead fish, we returned to Scarborough, only as a stage on our journey farther north. Here we examined the ruins of the castle, which we had not done before. They are more finely situated (on a rock, perpendicular and 300 feet high, jutting into the sea,) than any I have seen; and, being at one end of the bay, form a striking object in an evening view from the beach. The name of Oliver’s Mount is improperly given to a hill on the opposite side of the bay; as if the cannon could have done execution at such a distance! They did not do so, the wall being entire in that direction. We went on, over a wild mountain road, but still in view of the sea, to Whitby, twenty miles farther. The north wolds of Yorkshire are very like parts of the Peak of Derbyshire; but are bolder, and have the great addition of the ocean. The approach to the ruins of Whitby Abbey, standing on an eminence above the sea, is very beautiful. The town is closely and singularly built, but the pier the finest I have seen after Ramsgate.

Here are large vessels engaged in the Greenland fishery, as large as 600 tons burden. The road is still over the wolds to within two or three
miles of Guisborough. We yet had the sea with us, and indeed were skirting the north-east coast of Yorkshire very regularly. As you descend from the wolds into the valley of Guisborough (which
Camden compared to the country about Puteoli) the contrast is most beautiful indeed: lovely wooded hills, and considerable mountains beyond, with a pointed and varied outline. The ruin of the remaining east window at Guisborough is very large and fine. From this place and its fallen priory we went on to Redcar; the object of our pursuit, in this little ‘coasting tour, in search of a sea-bathing place.’ Meanwhile, we were daily gaining health and strength, the constant succession of new objects greatly refreshing us both. At Redcar our first entrance was most ill-omened. The best inn was full, and the second-best ———, the ‘Black Swan,’ I do sincerely hope, is ‘rara avis in terris.’ But, to prolong our horrors much of the same misery which beset the ‘Swan,’ beset also all the lodging-houses at Redcar, and after the struggle of a week (not to appear fastidious), we were forced to give up in despair; and, after some delightful excursions on the unrivalled sands of this place, we turned our horse’s head York-ward again, by a most enchanting route.


A barrister cousin, Richard Whitcombe, was an occasional correspondent about this time.

There is nothing new (he writes) in the literary world. Is this so, or have I lost my relish for modern productions? Somewhat of both, perhaps; though I certainly do find that ‘ille ego qui quondam’ would have hunted with pleasure after a new book, and with avidity after a new poem, have a senile coldness to all the meretricious race and an abhorrence of the latter class. For whilst I can idle with undiminished delight over the masters of my boyhood—over Theocritus or Tibullus, Homer or Lucretius, Milton or Shakespeare—I had infinitely rather turn to the white volumes of legal crotchets and wire-drawing, than be doomed to the best fare announced in the cartes of those exquisite intellectual Deipnosophists, Mr. John Murray or Mr Joseph Mawman. A propos of this Mr. Joseph Mawman (who, experto crede, is a Deipnosophist, in the original sense of the word, of no mean talent), do you know the singularly appropriate compliment which he paid to Lord Byron? At a venture, you shall have it. The Bibliopole and the Peer met at a feast. ‘My Lord,’ said the man of foolscap, who had prepared himself for something worthy of
a meeting between
Horace and the Sosii; ‘My Lord, I have been reading your poem (the “Giaour,” peradventure, or the “Siege of Corinth”), and your Lordship must allow me to say that in my opinion you are a perfect master of the English language.’