LORD  BYRON  and  his  TIMES
Documents Biography Criticism

My Friends and Acquaintance
R. Plumer Ward XVII
Robert Plumer Ward to Peter George Patmore, 27 September 1840

Vol I Contents
Charles Lamb I
Charles Lamb II
Charles Lamb III
Charles Lamb IV
Charles Lamb V
Charles Lamb VI
Charles Lamb VII
Charles Lamb VIII
Charles Lamb IX
Charles Lamb X
Thomas Campbell I
Thomas Campbell II
Thomas Campbell III
Thomas Campbell IV
Thomas Campbell V
Thomas Campbell VI
Thomas Campbell VII
Lady Blessington I
Lady Blessington II
Lady Blessington III
Lady Blessington IV
Lady Blessington V
R. Plumer Ward I
R. Plumer Ward II
R. Plumer Ward III
R. Plumer Ward IV
R. Plumer Ward V
R. Plumer Ward VI
Appendix vol I
Vol II Contents
R. Plumer Ward VII
R. Plumer Ward VIII
R. Plumer Ward IX
R. Plumer Ward X
R. Plumer Ward XI
R. Plumer Ward XII
R. Plumer Ward XIII
R. Plumer Ward XIV
R. Plumer Ward XV
R. Plumer Ward XVI
R. Plumer Ward XVII
R. Plumer Ward XVIII
R. Plumer Ward XIX
R. Plumer Ward XX
R. Plumer Ward XXI
R. Plumer Ward XXII
R. Plumer Ward XXIII
Horace & James Smith I
Horace & James Smith II
William Hazlitt I
William Hazlitt II
William Hazlitt III
William Hazlitt IV
William Hazlitt V
William Hazlitt VI
William Hazlitt VII
William Hazlitt VIII
Appendix vol II
Vol III Contents
William Hazlitt IX
William Hazlitt X
William Hazlitt XI
William Hazlitt XII
William Hazlitt XIII
William Hazlitt XIV
William Hazlitt XV
William Hazlitt XVI
William Hazlitt XVII
William Hazlitt XVIII
William Hazlitt XIX
William Hazlitt XX
William Hazlitt XXI
William Hazlitt XXII
William Hazlitt XXIII
William Hazlitt XXIV
William Hazlitt XXV
William Hazlitt XXVI
Laman Blanchard I
Laman Blanchard II
Laman Blanchard III
Laman Blanchard IV
Laman Blanchard V
Laman Blanchard VI
Laman Blanchard VII
Laman Blanchard VIII
R & T Sheridan I
R & T Sheridan II
R & T Sheridan III
R & T Sheridan IV
R & T Sheridan V
R & T Sheridan VI
R & T Sheridan VII
R & T Sheridan VIII
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“Okeover Hall, Sept. 27, 1840.

Dear Patmore,—Welcome back to England, for back you are come, if there is faith in the greatest of publishers, though a little man. But if you liked Wiesbaden as well as I did, you will soon wish yourself back again. Could I have got that pretty house on the hill called the Palais, which the duchess, I am told, has bought, I believe I should be there still. The owner asked 2400 florins a-year for it, only a fourth part
furnished, and I agreed to give it. He then refused to do anything but sell it, and demanded 35,000 florins, which was beyond me,—luckily for him, for he has got 50,000 from her Royal Highness. Pray did you see her?

“I wish I was in town to have a gossip with you about this pretty town and patriarchal government. I suppose you walked, as I did, to Sonenberg every day. But if I go on about Wiesbaden I shall have no room for Mr. De Clifford, who leaves this for London next Tuesday, and whom I beg to introduce to your best civilities in Colburn’s name and mine.

“I am quite glad to have agreed with that modern Lintot, for I should have been sorry to have gone to anybody else. In truth, I think him friendly, fair, and straightforward. He gives me —— for 1250 copies, and —— more for a second edition.

“You see I have taken your advice about Bardolfe, as to which name I had as many scruples as you, and for the same reason, the hell-fire nose, and the flea frying on it, the only thing which ever put Falstaff in mind
of a soul in torment. Having, however, alluded much to a Bardolfe castle and estate in the work, as well as to the family as the ancestors of the hero, I did not like altogether to part with the descent, and luckily discovering that Sir W. Clifford married the coheiress of the Earl Bardolfe (temp. Rich. II.), I availed myself of that finer name, to which
Colburn clapped on a De, and so here we are.

“What you will say to it I know not. Judging from your too kind partiality displayed in your letter, I ought not to be afraid, and there are things in it which I am myself much pleased with (the whole work no doubt, you will say); but I can be no judge.

“I have submitted my refined lady to another lady of quality, Lady ——, who has been passing a fortnight with us, and she has set her seal to it, particularly an interesting discussion upon the real nature of fashion and vulgarity, introduced by way of instructing the hero, while in his novitiate, on that difficult and puzzling question.


“There are some situations which I am not without the hope will interest you. The didactics, however, are most interesting to myself, though I shall be very glad if you do not think them too long.

“I am willing to hope, on the other hand, that the story is rather original, certainly not common place.

“There is one part for which I will beg your particular attention. It is a dissertation (far from compromising) upon the jobbing of the modern system of reviewing— what I call the criticism of the shop. Pray do you know anything of a Mr. Reid, who attacked it boldly and cleverly in a short tract, called ‘Reviewers Reviewed’?

“I fear to bore you, or rather rob you of your valuable time, or I could say many things; but this I feel to be more than quantum suff. I will only therefore revert a little to your letter, which was very agreeable both to Mrs. P. W. and me, particularly for liking Wiesbaden so well. We wondered, by the way, whether you ever met with some friends we were very fond of—Comtesse Mathilde Dumontz, dame d’honneur to Princess
Frederica of Prussia, and Comtesse de Grüen, her sister. There was also a family of the Baronne de Marechale, at the head of everything there, and very charming. But the most charming of all was the duchess herself, not the less so for reading and speaking English—having read ‘
Tremaine’ and ‘De Vere,’ and, with the duke, having sent me a pretty message for what I said of them and their subjects in ‘Human Life.’

“I am afraid you will think, if you don’t say, what a coxcomb! Yet it is not surely mere vanity that makes me take pleasure in having pleased persons I so very much liked and respected.

“Well,—pour revenir à nos moutons,—though now an old stager, I shall be tremblingly alive to what you will say of me; so have mercy upon my youthful sensibility!

“I will only add my hope that your pleasant excursion has had the effect which all your friends must wish upon your health, which must be valuable to them and your family, whatever it may be to yourself. For I must again scold you for your way of life, which you seem to consider, as Mr.
Macnamara did a disease he had contracted. ‘How do you trate it?’ said a friend. ‘Trate it?’ said he. ‘With the utmost contempt.’

“Pray copy me, who think the world still worth living for, and who, not very far from seventy-six, feel freer from illness than ever I did in my life; and so no more at present from your loving friend,

“R. P. W.”