LORD  BYRON  and  his  TIMES
Documents Biography Criticism

My Friends and Acquaintance
R. Plumer Ward XVII
Robert Plumer Ward to Peter George Patmore, 20 October 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, Ashbourn, Oct. 20, 1840.
“Dear Patmore,—
* * * * * *

“Well, and so you have received all my packets safe, viands and all. As you like the latter so well, I think they ought to be repeated.

* * * * * *

“But now to the more refined, viz., the critical parts of your letter. Be assured, in goading you as I did, I did not expect or
imagine you could give any opinion of the work, far less a notice of such good augury as you are pleased to send. My anxiety was, lest there should have been a miscarriage of any of the packets, which would have been irreparable. As it is, I own you have comforted me greatly with your impressions of the first one hundred and fifty pages, the extent of your reading, for it is about there that I have been most anxious, fearing particularly that the school delineations might be thought uninteresting and childish. But if you think of these as you seem to do, I am not so much afraid of your opinion of the rest, which I trust you will find less didactic, particularly when Mr. De Clifford gets away from his master, Fothergill.

“And now I will wait upon my oars till to-day’s post arrives, glad if I do not receive a scold from you in return for mine. It may, however, diversify a lonely day; for my wife, whose society, when she leaves me, I more and more miss, is gone with her father, Sir George, to leave all our duties with the Queen Dowager—a piece of etiquette which we find all our neighbouring families have pursued.


“Thank heaven, I myself have done with etiquette, and have reached that happy time when I have a legitimate right (which you have only usurped), to sit all the morning, and even pace my garden, en robe de chambre. In short (except that I am far happier in a wife, with whom I am absolutely every hour more and more in love, in even the admiring sense of the word), there is a certain Mr. Manners in the MS. between whom and myself I request and desire you will discover, a considerable affinity. This I tell you for your comfort, against the time when you will be near seventy-six. It is really certain, that much as I expended myself in my youth, I am, I believe I may say, happier than ever I was in my life; and as this place, though it may not be the cause, is certainly the scene of my happiness, you must not be surprised if your anticipations as to Mr. De Clifford are not realised, and that the winter will probably not see me among you.

“Though not so splendid, I love this abode, particularly the exterior, and I also love my society better than in Hertfordshire. I have not so fine a park, but I have Dove-
dale; I have not a house that covers an acre of ground, but neither does it cost me above 300l. a-year to keep it warm.

“On the other hand, I am here not one of a band of cockneys, whose hearts are all day in the city, though their bodies affect groves and fields—sprung up, too, like mushrooms; but for a time at least, feel the representative (though ‘jure uxoris et vitrici’) of a family of nine hundred years, flourishing and fructifying all that time on the same spot.

“Prejudice and illusion, you will say, and say truly; to which I reply, how much happier in a thousand instances than reality! In short, ever since I could read, I felt that I would rather be Sir Roger de Coverley than Cæsar; and here, at least, I am more like him than at Gilston.

* * * * * *

“Adieu. The post is come in, and no letter from you. So thanking you again for yours of yesterday, I am,

“Dear Patmore,
“Yours, very truly,
“R. P. W.”