LORD  BYRON  and  his  TIMES
Documents Biography Criticism

My Friends and Acquaintance
R. Plumer Ward XXII
Robert Plumer Ward to Peter George Patmore, 20 October 1841

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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“Windsor House, Southampton,
“Oct. 20, 1841.

My dear Patmore,—Though I am as willing as most to think no news good news, yet to know nothing for a month of an
affair interesting in itself, and, as we suppose, at least not standing still, is somewhat trying to curiosity; so I write, though for little else, to ask what you are doing or going to do. I only hope you are not ill, as, since your last accounts, might, I fear, be not unreasonably supposed.

“For ourselves, illness seems to have taken up her permanent abode in our once happy home—happy no longer. The poor sufferer is entirely given up by the regular physicians, so as a forlorn hope we have admitted an illegitimate one, who came all the way from Plymouth to try inhaling. The process is only just begun, and a few days, I am told, will decide—not a cure—but the possibility of it—in itself more comfort than we have hitherto been allowed.

“In regard to myself, there never was a more complete overthrow to all the happiness of my life—all old habits broken up, and, what is worse, replaced by none; so that I should be a prey to the lassitude I feel, and which is such as I never knew, if even I had no grief to feed by brooding on it.
I can settle to nothing; can think of nothing; and would willingly write for
Colburn gratis, if he would but tell me what.

“Meantime, I cannot read anything but (I must not say) trash, though all I attempt are a few Novels, which by me ought not to be so vilified. And yet there are few I can get through. The authors, however, may say the same of mine, and I, at least, give them fair play.

“By the way, how is it that your certainly very clever friend, Mrs. Gore, cannot do more for me than skim along the surface? I never knew so much real talent in seizing the outside of characters, and drawing magic lantern pictures, so entirely fail in creating permanent interest. I have sent home ‘Mrs. Armytage’ a second time, without getting quite half through, and yet how clever the individual portraits!

“So I may say of Galt, Gleig, cum multis aliis.

“Not so ‘Charles Chesterfield;’* at least there the portraits are themselves so over

* By Mrs. Trollope.

powering, that they redeem the want of skill in the story tenfold.

“By the way, who was published first, ‘De Clifford’ or ‘Chesterfield’? For Marchmont, and Paragraph, and Sourkrout, as far as the story goes, are so alike, as well, indeed, as the general account of reviewing, that, unless one copied the other, the coincidence is astonishing. I particularly mean Marchmont’s use of phrases, ready cut and dried, for books he had not read. But Marchmont is, at all events, inimitable, and true, I am sure, though I bother my brains in vain to know the original. You, who have so much more knowledge, pray tell me. I am really anxious about it.

“I suppose ‘De Clifford’ has seen its zenith, and is on the wane; yet I continue to receive letters from strangers, as well as friends, about it; and —— tells me the Duchess of —— told her it was ‘making quite a sensation on the Continent, where everybody was reading and liking it.’

“There’s for you! Ought I not to have the Guelph? I think I shall ask for it! God help me for a blockhead, with all my
years and miseries bowing me down, to write even jokingly of such gewgaws! Yet here I am in a beautiful town, and a house good enough for a marquis (
Conyngham), who has just quitted it, moralizing, forsooth, on the nothingness of life. O! we are very consistent people, we mortals and authors! Yet, in truth, tell me whereabouts you are in verse and prose, and who Marchmont is, and then I will tell you how much I am yours,

“R. P. W.”