Изображения страниц

upon us. Mercy! mercy! mercy! dear Jesus, Redeemer of mankind ! (Signed) “USHER GEOGHEGAN.

“ TERENCE CONNER.” As a specimen of his education and talents, Mr. Geoghegan subjoined a piece of poetry, which he wrote while he lay a prisoner in Newgate. It was addressed :—" To his Royal Highness Prince George, Duke of Cornwall, and eldest son of his Royal Highness Frederick Prince of Wales, on his acting the part of Cato, at Leicester House.” Part of this production was as follows :

“Tuus jam regnat Apollo.”_VIRGIL. “HAIL! little Cato, taught to tread the stage,

Awful, as Cato, of the Roman age;
How vast the hopes of thy maturer years,
When in the boy such manly power appears !
Say, what spectator did but pleas'd admire
To hear thee talk with sage Catonic fire.
A tender stripling of the Royal blood
Breathing his country's liberty and good :
What rapture warmed thy princely father's breast !
What joy thy sceptred grandsire then confest !
Beholding thee, a tyro from the school,
Foreshow the wisdom of thy future rule,
And Ned, thy little Juba, play his part,
Half formed by Nature in Bellona's art.
Well, we may say, when Royalty thus deigns
To grace the stage, that now Apollo reigns,
Whose tuneful handmaids should exult to see
Such regal honours done to them in thee :

Nor less thy shade, oh! Addison, rejoice,
To find thy Cato made a Cato's choice.

Roused with the thought, and impotently vain,
I now would launch into a nobler strain ;
But see! the captive Muse forbids the lays,
Unfit to sketch the merit I would praise ;
Such, at whose heels no galling shackles ring,
May raise the voice, and boldly touch the string ;
Cramped hand and foot, while I in a gaol must stay,
Dreading each hour the execution day;
Pent up in den, opprobrious alms to crave,
No Delphic cell, ye gods ! nor sybil's cave;
Nor will my Pegasus obey the rod,
With massy iron barbarously shod;
Thrice I essayed to force him up the height,
And thrice the painful gyves restrain'd his flight.
So, when a sickly snake attempts to creep,
Or climb some slippery rock, or ditches steep,
Scarce half her length advanc'd, she backward falls,
And in slow volumes languishingly crawls."

Mr. Terence Connor was, equally with his friend, an unfortunate son of the Muses. He also, in the same situation and at the same time, composed a poem, dedicating it thus, “ To Her Grace the Duchess of Queensbury; a poetical address, by Terence Conner, in the cells of Newgate.” It was as follows:

“ Laturam misero te mihi rebar opem."-Ovid. “ Thou great Protectress of th’ Aonian train,

Support in each cotemporary reign;
Brightest devotress at the Deļian shrine,
Oft sung and courted by the sacred nine ;

If e'er thy kindred, of immortal fame,
The muses lov'd, nor scorned the poet's name;
If e'er thyself vouchsafe to touch the lyre,
And joined with open voice the tuneful quire;
If on the canvass, to describe the face
With animated bloom, and living grace,
To draw the vernal flower, and tinging shape
The peach, the melon, and the ripen'd grape,
To make each story, holy or profane,
Move in the landscape, and to vision plain;
If these, with courtly wit and eloquence,
Be gifts Apollo did to thee dispense,
Which sure they are; in Charity regard
The meanest of his sons, a captive Bard;
Far, far, alas ! from home and native clime,
The first, perhaps, that wrote in Newgate rhyme.
The first, perhaps, beneath his dreadful doom,
That ever mounted the poetic loom.
O! born thyself of high Pierian blood,
Boast of the times, nor yet more learn'd than good;
Display thy bounty, where a life's at stake,
And save the wretched for the Poet's sake;
The Poet, pent in narrow darkling cell,
With vagrants and bandittis forc'd to dwell ;
In pondrous gyves of iron rudely bound,
A stone his pillow, and his bed the ground;
One penny-loaf, the banquet of a day,
And chilling water, to dilute his clay;
Broke ev'ry morning of his painful rest,
The scorn of turnkeys, and the keeper's jest;
Sternly rebuk’d if he the least complains,
And menac'd with double load of chains.
Thus, day and night, disconsolate I spend,
Unpitied, and debarr'd of ev'ry friend ;
Deserted by the muses, as by men,

Save Elegeia's visits now and then;
Daughter of Grief! and ever plaintive Muse,
Taught only songs of sorrow to infuse.
Dire comfort ! thankful yet am I that she
Inspires these lines, 0 Queensbury! to thee.
Thou, then, from infant years brought up at Courts,
Directress of their household and their sports ;
The brilliant Grace of both the Georges' age,
In wit facetious, and in Council sage,
Allow'd as heretofore, the same access,
Pity this bard, and banish his distress ;
Maintain the glory of thy former days,
And intercede to save a son of Gay's ;
Nor be it ever said, in British land, .
That a poor Bard was mercilessly hanged.”

It does not appear that these effusions proved of the slightest weight in favour of the poor wretches, either with the youthful tragedianthe future George III., or with the duchess : the bards were hanged.



In the above recorded Douglas trial, the Duke of Hamilton, the pursuer, brought forward several cases of pretended childbirth, which he alleged to be parallel with that of the defendant, Mr. Douglas. One of the most remarkable of these is that of Kinnaird, which possesses the additional interest that it belongs to a well-known and distinguished Scottish family. The case is among the decrees of the Commissaries of Edinburgh, of 1747. It was an action brought upon the 3rd of November, 1747, by Charles Kinnaird, Esq., against Charles Lord Kinnaird and his wife, for having introduced two supposititious children, with a view to deprive him of his succession to the title and family estates.

The family of Kinnaird is very ancient, and is descended from Radulphus, who had a charter of the barony of Kinnaird from king William the

« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »