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Bring tender sympathy with tearful eye,
Bring Hope, bring Health, and let the Muse attend.
Whose skirt's old Ocean's briny billows lave,
The languid fair one eyes the refluent wave.
Was ever virgin martyr more resign'd ?
Bespeaks her gentlest, best of human kind.
Whose charge it is her weary hours to cheer,
Whilst the brave veteran drops the secret tear.
The fairest freight that ocean ever bore,
In laurels won from Gallia's hostile shore.
Celestial cherub, messenger of peace.
And with thy touch its angry throbbings cease.
Spring from her couch. O may my votive strain
Nor thou, my Muse, hast prophesied in vain.' I have now completed what occurred to me to say of an old man, whose writings have been very various, whose intentions have been always honest, and whose labors have experienced little intermission. I put the first pen to these Memoirs at the very close of the last year, and I conclude them in the middle of September. I had promised myself to the undertaking, and I was to proportion my dispatch to the measure of the time upon which, without presumption, I might venture to reckon. As many of my readers as may have staggered under the weight of such a bulky load, will have a fellow feeling for me, even though I shall have sunk under it: but if I have borne it through with tolerable success, and given an interest to some of the many pages which this volume numbers, I hope they will not mark with too severe a censure errors and inaccuracies
Quas aut incuria fudit,
Aut humana parum cavit natura. I have through life sincerely done my best according to my abilities for the edification of my fellow creatures and the honor of my God. I pretend to nothing, whereby to be commended or distinguished above others of my rate, save only for that good-will and human kindness which descended to me from my ancestors, and cannot properly deserve the name of virtue, as they cost no struggle for the exertion of them. I am not ex: empt from anger, but I never let it fasten on me till it harden into malice or revenge.
I cannot pass myself off for better than I have been where I am about to go, and if before my departure I were now to take credit for merits which I have not, the few which I have would be all too few to atone for the deceit; but I am thoroughly weary of the task of talking of my. self, and it is with unfeigned joy I welcome the conclusion of my task and my talk.
I have now only to devote this last page of my book, as it is probable I shall the last hour of my life, to the acknowledg. ments which are due to that beloved daughter, who, ever since the death of her mother, has been my inseparable companion and the solace of my age
Extremum hunc, Arethusa, mihi concede laborem. Frances Marianne, the youngest of my children, was born to me in Spain. After many long and dangerous returns of illness, it has pleased Providence to preserve to me the blessing of her life and health. In her filial affection I find all the comforts, that the best of friends can give me; from her talents and understanding I derive all the enjoyments that the most pleasing of companions can communicate. As she has witnessed every step in the progress of this laborious work, and cheered every hour of relaxation whilst I have rested from it, if these pages,
which contain the Memoirs of her father's life, may happily obtain some notice from the world, by whomsoever they are read, by the same this testimony of my devotion to the best of daughters shall also be read; and, if it be the will of God, that here my literary labors are to cease for ever, I can say to the world for the last time, that this is a dedication, in which no flattery is mixed, a tribute to virtue, in which fiction has no part, and an effusion of gratitude, esteem and love, which flows sincerely from a father's heart.
REASONS FOR WRITING AGAIN,
Supplement-Reasons for writing-Difficulties in speaking of living characters
-His unpublished writings-Anecdote of his son and the seaman-Collision with Mr. Hayley-Cowper-Dr. Bentley-"Pitt-Cicero-Lines to Pitt_Nelson -Lord Collingwood-Commemorates the victory and death of Nelson-Sharon Turner-Earl of Dorchester-Reform in the newspapers—Love of booksHis health at Tunbridge Wells-Rev. Martin Benson—The men of KentVolunteer companies-Captain of infantry—Residents at Tunbridge Wells - Death of friends-Mr. Badcock-His children-Erskine-Answers to letters-Lord Mansfield — Anecdote of Charles Townshend - Conversational talents of Mansfield-Andrew Stuart-Lord North-Primate Robinson-Cathedral of Armagh--Sir William Robinson-Archbishop Moore-Doctor Moss ---Anecdote of_Consequences of old age—Sir James Bland Burges—Moorem Sir William Spencer-Eccentricities of eminent men-Edinburgh reviewers - Rodney's nautical maneuvre-Rev. Mr. Higgs—Doctor Drake-Epic poem ---The Exodiad–His wife-His daughter-Apology to Mr. Smith-Drury Lane and Covent Garden-Garrick-The stage-The profession of actorDeath of Fox-Mr. Higgs—Mistakes in his Memoirs’-Sir Williain Pepy - A Hint to Husbands'-Napoleon-Conclusion.
February the 19th, 1806. I AM this day seventy-four years old, and having given to the world an account of what I have been employed upon since I have belonged to it, I thought I had said quite enough of an humble individual, and that I might have been acquitted of my task, and dismissed to my obscurity ; but certain friends, upon whose judgment and sincerity I have all possible reliance, tell me that I have disappointed their expectations in the nar. rative of what I have been concerned in since I came from Spain; a period which, being more within their own time, might, as they conceive, have been made more interesting to them, and to the rest of my readers.
It may be so; nay, I have reason to believe it is so, for I am conscious that I was impatient to conclude my work, and was intimidated by the apprehension of offending against that modesty of discourse, which becomes me to hold when I have no better subject to talk upon than myself.
In deference to their judgment I shall now attempt to fill up that chasm, which they have pointed out, in my imperfect work; but the volume, which is in the hands of the first purchasers, and which I have disposed of to them with all its errors,
I consider myself in honor bound to abide by; as I hold it not correctly fair to recommend a second edition by any means, that may contribute to degrade the first : I therefore leave untouched all which the liberal patrons of my book are already possessed of, and now tender to them a few additional pages, which they may, or may not, attach to their volume, as they shall see fit.
There are considerations, that will weigh with every writer, when his subject leads him to discourse of living characters; there is at once temptation to indulge his friendly prejudices, and motives to deter him from exposing all his free opinions. Hence it comes to pass, that, being checked by truth on one side, and by delicacy on the other, he finds his only safe resource in silence or an inoffensive tame neutrality.
If therefore I have written indolently of this latter period of my life, it was not because I had been more indolent in it, for I might have said, without offence to modesty, that I have been much more active as a literary man since I have ceased to be busied as an official one; but it was because I had fallen into heavy roads, and like the traveller, who, wearied by the tediousness of the way, puts four horses to his chaise for the concluding stage, so did I hasten to terminate my task, shutting my eyes against those objects that would have operated to pro
I will only say in general, that there is a multiplicity of my unpublished productions, written since I came from Spain, which, to those who shall search for them and find them, will evince my industry. The world has such an amiable partiality to dead men's doings, that, perhaps, when these embryos shall see the light, and my eyes shall be forever closed against it, I may look to receive a vast deal of mercy and some praise, when I can no longer be the better for either. If our resurrection critics shall persist to rummage amongst the graves, and carry their eyes like the hare, who sees distinctly only what is behind her, they may probably spy out my shade in the background, and bring it into notice. It is naturally to be presumed that, if they would come manfully forward for a living author, the living author would be better pleased; but this he must not expect ; the temple of their praise is reared with dry bones and skulls, and till he is a skeleton he cannot be their hero; in this, however, they are more generous than the legislature, who have given so short a date to the tenure of his copyright, that, till that is out, the circulation of his works can scarce commence. Now although this mode of dealing may not exactly suit the living man's occasions, yet there is a kind of posthumous justice in it, as it leads
ANECDOTE OF MY SON.
him to expect a consideration for what he does some time or other, notwithstanding he shall have done it so much the worse for the discouragement which he met with whilst he was about it. It also warns him what he is to expect from the company he lives with, and apprises him of the luxury he is to enjoy when he is out of their society.
My youngest son, now a post-captain in the royal navy, had a lazy, pilfering rascal in his ship, though all the while a prime seaman; when he had seized him up to the gun for some enormity, he liberated him without a stroke, and reminding him of his capacity to perform his duty with credit to himself and good service to his country, appointed him at a word to be captain of the forecastle. Reformation instantly took place in the man's mind; promotion roused his pride ; pride inspired honesty, and he thenceforth acquitted himself as an excellent and trustworthy seaman, and was pointed out to me from his quarter-deck as such. Now, according to the moral of my story, we may imagine a young beginner to set out lazily on his first start into authorship: he may, like the seaman, have good stores in his own capacity, but through indolence or something else prefer the shorter process of plagiarism to the laborious efforts of invention. I humbly apprehend that his reviewing officer, instead of flogging him round the fleet of critics, may come sooner to his point, if the object of correction be amendment, by copying the humane experiment of the gallant officer, whom I have taken the liberty to instance, and have the honor of be-ing allied to.
I flatter myself I have through life been not unmindful of the rule, which I have been so frequently importunate to recommend; and I must own in some instances I have had no better reason for my praise and commendation of a brother author than because he was alive; for I was perfectly convinced he would not mend upon discouragement, and I conceived perhaps it was as easy for him to be better, as it was for me to persuade myself that he was not bad.
In these endeavors I have sometimes been defeated, and an instance has occurred since the publication of my Memoirs, which proves how little certainty there is that fair intentions shall be fairly understood. I have unfortunately for myself given offence to Mr. Hayley, and put him to the trouble of stopping the press, whilst advancing peaceably towards the completion of its labor, merely to make room for me in his supplementary pages to the life of Cowper, and with no other cause in view, that I can comprehend, but to show the world that he can be angry without cause. The passages he alludes to in my