Page images

confined; but the few within it are cherished with a zeal proportioned to the vehemence of his abuse against all beyond it. Captain Parker, who seems to have been dying of wounds received in battle, and a Mrs Thomson and her child, appear, after Lady Hamilton, principally to occupy his thoughts. There was some love-story connected with the latter which manifestly excited his sympathy in an extraordinary degree. But it is pleasing to observe so frequently the breaking forth of the only principle, amounting in him to a passion, which could successfully combat his extravagant love, we mean that mighty love of his country, and that thirst for glory, which for the most part engrossed his soul,-bearing his shattered frame through every suffering, mortification, and danger, and lifting him, at last, to the very height of renown, when it carried him to a death perhaps the most glorious that ever closed the existence of a warrior. There is something extremely affecting in the invariable constancy with which his military ardour rises superior to all his other passions, and remains unsubdued amidst the wreck of all other principles and feelings:-it seems alone to have vanquished, or even resisted his love. You ask me,' says he, my dear friend, if I am going on more expeditions? And, even if I was to forfeit your friendship, which is dearer to me than all the world, I can tell you nothing. For, I go out; [if] I see the enemy, and can get at them, it is my duty and you would naturally hate me, if I kept back one moment. long to pay them, for their tricks t'other day, the debt of a drubbing, which, surely, I'll pay: but when, where, or how, it is impossible, your own good sense must tell you, for me or mortal man to say. I shall act not in a rash or hasty man'ner; that you may rely, and on which I give you my word of honour. Just going off. Ever, for ever, your faithful

NELSON & BRONTE.' We extract the following letter with pleasure; it is extremely interesting, as being one of the last he wrote, and containing a pointed allusion to the approaching battle of Trafalgar.

Victory, Oct. 1, 1805. MY DEAREST EMMA, It is a relief to me, to take up the pen, and write you a line; for I have had, about four o'clock this morning, one of my dreadful spasms, which has almost enervated me. It is very odd! I was hardly ever better than yes. terday. Freemantle stayed with me till eight o'clock, and I slept uncommonly well; but, was awoke with this disorder. My opinion of its effect, some one day, has never altered. However, it is entirely gone off, and I am only quite weak. The good people of England will not believe, that rest of body and mind is necessary for me! But, perhaps, this spasm may not come again these six months. I VOL. XXIII. No. 46.


had been writing seven hours yesterday: perhaps, that had some hand in bringing it upon me. I joined the fleet late on the evening of the 28th of September, but could not communicate with them until the next morning. I believe, my arrival was most welcome; not only to the commander of the fleet, but also to every individual in it and, when I came to explain to them the Nelson touch, it was like an electric shock. Some shed tears, all approved-“ It was new, it was singular, it was simple!" and, from Admirals downwards, it was repeated-" It must succeed, if ever they will allow us to get at them! You are, my Lord, surrounded by friends "whom you inspire with confidence. " Some may be Judas's; but the majority are certainly much pleased with my commanding them '


The thing least to be looked for, and certainly the greatest curiosity in the work, is a Copy of Verses by this great commander. They are worth little for their poetical merits; and yet any one of them is worth a volume of the wretched stuff contained in Lady Hamilton's letter to Mr Alexander Davidson, beginning with

I think, I have not lost my heart:

Since I, with truth, can swear,

and ending thus,

Then, do not rob me of my heart,

Unless you first forsake it;

And, then, so wretched it would be,

Despair alone will take it.' II. 128.

We extract the verses of Nelson as really much better. He a few lines wrote in a late gale. '

calls them

Though's polish'd verse superior shine,
Though sensibility grace every line;

Though her soft Muse be far above all praise,
And female tenderness inspire her lays :
Deign to receive, though unadorn'd
By the poetic art,

The rude expressions which bespeak
A Sailor's untaught heart!

A heart susceptible, sincere, and true;
A heart, by fate, and nature, torn in two:
One half, to duty and his country due;
The other, better half, to love and you!
Sooner shall Britain's sons resign
The empire of the sea;

Than Henry shall renounce his faith,

And waves on waves shall cease to roll,
And tides forget to flow;

Ere thy true Henry's constant love,

Or ebb, or change, shall know.' I. 30.

We have now taken notice of the passages in this Correspondence which are the most pleasing, as well as those which are most calculated to give offence. There is nothing little or mean, however, in the filings to be remarked here, if we except the evidences which appear of the two lovers having been in a sort of plot to obtain for Lady Hamilton a legacy from the Duke of Queensberry. This scheme, which seems to have been pretty hotly pursued, is every now and then breaking out with an incongruity somewhat laughable, in the middle of his highest raptures. Thus,

[ocr errors]

Captain Hallowell is so good as to take home, for me, wine as by the inclosed list; and, if I can, some honey. The Spanish honey is so precious, that if [any one has] a cut, or sore throat, it is used to cure it. I mention this. in case you should wish to give the Duke a jar. The smell is wonderful! It is to be produced no where, but in the mountains near Rosas. The Cyprus wine, one hogshead, was for Bonaparte. I would recommend the wine-cooper drawing it off: and you can send a few dozens to the Duke; who, I know, takes a glass every day at two o'clock. I wish, I had any thing else to send you; but, my dearest Emma, you must take the will for the deed. This epistle soars immediately to lighter regions. The Lord of Love,' is not scared away and made to spread his light pinions,' at smell of Cyprus wine and Spanish honey, and at sight of the ancient Duke and his two-o'clock glass ;-but the letter passes quite naturally from these low subjects, and concludes about eternal attachment and affection,' and for ever and ever, and your, only your,' &c.

[ocr errors]


[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

Akin to this topic, is the state of Lady Hamilton's finances, to which we find frequent allusions. There is a letter from her to Mr Addington, whom she implores to grant her a portion of her ever- honoured husband's pension,' bewailing her irreparable loss,' stating that she is most sadly bereaved,' having lost not merely her dear Sir William, but the enjoyment of his income. She subscribes herself (as many persons may in addressing the same worthy character), with respect more than she can tell utter.' We have often witnessed attempts to set up for this lady, some such claim to the public bounty, as she here prefers to the easy nature of the late minister, and as Lord Nelson arged not very decorously in his last will. It would have been an insult, however, we must say, to the country, if such a prayer had been complied with. The public feelings were sufficiently outraged by the astonishing omission of Lady Nelson, in the honours and wealth bestowed on the family at Lord Nelson's death. The Government, on that occasion, took part with his unwarrantable caprice, and neglected that amiable and excellent woman, (as all who have ever mentioned her name admit her


to be, merely because she had been most causelessly neglected by her husband. It encouraged the base and un-English feelings which too frequently lead, what is called fashionable society. to take the husband's part, because he is the powerful party; and to shun his innocent and ill-treated wife, only because she is weak and unfortunate. Instances could be given with ease, of women avoided in the world, almost as scrupulously as if they had been divorced by their husbands; and when you come to ask why, the only answer is, that their husbands have been living apart from them, to indulge in their own vicious courses, without having a shadow of charge to prefer in extenuation of this conduct. If, when Mr Pitt passed over the wife in the grants of money, pension and peerage, (in the teeth of his own last precedent when Sir Ralph Abercromby fell), he had also pensioned the other connexion-we might in vain have ransacked foreign courts for proofs of public immorality. As for Lady Hamilton herself, we see no right which she can have to complain. Her public services, we suppose, have been sufficiently requited by the public, whom she may formerly have served. The transactions in the Bay of Naples merited another kind of reward. And if she is now in want of money, she surely can find no difficulty in obtaining assistance from the distinguished friends whose letters fill up this work. They would prefer, we should think, contributing in cash, to affording her their letters. And if one Noble and Right Reverend person is no more, whose gallantry graces these pages, and who, among other things, compares her to Diana'-another, equally noble, though as yet only Reverend correspondent, survives, who surely cannot have forgotten how often he was her obliged and faithful servant, called her his deary, '-condescended to write jocose and free letters to her of a Sunday morning, between morning and evening service,-looked to her as his best and truest 'friend' for protection and advancement,-engaged her to obtain prebends with six hundred a-year, and good houses;' and inclosed a list of five Deans, all old men.' To him, and to such as him, who are wallowing in riches, and have given her claims on their gratitude, she is certainly entitled to look for assistance; not to the public, of whom she has deserved ill, and never more so than by the present publication.

[ocr errors]

ART. VIII. Poems on Several Occasions. By EDWARD, LORD THURLOW. Second Edition. 8vo.


Pp. 349.


Moonlight, a Poem, with several Copies of Verses. By EDWARD,
LORD THURLOW. 4to. pp. 75. London. 1814.

The Doge's Daughter, a Poem: with several Translations from
Anacreon and Horace. By EDWARD, LORD THURLOW. 8vo.
London. 1814.
pp. 66.

Ariadne: A Poem, in Three Parts. By EDWARD, LORD
THURLOW. 8vo. pp. 58.


OUR modern heroes, poetical as well as military, are endowed with a rapidity of motion and achievement which keeps gazettes and reviews continually on the alert. Indeed, so difficult do we critics find it to keep pace with the celeritas incredibilis' of some of our literary Caesars, that we think it would not be amiss if each of these poetical chieftains had a Reviewer appointed expressly, auprès de su personne, to give the earliest intelligence of his movements, and do justice to his multifarious enterprizes.

The Poems of Lord Thurlow-whose prowess in this way is most alarmingly proved by the list prefixed to this article-come graced and recommended to notice by two or three very imposing considerations. In the first place, the rank of the writer is not without its prepossessing influence; a saint in crape is twice a saint in lawn:'-and we could name but one noble Bard, among either the living or the dead, whose laurels are sufficiently abundant to keep the coronet totally out of sight. Lord Thurlow himself seems fully aware of this advantage; and we are not quite sure that he did not mean a sly allusion to it, in the following motto from Shakespeare prefixed to one of these volumes

and then my state,
(Like to the lark at break of day arising
From sullen earth) sings hymns at heaven's gate.

In the next place, his Lordship is evidently an enthusiast in his art, and loves the Muse with a warmth which makes us regret that the passion is not mutual. Indeed, we doubt whether the shrine of Apollo ever boasted a more ardent worshipper; and if, unluckily, he but seldom feels the approaches of the god, it is not for want of invocations many and importunate. At times he even contrives, by the mere force of devotion, to work himself up into a sort of mock inspiration, like that of the young

« PreviousContinue »