« ZurückWeiter »
“ DBAR SIR,
Milbourne House, July 7. your
alhusion to my Father, vol. V. p. 339, you describe two of his English Poems, the · Dialogue in the Senate-house,' and the ‘Den-hilliad.' I possess neither of them, and shall take it as a very particular favour if you will tell me where I can reach the two volumes in which you tell us we can find this poetry.
“ In p. 339, you speak of an Ode in the Select Collection' as corrected in the volume of Latin Poems which I printed. I am aware of no Ode in my volume as having its duplicate in the • Select Collection,' or any other book. This little circumstance heightens the impatience of my wish to reach those volumes, and the Poetical Calendar'. G. H.”
Having mentioned to Mr. Justice Hardinge that I could she him the Poems for which he enquired; he replied, « DEAR SIR,
Milbourne House, July 10. “ I thank you most gratefully for your kind intelligence. I cannot express how you would oblige and gratify me, if you would either lend me the volumes in which these verses of my Father appear, or would have the goodness to furnish me with a copy of them taken from those volumes. In return, I will make over to you with great pleasure my copy of
my Father's Latin verses, printed, if you would like to publish them, and will assign to you with pleasure any emolument which may arise from that publication. These Latin verses are universally admired as classical, and worthy of the Augustan age. G. H."
The Volumes, of course, were immediately sent; and the Judge's obliging offer thankfully accepted; which led to the following correspondence : “ DEAR SIR,
Milbourne House, July 14. “I observe, in a note upon my Father's Latin Address to Mr. Poyntz, that
Father himself, as well as Davies (a most ele. gant scholar), translated that Ode, and that both translations are in a book of English Poems, where, 1 distinctly remember, that I saw them ages ago.
“I believe the Den-hilliad very incorrect, or at least very short ; for I am pretty sure that I had a copy of it in two cantos, and may, perhaps, recover it. The verses on the Beadle I long to see: they are excellent. My Father's turn in English verse was, like Addison's prose, grave and mock-heroic humour. In Latin verse he had all styles, and all perfections. I think I am not partial; but, if I have an atom of taste, there is nothing to be named with him in that line since the Augustan age.
“ Nothing will confer more honour upon me, or make me happier, than the publication of these Latin verses at your own cost and risk, if I am correct in so understanding your proposal. The books are so few, that I cannot be sure of laying my hands upon more copies than this one which I possess, and have corrected ; 30 that I should be afraid of parting with it, unless upon the faith of your publication.
" I beg
" I beg leave to add the delight it would give me to superadd some of the best English Poems which I can trace to my Father's pen. They are very few; and, of their kind (which is like Addison's humour put into elegant verse), incomparable ; but not so gifted and superior to all competition as the Latin.
“ There is a very excellent Portrait of my Father, in Kent, painted when he was Clerk of the House of Commons; but there is no Print from it at present. G. H." “ Dear SIR,
July 17. “ I am not sure if I ever told
that Poyntz detected my Father in a false quantity. If not, the fact is curious, and worth your knowledge. I have reformed one error of this kind myself, in de-est. There is no such quantity in the Latin Prosodia-de-est, and all its train, are monosyllabic, and long. I am endeavouring to recollect some Alcaics which he gave to me when I was at Eton school. They are versions of David's Lamentation over Saul ; and, if I dared (who am a passionate admirer of Scripture too), I would say very superior to it. The original wants pathetic simplicity and feeling. It is partly too high-flown, and partly too elegant; besides the shock one feels at the duplicity of it. Jonathan is more a hero of mine than David is. I am, with much regard, your most obliged and obedient servant,
GEORGE HARDINGE.” « Dear Sir,
Milbourne House, Jan. 2, 1814. “ Dr. Barnard was the Son of a respectable Clergyman, who resided upon his living in Bedfordshire. He was educated at Eton school, upon the College foundation, but superannuated, and became a member of St. John's College in Cambridge. I never could learn that he was there considered as a deep scholar in Philosophy, in Divinity, or even in Classics ; but I have understood that he was, in the early part of his life, admired for eloquence, for wit, for spirit, and for that kind of genius whose acute perceptions, taste, and sense, catch, half intuitively, the essence of learning, without labour in the pursuit
. His wit made him formidable to the dull; and, like other wits, he felt bimself privileged, at the expence of Lord Chesterfield's rules, to dare his lightning upon the culprit.
“ He told me himself an admirable story as related by him (but I despair to give half the effect that his manner produced) at the cost of a Divine, then an Under-graduate, whom I had afterwards occasion to know, and thoroughly to despise. He was dull in the extreme, proud, and mean. I had occasion to naine his conduct by me, when Dr. Barnard said that he recol lected him at Cambridge ; that he considered him as a nuisance from his dullness; that he often gave him a hint of it, by telling him, 'that so dull a man should not appear at coffee-houses, or at all in public ; for you know,' said Barnard (without reserve, and quite in public), “you know how stupid you are.' He bore this (Barnard added) with a coward's patience; and one day he half killed liim with laughter at the simplicity of his excuse and remonstrance: ' You are always, he told him, running your rig upon me, and calling me stupid ; and it's very cruel, now, that's what it is, for you don't consider that a broad-wheel-waggon went over my head when I was ten years of age.'
“In 1752 I found him at Eton, and at the same house in which I was to board, a tuior to Henry Townshend, who was the youngest brother of the late Viscount Sydney, was afterwards a Lieutenant-colonel, and was killed in Germany, lamented by all who had the happiness to know him; a youth of heroic raJour, and the delight of social intercourse. I have a beautiful print of him, perfectly alive in resemblance.
“Mr. Townshend, the Father of this pupil, and the most ami. able of men, was intimate with my Father. Upon this account Barnard undertook to be my tutor; so that I had an early access to his wonderful talents and powers. He was like Shakspeare's Yoriek, a little more disciplined and guarded by a controuling spirit, which kept all resentment as well as reply at bay. He discovered, with sagacity, in those around him, themes of ridicule, which he never spared ; but admired, without envy, talents or virtues. It has often at this late period astonished me, that in that limited sphere he could have displayed such a dignity of manner, and such effect of character, as to govern every scene connected with him, notwithstanding this playful turn for a joke, and this talent for making fun, as we used to call it, eren of those whom he admired and loved. I have seen him very often make some of these personages laugh at themselves in his presence, led on by him. He was at the same time friendly, compassionate, and humane. He had a sort of mock thunder in his voice and manner, as if he ridiculed the authority that be assumed. He loved both his pupils as if they had been his own children, but Harry Townshend, as we called him, the mot; who was then very near a man, very handsome, very good. natured, clever, and spirited ; in short, a noble creature.
“ To resume the tutor: Besides other faculties, in his eloquence he had the charm of a musical voice, and, in reading or speaking, a most exquisite ear. He had all imaginable variety of companionable talents, and could, in serious debate, out-argue the doughtiest champions pitted against him. He could also, without servility, make himself acceptable to superiors in rank, who had no taste for his mirth, or capacity for the enjoyment of it; for he was always a perfect gentleman. If Nature had given him Garrick's features and figure, he would have been scarce inferior to him in theatrical powers. He was an admirable mimic; but he was never, like that wonderful man, an actor off the stage. He had sparkling eyes and fine teeth; but his features were coarse, his face rather bloated, and his complexion too sanguine. His figure, though compact and strong, had the defect of short, and, as they are called, club feet, which gave a kind of swing to his gait, the result of this partial deformity; but converted by him into a gesture and movement of dignity not ungraceful.
“ A little before Townshend had left Eton Dr. Sumner vacated the Upper-mastership of Eton. A sharp contest then arose for the succession between Barnard and Dampier, who had been for
keveral years the Under-master. Then it was that Barnard exemplified Ovid's remark upon Ulysses in the contest with Ajax :
et quid facundia possit • Re patuit.' Barnard had endeared himself to Mr. Townshend by his admirable tuition of that gentleman's three sons. Mr. Townshend was Member for the University of Cambridge; had very good interest at Court, at Canıbridge, and at Eton ; and was the zealous patron of Barnard. My Father too and his friends exerted themselves in the same cause; but the popularity of Barnard's talents, and his own canvassing address, were not less powerful in the balance-He carried his point.
“I remember at this time travelling in my Father's coach from Kingston to London, when, during the heat of this contest, the celebrated John Burton, then Vice-Provost of Eton, and Barnard's eager patron, came up to the carriage, arraigned him for wanting spirit (a fault seldom found with him); and, like Parson Adams, told my Father, before two ladies who were in the coach, that he had proved himself as poor-spirited, cowardly, and weak, as if he had been a woman !" . “ This Burton, a most ingenious and profound scholar, had even then been a favourite butt of Barnard's humour; but at later periods, when the latter had more importance of station, and had acquired, by his commanding abilities, a kind of privilege, it was a feast which I have often enjoyed, to see these two men together ; Barnard the good-humoured but keen accuser, Burton the self-convicted, in reply, both of them laughing, and loving one another.
“ Apropos to Burton ; a whimsical adventure occurred after Barnard had become the Master, which I may as well relate in this place. The scene is present before me, as if it happened the day before yesterday. I am in part the hero of the tale; but, as I am the hero of its ridicule, the egotism will be forgiven.
“We took up, in the boarding house, a rage for acting plays; and amongst them was that of Cato, whom I was to personate ! But I despaired of a likeness, till I could obtain a suitable wig, having, I suppose, formed the idea from Pope :
“ Cato's long wig, flower'd gown, and lacker'd chair.” “With some difficulty, a cast-off and scare-crow volume of hair, which had once been venerable, was engaged under prime cost; but was to be made practicable by the hair-dresser, who was to see his wig upon my head for his pains.
“ Many were invited under the rose, and some ladies. The parts were studied, and the effect was thundering applause; whether to laugh at us, or admire us, I leave unexplored.
“ In the midst of my harangue to the mutineers, who were all the rabble we could find, Barnard, with dignity emulating mine, advanced upon the scene. All the world fled-l alone remained firm 'to my parthe tore my wig and gown without mercy, from the patriot whom they had become so well, and hung them up as trophies in his room. Telling this adventure VOL. VIII,
to his visitors, he received amongst them Burton, the Vice-provost; who knew his wig, and claimed it from the wig-maker, who had made it,' he said, as good as new.'
“This anecdote lasted Barnard for a month. Cato, and the Viceprovost shared the ridicule, which convulsed the boys with laughter at our expence.
"The acquisition of such a master baffles all power to deseribe it. A parallel may give some hints of it. Garriek, in his new style of acting, with sense, and with ease, could not have accomplished a more powerful revolution. His little Essays, from his throne, of a thousand kinds, were master-pieces of eloquence, taste, and feeling. He corrected, with grace and with good humour, every thing vicious in the mode of reading, or construing. When he read our compositions, he made them his own, by the charm of his accent, and the just emphasis that he laid.
When he gave out a subject for prose or verse, to hear him was a feast. With his unbounded versatility of playful humour, he was feared as much as he was loved. He had some rebellions to encounter ; but was a perfect statesman in his address; never departing an atom from the dignity of his courage. Indeed spirit and command were powerful traits of his character, and they never de. serted him.
“He had not long been Master, before the numbers increased from 300, the usual average before his time, to 500 boys. What he improved in us the most, was taste of composition, of reading, and of speaking well.
“ In the sixth, which is the highest form, he assembled us before him, at stated periods, to read with us Greek Plays. I say to read with us; for our object, of course, being only to escape from correction for ignorance of the idiom and sense, he enlightened us by invaluable dissertations on the peculiar beauties of the sentiment.
“Here, as in every thing else which the purpose of the moment required, he was more than par negotio; and, by judicious preparation, made it appear, that he was deep, not only in the Poets, but in all their Critics.
Apropos to his paraphrase of the subjects for our composition, I shall never be able to forget a change in his manner, which overwhelmed us with tears.
“ We had lost one of our sehool-fellows, an only son, the heir to an opulent estate, a youth, admired and beloved, at the age of 13 or 14-he was drowned. Barnard, just after this event, eame to us in school. He was in tears for half an hour; heard us construe without listening; broke off abruptly, and was going to part with us, when, recollecting that he was to give a subject with a forcible action, the impulse of the moment, which Garriek never surpassed, he said, as if looking at the watery bier,
" His saltem accumulem donis ;" burst from us, and said no more. It made us understand, that our subject was a Monody on this Youth.