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For THE YEAR 1825.
Bedfordshire.—S. B. Edwards, of Arlsey, Esq. Berkshire.—E. F. Maitland, of Shinfield, Esq. Buckinghamshire.—J. Dupre, of Wilton-park, Esq. Cambridgeshireandhuntingdonshire.—Sir C. E. Nightingale, of Kneesworth, Bart. Cheshire.—J.S. Daintry, of Sutton, Esq. Cumberland.—M. Atkinson, of Stain-Gills, Esq. Cornwall.—W. Baron, of Tregear, Esq. Derbyshire.—SirC. A. Hastings, of Willesley-hall, Bart. Devonshire. — G. Strode, Newnham-park, Esq. Dorsetshire.—C. Spurrier, of Upton, Esq. Esser.—P. Du Cane, of Braxted-lodge, Esq. Gloucestershire.-Sir J. Musgrave, of Barnsley-park, Bart. Herefordshire.—T. A. Knight, of Downton-castle, Esq. Hertfordshire.—T. N. Kemble, of Gubbin-park, Esq. Kent.—W. G. D. Tyssen, of Foley-house, Esq. Lancaster.—J. Hargreaves, of Ormerod-house, Esq. " ... Leicestershire.-C. M. Phillips, of Garenden, Esq. o Lincolnshire.—Sir J. Trollope, of Carwick, Bart. ! Monmouthshire.—J. Proctor, Chepstow, Esq. Norfolk.-J. Harvey,of Thorpelodge, Esq. Northamptonshire.—Sir R. H. Gunning, of Horton, Bart. Northumberland.—A. Gregson, of Bowsden, Esq. Nottinghamshire.—G. Gregory, of Rempstone, Esq. Oxfordshire.—Sir F. Desanges, of Aston-Rowant, Knight.
RETROSPECT AND SELECTIONS
LITERATURE, ARTS AND SCIENCES,
BIOGRAPHICAL ANECDOTES AND CHARACTERS.
1.—Memoirs of the Life of the Right Hon. Richard Brinsley Sheridan. By Thomas Moore. From his birth in Dublin, in 1751, to his death in London, in 1816, Mr. Moore has traced the eventful career of the extraordinary person whose memoirs he has here given to the world—as a literary debutant, as an adventurous lover, as a married man, as a dramatic writer, as a politician—and, as a private and public character. Mentioning Mr. Sheridan's first attempts at periodical writing, we find that, in conjunction with his early friend Mr. Halhed, he meditated a weekly miscellany, but never proceeded beyond No. I, upon which Mr. M. remarks— “‘ It is a characteristic of fools, says some one, “to be always beginning,'—and this is not the only point in which folly and genius resemble each other. So chillingly indeed do the difficulties of exe
cution succeed to the first ardour of conception, that it is only wonderful there should exist so many finished monuments of genius, or that men of fancy should not oftener have contented themselves with those first, vague sketches, in the production of which the chief luxury of intellectual creation lies. Among the many literary works, shadowed out by Sheridan at this time, were a collection of Occasional Poems, and a volume of Crazy Tales, to the former of which Halhed suggests that ‘ the old things they did at Harrow out of Theocritus,’ might, with a little pruning, form a useful contribution. The loss of the volume of Crazy Tales is little to be regretted, as from its title we may conclude it was written in imitation of the clever, but licentious productions of John Hall Stephenson. If the same kind of oblivion had closed over the levities of other young authors, who, in the season of folly and the pas
A 2 sions,
sions, have made their pages the transcript of their lives, it would have been equally fortunate for themselves and the world.” He says of Miss Linley—“Her personal charms, the exquisiteness of her musical talents, and the full light of publicity which her profession threw upon both, naturally attracted round her a crowd of admirers, to whom the sympathy of a common pursuit soon kindled into rivalry, till she became at length an object of vanity as well as of love. Her extreme youth, too, for she was little more than sixteen when Sheridan first met her, must have removed, even from the minds of the most fastidious and delicate, that repugnance they might justly have felt to her profession, if she had lived much longer under its tarnishing influence, or lost, by frequent exhibitions before the public, that fine gloss of feminine modesty, for whose absence not all the talents and accomplishments of the whole sex can atone. “She had been, even at this early age, on the point of marriage with Mr. Long, an old gentleman of considerable fortune in Wiltshire, who proved the reality of his attachment to her in a way which few young lovers would be romantic enough to imitate. On her secretly representing to him that she never could be happy as his wife, he generously took upon himself the whole blame of breaking off the alliance, and even indemnified the father, who was proceeding to bring the transaction into court, by settling 3000l. upon his daughter. Mr. Sheridan, who owed to this liberal conduct not only the possession of the woman
he loved, but the means of supporting her during the first years of their marriage, spoke invariably of Mr. Long, who lived to a very advanced age, with all the kindness and respect which such a disinterested character merited.” Mr. Sheridan's elopement with the fair maid of Bath, and his two duels with Captain Mathews on her account, are too well known to authorize repetition here; but “A curious instance of the indolence and procrastinating habits of Sheridan used to be related by Woodfall, as having occurred about this time. A statement of his conduct in the duels having appeared in one of the Bath papers, so false and calumnious as to require an immediate answer, he called upon Woodfall to request that his paper might be the medium of it. But wishing, as he said, that the public should have the whole matter fairly before them, he thought it right that the offensive statement should first be inserted, and in a day or two after be followed by his answer, which would thus come with more relevancy and effect. In compliance with his wish, Woodfall lost not a moment in transcribing the calumnious article into his columns—not doubting, of course, that the refutation of it would be furnished with still greater eagerness. Day after day, however, elapsed, and notwithstanding frequent applications on the one side, and promises on the other, not a line of the answer was ever sent by Sheridan,—who having expended all his activity in assisting the circulation of the poison, had not industry enough left to supply the antidote. Throughout his whole life, indeed, he but too consistently