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A MORNING AMONG AUTOGRAPHS.
BEFORE citing any further extracts the conclusion that Mr. Old, in exercisfrom Mr. Old's collection, a few more ing his judgment, had been very much words may be fitly bestowed upon it as influenced by the character, so to say, & whole. The autographs, then, set of the letter or document that he acapart in groups, illustrated by extremely quired. Light is thrown, in some cases, choice portraits, and chronologically upon doubtful points in history; in arranged, number about one thousand others, upon the motives that have Two or three hundred besides—that influenced men of mark in their doings may be termed miscellaneous, though at critical moments, or on occasions that possessing in some instances a rare in- have been variously interpreted by comterest-await the acquisition of the mentators. This will be shown, I canrequisite engravings, and have not yet not but think, in a few more citations; fallen into their places. The collection, and to these I hasten back for the readproperly so called, is contained in er's entertainment, seeing that generalitwelve large portfolios. Eight of these ties soon tend to be wearisome. A bill are devoted to the British series; two of fare is no criterion of the excellence to the French, from the period of Louis of a restaurant. You may be struck XI. to that of Louis XVIII. ; one to the with the brilliant air of an evening German, between the reigns of Maxi- assembly; but how soon does the eye milian I. and Joseph II. inclusive; and settle down upon individual attraction! one to the Italian and Spanish, the lat- You care not to speculate on the height ter of which commences with Charles or breadth of the saloons; you wonder V. and comes down only to the era of rather, or inquiré, who may be the tall Ferdinand VI. This covers, however, blonde promenading round the roomthe Spanish occupation of the Low who the handsome little woman seated Countries, and offers therefore a rich apart in a corner, with lily complexion field for gleaning. The British series, and expressive features, with classic filling, as I have said, eight portfolios, is head faultlessly posed on faultless shoulthus subdivided and grouped : five ders, wearing a perfect costume as portfolios are given up to the sove though none other would fit ber, and reigns, statesmen, military and naval carrying a wealth of ornament as though commanders, and other personages usu- gems were made for her, and not she ally designated as historical; two to for them. celebrities in Literature, Science, and But now comes in reality what the the Arts; one to priests and divines, French call the embarrassment of riches. a numerous and important class. With The intellectual treat is of so high an very few exceptions—and these general- order, that one is fairly puzzled which ly of the most remote date—the letters way to turn. In compliment, nevertheare holograph, that is to say, written less, to the scholarly tone of Putnam's entirely by the hand of the signer. One Magazine, let us turn at the outset to cannot expect, indeed, to find manu- Alexander Pope. Thus does he conscripts at length from the pen of Henry clude a letter to Dr. Oliver, dated 28th VII., or Louis XI., or Charles V.; but August, 1743, the year before his death mere signatures, as a rule, would be but his courtly faith in medical science lightly esteemed by your genuine col- not exonerating him from the common lector of autographs. Indeed, I came to lot of mortality :
Pray make my compliments to Dr. Hartley, for fear it should be thoug. dle piece of as I shall yours to Dr. Mead. I have had such
arrogance. obligations to the best of your Faculty during Not dedicated to any man of quality, for fer my whole life, that I wish all others, both my it might be thought too assuming. Friends and my Enemies, were their Patients, Not dedicated to any learned body of men, in which I show that I wish well to my as either of the Universities, or the Royal Friends, and not ill to my Enemies. That Society, for fear it might be thought an unevery Physical and moral Evil may be far common piece of vanity. from you is the Philosophical prayer of,
Not dedicated to any one particular friend,
Dear Sir, for fear of offending another. Your very obliged and very affectionate Therefore dedicated to Nobody, servant,
But if, for once, we may suppose Nobody to A, POPE. be Everybody, as Everybody is often said to
be Nobody, then is this work dedicated to Jonathan Swift's character has been
Everybody, by their most humble and devoted. extensively discussed, of late. Here is
I might have made copies of holoa strong testimonial in his favor, given in a letter from Sir William Temple to graph epistles from John Evelyn, JereSir Robert Southwell
, dated 29th March, Waller, Lady Dorothy Sunderland, 1690. It seems to have served as an introduction and recommendation of
known as Waller's “Sacharissa,” John Swift to the care and patronage of Sir Dryden, John Locke, Sir Isaac Newton,
Matthew Prior, Joseph Addison, Sir Robert:
Richard Steele, Henry Fielding, LawHee has lived in my house, read to me, writt rence Sterne, Samuel Johnson, James for me, and kept all accounts, as far as my Boswell, Oliver Goldsmith, Sir Joshua small occasions required. , Hee has Latine and
Reynolds, David Hume, Edward GibGreek, writes a very good and current hand, is very honest and diligent, and has good friends, bon, Thomas Gray, William Cowper, though they have for the present lost their William Wordsworth, or Samuel Taylor fortune in Ireland; and his whole family hav. Coleridge—I might, I say, have transing been long known to me, obliged mee thus ferred to my note-book, for use in these farr to take care of him. If you please to
pages, the whole or parts of letters penaccept him into your service, either as a Gen
ned by these notable persons, and by tleman to wait on you, or as Clerk to write under you; and either to use him so, if you
others who are naturally grouped with like his service, or upon any Establishment of them. But I bore this fact in mind, the Colledge to recommend him to a Fellow- with reference to those whom Literature ship there, which he has a just pretence to, I
has made famous : we are familiar with shall acknowledge it as a great obligation.
their style, and with an infinity of their Here is a bit from David Garrick, that thoughts. One does not, therefore, in almost rivals Edmund Kean's expres- regarding their correspondence, feel the sion: "the pit rose at me." Writing same sense of gratified curiosity, as in to his brother, George Garrick, on the being brought face to face, as it were, 12th April, 1776, he says:
with those whose actions have tended
to the making of history, but whose Last night I played Drugger for the last
spoken or written words are comparatime. The Morning Post will tell you the
Thus I conwhole of that night. I thought the audience tively unknown or scarce. were mad, and they almost turned my brain. fess to looking with profoundest inter
est at letters from Sir Philip Sidney In an age when lordly patronage was
and Sir Walter Raleigh, treasures that considered, by authors and artists, an
few private collections can boast. One essential passport to public favor, it is
from the former I quote at length, as a curious to find Hogarth thus satirizing sample of phraseology that appears the system that prevailed. What fol
quaint in these days. The seal is lows is a copy of an undated paper
broken, whereas generally in these his handwriting, headed “ The No Ded- antique missives the seal remains intact, ication :
while the silk that was secured by it Not dedicated to any Prince in Christendom, has been cut. The writing, on foolscap
paper, is in a fine clerkly hand; and to move my Lord Treasorer in my behalf, that the signature is low down on the page, by his grace my wife might agayne be made a connected with the main body by a line prisoner with me, as she bath bine for six such as one sees in account-books, when
yeeres last past. Shee being now devided from
me, and thereby, to my great impoverishing, I the entered items on either side do not
am driven to keip two howses. A miserable correspond in number. This peculiarity fate it is, and yet great to me, who, in this was common before this period, and wretched estate, can hope for no other thing was continued for very many years.
than peacible sorrow. The letter itself runs thus :
It is now, and I call the Lord of all power to
witnes, y: I have ever bine, and am resolved, To the
that it was never in the worthy hart of Sr right honorable my very good Lorde the
Robert Cecyll, (whatsoever a counceler of state Lorde Burghley-Lorde Hy Treasorer of
and a lord treasorer of Ingland must do) to England.
suffer me to fall, much less to perrish. For
whatsoever termes it hath pleased his Lordship Righte honorable my singular good Lorde to use towards mee, wch might utterly despaire Sir Nicholas Bagnoll dothe requeste my hum
any bodie else, yet I know y' he spake them ble letters to your L. for the som of to-hundred
as a counceler, sitting in councell, and in compounde out of the treasure. wch he for his
pany of such as would not otherwise have bine necessities dothe desyre to receave here and to
satisfied-But, as God liveth, I would have pay at his cominge into Irelande | I do take it
bought his presence att a farr dearer rate than that there is as muche due unto him, and be
those sharp words, and these three moneths sydes I know the creddit my father hathe in
close imprisonment; for it is in his Lordship's him, dothe stretche to a matter of greater face and countenance that I behold all y' reimportance, so that thus furr these few lynes
maynes to me of comfort, and all the hope I sball only serve, humbly to advertise your L.
have, and from Wch I shall nerer be beaten, till that I holde it for assured my father will be
I see the last of evills, and the dispaire treh very well satisfied withe it | furdre I can not
hath no healp. The blessings of God cannot proceede, but referringe it holy to your Lorde
make him cruell that was never so, nor prosships goodnes humbly leave your L. to the
peritie teach any man of so great worth to protection of the Allmightie.
delight in the endles adversitie of an enemie, Frome Leysterhouse this 8th of Februarie
much less of him who in his very soule and 15761
nature can never be such a one towards him. Your Lys moste humbly at commandement
S', the matter is of no great importance, PHILIPPE SIDNEY. (though a cruell destinie hath made it so to
me) to desire that my wife may live with me The remarkable letter that I next
in this unsavory place. If by your mediation proceed to cite, has indeed been pub- I may obtayne it, I will acknowledg it in the lished—but only in the Archæologia of
bighest degree of thankfullness, and rest reddy the Society of Antiquaries, having been
in trew fayth to be commanded by you.
W. RALEGI. read at one of their meetings while it was in possession of the Tyrr family, of Come we down to a later period in Shotover, in Oxfordshire. It was writ- English history, and to an incident that ten, probably in 1610, to Sir Walter is famous. Here is a letter from James Cope, Governor of the Tower, while Sir Stanley, Earl of Derby, to Prince RuWalter Raleigh was a prisoner therein. pert, dated 230 March, 1643, but withIt is on a foolscap sheet, much frayed out mention of place, praying the Prince and very dirty. The writing is neat. to send succor to the relief of Lathom The superscription is : “ To my very House, then beleaguered by the Parliaworthy friend Sir Walter Cope Knight." ment forces. A former attempt at aidThe following is a copy :
ing the garrison had failed; and the
Earl states that Sir Walter Cope. You are of my old acquayntance, and were my familier friend for the time for effectiug it by that means had many yecres, in weh time I hope you cannot passed, for the enemy is soe close unto the say that ever I used any unkind office towards house that it is impossible for that designe to you. But our fortunes are now changed, and take effect, which might have been some reit may be in your power greatly to bynde me viving of a distressed woman, whose only bope unto you, if the bynding of a man in my estate next the almightyes is in your highness help, be worth anything.
for double reasons, soe she hath tolde me in My desire unto you is, that you wilbe pleased her Last Letter. I praise God bless and pros
per yor highness, what ever becomes of me, en” is a puzzle. Can it have been such shall be the prayer of
hastily written for "prayen,” and can Your highness Most unfortunate humble servant
her Ladyship have thus conjugated the DERBY.
verb prendre ? The whole runs thus : The " distressed woman" in the fore
tonte arleure je viens de resivoir les maugoing extract was the heroic Charlotte
vaisse nouvelles de la perte de wigain a 6 mille de la Tremoille, Countess of Derby, who de saite plasse elle na teneu que deux heures also directly implored assistance from et a este frayen mon mary etoit a 12 mille et the same quarter. This her touching devent quil peut estre prest de la secourir ils
se sont rendeus an nom de dieu Monseiguer appeal--never published, I believe, here
prenes pitie de nous et sy vous aparessez vous tofore—is written in a large bold hand
pouves reconquerir bien aysement et avec bien on note-paper. It has been folded up de l'honneur pour vostre altesse je ne say ce in long and narrow form, to be the que je dis mes ayes pitie de mon mary mes more easily secreted on the person of its
enfens et moy qui sommes perdues pour tout
jamais sy dieu na pitie de nous et vostre bearer. The two black wax-seals are
altesse a qui je suis broken; nor are there, as is usual, any Monseigneur vestiges of the silk fastening that was tres humble et tres obeysente servente once bound by them. The copy is
X DE LA TREMOILLE.
A ladhom ce i davril 1643. exact; and the reader cannot fail to notice the curious mixture of correct For a youthful student of French it and incorrect rendering. For “wigain,” would be a pleasant exercise, to put one may read “Wigan;" and for de this letter into correct terms, and to vent," "avant;" but the word “fray- punctuate it in accordance with custom.
THE PICTURE OF CHRIST.
UNDER the gathered dust of years
His are the folios dark with age
Of women mighty in all good deeds,
These, and the like, each student still
Here followeth then, in modern phrase, Baronius' story of ancient days:
Constantia, sister of Constantine,
Her husband, Caius Licinius,
Yet was her fate of another sort :
At Nicomedia was a man
Him had Constantia questioned much