Page images
PDF
EPUB

Maidens then were innocent,
Blushing at a compliment,

Or a gaze.

But a blush a vanish'd grace is,
For young ladies paint their faces

Now-a-days.

Black their eyelids, till they stare ;
Wash with soda, till their hair

Looks like maize. 'Tis the fashion to be blonde, A la mode du demi-monde

Now-a-days.

Wealth had not a golden key
To unlock society.

Money sways
High and low; and cotton-spinners
Welcome nobles to their dinners

Now-a-days.

Rank so friendly now with trade is,
Bill discounters, titled ladies

Stoop to raise.
Manners used to make the man,
It is only money can

Now-a-days.

Have I not now proved my case
That the world grows worse apace ?

Who gainsays ? If you doubt me, perhaps you are Innocent—most singular

Now-a-days.
J. JEMMETT-BROWNĒ.

NOTES.

PAGES 1-2. THE Owls' SONG. From “The Ladies in Parliament,” where it forms part of a “Chorus of Owls.” Two verses, one at the beginning and one at the end, are omitted by permission of the author. “ An anecdote worthy of Hayward :" see “ Essays, Biographical and Critical,” by A. Hayward, Q.C.

2-5. THE CONTRAST. From “Lyra Urbanica." Morris's fame seems likely to rest upon this lyric. None of his other compositions can at all compare with it.

5-7. EPISTLE TO Miss Blount. The Miss Blount here referred to is Teresa, and not Martha. The coronation is that of George I. The whole epistle is referred to by M. Taine as exemplifying "the realistic element which, according to his theory, was no more absent from Pope than from any of the contemporary English poets.”

Żephalinda :" the assumed name of Teresa Blount, under which she corresponded for many years with James Moore Smythe. “Whisk:” at that time the vulgar pronunciation of the word “whist.” And loves you best of all things—but his horse : ” this reminds us of a line in Mr. Tennyson's “Locksley Hall,”—

“Something better than his dog, a little dearer than his horse." “ Parthenia :” a contraction of Parthenissa, the nom-deplume assumed by Martha Blount in the correspondence with Moore Smythe.

7-8. ON A YOUNG LADY'S GOING TO Town. "Augusta :" London.

9-10. DAMON AND CUPID. “Bellendens or Lepels :" famous beauties of the time of George II. Miss Lepel was afterwards Lady Hervey. See page 15.

11-13. SOLILOQUY OF A BEAUTY. “At each distingüished birth-night ball :" See pp. 96-100.

" Al

[ocr errors]

13-14. PICCADILLY. This poem, like all the others by Mr. Locker in this volume, is taken from “ London Lyrics” (latest edition, 1876.) “Old Q.:" the Marquis of Queensberry,--a well-known man of fashion in the eighteenth century:

14-16. St. James's STREET. “ Saccharissa sigh'd :" Saccharissa was the name under which the poet Waller celebrated his lady-love, Lady Dorothea Sidney. vanley was witty : for many of Alvanley's bon mots, see Moore's “ Diary” and Gronow's “Recollections."

Young Churchill :" Charles Churchill, the satirist. “White's” and Crock's : two noted gaming clubs. “Miss Gunning :" one of the celebrated sisters of whom Sir C. H. Williams wrote that

Nature, indeed, denied them sense,
But gave them legs and impudence

That beat all understanding." " Charlie Fox :” the statesman. Selwyn's ghastly funning : ” George Selwyn, the wit and man about town, had a morbid love of horrors; one of his favourite amusements was attendance at an execution. “Rolliad Squibs : the “Rolliad,” a series of political satires, appeared in 1784. “Gilray's fiercer sketches : ” Gilray's caricatures were at one time quite the rage. “Lepel Aits past me : an allusion to the celebrated beauty (see page 9). “Con. greve's airs astound me : Congreve the poet and dramatist affected to be prouder of his social connections than of his literary works, and excited on this account the disgust of Voltaire. “Boodle's : ” a once famous club.

17-18. To Q. H. F. From “Vignettes in Rhyme.” This poem abounds in Horatian allusions, for which the reader must consult the Odes passim.

20-22. ROTTEN Row. This, like all the other pieces by Mr. Leigh in this volume, is from “ Carols of Cockayne.'

22-24. ZOOLOGICAL MEMORIES. Like all the other pieces by Mr. Ashby Sterry in this volume, this poem is from “ Boudoir Ballads."

27-28. VALENTINE. Thy great kinsman : Pitt.

28-29. TO A CERTAIN LADY AT Court. The “ tain lady” was Mrs. Howard, afterwards Countess of Suffolk, and mistress of George II. See Lord Peterborough's “Song by a Person of Quality,” addressed to the same lady.

30-31, WRITTEN AT TUNBRIDGE WELLS, "As

cer

[ocr errors]

ancient fame of Ida sings :" the allusion is to the choice which Paris had to make between the three goddesses at Mount Ida. Vide Mr. Tennyson's “Enone” (“O mother Ida, hearken ere I die !"). Miss Temple is here likened to Venus.

31-32. ON THE DUCHESS OF RICHMOND. "At Pulteney's she came :” Pulteney, Earl of Bath-the minister assailed by Sir C. H. Williams in many a pungent diatribe.

32-33. To MRS. CREWE. A lady of fashion of Fox's time.

35-36. ADVICE TO A LADY IN AUTUMN. Note the fanciful description of the evening dew

Those tears of the sky for the loss of the sun." 41-42.

" PHYLLIDA THAT LOVED TO DREAM." "Ombre :” a fashionable game of the period. 42-43. ON A WOMAN OF FASHION.

“ Sure never were seen two such sweet little ponies : this and the next three lines are quoted as his own by Sir Benjamin Backbite in the “School for Scandal.”

وو

44-45. THE Jilt. From “Horace in London ;” founded on Ode i. 5, Quis multa gracilis,” etc.

45-47. Dixit, ET IN MENSAM. From “ Wit and Humour,” a selection from Shirley Brooks's contributions to “Punch."

47. AN EPITAPH. This owes its origin to the vivacious request of a young lady, who, playfully warned at a ball that if she went home before being thoroughly warmed by a dance she would infallibly die, begged that somebody would write her epitaph. This Mr. Cayley did, and the young lady who inspired him afterwards married an Earl, and became a woman of fashion, with vivacious daughters of her own.

47-49. MADAME LA MARQUISE. From Robert, Lord Lytton's collected Poems. 49-52. Avice. From “ Vignettes in Rhyme " (1873).

52-56. BEAUTY CLARE. From “The Romance of the Scarlet Leaf, and other Poems” (1865).

56-57. A MUSICAL Box. From “ Graffiti d'Italia " (1869).

57-59. EPISTLE FROM LORD BORINGDON. Lords Granville and Boringdon (afterwards Earl of Morley) were old friends of Canning's. “Blenheim's hospitable lord : ” the Duke of Marlborough. “The fair Eliza : " his daughter Elizabeth. “Spencer's sister :” Lady Elizabeth was sister

« PreviousContinue »