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in the pages of Friendship's Offerings, and the like, were rigorously printed, and poor Praed's handfuls of corn were ruthlessly smothered under his bushels of chaff. One merit was claimed for the book—that of being complete, That merit, unfortunately, did not belong to it, as, for some unexplained reason, the political poems, which are numerous and witty, were altogether excluded. This book, in two volumes, was published in 1864. In 1866 Sir George Young, Praed's nephew, edited a small volume of selections, which was compiled with taste and judgment, as far as it went; but the book was as meagre and insufficient as its predecessor had been bulky and redundant. Both these books have long been out of print and unattainable, and in offering what claims to be a fairly representative selection of the best work of the poet, of whom the most finished literary artist of our day, Mr. Frederick Locker, remarks, that “in his peculiar vein he has never been equalled, and, it may safely be affirmed, can never be excelled," it is believed that the present volume of “The Canterbury Poets" will supply a sensiblyfelt want in modern English poetic literature.

Winthrop Mackworth Praed was the third and youngest son of William Mackworth Praed, serjeant-at-law, who was the first chairman of the Audit Board, a post which he filled for many years.


Ile was born on the 26th July 1802, at 35 John Street, Bedford Row, his father's London residence, although Bitton House, at Teignmouth, the country seat of the family, was always regarded as his paternal home. The original surname of the family was Mackworth, the additional name of Praed having been assumed some generations earlier. Praed's mother was a Miss Winthrop, a member of a family descended from the same stock as the American Winthrops. He had the misfortune to lose her while he was yet very young, but her place was, so far as a mother's place can be filled, worthily taken by an elder sister, to whom he was all his life sincerely attached, and who seems to have been the inspiring genius of his earliest poetical efforts. Young Praed was always, it appears, a constitutionally delicate lad, with a stronge taste for studious pursuits, and small inclination, comparatively, for the rougher pleasures of a schoolboy,-although he was not altogether without mark in the cricket-field and on the river. The fancy for verse-writing developed itself in him at a very early age, and Mr. Derwent Coleridge has preserved from oblivion several of his precocious efforts. There is nothing particularly remarkable in these early verses, beyond those of other juvenile poets, so far at least as the thought is concerned : the best of them is, perhaps, a letter addressed to






his elder sister Susan, “The Forget-me-not,” in which Praed's fine sense of form is conspicuously evidenced. This was, no doubt, to a great extent instinctive, but his singularly finished style owed a great deal to his father's severe criticism, Serjeant Praed being a man of sound literary taste, and a great stickler for form.

In 1814 young Winthrop went to Eton, where his poetical proclivities were yet further encouraged by his tutor, Dr. Hawtrey. Two Eton periodicals, The College Magazine and Horæ Otiose, were conducted by some of the boys in the year 1819, and circulated in MS. It does not appear that Praed contributed to either of these, but when they were dropped in 1820, he brought out a MS. journal of his own, the Apis Matina, of which six numbers were published in the months of April, May, June, and July. About half the contents of these papers were written by Praed himself, the other contributors being the Honourable Francis Curzon and Walter Trower, afterwards Bishop of Gibraltar. About this time Charles Knight printed at Windsor a selection of the poetry of the College Magazine, and Praed and some other ambitious spirits set on foot a project for a regularly published College Magazine, Knight agreed to undertake the printing, subject to certain guarantees, which were obtained, and in

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October 1820 appeared the first number of the Etonian, perhaps the most remarkable schoolboy magazine ever produced. Praed and Walter Blunt were joint editors, the bulk of the contents of the Magazine being supplied by the former. His literary fecundity at this time was, considering his age, remarkable. The contributions to the Magazine were supposed to be supplied by the members of an association called “The King of Clubs.” They were known by noms de plume, Praed's being that of Peregrine Courtenay, the President of the Club. There was a prose introduction to each number, describing the proceedings of the Club, the whole of which was in every case written by Praed. During the ten months' existence of the Magazine he also contributed to it the following poems, all of some length :-“The Eve of Battle," “ Changing Quarters,” “The County Ball," " Gog," “Surly Hall,” “ Reminiscences of my Youth," " To Julia," "To Julio," "To Florence,” “The Bachelor," “How to Rhyme for Love,” etc., as well as several smaller poems. The staff of the Etonian otherwise comprised a good array of names. Among them were the Honourable William Ashley, Edmond Beales, William Chrichton, Honourable Francis Curzon, R. Durnford, William Henry Ord, Thomas Powys Outram, Walter Trower—all boys then at Eton. One Oxonian-Henry Neech-con


tributed, and five Cantabs-Henry Nelson Coleridge, John Moultrie, John Louis Petit, William Sydney Walker, and another. Among the anonymous contributors were R. Streatfield and J. A. Kinglake.

The Etonian appeared regularly every month until July 1821, when it was discontinued in consequence of the editor and principal contributor going up to Cambridge. In Charles Knight's “Passages of a Working Life” there occur, about this date, many references to his first connection with Praed and his friends in the conduct of the Etonian. He says :—“The character of Peregrine Courtenay, given in an Account of the proceedings which led to the publication of the Etonian,' furnishes no satisfactory idea of the youthful Winthrop Mackworth Praed, when he is described as one possessed of sound good sense rather than of brilliancy of genius. His 'general acquirements and universal information are fitly recorded, as well as his acquaintance with the world at large.' But the kindness that lurks under sarcasm ; the wisdom that wears the mask of fun; the half melancholy that is veiled by levity—these qualities very soon struck me as far out of the ordinary indications of precocious talent. It is not easy to separate my recollections of the Praed of Eton from those of the Praed of Cambridge. The Etonian of 1820 was natural and unaffected in his

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