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acquaintances, escape his sarcastic atten- | in what direction the public taste lay, the tions. “The Exhibition: A Personal Sat- lad now began seriously to exercise his ire,” is a still more daring production--not, satirical powers upon public characters, however, that there is any reason to ima- not hesitating to attack the foremost pergine that its author intended it for publi- sonages in the realm. In a fragmentary cation. The argument of the poem is the poem of this period of his career, which, supposed arraignment of a Bristol surgeon owing to the almost insuperable difficulbefore his professional brethren for a mis- ties of deciphering its hasty calligraphy, demeanor. The subject of the piece has still remains in manuscript, Chatterton been of a nature to deter Chatterton's evidently refers to the chief contempoeditors from including it in his works, rary politicians, Fox, for instance, being and all that has appeared of its four designated Reynardo, and other wellhundred and forty lines are the fourteen known characters introduced by more or quoted by Dr. Wilson in his Life of Chat- less recognizable noms de guerre. In the terton. Although the piece can not be following extracts from this unpublished cited in extenso, and is of unequal merit, poem, which is a dialogue between Thyrsis some lines may be given as a specimen of and Hobbinol, the words given in brackwhat the work is like. The invocation ets are conjectural: begins: “With honest indignation nobly fill,
What if a Bard to swell his (sbrunken) purse My energetic, my revengeful, Quill;
Shall seem to weep in Want-dictated verse, Let me in strains which Heaven itself indites
And dress the idol of their crazy brain Display the Rascals....
In all the virtues of a (Gracchie] strain; Flying on silken wings of dusky gray,
Lament the fallen Minister of StateThe cooling evening closed a sultry day; As though a Rogue is good because he's great! The cit walked out to Avon's dusty vale
So Puria, when she hears a four hours' toll, To take a smack at Politics and ale,
Lamenting cries, “'Tis for some happy soul!" Whilst rocked in clumsy coach about the town, But when the sexton scarcely tolls the bell, The prudent Mayor jogged his dinner down.” Mutters, unmoved, “Some soul is gone to liell!"
Richard Smith, a surgeon, and a brotherin-law of Catcott, is introduced as arraign- Uncourtly Shepherd, notions such as [thine] ing the culprit:
Won't introduce you with my lord to dine.
Don't ask me why I weep the Heroes' fate? “Smith was deputed, in his accents great, I weep like Puria only for the great. Her ladyship’s ambassador of state,
Hobbinol, thy stories are not known to allTo bring the culprit to the bar....
But now the chilly dew begins to fall; Still silence reigns—when prating Smith begins Let's fold our sheep, and bid adieu to woe.... To lay down all his catalogues of sins."
So had not Reynardo stept in to save
His sinking country from the threatening wave The surgeons are then called to account of France and Papal Power, with dreadful roar by Chatterton as
This stream had drenched all Albion's land with
gore; "Ye children of Corruption, who are fed
And when he had performed this mighty job, On the good fortune of a broken head;. ...
Damned with a pension, hooted by the mob.... Who live luxuriant on a rotten shin,
Balarto always at his Levee came, And, like the devil's kingdom, thrive by Sin."
A Caledonian great in birth and fame, The piece, ending with Smith's invectives, Well versed in every kind of courtiers' Laws; concludes:
Could twirl his lordship's wig, or twist a cause;
With Rusticus he was a stupid log; “He ended, and, as usual in his way,
With Servilus a flattering, fawning dog; Could in his long oration nothing say;
As pliant wax will any shape retain, Empty and without meaning, be displayed So he conformed to all in hopes of (gain); His sire's loquacity....
Like my lord duke he on Newmarket bets, All the rough gang to mercy were inclined, And like his lordship never pays his debts; For now the clock struck three—and none had can lie like Johnson, and with Dodsley pray, dined."
And be a stupid fool with Master Day. As an unpublished poem by Chatterton Another of Chatterton's satirical pieces, the Exhibition" is deserving of notice, which has escaped the notice of his edbut it would be unjust to regard it in any itors, is entitled “The Hag"; it begins way as a fair sample of its author's gen- thus: ius. It was written in great haste, left
“Morals, as critics must allow, uncorrected, and, like most of his satirical
Are almost out of fashion now; pieces on local personages, was not intend- And if we credit Dodsley's word, ed for publication. Finding out, however, All Applications are absurd.
What has the author to be vain in
acceptance and publication, although not Who knows his fable wants explaining;
paid for, whilst his position at Lambert's And substitutes a second scene, To publish what the first would mean?
grew more irksome daily. Unable to obBesides, it saucily reflects
tain his discharge from his master in a l'pon the readers' intellects,
legitimate way, he hit upon a desperate When, armed in metaphors and dashes, attempt to procure it by other means. He The bard some noble villain lashes; 'Tis a direct affront, no doubt,
left upon his desk-probably with the inTo think he can not find it out."
tention of letting Lambert see it-a docu
ment purporting to be “The last Will and The poet then proceeds at length to cou- Testament of me, Thomas Chatterton," ple in praise or blame the names of various and announcing his own death for the folBristolian nonentities with those of the lowing day. The document was a jumble best-known personages of the realm, evi- of jest and earnest, satire and pathos, more dently impressed with the boyish belief like the production of a madman than of that the citizens of his native place were a sane person; it may have been designas well known to the rest of the nation as ed to terrify Mr. Lambert, although it is they were to him. Although with youth within the bounds of probability that it ful forwardness the young bard ventured was only the effusion of some idle moin some of these satires to introduce topics ment, intended for no eye but its author's. of a tabooed nature, there does not appear Whatever “The last Will and Testament" the slightest basis or probability for the may have been designed for, it had the suggestion that he was then, or at any desired effect of procuring Chatterton's period of his short career, leading a dissi- dismission from his employer, who was pated life. His companion, Thistlethwaite, apparently only too glad to be rid of his alluding to some objectionable passages in eccentric pupil, and agreed to give him Chatterton's writings, sensibly remarks: his discharge. The lad now gayly pre“I believe them to have originated rather pared to leave Bristol for the metropolis. from a warmth of imagination, aided by According to Barrett's account, most of a vain affectation of singularity, than his friends subscribed a guinea each to from any natural depravity, or from a equip him for the journey ; but as the heart vitiated by evil example. The op- number of his acquaintances able and portunities a long acquaintance with him willing to furnish a guinea toward his afforded me justify me in saying that while outfit must have been very limited, the he lived in Bristol he was not the debauch- probability is that, after all the requisites ed character represented. Temperate in for his journey had been provided, very his living, moderate in his pleasures, and little of the sum collected remained for regular in his exercises, he was undeserv- use in London, where he arrived late in ing of the aspersion.” The lad's temper- April, 1770. His means were too slender ate habits are fully testified to by all who to admit of any selection of locality, so he had any intimate acquaintance with him, at once took up his abode at the house of and he himself, writing to the surgeon, a plasterer, where his relative Mrs. BalBarrett, at a most critical moment, and lance was lodging. Even here he could with all evident sincerity, says, “I keep not afford a room to himself, but had to no worse company than myself; I never share the bed of the plasterer's son, a drink to excess, and have, without vanity, young man of three or four and twenty. too much sense to be attached to the mer- But he was now master of his own time, cenary retailers of iniquity.” Rarely if and therefore so far free. His letters ever had the poor boy the means, had he home to his mother and sister give a very had the will, to play the voluptuary, but good, although somewhat too roseate, idea in truth he carried his ideas of abstinence of how he lived and labored in London, to a hurtful extent, contenting himself and they are corroborated and pieced out with bread and water, and when he had by the details collected by Croft for his something important to do often forego- Love and Madness. The poor boy suping these, saying that he “had work on pressed all the sadder details, and tried to hand, and must not make himself more buoy up the hearts of his dear ones at stupid than God had made him.”
home with visionary forecasts of coming But the most important event in Chat- wealth and fame. When he received terton's life now impended. His contri- money he expended the chief portion of butions to the London press began to find it in order to send presents to his rela
1 2 3
tives at Bristol, the whilst he lived on him on the subject of the Remonstrance bread and water, and sat up working all and its reception. His lordship received through the night.
me as politely as a citizen could, and As soon as Chatterton arrived in Lon- warmly invited me to call on him again. don he called upon the editors and pub- The rest is a secret." And a secret "the lishers who had advised him to come to rest” will doubtless remain until the end of the metropolis, and, judging by his letters time, for on the 21st of June Beckford home, they all gave him great encourage- suddenly died, and the letter which Chatment in his idea of becoming a profession- terton addressed to him on the royal real littérateur. They continued to publish jection of the Remonstrance, and which his lucubrations ; but that these cormo- was already in type, was returned to him. rants basely robbed the inexperienced lad All the poor lad's hopes were demolished. can be seen from the following list of his “He was perfectly frantic,” remarked his receipts, found in his pocket-book after relative Mrs. Ballance, “and said he was his death:
ruined.” Once more his prospect of ob
£ 8. d. taining protection and patronage from Received to May 23 of Mr. Hamilton for
a modern Canynge was overthrown. But Midillésex Journal
1 11 6
the elasticity of youth was not quite crushof B. of Fell, for “ The Consuliad"
ed, and Chatterton speedily recovered his of Mr. Hamilton, for “Candidus" wonted energy. Indeed, if the very susand Foreign Journal..
20 pectable testimony of Walpole may be of Mr. Fell
credited, he so far contrived to improve the Middlesex Journal
86 of Mr. Hamilton, for 16 songs.
occasion as to indorse upon his returned 4 15 9
manuscript: Ten shillings and sixpence for a poem North Briton, 21st of June, on account of the Lord
Accepted by Bingley, set for, and thrown out of the of nearly three hundred lines, and a sim- Mayor's death. ilar sum for sixteen songs, or something
d. under eightpence each! Never since poet
Lost by his death on this essay
£ S. d. coined his brain for profit did genius meet
Gained in elegies ..
2 0 with so sad a recompense. And yet, whilst
0 55 the unfortunate boy was starving on these
Am glad he is dead by
3 13 miserable earnings, the same carefully kept record shows that, “poor as he was, There is little reason to believe that the he could still give to some more wretched poor lad either earned so much money by than himself."
his prospective patron's death, or that he Chatterton found on his arrival in the had so easily acquired the cynical tone of metropolis that political writing was that the Strawberry Hill man of the world. At most in request; accordingly, with his any rate, his projects were once more deusual adaptability, he began to compete molished, and again he had to devise new in popularity with Junius in prose and schemes for the future. Owing to the reChurchill in verse. At first the prospect pressive measures which the ministry now was not altogether visionary. On the 30th resorted to work in behalf of the political of May he wrote home full of confidence party Chatterton had aided with his pen in the future. Referring to the celebrated was too dangerous for the publishers to “Remonstrance" proffered to the King by undertake, and in order to gain a subsistLord Mayor Beckford, and the patriotic ence he had to turn to any kind of hackreply the King's ungracious refusal to re-work his employers chose to suggest to ceive the “Remonstrance” called forth him; to have followed his own feelings or from Beckford, Chatterton said: “You aspirations in literature meant starvation. have doubtless heard of the Lord Mayor's At this critical moment, not improbably to remonstrating and addressing the King; conceal his real circumstances from his but it will be a piece of news to inform London acquaintances, he removed from you that I have been with the Lord Mayor his Shoreditch lodging to Brook Street, on the occasion. Having addressed an Holborn, where, for the first time in his essay to his lordship, it was very well re- life, the unfortunate youth had the gratificeived-perhaps better than it deserved-cation of having a room-such as it was, and I waited on his lordship to have his to himself. It is curious to notice that at approbation to address a second letter to the time of this change of residence anoth
er, and the last known, production of
dead! Haste to thy church-yard home, accursed
man! Haste to thy shroud, thy only sleeping bed ! Cold as the clay which will lie on thy head
Are Charity and Love among high elves; For knights and barons live for pleasure and
themselves." One final gleam of hope broke in upon his sad life. He evidently inherited his father's talent for music, and was now enabled to turn it to some account. As early as August,
CHATTERTON'S HOUSE, BROOK STREET, HOLBORN, LONDON. 1769, he had commenced Amphitryon, a musical drama, and had already written some scenes of it, and now, of money he ever received for any single through a chance acquaintance apparent work, and with it he purchased and sent ly, he had an opportunity of disposing of to Bristol various souvenirs for his relait. He set to work, and with his usual tives. Whether he ever obtained any rapidity speedily completed the long-since further payments from other sources is commenced drama, rechristening it Re- problematical, but certain it is that he soon venge: a Burletta. The poem as it now after became so impoverished that in orstands is a most spirited and harmonious der to sustain life he prepared to forego production, deserving to rank second only all his boyish hopes and literary aspirato the best of the Rowley pieces. The dis- tions, and, abasing his pride, go to sea as carded Amphitryon has never been pub- surgeon's mate. He had acquired some lished, save such portions of it as were in- slight surgical knowledge in Bristol, and corporated in the burletta, but it contains the quantum required for the post he many vigorous passages worthy of preser- sought was very small in those days, alvation: for instance, a scene in Olympus though a medical certificate was needed. between two deities is thus introduced: For this he applied to Barrett, but the surJupiter. Ho! where's my valet, Hermes--can't geon is believed to have refused the necesyou hear, sir?
[Enter Mercury sary document, and thus have deprived Mercury. I came as quickly as I could, iny dear him of his last resource. According to But Madam Juno's keeping such a clatter,
the almost universally accepted belief, the Old Neptune stayed me to inquire the matter ...
unfortunate despairing youth now put an Jupiter. In the folio ledger of Fate 'tis set down. end to his own existence, on the 24th Au
Mercury. It may be so, sir, but the writing's your gust, 1770, by poison. For a century no You took care that no woes should to you apper- that Chatterton committed suicide, and
one appears to have doubted the assertion tainEngrossed all the Pleasure-gave others the Pain.
yet some of his contemporaries appear to For the Revenge Chatterton was paid first edition of the Rowley poems, pub
have been skeptical on the point. In the five guineas, * undoubtedly the largest sum
lished in 1777, the manner of Chatterton's Some years after Chatterton's death the manu
death was said not to be certainly known, script was sold for £150.
and it is a strange circumstance that the
horrible and disgusting ceremonies inflict- | burial-ground of Shoe Lane work-house, ed upon the bodies of suicides do not ap- but of late years evidence has been educed pear to have been practiced in his case. to console those who concern themselves It does not appear improbable that the with the post-mortem comfort of departed boy-poet died from starvation, although genius with the probability of the reat the time of his death he was owed ten mains having been quietly removed to pounds by various publishers.
Bristol, and buried within the precincts Chatterton's body was believed to have of that St. Mary Redcliffe the young bard been consigned to a pauper's grave in the loved so well.
NOTE.— It is questionable whether any authentic portrait of the boy-poet exists. The likeness commonly supposed to be his, and published as such in Dix's life of Chatterton, in 1837, is now considered to be that of another lad, contemporary with him at Bristol. A portrait called by his name is in the museum at Salford, and was shown as his at the South Kensington Loan Exhibition of 1867: It is attributed to Hogarth, who died when Chatterton was but twelve years old, and probably had nothing to do with this so-called Chatterton portrait. There is a print said to be “ from a picture belonging to his sister,” but its authenticity does not seem fully established.
A Drawing Room Commedietta.
Julie (severely). As it happens, there JULIE GRESHAM, whom you must know.
were very important things in it. BROOK SPENCER, who prided himself upon knowing [Enter Mrs. Stewart, a dignified, diher.
rect, and sensible lady of fifty. MRS. STEWART, her aunt, who had made her a study. Tom Besant, a new acquaintance, who knew her in
Mrs. Stewart. Good-evening, Mr. Spenmost thought.
Have you heard of our misfortune? I.
Julie has lost her purse. She knows SCENE.- A feminine-looking library. Portière and there was gold in it, but is not sure how curtains in olive and gold. Tall vases, blue china, much; probably a considerable sum. And and ferns in gilt baskets scattered about the room.
besides that, she had in her bag her notes A slim young woman, with irregular features, pure complexion, and a wonder of auburn hair, of the Monday lectures. I regret exceedsits on a low chair, gazing in the fire, her hands ingly that she should have lost those. We clasped on her knees. Parlor-maid enters with a have found them so stimulating, so helpcard,
ful; and we have each noted only what Julie (examining it, gives a start). appealed strongly to herself. I have Possibly he ha found it. Marie, ask Mr. written nine out every week, but Julie Spencer to come up to the library.
has been so much occupied she has post[Enter a very tall young man, evi- poned it, and now they are lost.
dently a careful study of “good Spencer. Ah! And the bag itself! I form” in dress, person, and man- can't forgive myself that I didn't find it. ner.
[To Julie.) Do you remember anything Julie (rising to meet him, and moving about it while we were out? with a certain brilliant grace quite her Julie. Certainly I do. I took out my own). Oh, I'm so glad to see you! Have little book and made a note in it while you— But no, I see that you haven't we were sitting before that large Shirlaw. found my bag
Don't you remember? Spencer. Your bag? What, that ador- Spencer. I remember the Shirlaw treable combination of plush and crushed mendously, but I'm sure I didn't see you roses which you carried yesterday? What write anything. will become of the hat-and the muff? Julie. You were looking at that girl in
Julie. The hat-and the muff--indeed! mouse - colored velvet—the one with the What will become of me? I've lost some- white eyelashes. thing utterly priceless! I assure you I Spencer. And after that? am just in despair.
Julie. I don't remember anything more, Spencer. Was there anything in it ? but I dare say I lost it in Twenty-third
Julie. How can you be so exasperating? Street. You know the wind was blowing What do you suppose it was for ?
so one could scarcely stand. Spencer. How should I know?
Mrs. Stewart. Very likely it was taken