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F Mr. HAMMOND, though he be well remembered as a
man esteemed and caressed by the elegant and great, I was at first able to obtain no other memorials than such as are supplied by a book called Cibber's Lives of the Poets"; of which I take this opportunity to testify that it was not written, nor, I believe, ever seen, by either of the Cibbers, but was the work of Robert Shiels, a native of Scotland?, a man of very acute understanding, though with little scholastick education, who, not long after the publication of his work, died in London of a consumption. His life was virtuous, and his end was pious 3. Theophilus Cibber, then a prisoner for debt, imparted, as I was told, his name for
ten guineast. The manuscript of Shiels is now in my possession. 2 I have since found that Mr. Shiels, though he was no negligent
enquirer, has been misled by false accounts; for he relates that James Hammond, the author of the following Elegies, was the son of a Turkey merchant, and had some office at the prince of Wales's court, till love of a lady, whose name was Dashwood, for a time disordered his understandings. He was unextinguishably amorous, and his mistress inexorably cruel. 1 Vol. v. p. 307.
announced the book as 'by Mr. 2 For a curious account of the Cibber Jun.' In the same volume, p. citizens of Edinburgh see Cibber's 590, in the notice of Robert Shiels's Lives, v. 164.
death, it is stated that he wrote great Cibber's Lives are not free from part of the Lives.' For Johnson's gross stories.
kindness to him see Boswell's John4 "The bookseller' (said Johnson) son, i. 187, 241. gave Theophilus Cibber, who was Cibber received £21. In his receipt, then in prison, ten guineas, to allow dated Nov. 13, 1752, he undertook Mr. Cibber to be put upon the title to revise ... a work now printing in page as the author; by this a double four volumes ... that his name shall imposition was intended : in the first be made use of as the author. Cunplace, that it was the work of a Cibber ningham's
Lives of the Poets, ii. 329. at all, and, in the second place, that 5°Mrs. Pendarves (Mrs. Delany) it was the work of old Cibber.' Bos wrote to her sister on Dec. 6, 1742 :well's Johnson, iii. 29. For an at 'I send you Hammond's Elegies on tempted refutation of this see ib. 30 n. our friend; but don't name her when Colley Cibber died in 1757. On the you show them. I am sure she must title-page of vol. i 'Mr. Cibber' is be touched when she reads them." given as the author ; on the other Mrs. Delany's Auto. ii. 203. The volumes, 'Mr. Cibber and other editor says that 'Mrs. Dashwood was Hands. The Gent, Mag. 1753, p.
the intimate friend of the two ladies. 102, no doubt to expose the frauds, Croker, in the Preface to Lord
Of this narrative, part is true, and part false. He was the 3 second son of Anthony Hammond, a man of note among the wits, poets, and parliamentary orators in the beginning of this century, who was allied to Sir Robert Walpole by marrying his sister'. He was born about 1710?, and educated at Westminster-school; but it does not appear that he was of any university. He was equerry to the prince of Wales, and seems to have come very early into publick notice, and to have been distinguished by those whose friendship + prejudiced mankind at that time in favour of the man on whom it was bestowed ; for he was the companion of Cobham, Lyttelton, and Chesterfield'. He is said to have divided his life between pleasure and books; in his retirement forgetting the town, and in his gaiety losing the students. Of his literary hours all the effects are here' exhibited,
Hervey's Memoirs, p. 30, says: man of wit, but wanted conduct, and
Lady Corke, who died in 1840, at had, as Lord Chesterfield used to the age of ninety-four, told me she say,
“all the senses but common had known Kitty Dashwood very well, sense.
."' Chesterfield's Misc. Works, and that Hammond undoubtedly i. 90. He married Jane Clarges, died for love ; "the only instance of daughter of a nephew of the Duchess the kind,” she said, "that she had of Albemarle. N. & l. 2 S. xi. ever known in her long life." Kitty 493 had at first accepted, but afterwards * On May 22, 1710. Ib. rejected him on-Lady Corke thought Frederick, Prince of Wales.
- prudential reasons. She died in 4 In the first edition 'patronage 1779, bedchamber-woman to Queen and friendship.' Charlotte.' As Hammond died four 5 Johnson, speaking of Pope's years before Lady Corke was born, 'noble friends,' says he can derive all she had known was a woman for little honour from the notice of Cobwhom a man was said to have died ham.' Post, POPE, 272. To him for love. "The bricks are alive at Pope 'inscribed his Characters of this day to testify it.'
Men.' Post, POPE, 202. Horace Walpole wrote in 1761: Lyttelton was the Prince's Se'It is comical to see Kitty Dashwood, cretary. Post, LYTTELTON, 6. In 1736, the famous old beauty of the Oxford writing to Pope from Bath, he speaks shire Jacobites, living in the palace of Hammond as “the joy and dread as Duenna to the Queen. Letters, of Bath.' Pope's Works (Elwin and
Courthope), ix. 173. Hammond Walpole's brother-in-law was praises Lyttelton in Elegy xiv. Eng. neither the wit nor the father of the Poets, xxxix. 332. poet. For Horace Walpole's scorn ? For his friendship with Chesterful mention of his uncle, a Norfolk field see Chesterfield's Misc. Works, squire, see ib. i. 247. The poet's i. 90, 225; Mahon's Chesterfield, iii
. father was Anthony Hammond, of 452, v. 434; and Eng. Poeis, xxxix. Somersham Place, Huntingdonshire, 329. M.P.for Shoreham. Gent. Mag. 1787, Chesterfield's Misc. Works, i. P. 780. Dr. Maty describes him as
a good speaker in parliament, and 9 'Here': i.e. Eng. Poets, to which well known by the name of "silverJohnson contributed the Lives as tongued Hammond” given to him Prefaces. See also ‘following,' ante, by Lord Bolingbroke. He was a HAMMOND, 2.
of which the Elegies were written very early', and the Prologue
not long before his death. 4 In 1741 he was chosen into parliament for Truro in Cornwall,
probably one of those who were elected by the Prince's influence?; and died next year in June at Stowe, the famous seat of the lord Cobham". His mistress long outlived him, and in 1779 died unmarried. The character which her lover bequeathed her was
indeed not likely to attract courtship o. 5 The Elegies were published after his death?; and while the
writer's name was remembered with fondness they were read with a resolution to admire them. The recommendatory preface of the editor, who was then believed, and is now affirmed by Dr. Maty, to be the earl of Chesterfield, raised strong prejudices
in their favour 8. 6 But of the prefacer, whoever he was, it may be reasonably (suspected that he never read the poems; for he professes to value
* According to Chesterfield they * He died on June 7, 1742. Gent. were written before the author was Mag. 1742, p. 330. In Elegy xv he two-and-twenty years old.' Misc.
says: Works, ii. 394 ; Eng. Poets, xxxix. 309. 'To Stowe's delightful scenes I now
2 The Prologue to Lillo's Elmerick. repair, 1b. p. 336. Elmerick was published In Cobham's smile to lose the gloom in March, 1740. Gent. Mag. 1740, of care.' Eng. Poets, xxxix. 333. P. 152.
Pope, in Moral Essays, iv. 69, 3 According to Dr. Maty it was ends a passage on 'architecture and Chesterfield who procured Hammond gardening': a seat in parliament. Chesterfield's Nature shall join you ; Time shall Misc. Works, i. 225. Chesterfield
make it grow was one of the Prince's party. Ham A work to wonder at-perhaps a mond's brother-member was Clerk of Stowe.' the Household to the Prince. Parl. 5 On Feb. 17, 1779. Gent. Mag. Hist. xii. 196. Mr. W. P. Courtney 1779, p. 103. informs me that 'the Boscawens 6 Addressing Venus he says: ruled Truro borough from 1659 to ‘Deceived by thee, I loved a beau1832. In 1741 Lord Falmouth (the teous maid, head of the family] was in opposi Who bends on sordid gold her low tion to Walpole. It was no doubt desires : through arrangement with him that Nor worth nor passion can her the Prince of Wales in 1741 put in heart persuade, two of his sycophants.'
But Love must act what Avarice Thomson, describing Hammond as requires.' Eng. Poets, xxxix. 312.
"the darling pride, They appeared in 1743. The friend and lover of the tuneful 8 Chesterfield,' wrote Maty, 'was throng,'
greatly affected with his loss, and goes on to speak of
testified his regard by taking care of 'that eager zeal what he left behind him, his Delia To serve thy country, glowing in the and his works.' Chesterfield's Misc. band
Works, i. 226. For Chesterfield's Of YOUTHFUL PATRIOTS, who sus Preface see ib. ii. 394; Eng. Poels,
tain her name.' Winter, 1. 555.
them for a very high species of excellence, and recommends them as the genuine effusions of the mind, which expresses a real passion in the language of nature'. But the truth is these elegies have neither passion, nature, nor manners.
Where there is fiction, there is no passion; he that describes himself as a shepherd, and his Neæra’ or Delia 3 as a shepherdess, and talks of goats and lambs, feels no passion *. He that courts his mistress with Roman imagery deserves to lose her; for she may with good reason suspect his sincerity. Hammond has few sentiments drawn from nature, and few images from modern life. He produces nothing but frigid pedantry. It would be hard to find in all his productions three stanzas that deserve to be remembered
Like other lovers he threatens the lady with dying 5; and what 7 then shall follow? Wilt thou in tears thy lover's corse attend;
With eyes averted light the solemn pyre,
Then, slowly sinking, by degrees expire ?
With plaintive cries to lead the mournful band,
And cull my ashes with thy trembling hand :
And all the pride of Asia's fragrant year;
And, what is still more precious, give thy tear 6.'
'It was nature and sentiment * Ante, MILTON, 182. only that dictated to a real mistress, 5 Boileau ends some lines by asknot youthful and poetic fancy to an ing whether pour quelque Iris en imaginaryone.' Eng. Poets, xxxix. 309. l'air' he must • 'I saw Neaera, and her instant slave, "Toujours bien mangeant mourir par
Though born a Briton, hugg'd métaphore.' Sat. ix. 261.
the servile chain.' Ib. p. 311. Eng. Poets, xxxix. 324. 'Ham3 No wakeful guard, no doors to mond was a young gentleman who stop desire,
appears to have fallen in love about Thrice happy times !—But oh! the year 1740, and who translated I fondly rave.
Tibullus into English verse to let his Lead me to Delia ; all her eyes mistress and the public know of it.' inspire
HAZLITT, Lectures on the English
Ib. p. 321.
never glide in a stream of melody. Why Hammond or other writers have thought the quatrain of ten syllables elegiack it is difficult to tell. The character of the elegy is gentleness and tenuity, but this stanza has been pronounced by Dryden, whose knowledge of English metre was not inconsiderable, to be the most magnificent of all the measures which our language affords'.
* Johnson quotes this opinion of alternate rhyme, because I have Dryden (ante, DRYDEN, 24), with the ever judged them more noble and variance of majestic for magnificent. of greater dignity, both for the sound
Dryden says of Annus Mirabilis : and number, than any other verse in -'I have chosen to write my poem use amongst us.' Works, ix. 92. in quatrains, or stanzas of four in