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griefs, with such overflowing tenderness, that it was no wonder we almost worshipped him. My first recollection of him is of his carrying me up to his private room to prayers, in the summer evenings, about sunset, and rewarding my silence and attention afterwards with a view of the flower garden through his prism. Then I recal the delight it was to me to be permitted to sleep with him during a confinement of my mother's—how I longed for the morning, because then he would be sure to tell me some fairy tale of his own invention, all sparkling with gold and diamonds, magic fountains and enchanted princesses. In the eye of memory I can still see him as he was at this period of his life; his fatherly countenance, unmixed with any of the less loveable expressions that, in too many faces, obscure that character—but preeminently fatherly; conveying the ideas of kindness, intellect, and purity; his manners grave, manly, and cheerful, in unison with his high and open forehead ; his very attitudes, whether he sat absorbed in the arrangement of his minerals, shells, and insects, or as he laboured in his garden until his naturally pale complexion acquired a tinge of fresh healthy red, or as coming lightly towards us with some unexpected present, his stile of indescribable benevolence spoke exultation jthe foretaste of our raptures.
“But I think even earlier than these are my first recollections of my mother. I think the very earliest is of her combing my hair one evening, by the light of the fire, which hardly broke the long shadows of the room, and singing the plaintive air of Kitty Fell, till, though I could not be more than two or three years old, my tears dropped profusely.”
Equally charming is the writer's recollection of a journey while
boy into Suffolk with his father. This was to Parham, the house of Mrs. Crabbe's uncle Tovell, with whom she had been brought up. The picture presented of the life and establishment of a wealthy veoman is so vivid, that I must take leave to add it to the passage already quoted.
"My great-uncle's establishment was that of the first-rate yeoman of that period—the yeoman that already began to be styled by courtesy an esquire. Mr. Tovell might possess an estate of some eight hundred pounds per annum, a portion of which he himself cultivated. Educated at a mercantile school, he often said of himself, *Jack will never make a gentleman ;' yet he had a native dignity of mind and manners which might have enabled him to pass muster in that character with any but very fastidious critics. His house was large, and the surrounding moat, the rookery, the ancient dovecote, and the well-stored fishponds, were such as might have suited a geatleinan's seat of some consequence ; but one side of the house immediately overlooked a farm-yard, full of all sorts of domestic anuals, and the scene of constant bustle and noise. On entering the house there was nothing, at first sight, to remind one of the farm : a spacious hall paved with black and white marble ; at one extremity a very handsome drawing-room, and at the other a fine old staircase of black oak, polished till it was as slippery as ice, and having a chime clock and a barrel organ on its landing-places. But this drawing-room, a corresponding dining parlour, and a handsomo sleeping apartment upstairs, were all tabooed ground, and made use of on great and solemn occasions only, such as rent days, and an occasional visit with which Mr. Tovell was honoured by a neighbouring peer. At all other times the family and their visitors lived entirely in the old-fashioned kitchen, along with the servants. My great-uncle occupied an arm-chair, or, in attacks of gout, a couch on one side of a large open chimney. Mrs. Tovell sat at a small table, on which, in the evening, stood one small candle, in an iron candlestick, plying her needle by the feeble glimmer, surrounded by her maids, all busy at the same employment; but in winter a noble block of wood, sometimes the whole circumference of a pollard, threw its comfortable warmth and cheerful blaze over the apartment.
“At a very early hour in the morning the alarum called the maids and their mistress also ; and if the former were tardy, a louder alarum, and more formidable, was heard chiding the delay- not that scolding was peculiar to any occasion ; it regularly went on through all the day, like bells on harness, inspiriting the work whether it was done ill or well. After the important business of the dairy and a hasty breakfast, their respective employments were again resumed ; that which the mistress took for her especial privilege being the scrubbing the floors of the state apartments. A new servant, ignorant of her presumption, was found one morning on her knees, hard at work on the floor of one of these preserves, and was thus addressed by her mistress :- You wash such floors as these? Give me the brush this instant, and troop to the scullery, and wash that, madam!.... As true as G-d's in heaven, here comes Lord Rochford to call on Mr. Tovell. Here, take my mantle,'-a blue woollen apron, -'and I'll go to the door.'
“If the sacred apartments had not been opened, the family dined in this wise : the heads seated in the kitchen at an old table; the farm-men standing in the adjoining scullery, with the door open ; the female servants at a side table, called a bouter; with the principal at the table, perchance some travelling rat-catcher, or tinker, or farrier, or an occasional gardener in his shirt-sleeves, his face probably streaming with perspiration. My father well describes, in The Widow's Tale, my mother's situation, when living in her younger days at Parham :
" But when the men beside their station took,
The maidens with them, and with these the cook ;
“ On ordinary days, when the kitchen dinner was over, the fire replenished, the kitchen sanded and lightly swept over in waves, mistress and maids, taking off their shoes, retired to their chambers for a nap of one hour to a minute. The dogs and cats commenced their siesta by the fire. Mr. Tovell dozed in his chair; and no noise was heard, except the melancholy and monotonous cooing of a turtle-dove, varied with the shrill treble of a canary. After the hour had expired, the active part of the family were on the alert; the bottles-Mr. Tovell's tea equipage-placed on the table ; and, as if by instinct, some old acquaintance would glide in for the evening's carousal, and then another and another. If four or five arrived, the punch-bowl was taken down, and emptied and filled again. But whoever came, it was comparatively a dull evening, unless two especial knights-companions were of the party. One was a jolly old farmer, with much of the person and humour of Falstaff, a face as rosy as brandy could make it, and an eye teeming with subdued merriment, for he had that prime quality of a joker, superficial gravity. The other was a relative of the family, a wealthy yeoman, middle-aged, thin, and muscular. He was a bachelor, and famed for his indiscriminate attachment to all who bore the name of woman-young or aged, clean or dirty, a lady or a gipsy, it mattered not to him ; all were equally admired. Such was the strength of his constitution, that, though he seldom went to bed sober, he retained a clear eye and stentorian voice to his eightieth year, and coursed when he was ninety. He sometimes rendered the colloquies over the bowl peculiarly piquant ; and as soon as his voice began to be elevated, one or two of the inmatesmy father and mother, for example-withdrew with Mrs. Tovell into her own sanctum sanctorum ; but I, not being supposed capable of understanding much that might be said, was allowed to linger on the skirts of the festive circle ; and the servants, being considered much in the same point of view as the animals dozing on the hearth, remained to have the full benefit of their wit, neither producing the slightest restraint, nor feeling it themselves.”
This jolly old Mr. Tovell being carred off suddenly, Mr. Crabbe, induced by the desire to be in his own county, and amongst his own relatives, placed a curate at Muston, and went to reside at Parham in Mr. Tovell's house. It was not a happy removal. It was a desertion of his proper flock and duty in obedience to his own private inclinations, and it was not blessed : his son says, that as they were slowly quitting Muston, preceded by their furniture, a person who knew them called out in an impressive tone_“You are wrong, you are wrong!” The sound, Crabbe said, found an echo in his own conscience, and rang like a supernatural voice in his ears through the whole journey. His son believes that he sincerely repented of this step. At Parham he did not find that happiness that perhaps the dreams of his youth-for there lived Miss Elmy during their long attachment-had led him first to expect. Mrs. Elmy, his wife's mother, and Miss Tovell, the sister of the old gentleman, were the coheiresses of their brother, and resided with him. The latter seems to have been a regular old-fashioned fidget. She used to stalk
about with her tall ivory-tipped walking cane, and on any the slightest alteration made, were it but the removal of a shrub, or a picture on the walls, would say—“It was enough to make Jacky (her late brother) shake in his grave if he could see it," and would threaten to make a cadicy to her will.”
Mr. Crabbe stood it for four years—memorable instance of patience! -and then found a residence to his heart's content. This was Great Glemham hall, belonging to Mr. North, and then vacant. He took it, and continued there five years. We may imagine these five of as happy years as most of Crabbe's life. The house was large and handsome. It stood in a small but well-wooded park, occupying the mouth of a glen; and in this glen lay the mansion. The hills that were on either hand were finely hung with wood; a brook ran at the foot of one of these, and all round were woodlands, "and those green dry lanes which tempt the walker in all weathers, especially in the evenings, when in the short grass of the dry sandy banks lies, every few yards, a glow-worm, and the nightingales are pouring forth their melody in every direction.” Just at hand was the village ; and the church at which he preached at Sweffling was convenient. At Parham, he was not more popular out of doors than he was ini, because he was no jovial fellow like Mr. Tovell, and did not like much visiting. Here he was popular as a preacher, drew large congregations, and in Mr. Turner, his rector, had an enlightened and admiring friend. In such a place, too, a paradise to his boys, he was as busy in botany as ever; wrote a treatise on the subject, which, however, he was advised, to the public loss, not to publish, becaise such books had usually been published in Latin ! He therefore burnt it, as he used to do novels, which it was his great delight to write, and then make bonfires of; his boys carrying them out to him by armfuls in the garden, and glorying in the blaze as he presided over it.
He returned in 1805 to Muston, to which he was called by the bishop. At the end of five years he had been obliged to quit his beautiful retreat at Glemham. It was sold, the house pulled down, and another built in its place. For the four further years that be continued in Suffolk he lived at the village of Rendham. At Muston, the shepherd being absent, all had gone wrong; the warning voice had been fulfilled. The Methodist and the Huntingtonian had, in the absence of the pastor, set up their tabernacles, and had become successful rivals. Crabbe was not destitute of professional feelings or zeal. He preached against these interlopers, and only increased the evil. The farmers here were shy of him, for they had heard that he was a Jacobin, of all things! that is, he was no advocate for the terrible war which was raging with France, and which kept up the price of their corn. In this cold, clayey, and farming county, he con tinued nine years. Here he issued to the world his Parish Register, and his Borough ; perhaps, after all, his very best work, for it is full of such a variety of life, all drawn with the force and clearness of his prime; here also he published his Tales in verse; but here, too, he lost his wife, who had been an invalid for many years. It was there
fore become to him a sad place. His health and spirits failed him ; and it was a fortunate circumstance that at this juncture the living of Trowbridge was conferred on him by the Duke of Rutland. He removed thither in June, 1814.
From long before the time of Mr. Crabbe's removal to Trowbridge, he had been in the habit of making, during the season, occasionally a visit to London. His fame, especially after the publication of The Borough, was established. His power of painting human life and character, the bold and faithful pencil with which he did this, the true sympathies with the poor and afflicted and neglected which animated him, were all fully perceived and acknowledged ; and he found himself a welcome guest in the highest circles of both aristocracy and literature. He who had been the humble curate at Belvoir, subject to slights and insults from pompous domestics, which are difficult to complain of but are deeply felt, had, long before quitting the neighbourhood of the castle, been the honoured guest in the midst of the proudest nobles. In London, all the literary coteries were eager to have him. Holland-house, Lansdownehouse, the Duke of Rutland's, and other great houses, found him a frequent guest amid lords and ladies, dukes and duchesses; and at Holland-house, and Mr. Rogers's, he was surrounded by all that was at the time brilliant and famous in the political and literary world. These visits, after the death of his wife, became annual, and the old man wonderfully enjoyed them. The extracts which his son has given from his journal teem with men and women of title and name. He is dining or breakfasting with Lady Errol, Lady Holland, the Duchess of Rutland. He meets Mr. Fox, Mr. Canning, Foscolo ; Lords Haddington, Dundas, Strangford, &c.; Moore, Campbell, Sir Walter Scott, Sir James Mackintosh ; Ladies Spencer and Besborough; the Duke and Duchess of Cumberland ; in fact, everybody He became much attached to the Hoares, of Hampstead, and used to take up his quarters there, and with them make summer excursions to Hastings, the Isle of Wight, and the like places. With them he saw Miss Edgeworth, Joanna Baillie, &c. So popular was he become, that John Murray gave him 3,0007. for his Tales of the Hall; and he carried the bills for that sum home in his waistcoat pocket. His meeting with Sir Walter Scott caused him to accept a pressing invitation from him to Scotland, whither he happened to go at the time of George IV.'s visit to Edinburgh ; by which means, though he saw all the gala of the time, and all Highland costumes, he missed seeing Scott at Abbotsford. At Scott's house, in Castle-street, occurred his adventure with the three Highland chiefs, which has caused much merriment. He came down one morning and found these three portly chiefs in full Highland costume, talking at a great rate, in a language which he did not understand; and not thinking of Gaelic, concluded that they were foreigners. They, on their part, seeing an elderly gentleman, dressed in a somewhat antiquated style, with buckles in his shoes, and perfectly clerical, imagined him some learned Abbé, who had come on a visit to Sir Walter. The consequence was, that Sir Walter, entering the breakfast-room with his