1792 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Rev. Richard Bentley

Richard Cumberland, recorded by Samuel Rogers, 1792; P. W. Clayden, The Early Life of Samuel Rogers (1887) 242.



Cumberland spoke of his grandfather Bentley as gentle and fond of children. He would never count money but desired it always to be placed in piles of twenty guineas on the table, and he would run his hand over them to feel that they were all of a height. When a thief was arrested in his pantry, he (Bentley) said: "You see you can't succeed in this trade, go and try a better." When remonstrated with for dismissing him he said mildly, "What more should be done with the fellow? He has failed so egregiously in this instance he will never think of thieving again." Just before he died, his wife said: "I wish you had harassed yourself less with criticism and controversy, and written more on other subjects." He sat musing for a little while, and then burst into tears.