1819 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Horace Twiss

Hibernicus, "Lady Clare and Mr. Horace Twiss" New Bon Ton Magazine 2 (January 1819) 181-83.



MR. HORACE TWISS, well known as an affected member of blue stocking clubs, travelled in Ireland, and like the Smelfungus of our friend Sterne, he was a being who would travel from Dan to Beersheba and cry out the land was all barren.

Ireland is justly celebrated, not alone for the production of native talent, but the fostering attention she shews to foreign literary men who visit her shore. Mr. Horace Twiss with all his

Grin and grimace, his shrugs and his capers,
His affectation, spleen, and vapours,

was displeased; and, from his own account, did not succeed in exciting Irish esteem and approbation to the extent he expected. Like Jean Jacques Rousseau in England, because he was not adored as an idol, he conceived he was not revered as a man of genius. He therefore published a book, the title of it we shall not give now — it is the extreme of mockery to heap titles on the dead. Every page of this work was a libel on the Irish national character, famed for real friendship and unbounded hospitality.

The Irish were very indignant upon this wanton attack; and one gentleman came from Dublin to London expressly to see this Mr. H. Twiss. He met him, he said, in a coffee-room near Lincoln's-inn, saluted him, and said he had come from Ireland on purpose to horse-whip him, which he did "instanter;" and throwing himself into a coach proceeded back to Dublin. A lady of quality revenged herself in a more whimsical manner; she ordered a set of "pot de chambres" with Mr. Twiss's head, "en profile," at the bottom. Lady Clare, the witty, accomplished, thoughtless Lady Clare, on viewing the utensils, exclaimed, "Pshaw! this won't do; he must have a front face with his mouth open, to which I'll also have a motto, expressive of the contempt we hold him in." She immediately sketched a head gaping, and wrote underneath,

Let all, who hate a liar, —
Upon the lying Horace Twiss.

The fame of the traveller, from this circumstance, spread wide through Ireland; and from the princess down to the chambermaid he was saluted, or rather baptised. The anecdote is well known to Irishmen, and worthy preservation.

HIBERNICUS.