1825 ca. ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

George Lyttelton

Henry Mackenzie, Anecdotes and Egotisms, 1825 ca.; ed. Thompson (1927) 155-56.



LORD LYTTELTON, I am convinced, was most sincere in his grief for his first Lady on whom he wrote the Monody which, I remember, was universally admired. It had the fault which Churchill censured in his satirical passage against Lord Lyttelton, that it was too artificial for real grief,—

Curious in grief, for real grief we know
Is curious to dress up a tale of woe.

Yet some of the stanzas are the natural language of tender recollection and sorrow, such as some of the description and the mention of the children.

Lady Townshend in her free way said she pitied no man so much as Lord Lyttelton; because after his Essay on the Conversion of St. Paul he was debarred from keeping a mistress; and after the Monody on the Death of his Wife he was debarred from marrying a second; but in this last particular she was mistaken.