1791 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Thomas Dermody

Lady Moira to Thomas Dermody, 10 November 1791; Raymond, Life of Dermody (1806) 1:252-53.



Lady Moira informs Thomas Dermody, that Mr. Berwick (who is in the country) has transmitted to her a letter which Dermody had written to him, and that she has also written to him, and that she has also received that which Dermody has written to her; both letters intimating his desire and design to withdraw himself from lady Moira's direction, and consequent protection. Lady Moira makes not the least objection to that determination; and his inclosed to Mr. Boyd ten guineas, that he may enter upon his future schemes, and follow his own pursuits, not totally in a destitute condition.

Lady Moira had hoped that from his residence with the reverend Mr. Boyd, he would not only have acquired literary information, but also in the course of two years, from the influence of mature reason, have attained to the prudent reflection of how incumbent it was for him to practise an exact conduct, to efface the prejudices his former behaviour had impressed. What attainments he has made in literature, it is not in her power to decide: she is persuaded that it could only arise from his own negligence, if he has not profited from Mr. Boyd's instructions. That he has not received any benefit from reflection, the style of impropriety which runs through his letters plainly evinces. Lady Moira warns him, that the waywardness of his nature, and the ill-founded degree of self-conceit he indulges himself in respecting his genius, will prevent his ever having friends, or arriving at success, through the course of his future life, unless he alters his conduct and his sentiments.

As Dermody has thought proper to withdraw himself from her direction and protection in a manner equally ungracious and absurd, Lady Moira informs him that the donation which accompanies this note, is the last attention or favour that he is ever to expect from lady Moira, or any of her family.