1854 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Bryan Waller Procter

Nathaniel Hawthorne, English Notebooks (1854); Moulton, Library of Literary Criticism (1901-05) 6:745.



Barry Cornwall, Mr. Procter, called on me a week or more ago, but I happened not to be in the office. Saturday last he called again, and as I had crossed to Rock Park he followed me hither. A plain, middle-sized, English-looking gentleman, elderly, with short white hair, and particularly quiet in his manners. He talks in a somewhat low tone without emphasis, scarcely distinct.... His head has a good outline, and would look well in marble. I liked him very well. He talked unaffectedly, showing an author's regard to his reputation, and was evidently pleased to hear of his American celebrity. He said that in his younger days he was a scientific pugilist, and once took a journey to have a sparring encounter with the Game-Chicken. Certainly, no one would have looked for a pugilist in this subdued old gentleman. He is now Commissioner of Lunacy, and makes periodical circuits through the country, attending to the business of his office. He is slightly deaf, and this may be the cause of his unaccented utterance, — owing to his not being able to regulate his voice exactly to his own ear.... He is a good man, and much better expressed by his real name, Procter, than by his poetical one, Barry Cornwall.... He took my hand in both his at parting.