1809 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Edward Jerningham

Lady Bedingfield, Diary entry, 1809; The Jerningham Letters (1896) 1:350-51.



I took a walk with my Uncle E. in the Morning he talked a good deal of Pulpit Eloquence and says, he will read me an essay he has written upon it, he seemed much elated with Mr. Fountaine's approbation of it — poor Man! he cannot help harping on Religion, and tho' he has left us [Catholics] appears always particularly flattered by the approbation of our Clergy — he never talks to me of the particular dogmas of Religion, but in general terms as if we were both of the same — I wonder what a Sharp illness would produce in him. I doubt much, if he would think his Protestant Buckler a sufficient guard against the Arch-fiend. He has many amiable points about him, is good-natured in the extreme, but so thoughtless in Conversation, that he often makes as much mischief as an ill-natured Man — unsteady in his resolutions, or rather making none but acting according to the impulse of the moment — By this he is for ever drawn into pecuniary difficulties, from which he expects my Father to Extricate him, without reflecting how many Children and grandchildren my Father has who would be glad of assistance if there was any to be had — He has had his share of the family property over and over again, but he has never made this Calculation and if he were rich he would be very generous to us all — No Man in Society is so pleasant: he has a playfulness of Mind that is delightful. Mirth is his Element, and he avoids any scene or any thought that can molest it.