1828 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Francis Noel Clarke Mundy

John Bowyer Nichols, in Joseph Cradock, Literary and Miscellaneous Memoirs (1828) 4:205-06.



Among the most intelligent as well as agreeable of Mr. Cradock's friends may be mentioned Mr. Mundy, himself a poet, and a man of congenial mind with Mr. Cradock. I find only two letters of Mr. Mundy, which are in acknowledgment or presents of Mr. Cradock's publications. — EDIT.

"Marton, Jan. 6th, [1773].
DEAR SIR,
Give me leave to thank you for the most acceptable present you could make me — a dramatic production of your own. After having received the applauses of the public, mine would appear impertinent to you; I will only therefore repeat my acknowledgments of this mark of your remembrance of me.
Yours, &c.
F. MUNDY."

"Jan. 24th, [l778].
DEAR SIR,
I am most extremely obliged to you for your very elegant and entertaining account of your Welsh Tour. I wished much to see it, and am greatly flattered by this agreeable mark of your remembrance of an old acquaintance. I hope the Czar will make his appearance next winter.
I am, dear Sir, yours, &c.
F. MUNDY.
Does not Mr. Gray take an unwarrantable liberty with your ancestor's name, when he calls him Car-a-doc — "So Caredoc bore his lance."

[Mr. Cradock addressed the following criticism to Mr. Mundy on his Poem of Needwood Forest. — EDIT.]

"DEAR SIR,

I this hour receive the favour of Mr. Mundy's Poem, and will not lose the first impulse of gratitude to you, for the sake of forming a critical opinion. I more approve it on this second reading. Many lines are not unworthy of Pope or Gray: from "Now sun-burnt Autumn;" &c. to "And soothe old winter with thy song," are exquisitely fine and poetical, and, if a letter would allow it, I should deal with equal rapture on many other parts of this production. And now to find fault.

"'Hark! those 'preluding' cries he hears.' I cannot approve of this word. Consider the two verbs 'prelude,' and 'preclude,' and then consider their participles. I know that I here combat great authorities, but I will not like the word so used, though Dryden, Darwin, and Mundy are all against me. And now, from finding fault to true author-like presumption; let me suggest an amendment for the next edition, for why should good poetry not be sold, as well as presented. — Take the following lines:

Then posts across the blasted plain
Born on the wild storm, Witchcraft's train,
Agast with guilt, and shrunk with age,
And yelling with demoniac rage!
With eyes turn'd back malign and wide,
See blood-stain'd Murder silent stride
To where the entwisted arch expands;
A moon-beam shoots—
He starts and hides his crimson hands!
And see — the cauldron gleams afar,
Fir'd by a baneful meteor's glare,—
Around they dance, and secret pour
The inischiefs of the midnight hour,
They pause—
The trembling fiends with wonder gaze,
Stretch their black wings, and fan the infernal blaze."