1820 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Rev. James De La Cour

Anonymous, "Impromptu" Ladies' Port Folio [Boston] 1 (22 January 1820) 27.



The late reverend Dr. De la Cour, of the city of Cork, Ireland, was a very great poetic genius, even to the latest period of his long life; he was very eccentric in manners always, and frequently very careless and inattentive in his dress; he was thought a little deranged, and it might, at times, be really the case; but the flashes of a brilliant imagination existed to the last, and never forsook him. At the time I am speaking of, he was turned of eighty-four years, when he heard that the son of his particular friend had married a wealthy rope maker's daughter, whose large fortune made some amends for her vulgarity and defective education; he immediately, sans ceremony, for he never used any, waited on the bride and bridegroom, to pay his respects; but the lady, instead of receiving the old gentleman politely, turned up her nose, and burst out a laughing at the oddity of his dress and appearance. "So sir," said the doctor, as the young gentleman advanced cordially to welcome him, "I came to give you joy; but I can't; your father-in-law is a rope-maker, I find; you have only one comfort in view; he can supply you any day with a cord gratis. As for you, madam," turning indignantly to the bride,—

"If tow were spun and woven in silken gears,
In spite of art, its coarseness still appears."

The doctor took a pinch of snuff, turned on his heel, and instantly departed.