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inclined. He engaged in it, as he tells Mrs. King (March 3, 1788), rather because he was desirous to gratify a most indulgent father, than because he had any hope of success in it himself.

In the "Memoir" Cowper judges Mr. Chapman as severely as he did the Disneys. "Here," says he, "I might have lived and died without seeing or hearing anything that might remind me of one single Christian duty, had it not been that I was at liberty to spend my leisure hours (which were well-nigh all my time) at my aunt's in Southampton Row. By this means I had opportunity of seeing the inside of a church (St. George's, Queen's Square, just out of Russell Street), whither I went with the family on Sundays, and which probably I should otherwise never have seen "-meaning by his aunt the wife of his father's brother, Mr. Ashley Cowper.

Mr. and Mrs. Cowper's family consisted of three daughters. To the eldest, Harriet, we have already referred, and much will be said of her as we proceed; the name of the second was Theodora; the third and youngest, Elizabeth, subsequently became the wife of Sir Archer Croft. Ashley Cowper was a very little man, and used to wear a white hat lined with yellow, from which circumstances the poet in one of his letters makes the remark that it would not be surprising if some day he should be "picked" by mistake for a mushroom, and popped into a basket.

"I did actually," says Cowper, "live three years. with Mr. Chapman, a solicitor-that is to say, I slept three years in his house, but I lived, that is to say, Ι spent my days in Southampton Row."

For fellow clerk he had no less a person than Edward Thurlow, who afterwards rose to the distinction of Lord Chancellor, and, a friendship having sprung up between the two, Cowper introduced Thurlow at his uncle's. "There," long after he reminded Lady Hesketh, "was I and the future Lord Chancellor, constantly employed from morning to night in giggling and making giggle, instead of studying the law."

The house in Southampton Row (No. 30) in which Ashley Cowper lived, and in which Cowper and Thurlow giggled, is still standing. It is the ninth house from Southampton Court northward. There were other things, however, besides love of fun in which Thurlow and Cowper were at one. Both greatly admired Milton, and Cowper long after remembered "with how much energy and interest" Thurlow would repeat passages from "Paradise Lost." Thurlow, again, was of a benevolent disposition, and Cowper-the very milk of human kindness-could not but admire-to give only one instance, Thurlow's goodness to a certain Miss Christian, the daughter of a poor clergyman who had been a friend of Thurlow's father. The future Lord Chancellor set her up in business, and disbursed three hundred pounds, which he could ill afford, to furnish a shop for her. Says Cowper, "I went with him to the house, and having seen her, am ready to swear that his motives were not, nor could be, of the amorous kind, for she was ugly to a wonder."

By and by this frequenting of Southampton Row, this giggling and laughing with his pretty cousins, led to something more serious, for Cowper fell in love with Theodora; and henceforth we find him taking extrava

gant pains with his dress, writing love-letters, and inditing poems of but little intrinsic merit, in which she is alluded to under the poetical name of Delia.

8. In Love with Theodora.

Cowper's Love Poems, nineteen in number, were, of course, not intended for publication, nor were they printed till twenty-five years after his death, when they appeared in a volume edited by Mr. James Croft, Theodora's nephew. Their titles (or first lines when without titles) are as follows:

1. Of himself.

2. The Symptoms of Love.

3. An Apology. (Written at Catfield.)

4. Delia, the unkindest girl on earth.

(Written at Catfield.)

5. An Attempt at the Manner of Waller. (Written at Drayton, March, 1753.)

6. The sparkling eye, the mantling cheek.

7. On the green margin of the brook.

8. Upon a venerable rival.

9. This evening, Delia, you and I. (Written at Catfield.)

10. Written in a Quarrel.

11. See where the Thames, the purest stream.

12. How blest the youth whom fate ordains.

13. On her endeavouring to Conceal her Grief at Parting.

14. Bid adieu, my sad heart, bid adieu to thy peace! (Written at Berkhamsted.)

15. Written after Leaving her at New Burns. (Written at Berkhamsted.)

16. R.S.S. (Whatever that may mean.)

17. Written in a Fit of Illness. R.S.S.

18. To Delia. (1755.)

19. Last Stanzas to Delia.

The first was written in 1752, probably while

Cowper was still at Mr. Chapman's; the last belongs most likely to the year 1756.

We get in the "Lines addressed to Miss Theodora Jane Cowper" a faithful portrait of Cowper himself at this period. That he "dressed a little smarter we have already noticed, and now that he had lost his heart he began also to lose his bashfulness, with the result that he found himself more at ease in company.

"Nay, now and then could look quite gay,

As other people do ;

And sometimes said, or tried to say,
A witty thing or two."

This of course brought him into favour with the ladies, and

"At length improved from head to heel,
'Twere scarce too much to say,
No dancing beau was so genteel,
Or half so dégagé."

Then comes the last verse :

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"Now that a miracle so strange

May not in vain be shown,

Let the dear maid who wrought the change
E'en claim him for her own."

That the "dear maid" would have been willing enough to claim him - notwithstanding his shortcomings-there is little reason to doubt, but, as both parties very well knew, a third person had to be considered, with whose objections we shall deal further on; but meantime everything seemed couleur de rose for the lovers.

A seal-ring, with head of Omphale, which Cowper gave to his cousin, was exhibited at the Guelph Exhibition in 1891.

Three of the Love Poems, "An Apology," "Delia, the unkindest girl on earth," and "This evening, Delia, you and I," were written in 1752, at Catfield (his uncle Donne's), where Cowper was spending a holiday, the chief pleasures of which consisted in driving about in a whiskum snivel (as they nicknamed the old-fashioned gig with bow springs), and laughing with his merry cousins, the Miss Donnes. It is worth remembering, too, about this time he visited Mundesley (ten miles off)-the spot on the Norfolk coast destined to be for ever associated with the painful story of the last few years of his life.

The village of Mundesley, which is now rapidly springing into a fashionable watering-place, was not only in Cowper's day, but even up to very recent times, regarded as a very out-of-the-way kind of place. People, however, who did visit Mundesley found it very charming, and returned to it again and again. At the present day, of course, owing to convenient train service, it is as accessible as any other spot on the coast. To the north-west rises Trimingham Beacon, the highest ground in Norfolk, from the summit of which innumerable churches may be descried; and the ruins of the Abbeys of Bacton and Bromholm, not far distant, would be of interest to many.

Writing a few years ago, Mr. Clement Scott says, "There is no bathing round the coast of England to be compared to the stretch of deserted virgin sand untraversed by any human foot between the busy

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