« EelmineJätka »
Other friends or relatives of the Greenell family were named Russell and Pugh, and are buried at Hertford. A large gentleman's mourning ring in memory of Richard Russell, Esq., was given me by Miss Roberts, as, I presume, the person after whom I was given my second name, though probably from an error in the register mine is always spelt with one l, and this peculiarity was impressed upon me in my childhood. Another ring is from Miss Pugh, a friend of my mother's, and, I believe, one of the Russell family. We also possess a very beautiful pastel miniature of Mrs. Frances Hodges, who was a Miss Russell, and who died in 1809, and is buried at All Saints, Hertford; but the precise relationship, if any, of the Russells to the Greenells I have not been able to ascertain.
One other point may be here mentioned. There seems to have been some connection by marriage between the Wallace and Greenell families before my father's marriage, as shown by the fact that his elder brother, who died in infancy, was named William Greenell Wallace, and it seems not unlikely that his mother, Mrs. Dilke, had been a Miss Greenell before her first marriage.
I will now say a few words about my father's early life, and the various family troubles which, though apparently very disadvantageous to his children, may yet have been on the whole, as is so often the case, benefits in disguise.
My father, Thomas Vere Wallace, was twelve years old when his father died, but his stepmother lived twenty-one years after her husband, and I think it not improbable that she may have resided in Marylebone near William Greenell the architect, and that my father went to school there. The only thing I remember his telling us about his school was that his master dressed in the old fashion, and that he had a best suit entirely of yellow velvet.
When my father left school he was articled to a firm of solicitors-Messrs. Ewington and Chilcot, Bond Court, Walbrook, I think, as I find this name in an old note-book of my
father's—and in 1792, when he had just come of age, he was duly sworn in as an Attorney-at-Law of the Court of King's Bench. He is described in the deed of admittance as of Lamb's Conduit Street, where he probably lodged while pursuing his legal studies, it being near the Inns of Court and at the same time almost in the country. He seems, however, never to have practised law, since he came into property which gave him an income of about £500 a year. This I heard from my sister Fanny.
From this time till he married, fifteen years later, he appears to have lived quite idly, so far as being without any systematic occupation, often going to Bath in the season, where he used to tell us he had met the celebrated Beau Brummell and other characters of the early years of the nineteenth century. An old note-book shows that he was fond of collecting epitaphs from the churchyards of the various places he visited ; among which are Brighton, Lowestoft, Bognor, Ryegate, Godalming, Sevenoaks, Chichester, etc. Most of these are commonplace reflections on the uncertainty of life or equally commonplace declarations of faith in the orthodox heaven, but here and there are more original efforts. This is one at Chichester on Henry Case, aged 28—
“Here lies a brave soldier whom all must applaud,
In the following, at Woodford, Essex, the village poet has been severely practical :
“ON WILLIAM MEARS, PLUMBER.
To realms above, an honest Man.
But now your Glass is run-your work is done,
For this useful man is gone for evermore.” The following seems to be a heartfelt and worthy tribute to a good man-Mr. Mark Sanderson, of Chepstow, aged 66:
“Loving, belov'd, in all relations true,
One more I will give, as it is at least original, from a · tombstone at Lowestoft, Suffolk
“In memory of CHARLES WARD, Who died May, 1770,
Aged 60. A dutiful Son, a loving Brother, and an affectionate Husband. This Stone is not erected by Susan his wife. She erected a Stone to John Salter her second Husband, forgetting the affection of Charles Ward her first Husband.”
In some other old MSS. and note-books are a number of quotations in prose and verse, mostly from well-known writers or not of any interest, but among them are a few that seem worth preserving.
The following epitaph by a Dominican friar on Pope Clement the Fourth is remarkable for the ingenuity of the verse, which is equally good when the words and sense are inverted :
“ Laus tua, non tua fraus, virtus non copia rerum
(The same reversed.)
Tempore ! non stabilis sit tua conditio !
Janua stat, nunquam das tua pauperibus,
Copia, non virtus, fraus tua non tua Laus." My friend, Mr. Comerford Casey, has kindly given me the following elegant translation of the above :
“Not by intrigue but merit, not by wealth
(The same read backwards.)
From earth! May your prosperity be short !
In faded ink and very old handwriting, probably my grandfather's, is the following charade, the answer to which is not given, but it is worth preserving for its style :
“My first's the proud but hapless Child of danger,
Parent of highest honours and of woe ;
Heaps useless laurels on the soldier's brow.
To gain the prize by which he stands accurst,
He gains my second whilst he gives my first."
I myself believe the answer to be "cut-purse”-a Shakespearean word in common use in the eighteenth century, and applying to all the terms of the charade with great accuracy. But few of my friends think this solution good enough.
The following is in my father's writing, and as it is comparatively easy, I leave the answer to my young reader's ingenuity :
Or say what 'tis I ail? I'm feverish sure !
One more enigma in my father's writing is interesting because founded on a custom common in my youth, but which has now wholly passed away.
“Kitty, a fair but frozen maid,
Kindled a flame I still deplore,
So fatal to my suit before.
Who still mankind annoys ;
And both are hood-wink'd boys.”
My sister told me (and from what followed it was pretty certainly the case) that while he remained a bachelor my father lived up to his income or very nearly so; and from what we know of his after life this did not imply any extravagance or luxurious habits, but simply that he enjoyed himself in London and the country, living at the best inns or boarding-houses, and taking part in the amusements of the period, as a fairly well-to-do, middle-class gentleman.
After his marriage in 1807 he lived in Marylebone, and his ordinary household expenses, of course, increased ; and as by 1810 he had two children and the prospect of a large family, he appears to have felt the necessity of increasing his income. Having neglected the law so long, and probably having a distaste for it, he apparently thought it quite hopeless to begin to practise as a solicitor, and being entirely devoid of business habits, allowed himself to be persuaded into