Schulers Books Online

books - games - software - wallpaper - everything

Bride.Ru

Books Menu

Home
Author Catalog
Title Catalog
Sectioned Catalog

 

- Fielding - 31/31 -


and Dean of Durham, to one of the Windhams, contains the following:-- "The book that has made the greatest noise lately in the polite world is _Pamela_, a romance in low life. It is thought to contain such excellent precepts, that a learned divine at London [Footnote: This enables me to correct an error at p. 74. As Miss Thomson points out (_Samuel Richardson_, 1900, p. 31) it was Dr. Benjamin Slocock of St. Saviour's, Southwark, and not Dr. Sherlock, who praised _Pamela_ from the pulpit. The mistake seems to have originated with Jeffrey, and was freely repeated.] recommended it very strongly from the pulpit.... The dedication [of Conyers Middleton's _Life of Cicero_] to Lord Hervey has been very justly and prettily ridiculed by Fielding in a dedication to a pamphlet called _Shamela_ which he wrote to burlesque the fore-mentioned romance." [Footnote: Hist. MSS. Commission, 12th Report, Appendix, Part IX., p. 204.] This shows unmistakably that _Shamela_ was attributed to Fielding by contemporary gossip. But then so was The _Causidicade_ (p. 112), and _The Apology for the Life of Mr. The' Cibber_, _Comedian_ (p. 72). I still cling to the hope that Fielding was _not_ the author of _Shamela_. The matter is examined at some length at pp. 42-45 of the "Men of Letters" Memoir of Richardson; and it is plain that, if Fielding had wished to father it, he would have included it in the _Miscellanies_ of 1743.

The remaining points which call for notice are little more than dispersed adversaria. To the _amende honorable_ which Fielding made to Richardson in the _Jacobites Journal_ (pp. 113-14) should be added a further passage from the later _Covent-Garden Journal_, No. 10-- _Pleasantry_ (as the ingenious Author of _Clarissa_ says of a Story) "_should be made only the Vehicle of Instruction_." Among other places connected with the composition of _Tom Jones_ (p. 118) may be mentioned Widcombe House, Bath (then Mr. Philip Bennet's), a Palladian villa close to the road from Widcombe Hill to Prior Park; and, if we are to believe _Rambles round Edge Hills_, 1896, p. 17, Fielding actually read that work in MS. to Lyttelton and Lord Chatham in the dining-room of Radway Grange in Warwickshire (Mr. Miller's). It should also be added that the agreement for _Tom Jones_ (p. 121), dated 5th March 1749, together with Fielding's antecedent receipt for the money, dated 11th June 1748, of which in 1883 I could obtain no tidings, are (or were lately) in the Huth collection. But perhaps the most important item which has come to light since 1883 is the Will discovered in the Prerogative Court of Canterbury by Mr. George A. Aitken. It is undated, though it was evidently executed at Ealing in the novelist's last days, and runs as follows:--

"In the name of God Amen. I Henry Fielding of the Parish of Ealing in the County of Middlesex do hereby give and bequeath unto Ralph Allen of Prior Park in the County of Somerset Esq. and to his heirs executors administrators and assigns for ever for the use of the said Ralph his heirs, &c. all my estate real and personal and whatsoever and do appoint him sole executor of this my last will Beseeching him that the whole (except my share in the Register Office) may be sold and forthwith converted into money and annuities purchased thereout for the lives of my dear wife Mary and my daughters Harriet and Sophia and what proportions my said executor shall please to reserve to my sons William and Allen shall be paid them severally as they shall attain the age of twenty and three. And as for my shares in the Register or Universal Register Office I give ten thereof to my aforesaid wife seven to my daughter Harriet and three to my daughter Sophia my wife to be put in immediate possession of her shares and my daughters of theirs as they shall severally arrive at the age of twenty one the immediate profits to be then likewise paid to my two daughters by my executor who is desired to retain the same in his hands until that time. Witness my hand Henry Fielding. Signed and acknowledged as his last will and testament by the within named testator in the presence of Margaret Collier, Richd. Boor, Isabella Ash."

"On the 14th November 1754," comments Mr. Aitken, "administration (with the will annexed) of the goods, &c., of Henry Fielding, at Lisbon, deceased, was granted to John Fielding, Esq., uncle and guardian lawfully assigned to Harriet Fielding, spinster, a minor, and Sophia Fielding, an infant, for the use and benefit and of the minor and infant until they were twenty one; Ralph Allen, Esq., having renounced as well the execution of the will as administration of the goods, &c.; and Mary Fielding, the relict, having also renounced administration of the goods of the deceased." [Footnote: _Athenaeum_, February 1, 1890. A portrait of Mary Fielding by Cotes, described by one who knew it as "a very fine drawing of a very ugly woman," was sold not many years since at Christie's.]

The Register Office, above mentioned, is that referred to at p. 194. What was the amount of the property so disposed of is not known. But in making inquiries in connexion with an edition of the _Journal of a Voyage to Lisbon_ issued by the Chiswick Press in 1892, [Footnote: This considerably elaborates the first note at p. 179.] I discovered that Fielding died possessed of a considerable library (653 lots), which was sold in February 1755, "for the Benefit of his Wife and Family," by Samuel Baker of York Street, Covent Garden, realising L364:7:1, or about L100 more than the public gave in 1785 for the books of Johnson. An account of this collection, rich particularly in law, classics, poetry and drama, is given in the third series of my _Eighteenth Century Vignettes_, 1896, pp. 164-178.

A few words, in supplement to those in the "Postscript" (pp. 191-2), may be devoted to Fielding's family. Concerning the daughter Harriet, or Harriot, mentioned in the foregoing will, I am indebted to Colonel W. F. Prideaux for pointing out to me that in Burke's _Landed Gentry_, 1875, vol. ii. p. 938, it is stated that she afterwards became the second wife of Colonel James Gabriel Montresor. As his first wife died in March 1761, when he was more than fifty-eight; and as he afterwards married for the third time, a widow, Mrs. Kemp of Teynham, Kent, it is probable that, as Keightley says, Harriet Montresor was not long-lived. [Footnote: According to Thomas Whitehead's _Original Anecdotes of the late Duke of Kingston and Miss Chudleigh_, 1792, p. 95 (for reference to which I am also indebted to Col. Prideaux), Miss Fielding was, at the date of her marriage, "in a deep decline,"--a circumstance which lends a touch of chivalry to Col. Montresor's devotion. She is said by Whitehead to have been of "a sweet temper, and great understanding."] Of the other children spoken of at p. 192, Louisa died in May 1753, being buried from a house in Hammersmith. And this brings me to a final question as to Fielding's sisters. Richardson speaks in August 1749 of being "well acquainted" with _four_ Miss Fieldings; and Murphy and Lawrence both refer to a Catherine and an Ursula of whom Mr. Keightley could learn nothing. With Colonel Prideaux's help, and the kind offices of Mr. Samuel Martin of the Hammersmith Free Library, the matter has now been set at rest. In 1887 the late Sir Leslie Stephen had suggested to me that Catherine and Ursula were probably born at Sharpham Park. This must have been the case, though Keightley had failed to establish it. At all events Catherine and Ursula existed, for they both died in 1750. The Hammersmith Registers at Fulham record the following burials:--1750 July 9th, Mrs. Catherine Feilding (_sic_).

1750 Nov. 12th, Mrs. Ursula Fielding.

1750[-1] Feby. 24th, Mrs. Beatrice Fielding.

1753 May 10th, Louisa, d. of Henry Fielding, Esq.

The first three, with Sarah, make up Richardson's "Four worthy Sisters" (p. 140); and the final entry renders it probable that, in May 1753, Fielding was staying in the house at Hammersmith then occupied by his surviving sister, Sarah.

No well-authenticated likeness of Fielding has yet superseded Hogarth's outline (pp. 184-5), nor, if Murphy's statement (_Works_, 1762, i. p. 47) that "no portrait of him had ever been made" previously, be accurate, can any new likeness be looked for. Nevertheless, both at the Guelph (1891) and Georgian (1906) exhibitions, the Hon. Gerald Ponsonby exhibited a portrait of Fielding; and another is included in the picture attributed to Hogarth (also shown at the latter exhibition, and lately belonging to Sir Charles Tennant), of the "Green Room, Drury Lane." There is also a bust (posthumous) by W. F. Woodington at Eton. And this reminds me that no more fitting tail-piece to this Appendix can be conceived than the compact and penetrating lines which the late James Russell Lowell composed as an inscription for the bust of Henry Fielding at Taunton:--

"He looked on naked nature unashamed, And saw the Sphinx, now bestial, now divine, In change and re-change; he nor praised nor blamed, But drew her as he saw with fearless line. Did he good service? God must judge, not we. Manly he was, and generous and sincere; English in all, of genius blithely free: Who loves a Man may see his image here."

A. D.

_March_ 1907.


Fielding - 31/31

Previous Page

  1   10   20   26   27   28   29   30   31 

Schulers Books Home



 Games Menu

Home
Balls
Battleship
Buzzy
Dice Poker
Memory
Mine
Peg
Poker
Tetris
Tic Tac Toe

Google
 
Web schulers.com
 

Schulers Books Online

books - games - software - wallpaper - everything