Page:Notes and Queries - Series 9 - Volume 5.djvu/52

This page needs to be proofread.


NOTES AND QUERIES. [9* s. v. JAN. 20, 1900.


stood as bringing any charge of plagiarism against Byron. His acknowledgment of the source would have been satisfactory ; but he may have borrowed, as so many great writers have done, quite unconsciously ; and such a magnificent improvement on another's thoughts is generally held to be its own justification. C. LAWRENCE FORD, B.A. Bath.

(To be continued.)


FIELD - MARSHALS IN THE ARMY. I have not yet had an opportunity of seeing Sir Herbert Maxwell's 'Life of Wellington,' though I hope to do so soon, as I gather from the reviews that I have read that it affords the most lifelike portrait of the Great Duke that has yet been depicted. A passage in one of these reviews has arrested my attention. It occurs in the Athenaeum for 16 December, 1899, and in order that there may be no mistake, I will quote it in full :

"For the battle of Vittoria Wellington was created Field-Marshal. The author in a foot-note is guilty of an inaccuracy with regard to this pro- motion which by a little care he might have avoided. He says that ' there was no precedent for promotion to the rank of Field-Marshal in the British service later than that of the Duke of Cumberland fifty years before.' He is in error: the then Commander- in-Chief, the Duke of York, had been made Field- Marshal some seventeen or eighteen years pre- viously."

Now, if this criticism means anything, it means that no officer was promoted to the rank of Field-Marshal in the British army between the Duke of Cumberland and the Duke of York. But, as a matter of fact, many officers attained that position in the second half of the eighteenth century. The Duke of Cumberland, strictly speaking, was never a Field-Marshal. He was promoted on 7 March, 1745, to the high dignity of Captain -General, a position which he was the last to enjoy, and in which he had been preceded only by the Dukes of Marlborough and Ormond. After that date the following officers were promoted to the rank of Field-Marshal : Sir Robert Rich, Bart., 28 Nov., 1757 ; Richard, Viscount Molesworth, 29 Nov., 1757 ; John, Earl Ligo- nier, K.B., 30 Nov., 1757 ; James, Lord Ty raw- ley, 10 June, 1763 ; Hon. Henry Seymour Conway, 12 Oct., 1793; H.R.H. the Duke of Gloucester, 12 Oct., 1793 ; Sir George Howard, K.B., 12 Oct., 1793 ; H.R.H. the Duke of York, 10 Feb., 1795. The following officers were promoted subsequently, and were, of course, senior to the Duke of Wellington : John, Duke of Argyle, 30 July, 1796;* Jeffery, Lord


  • This was not the only Duke of Argyle who

rose to the rank of Field-Marshal, His collateral


Amherst, K.B., 30 July, 1796; John, Lord Howard of Walden, K.B., 30 July, 1796; Stud- holm Hodgson, 30 July, 1796 ; George, Marquis Townshend, 30 July, 1796; Lord Frederick Cavendish, 30 July, 1796; Charles, Duke of Richmond, K.G., 30 July, 1796; and H.R.H. the Duke of Kent, 7 Sept., 1805. It will thus be seen that the reviewer, in correcting Sir Herbert Maxwell, has fallen into a similar error himself : an error which by a little care, such as a reference to Beatson's * Political Index ' or any other work of that class, might have been avoided. W. F. PRIDEAUX.

COWPER. There are very original lines in Cowper's first published poems ; but without doubt he is less happy in his sombre satires than in the representations of nature and the mock-heroics of 'The Task.' I think that Cowper is never happier than when he is describing objects exactly, but ludicrously. The description of the shadow of his own legs in 'The Winter Morning Walk 'furnishes an example of this style of writing. Phillips of * The Splendid Shilling ' seems to be his original when he writes after this fashion. Thomson also in ' The Seasons,' and Somer- ville in 'The Chase,' now and then copy Phillips, who was always either an imitator or a parodist of Milton. I dare say that the likeness which exists in the two following passages has been observed, but the original and its parody are so excellent that I take a pleasure in comparing them : Sweet is the breath of Morn, her rising sweet, With charm of earliest birds ; pleasant the Sun, When first on this delightful land he spreads His orient beams, on herb, tree, fruit, and flower, Glistering with dew ; fragrant the fertile Earth After soft showers ; and sweet the coming on Jf grateful Evening mild ; then silent Night With this her solemn bird, and this fair moon, And these the gems of Heaven, her starry train : But neither breath of Morn, when she ascends With charm of earliest birds ; nor rising sun n this delightful land ; nor herb, fruit, flower, Blistering with dew ; nor fragrance after showers ; Nor grateful Evening mild ; nor silent Night With this her solemn bird, nor walk by moon, Or glittering star-light, without thee is sweet.

' Paradise Lost,' Book iv. The nurse sleeps sweetly, hired to watch the sick, Whom snoring she disturbs. As sweetly he, Who quits the coach-box at the midnight hour, To sleep within the carriage more secure, His legs depending at the open door. Sweet sleep enjoys the curate in his desk, The tedious rector drawling o'er his head ; And sweet the clerk below. But neither sleep Df lazy nurse, who snores the sick man dead ;


ancestor, John ; Duke of Argyle and Greenwich, a listinguished figure in history, but better known

o the general reader as the patron of Jeanie Deans,

was raised to that dignity on 14 Jan., 1736,