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Page:The Works of Lord Byron (ed. Coleridge, Prothero) - Volume 7.djvu/112

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78
JEUX D'ESPRIT AND MINOR POEMS, 1798-1824.



THE NEW VICAR OF BRAY.

1.

Do you know Doctor Nott?[1]
With "a crook in his lot,"
Who seven years since tried to dish up
A neat Codicil
To the Princess's Will,[2]
Which made Dr. Nott not a bishop.


    been given to him by the Pope for his clemency in sparing Rome. Lord Carlisle wrote eight (not seven) stanzas, urging her, as Byron told Medwin, to decline the gift, "for fear that horror and murder should jump out of the lid every time it is opened."—Conversations, 1824, p. 362. The first stanza of Lord Carlyle's verses, which teste Medwin, Byron parodied, runs thus—

    "Lady, reject the gift! 'tis tinged with gore!
    Those crimson spots a dreadful tale relate;
    It has been grasp'd by an infernal Power;
    And by that hand which seal'd young Enghien's fate."

    The snuff-box is now in the jewel-room in the British Museum.]

  1. [George Frederick Nott (1767-1841), critic and divine, was Rector of Harrietsham and Woodchurch, a Prebendary of Winchester and of Salisbury. He was Bampton Lecturer in 1802, and, soon afterwards, was appointed sub-preceptor to the Princess Charlotte of Wales. He was a connoisseur of architecture and painting, and passed much of his time in Italy and at Rome. When he was at Pisa he preached in a private room in the basement story of the house in Pisa where Shelley was living, and fell under Byron's displeasure for attacking the Satanic school, and denouncing Cain as a blasphemous production. "The parsons," he told Moore (letter, February 20, 1820), "preached at it [Cain] from Kentish Town to Pisa." Hence the apostrophe to Dr. Nott. (See Records of Shelley, Byron, and the Author, by E. T. Trelawny, 1887, pp. 302, 303.)]
  2. [According to Lady Anne Hamilton (Secret History of the Court of England, 1832, i. 198-207), the Princess Charlotte incurred the suspicion and displeasure of her uncles and her grandmother, the Queen, by displaying an ardent and undue interest in her sub-preceptor. On being reproved by the Queen for "condescending to favour persons in low life with confidence or particular respect, persons likely to take advantage of your simplicity and innocence," and having learnt that "persons" meant Mr. Nott, she replied by threatening to sign a will in favour of her sub-preceptor, and by actually making over to him by a deed her library, jewels, and all