Everybody knew everybody back then | Guide to Daily Reading 11/21/22

Voltaire born on this date in 1694.

Bryan Waller Procter (non de plume, Barry Cornwall) born 1787.

Daily Readings

A petition to Time

TOUCH us gently, Time! 
 Let us glide adown thy stream 
Gently,--as we sometimes glide 
 Through a quiet dream. 
Humble voyagers are We, 
Husband, wife, and children three-- 
(One is lost,--an angel, fled 
To the azure overhead!) 
 
Touch us gently, Time! 
 We've not proud nor soaring wings:
Our ambition, our content, 
 Lies in simple things. 
Humble voyagers are We, 
O'er Life's dim, unsounded sea, 
Seeking only some calm clime;-- 
Touch us gently, gentle Time!

I swear everybody knew everybody back then. Bryan Waller Proctor (1787-1874). From that infallible source:

Charles Lamb gave the highest possible praise to his friend’s Dramatic Sketches when he said that had he found them as anonymous manuscript in the Garrick Collection he would have had no hesitation about including them in his Dramatic Specimens. He was perhaps not an impartial critic. “Barry Cornwall’s” songs have caught some notes from the Elizabethan and Cavalier lyrics, and blended them with others from the leading poets of his own time; and his dramatic fragments show a similar infusion of the early Victorian spirit into pre-Restoration forms and cadences. The results are varied, and lack unity, but they abound in pleasant touches, with here and there the flash of a higher, though casual, inspiration.[2]

Rather unknown outside Britain in his times and largely considered to be imitator of greater romantic authors, Barry Cornwall however inspired Alexander Pushkin to some translations and imitations in 1830. Just hours before his last duel in 1837 Pushkin sent a collection by Cornwall to a fellow author, Mrs. Ishimova, suggesting that she should translate some poems selected by him.

William Makepeace Thackeray dedicated Vanity Fair to B. W. Procter. Wilkie Collins dedicated The Woman In White to B. W. Procter.

Thomas Hardy became acquainted with Procter’s widow, their friendship is mentioned several times in The Early Life of Thomas Hardy (1840-1891).