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little hollow where we are 2.2 Harold” styled, in painter sheets, the white shirt,
ing passagę, tow I see,” says Mares himself anse for Rome of
Hunt, and their friends, loved Hampstead. Cole- had written to his old friend, requesting him to ridge, who lived many years at Highgate, was no see him before he set out for Italy. Haydon stranger to “The Spaniards” or the “Vale of describes in his journal the powerful impression Health," with its toy-like cluster of cottages in the which the visit made upon him—" the very little hollow where we are gazing down. Keats colouring of the scene struck forcibly on the (whom the author of “Childe Harold" styled, in painter's imagination. The white curtains, the his Ravenna letter to the elder Disraeli,“ a tadpole white sheets, the white shirt, and the white skin of the lakes,” but to whom he made the amende of his friend, all contrasted with the bright hectic honorable by a magnificent compliment a year flush on his cheek, and heightened the sinister later) was residing in lodgings at Hampstead when effect; he went away, hardly hoping." And he he felt the first symptoms of the deadly consump- who hardly hoped for another, what extent of hope tion which shortly afterwards laid the most fervid had he for himself? From the poet's bed to the genius of this century in the Protestant burying- painter's studio is but a bound for the curious ground at Rome.
and eager mind. Keats, pitied and struck down The name of John Keats has many associations by the hand of disease, lies in paradise compared with Hampstead. At Leigh Hunt's house Keats with the spectacle that comes before us—genius wrote one of his finest sonnets, and in a beautiful weltering in its blood, self-destroyed because spot between Millfield Lane and Lord Mansfield's neglected. Pass we to another vision! Amongst house, as we have already narrated, occurred that the indignant declaimers against the unjust sentence one short interview between Keats and Coleridge, which criticism had passed on Keats, Shelley stood in which the latter said that death was in the foremost. What added poignancy to indignation hand of the former after they had parted. These was the settled but unfounded conviction that the words soon proved true. In a recent volume of death of the youth had been rnainly occasioned by the Gentleman's Magazine there is a very interest-wanton persecution. Anger found relief in song. ing passage touching the author of “The Eve of “ Adonais : an Elegy on the Death of John Keats," St. Agnes.” “I see,” says Miss Sabilla Novello, is among the most impassioned of Shelley's verses. “that Sylvanus Urban declares himself an un- Give heed to the preface :—" John Keats died at measured admirer of Keats; I therefore enclose for Rome of a consumption in his twenty-fourth year, your acceptance the photograph of a sketch made on the — of 1821, and was buried in the of him, on his death-bed, by his friend Joseph romantic and lovely cemetery of the Protestants in Severn, in whose diary at that epoch are written, that city, under the pyramid which is the tomb under the sketch, these words : '28th January, 3 of Cestius, and the massy walls and towers, now o'clock, morning-Drawn to keep me awake. A mouldering and desolate, which formed the circuit deadly sweat was on him all this night.' I feel you of ancient Rome. The cemetery is an open space will be interested by the drawing.” The sketch is, among the ruins, covered in winter with violets and indeed, a most touching memento of the youth who, daisies. It might make one in love with death to having his lot cast in the golden age of modern think that one should be buried in so sweet a place." English poetry, left us some of the finest, and purest, Reader, carry the accents in your ear, and accomand most perfect poetry in the language, and died pany us to Leghorn. A few months only have at twenty-five. So excellent a work is this little elapsed. Shelley is on the shore. Keats no longer picture, and so accurately does it suggest the con- lives, but you will see that Shelley has not forgotten ditions under which it was drawn, that no doubt him. He sets sail for the Gulf of Lerici, where he the time will come when it will be regarded as the has his temporary home; he never reaches it. A best personal relic of the author of “ Endymion." body is washed ashore at Via Reggio. If the Severn's portrait of Keats, taken at Hampstead, is features are not to be recognised, there can be in the National Portrait Gallery; and hard by, in no doubt of the man who carries in his bosom the South Kensington Museum, Severn's merits as the volume containing “ Lamia” and “Hyperion." an artist may be seen in his poetic transcription of The body of Shelley is burned, but the remains Ariel on the bat's back.
are carried— whither? You will know by the Connected with Keats's illness and death may description, “The cemetery is an open space be mentioned two incidents that for the living among the ruins, covered in winter with violets and reader contain a mournful and a striking interest. daisies. It might make one in love with death ta Among the earliest friends of Keats were Haydon, think that one should be buried in so sweet a place." the painter, and Shelley, the poet. When Keats There he lies! Keats and he, the mourner and was first smitten, Haydon visited the sufferer, who the mourned, almost touch each other !
THE “UPPER FLASK."
All the later years of Keats's life, until his de- the plague was raging in London, the sittings of parture for Rome, were passed at Hampstead, and the Courts of Law ere transferred for a time from here all his finest poetry was written. Leigh Hunt Westminster to Hampstead, and that the Heath says :—"The poem with which his first volume was tenanted by gentlemen of the wig and gown, begins was suggested to him on a delightful summer who were forced to sleep under canvas, like so day, as he stood by the gate which leads from the many rifle volunteers, because there was no accombattery on Hampstead Heath into a field by Caen modation to be had for love or money in the Wood; and the last poem, the one on 'Sleep and village. But we do not guarantee the tradition as Poetry,' was occasioned by his sleeping in the Vale well founded. of Health.” There are, perhaps, few spots in the Making our way towards the village oi Hampneighbourhood of Hampstead more likely to have stead, but before actually quitting the Hail, we suggested the following lines to the sensitive mind pass on our left, at the corner of Heath Moun! and of poor Keats than the high ground overlooking the East Heath Road, the house which marks the spot Vale of Health :
on which, in former times, stood the “Upper Flask ”
tavern, celebrated by Richardson, in his novel of “To one who has been long in city pent
“ Clarissa Harlowe.” A view of the old house, 'Tis very sweet to look into the fair And open space of heaven-to breathe a prayer
formerly the rendezvous of Pope, Steele, and Full in the smile of the blue firmament.
others, and subsequently the residence of George Who is more happy when, with heart's content, Steevens, the commentator on Shakespeare, will Fatigued he sinks into some pleasant lair
be found in Mr. Smith's “Historical and Literary Of wavy grass, and reads a debonair
The “Upper Flask " was at one time called the
“Upper Bowling-green House," from its possessing Watching the sailing cloudlets' bright career, a very good bowling-green. We have given an He mourns that day so soon has glided by,
engraving of it on page 456. E'en like the passage of an angel's tear,
When the Kit-Kat Club was in its glory, its That falls through the clear ether silently."
members were accustomed to transfer their meetings No wonder that great painters as well as poets in the summer time to this tavern, whose walls—if have loved this spot, and made it hallowed ground. walls have ears—must have listened to some rare Romney, Morland, Haydon, Constable, Collins, and racy conversation. We have already spoken Blake, Linnell, Herbert, and Clarkson Stanfield have at some length of the doings of this celebrated club all in their turn either lived in Hampstead, or, at in a previous volume.* In 1712, Steele, most the least, frequented it, studying, as artists and poets genial of wits and most tender of humorists, found only can, the glorious “sunset effects” and won- it necessary to quit London for a time. As usual, drous contrasts of light and shade which are to be the duns were upon him, and his “ darling Prue" seen here far better than anywhere else within five had been, we may suppose, a little more unreasonmiles of St. Paul's or Charing Cross.
ably jealous than usual. He left London in haste, Linnell, the painter of the “ Eve of the Deluge" and took the house at Hampstead in which Sir and the “ Return of Ulysses,” made frequently his Charles Sedley had recently died. Thither would abode at a cottage beyond the Heath, between come Mr. Pope or Dr. Arbuthnot in a coach to North End and the “Spaniards.” To this quiet carry the eminent moralist off to the cheerful nook very often resorted, on Sunday afternoons, his meetings of the Kit-Kat at the “ Flask.” How friend William Blake, thật "dreamer of dreams Sir Richard returned we are not told, but there and seer of visions,” and John Varley, artist and is some reason to fear that the coach was even astrologer, who were as strange a pair as ever trod more necessary at the end of the eve...ng than at this earth.
| its beginning. These meetings, however, did not Goldsmith, who loved to walk here, describes last long. We shall have more to say of Sir Richard the view from the top of the hill as finer than any- Steele when we reach Haverstock Hill. thing he had seen in his wanderings abroad; and Mr. Howitt, in his “Northern Heights of yet he wrote “The Traveller," and had visited the London," gives a view of the house as it appeared sunny south.
when that work was published (1869). The author Between the Heath and the western side of the states that the members of the Kit-Kat Club used town is a double row of noble lime-trees, the gravel “to sip their ale under the old mulberry-tree, which path under which is “still called the Judge's Walk, or King's Bench Avenue.” The story is, that when
Sve Vol, I., 7.
quent "soin, which wit and
still flourishes, though now bound together by iron years by Mr. Thomas Sheppard, M.P. for Frome, bands, and showing signs of great age,” in the and afterwards by Mrs. Raikes, a relative of Mr. garden adjoining. Sir Richard Blackmore, in his Thomas Raikes, to whose "Journal” we have poem, “ The Kit-Kats," thus commemorates the frequently referred in these pages. On her death summer gatherings of the club at this house : the house passed into the hands of a Mr. Lister. “Or when, Apollo-like, thou'st pleased to lead
The old house is still kept in remembrance by a Thy sons to feast on Hampstead's airy head : double row of elms in front of it, forming a shady Hampstead, that, towering in superior sky,
grove. Now with Parnassus does in honour vie."
With the interest attached to the place through Since that time the house has been much altered, the pages of “Clarissa Harlowe," it would be and additions have been made to it. One Samuel wrong not to make more than a passing allusion Stanton, a vintner, who came into possession of it to it. We will, therefore, summarise from the near the beginning of the last century, was pro-work those portions having special reference to bably the last person who used it as a tavern. In the “Upper Flask" and its surroundings :1750 it passed from his nephew and successor, Richardson represents the fashionable villain “Samuel Stanton, gentleman,” to his niece, Lady Lovelace as inducing Clarissa—whom he had Charlotte Rich, sister of Mary, Countess of War- managed, under promise of marriage, to lure away wick; a few years later George Steevens, the from her family—to take a drive with him in comannotator of Shakespeare, bought the house, and pany with two of the women of the sponging-house lived there till his death, in 1800.
into which he had decoyed her. Lovelace, afterSteevens is stated to have been a fine classical wards writing to his friend Belford, says :-" The scholar, and celebrated for his brilliant wit and coach carried us to Hampstead, to Highgate, smart repartee in conversation, in which he was to Muswell Hill; back to Hampstead, to the “ lively, varied, and eloquent,” so that one of his Upper Flask. There, in compliment to the acquaintances said that he regarded him as a speak- nymphs, my beloved consented to alight and take ing Hogarth. He possessed a handsome fortune, a little repast; then home early by Kentish Town.” which he managed, says his biographer, “ with dis- Clarissa no sooner discovers the nature of the vile cretion, and was enabled to gratify his wishes, place into which Lovelace has brought her, than which he did without any regard to expense, in she at once sets about endeavouring to effect her forming his distinguished collections of classical escape. By one of Lovelace's accomplices she is learning, literary antiquity, and the arts connected tracked to a hackney coach, and from her direcwith it. . . . . He possessed all the grace of tions to the driver it is at once made clear that exterior accomplishment, acquired when civility Hampstead is her destination. The fellow then and politeness were the characteristics of a gentle- disguises himself, and making his way thither, man. He received the first part of his education discovers her at the “Upper Flask," which fact he at Kingston-upon-Thames; he went thence to communicates to Lovelace in the following words: Eton, and was afterwards a fellow-commoner of —“If your honner come to the Upper Flax,' I King's College, Cambridge. He also accepted a will be in site (sight) all day about the “Tappcommission in the Essex militia, on its first esta-house' on the Hethe.” Lovelace pursues his blishment. The latter years of his life he chiefly victim in all haste, and arrives at the "Upper spent at Hampstead in retirement, and seldom Flask,” but only to find that she had been there, mixed in society except in booksellers' shops, or but had since taken up her abode somewhere in the Shakespeare Gallery, or the morning conversa the neighbourhood. We next find Lovelace writing tions of Sir Joseph Banks.”
from the “Upper Flask :"_“I am now here, and “Steevens," says Cradock, in his “Memoirs," have been this hour and a half. What an indus“was the most indefatigable man I had ever met trious spirit have I.” But all that he could learn with. He would absolutely set out from his house with any certainty respecting the runaway was, that at Hampstead, with the patrol, and walk to London “the Hampstead coach, when the dear fugitive came before daylight, call up his barber in Devereux to it, had but two passengers in it; but she made Court, at whose shop he dressed, and when fully the fellow go off directly, paying for the vacant accoutred for the day, generally resorted to the places. The two passengers directing the coachhouse of his friend Hamilton, the well-known man to set them down at the Upper Flask,' she editor and printer of the Critical Review.”
bid them set her down there also." Steevens, it is stated, added considerably to the Clarissa has in the meantime taken up her abode house. It was subsequently occupied for many in the lodging-house of a Mrs. Moore, as she herself
ious spirit have our and a half, am now here
tells us in one of her epistles :—“I am at present Lovelace. The governor's wife seized the book, at one Mrs. Moore's, at Hampstead. My heart and the secretary waited for it, and the chief misgave me at coming to this village, because I justice could not read it for tears. He acted had been here with him more than once; but the the whole scene as he paced up and down the coach hither was such a convenience that I knew Athenæum Library; I daresay he could have not what to do better.” She, however, is not spoken pages of the book.” allowed to rest quietly here, but is soon surrounded The following is the testimony of R. B. Haydon by Lovelace's tools and spies. She attempts to to the merits of “ Clarissa Harlowe” as a work of escape, and, making her way to the window, ex- fiction :-"I was never so moved by a work of claims to the landlady—“Let me look out! genius as by Othello, except by 'Clarissa HarWhither does that path lead to? Is there no lowe.' I read seventeen hours a day at Clarissa,' probability of getting a coach? Cannot I steal to and held up the book so long, leaning on my a neighbouring house, where I may be concealed elbows in an arm-chair, that I stopped the circulatill I can get quite away? Oh, help me, help me, tion, and could not move. When Lovelace ladies, or I am ruined !' Then, pausing, she asks— writes, “Dear Belton, it is all over, and Clarissa 'Is that the way to Hendon? Is Hendon a private lives,' I got up in a fury, and wept like an infant, place? The Hampstead coach, I am told, will and cursed Lovelace till I was exhausted. This is carry passengers thither?'” Richardson writes : the triumph of genius over the imagination and “She, indeed, went on towards Hendon, passing heart of the readers." by the sign of the Castle on the Heath; then Richardson, by all accounts, was one of the stopping, looked about her, and turned down the vainest of men, and loved to talk of nothing so valley before her. Then, turning her face towards well as his own writings. It must be owned, howLondon, she seemed, by the motion of her hand- ever, that he had something to be vain and proud kerchief to her eyes, to weep; repenting (who about when he wrote “ Clarissa Harlowe,” which at knows?) the rash step that she had taken, and once established itself as a classic on the bookwishing herself back again. ... Then, con- shelves of every gentleman and lady throughout tinuing on a few paces, she stopped again, and, England. as if disliking her road, again seeming to weep, | “The great author," writes Thackeray, in his directed her course back towards Hampstead.” “ Virginians," "was accustomed to be adored-a
Hannah More bears testimony to the fact that, gentler wind never puffed mortal vanity; enrapwhen she was young, “Clarissa” and “Sir Charles tured spinsters flung tea-leaves round him, and Grandison” were the favourite reading in any incensed him with the coffee-pot. Matrons kissed English household. And her testimony to their the slippers they had worked for him. There was excellence is striking. She writes : “Whatever a halo of virtue round his nightcap." objection may be made to them in certain respects, So great is the popularity of the author of they contain more maxims of virtue, and more “Pamela," “Clarissa,” and “Sir Charles Gransound moral principle, than half the books called dison,” that foreigners of distinction have been 'moral.'"
known to visit Hampstead, and to inquire with At the end of a century, Macaulay tells us that curiosity and wonder for the “Flask Walk,” so the merits of “Clarissa Harlowe” were still felt distinguished as a scene in “Clarissa's ” history, and acknowledged. On one occasion he said to just as travellers visit the rocks of Mellerie, in Thackeray: “If you have once thoroughly entered order to view the localities with which they have on 'Clarissa,' and are infected by it, you can't already been familiarised in Rousseau's tale of leave it. When I was in India, I passed one hot passion. The “Lower Flask” tavern, in Flask season at the hills, and there were the governor-Walk, is mentioned in “Clarissa Harlowe” as a general, and the secretary of the Government, and place where second-rate persons are to be found the commander-in-chief, and their wives. I had occasionally in a swinish condition. The “ Flask 'Clarissa' with me; and as soon as they began Inn," rebuilt in 1873, is still here, and so is Flask to read it, the whole station was in a passion of Walk, but both are only ghosts of their former excitement about Miss Harlowe and the scoundrel selves!
nils and there were the ment, and place where in a swinis
HAMPSTEAD (continued).—THE TOWN.
A village revelling in varieties.
Then northward, what a range-with heath and pond,
Nature's own ground; woods that let mansions through,
And cottaged vales, with pillowy fields beyond,
And clumps of darkening pines, and prospects blue,
And that clear path through all, where daily meet
Cool cheeks, and brilliant eyes, and morn-elastic feet."-Leigh Haxt. Description of the Town-Heath Street—The Baptist Chapel-Whitefield's Preaching at Hampstead—The Public Library-Romney, the Painter
The “Hollybush ”—The Assembly Rooms-Agnes and Joanna Baillie - The Clock House-Branch Hill Lodge-The Fire Brigade Station - The "Lower Flask Inn"-Flask Walk-Fairs held there—The Militia Barracks-Mrs. Tennyson-Christ Church-The Wells-Concerts and Balls-Irregular Marriages—The Raffling Shops-Well Walk-John Constable-John Keats-Geological Formation of the Northern
Heights. The town of Hampstead is built on the slope of tortuous, irregular, and unconnected fashion. the hill leading up to the Heath, as Mr. Thorne, There are,” he adds, “the fairly-broad winding in his “Environs" styles it, “in an odd, sidelong, High Street, and other good streets and lanes,