[STODDARD, Richard Henry, ed. (1875) Personal Reminiscences by Cornelia Knight and Thomas Raikes, Introduction, Bric-a-Brac Series, New York: Scribner, Armstrong, and Company.]

from the PREFACE


p.x /

      The present volume may be regarded as a sort of companion volume to the "Greville Memoirs," — I mean, as far as the "Bric-a-Brac" series is concerned, with differences, of course, which its readers will readily discover for themselves. It is occupied with the doings of persons of rank and station, among which will be found the beginning of that dark episode in the otherwise glorious career of Nelson — his madness for Lady Hamilton. After this heroic shape comes the fair face of the Princess Charlotte, whose early death sent all England into mourning. Readers of Byron will remember his "Lines on a Lady Weeping," of which she was the theme, and which was written on an on dit, that she burst into tears on a state occasion, which need not be specifed here.

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"Weep, daughter of a royal line,
   A sire's disgrace, a realm's decay,
Ah ! happy if each tear of thine
   Could wash a father's fault away!

"Weep, for thy tears are Virtue's tears,
   Auspicious to these suffering isles;
And be each drop in future years
   Repaid thee by thy people's smiles !"

      Other notabilities figure here, English as well as Continental. Of some we catch but a glimpse; others, as Talleyrand, Wellington, and Louis Philippe are painted at full length. The pencils employed are those of Cornelia Knight and Thomas Raikes, and the works from which the examples which follow are selected are the "Autobiography of Miss Cornelia Knight, Lady Companion to the Princess Charlotte of Wales" (two volumes, London, 1861), and "A Portion of the Journal kept by Thomas Raikes, Esq., from 1831 to 1847: Comprising Reminiscences of Social and Political Life in London and Paris during that Period" (four volumes, London, 1856).

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      Miss Knight, like Mr. Raikes, was a writer of books which went to the trunk makers long ago. They are "Dinarbas," a sort of supplement to Johnson's "Ras- p.xiii / selas," published in 1790; "Marcus Flaminius: a View of the Military, Political, and Social Life of the Romans," a classical novel in two volumes, which, originally published in 1792, reached a second edition in 1808; and "A Description of Latium, or La Campagna di Roma, with Etchings by the Author," which appeared in 1805. I am indebted for these facts to the editor of her "Autobiography," Mr. J. W. Kaye, as well as the following sketch of her life:—

[The Editor of the Bric-a-Brac Series then quotes from the introduction to Knight's autobiography by Mr J. W. Kaye.]