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ed health. In 1842, we find by his letters he was still residing there. He was frequently obliged to obtain leave of absence on account of indisposition, and always betook himself at such periods to his much-loved native place.
He died in London, rather in embarrassed circumstances, but still retaining his appointment, the 21st of July, 1850, in his 46th year.
LETTERS FROM B. SIMMONDS, ESQ., TO LADY BLESSINGTON. "4 Ashley Crescent, Saturday morning. "DEAR LADY BLESSINGTON,-Business of an urgent and tormenting nature (which very seldom troubles me) has prevented me from thanking you before now for your new book, with a copy of which I was favored some days ago. It is the only thing I have had time to look into for several evenings, and it has refreshed and delighted me at every perusal. I prefer it, for several reasons, to its predecessor, principally for a strain of graceful feminine fearlessness that pervades several portions of it. It is, perhaps, impertinent in me to make this remark, but you can not know how inseparably you, who have so triumphantly asserted by those most potent of earthly spells (when united), beauty and genius, our poor country's supremacy, are associated with the natural pride of your countrymen. Indeed, I could give you some amusing instances of this feeling, which I have noticed among my compatriots since I came to London, if it were not presumptuous in me thus to take up your ladyship's time.
"With every sentiment of respect, your ladyship's faithful and very humble servant, B. SIMMONDS."
"4 Ashley Crescent, City Road, June 26th. "With the proof which I return, I received through the medium of your fair secretary the second print you wished me to illustrate for the Annual, and it is with grief and contrition I have to confess that, as yet, I have been unable to do any thing for it. I not only agreed to supply the people beyond Tweed with a hymn of triumph on the queen's escape (a most impracticable subject), but also an article for six consecutive numbers of their magazine, and which has absorbed nearly all my spare time; and now I dare say your people are waiting for copy, and all is at the eleventh hour. If this is not the case, I should be glad to show you that I am not insensible to your wishes. But should you be at a loss for the services of some of your 'Genii of the Lamp,' I think Mr. Plunkett would be happy to give his talents and attention to illustrate the print in question, which I retain until I hear farther from you. B. SIMMONDS."
"4 Ashley Crescent, City Road, April 27th. "I beg to return 'Gersant,' with a thousand thanks. With half the De Staël's works at my fingers' end, I could not have believed the French language capable of the power of passionate eloquence of the book. It is full, too, of melancholy truth, which, though perhaps not very new, I never remember meeting brightened up with such enchanting fancy before.
"Saturday night, June 26th.
"To offer the inclosed verses for one of your books is perhaps like placing a gauntlet among the bijouterie of the Graces. If, however, you don't think there's too much clangor in them, it is not unlikely they will please at the other side of the Atlantic, where I believe you are as popular as in Europe.
"I have lauded the States, and one who is above all praise-Washington Irving-and have quoted an old and valued friend of mine (and countryman), Isaac Wild-perhaps you know him?-the traveler, who published the beautiful quarto on Killarney long ago. B. SIMMONDS."
"4 Ashley Crescent, City Road, April 2d, 1840. "My health has been very unfavorable this time back to composition; but if you will be kind enough to let me know the very farthest time at which I must produce the illustration, I shall be glad to be industrious in your cause. I may, perhaps, ask you for a corner in both the Annuals (for I understand the Keepsake' is now under the same auspices as the Book of Beauty'), sufficient to give me a claim for a contributor's copy of those books, which are a source of gratification far away, deep in the mountains, among a host of country cousins. I thank you for associating me with your ladyship and Ireland. I passed last autumn there, and assure you that you interfere with the popularity of Messrs. Moore and O'Connell (and that is saying much), those magnates of the villages. The priest and the doctor drink your health, and never by any chance say 'Lady,' but the Countess of Blessington,' a kind of Oriental grandiloquence that the Irish are the more profuse of the poorer they grow. B. SIMMONDS."
"4 Ashley Crescent, City Road, April 27th, 1840. "I send you an alarming manuscript as an illustration for the drawing, and I hope the verses may meet your approbation. The stanza is a rude imitation of that in Sir L. Bulwer's beautiful poem of 'Milton' (which you will doubtless remember), and has been carried to the highest point of art in Lycidas.
"I shall offer two very short things for the Book of Beauty,' should you be graciously disposed to receive them.
"You should know how deeply I remember you as the friend of the two greatest poets of the age-Byron and Moore, and with what pride I contemplate your magical influence over our literature and times, to learn the pleas
ure I derive at finding that any of my unworthy compositions can afford your ladyship a moment's gratification. B. SIMMONDS."
"4 Ashley Crescent, City Road, 12th Nov., 1840. "Do you remember that greedy creature in Roman story who, on her betraying the city to the Gauls for the sake of the gold chains upon their bucklers, sank under the shields which they flung upon her as they entered, and so perished miserably?
"I assure you I feel at this moment something like the traitress in question; you have overwhelmed and punished me for my shabby request of last summer by the reproachful costliness of the books I have just received. But as, in the words of your familiar adage, 'Little said is soon mended,' I shall merely say that your present is worthy of that magnificent spirit which characterizes every thing connected with you, and that if any thing were wanting to enhance its value, you have supplied it in the gratification afforded me by the perusal of one of the articles in those volumes-your admirable, faithful, and useful story of The Old Irish Gentleman. B. SIMMONDS."
"January 2d, 1841.
"I have just seen my friend, Mr. Arthur Plunkett, who tells me there is some alarming superstition connected with the bestowal of presents with points, which, however, he says, may be averted by the exchange of a small piece of silver. If the mischief, then, be neutralized in proportion to the smallness of the coin, let me hope that the moneys I beg to inclose will completely propitiate the fairy people, whose influence, I presume, is dreaded upon such occasions. B. SIMMONDS."
"Sunday, July 5th.
"Under the supposition that the Rhapsody I sent you on yesterday has found favor in your sight (you are generally indulgent to my vagaries), and being on the eve of departure for Ireland for some weeks, I am going to make what in our country is called a modest request: it is, that you will order me, when the book is printed, a large paper copy of the Annual that contains the verses inscribed to Lady Jane Moore, as I would not think of offering her a small paper one. B. SIMMONDS."
"Kilworth, January 1st, 1842.
"I have just been honored with the flattering and valuable proofs of your kind remembrance. I wish I had deserved them better. In thanking you deeply, as I now do, for giving my humble name a place in your recollection, and for your recent note of inquiry through Miss Power, I beg of you to believe that, though silent and at a distance, I never forget your friendship; and that when louder and livelier visitors have passed away, you will be remembered, as ever, with pride, admiration, and gratitude. B. SIMMONDS."
In 1838, John Kenyon published a volume of poems, many of which were of a much higher order than the ordinary "Vers de Société," written by the mere literary hangers-on of coteries of fashion, where there is a kind of under current, which carries off the floating productions of those ephemeræ of literature. Several of Mr. Kenyon's pieces, illustrative of Italian scenes and scenery (well known to the author), are executed with great spirit, elegance, and taste, and some of them might pass for portions of Rogers's Italy. Those pieces of least merit, and least worthy of their amiable, refined, and kindly-disposed author, are satires, some of which have an air of malignant virulence about them.
Among the miscellaneous poems there is one entitled "Music," singularly beautiful, from which I venture to extract two stanzas, the first and last, to show what talent this man possessed, who was one of Lady Blessington's especial favorites.
The detached poems of this gentleman lead one to form an opinion of his talents of a very favorable kind. No separate work of his, I believe, exists. He was a man of refined literary tastes and acquirements, and was held in high estimation by
eminent literary people for his high character and his amiable disposition..
LETTER FROM JOHN KENYON, ESQ., TO LADY BLESSINGTON. "38 Rue de Neuve, St. Augustin, Paris, 15th June, 1840. "DEAR MADAM,-You will wonder at this note from one who ought in all modesty to conclude that you have, by this time, forgotten him. But if you happen to have thought of me at all, I trust you will have inferred that my absence from Gore House has been caused by absence from London. It will be one of my duties, on my return home, to show, as far as an early call may do so, that I have not forgotten all your obliging attentions. My present object is to offer a few stanzas to you, a pepper-corn offering, which perhaps I am, after all, not justified in doing-for probably the Muses, like other ladies, should wait till they are asked-and to inquire whether you can make any use of them, such as they are, for your forthcoming Annual. I have endeavored to condense into them the associations which grow out of Italy. Who can judge better than you can whether I have succeeded well or ill? But do not, I beg of you, think yourself bound to accept my offering. I shall not turn vindictive, like Cain, though your discretion may refuse it. I shall still continue to think the verses excellent verses, and only conceit that they do not happen to suit your particular views for this year's book, and you will have too much courtesy and kindness to clear away my delusion.
"Should you, however, care to make use of them, may I be allowed to request that they may be printed as I send them? Is this modesty or vanity? Whatever casuists or motive-mongers may choose to decide, I hold for the former. The robust wings of the eagle will bear handling; the butterfly's are ruined, touch 'em ever so lightly. Very truly yours, JOHN KENYON."
From Lady Blessington to Charles Bianconi, Esq. :
"Gore House, Kensington, December 2d, 1846.
"DEAR SIR,-Accept my best thanks for the statistical statement you have I have perused it with warm interest, and feel, as all must who have read it, that my native land has found in you her best benefactor. I thank you for discovering those noble qualities in my poor countrymen which neglect and injustice may have concealed, but have not been able to destroy. While bettering their condition, you have elevated the moral character of those you employ. You have advanced civilization while inculcating a practical code of morality that must ever prove the surest path to lead to an amelioration of Ireland. Wisdom and humanity, which ought ever to be insep