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Text of Lord Carlyle's poem on Napoleon's snuff box
Posted by: marian222 (86.172.176.---)
Date: May 14, 2010 02:07AM

Does anyone have Lord Carlyle's original 8 stanzas? - see below. I can't find them anywhere and would like to see the whole thing.

NAPOLEON’S SNUFF BOX by Lord Byron (1821)
Lady, accept the box a hero wore,
In spite of all this elegiac stuff:
Let not seven stanzas written by a bore,
Prevent your Ladyship from taking snuff!

Napoleon bequeathed to Lady Holland a snuff-box which had 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.


Re: Text of Lord Carlyle's poem on Napoleon's snuff box
Posted by: misterF (91.111.99.---)
Date: May 18, 2010 07:11PM

In the Gentleman's Magazine Volume 95 Part 2 there is an obituary of the Earl of Carlisle.
On page 370 it says "His Lordship also wrote some lines advising Lady Holland not to accept of the snuff-box left her by Napoleon. A copy of these eight stanzas may be seen in vol ... (and then, tantalisingly, I cannot read the roman numerals which follow. You might have more luck. I used the Google books facility to find this. Or you might like to bury yourself in a library which has a set of Gentleman's Magazines.)

Stephen


Re: Text of Lord Carlyle's poem on Napoleon's snuff box
Posted by: marian222 (86.172.176.---)
Date: June 08, 2010 02:11AM

Thanks Stephen - hadn't spotted this, been a bit busy with red herrings on the housing front. I'd love to bury myself in any library - but have never heard of Gentleman's Magazine, and doubt they'd have it near here ( so far its a bit of a cultural desert compared with my old haunts) - however I will try!


Re: Text of Lord Carlyle's poem on Napoleon's snuff box
Posted by: misterF (91.109.208.---)
Date: June 08, 2010 03:19AM

The Canterbury Cathedral Library has some of these Magazines. Your local library may be able to arrange an inter-library loan.
If only you lived somewhere civilized. Sigh.
Stephen


Re: Text of Lord Carlyle's poem on Napoleon's snuff box
Posted by: marian222 (86.172.176.---)
Date: June 08, 2010 01:29PM

It would be nice to live somewhere civilised, but there are other ways. I got in touch with Nigel Rees and he provided me with a link to the poem so I now have it! It's a beaut! Full of superstitious threats. The link is

[books.google.com] />
I also looked up Lady Holland and discovered another short poem about the same gift of a snuff box by Thomas Moore (Irish poet and Byron’s executor) – not sure which came first, his or Byron’s –

Gift of the Hero on his dying day

To her whose pity watched, for ever nigh;

Oh! Could he see the proud, the happy ray,

This relic lights up on her generous eye,

Sighing, he’d feel how easy ‘tis to pay

A friendship all his kingdoms could not buy.

I asked about the honeymoon quote as well, and he provided 2 more lines and is hoping to find the rest next time he visits the British Library.




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