PEACOCK, THOMAS LOVE (1785-1866)
AUTOGRAPH MANUSCRIPT WITH ILLUSTRATIONS OF THE GREATER PART OF HIS SATIRICAL POEM ['A GOODBYE BALLADE OF LITTLE JOHN SHEWINGE HOW HE RAYSED A DYVELL, AND HOW HE COULDE NOT LAYE HYMME'], untitled herein, 73 lines (including interpolated and reconsidered lines) largely in five-line stanzas, beginning with stanzas six to ten of ['Fytte the First'] and the nine stanzas of 'Fytte the Second' with seven lithographed illustrations [by Philip Austin Daniel (fl. 1890, one of Peacock's junior clerks in the Examiner's Office of India House], where Peacock was Chief Examiner, attached and loose (one evidently missing from the present manuscript marked 'Illustration 2' above the first stanza herein, suggesting that another formed part of the section of the first 'Fytte' missing at the beginning), the whole text has been scored through with almost imperceptible pencil lines (perhaps indicating that it had been copied out in another text); the text for the illustrations also in pencil could possibly be in the hand of the illustrator, Daniel, 6 pages of text, octavo, the illustrations of various sizes and slightly foxed either inserted in the text or indicated for insertion, red wax used for holding the illustrations in place, not dated [but February 1851]
In November 1850 Lord John Russell wrote an open letter alluding to Roman practices as 'the mummeries of superstition', published as Letters to the Bishop on Durham on Papal Aggression. He followed this by devising a bill against papal aggression which was presented to the House of Commons in February 1851 and after a four-day debate was carried by an enormous majority. Peacock, a veteran of the campaign for Catholic Emancipation in the late 1820s, wrote the present satirical poem as a riposte. It was circulated in manuscript among the younger men in the Examiner's Office with some illustrations by Daniel (presumably the present manuscript or one deriving from it). The poem was not published until 1875. (Van Doren).
POETICAL MANUSCRIPTS BY PEACOCK ARE OF GREAT RARITY: none have been sold at auction in the last forty years at least. The manuscript of his poem 'Remember Me', now in the Pforzheimer Library, was sold at Sotheby's in 1949.
THIS APPEARS TO BE THE ONLY KNOWN AUTOGRAPH MANUSCRIPT OF 'THE BALLADE'.
The standard text of 'The Ballade', taken from Cole's 1875 edition of Peacock's works, and consisting of 95 lines, in nineteen stanzas, is printed in the Halliford Edition (1924-1934), volume six, pp. 254-257, 'with certain corrections from a late MS. copy of the poem' which had appeared in the Kern sale of 1929 as in Peacock's hand but with a watermark dating from after his death. The lines inserted in the first stanza of the second 'Fytte' do not appear in the printed text.
Daniel was part of the circle that included Peacock's son Edward and daughter Mary and her husband, the poet and novelist George Meredith. It was in Daniel's rooms that Meredith is said to have posed for Henry Wallis's celebrated picture 'The Death of Chatterton'. In 1848 and 1849 Daniel and four of his friends produced the manuscript periodical 'The Monthly Observer.' Diana Johnson refers to Daniel as 'an artist who also worked at India House.'
PROVENANCE: Richard Ford.
REFERENCES: The Works of Thomas Love Peacock, The Halliford Edition, 6 volumes, edited by H.F.B. Brett-Smith and C.E. Jones, 1924-1934; Carl Van Doren, The Life of Thomas Love Peacock, 1911; Felix Felton, Thomas Love Peacock, 1972; Nicholas A. Joukovsky, 'George and Mary Meredith, the East India Company, and the Society of Arts', Studies in Philology, volume 97, no. 4, 2000; Shelley and His Circle 1773-1822, Carl Pforzheimer Library, edited by Kenneth Neill Cameron, volume 1, 1961 and Verlyn Klinkerborg, British Literary Manuscripts, Series II, From 1800-1914, 1981 (where Peacock's hand is illustrated).