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treated her with what I meant to be the coldest civility.” This heroic discipline seems to have done the lady some good, for she was most effusive in her kindness to Macaulay afterward, though she never lost her abruptness nor her disposition to keep a tight rein on her guests. To Lord Portchester she said: “I am sorry to hear you are going to publish a poem. Can't you suppress it.” Most admirable advice, to be sure, but not consoling to one posing as a poetic genius. In fact, Tom Moore once said that “poets inclined to a plethora of vanity would find a dose of Lady Holland now and then very good for their complaint.” Moore himself took the dose not infrequently. She asked him how he could write those vulgar verses about Leigh Hunt, and she criticised “Lalla Rookh” for the reasons it was Eastern and published in quarto. Even to Rogers, one of the greatest of Holland House favorites, she said: “Your poetry is bad enough ; so pray be sparing of your prose.” Macaulay, as every one knows, was inclined too often to monopolize the conversation, particularly in the period when he first entered London society. Lady Holland did not permit this at her table and very often checked him in the torrent of his
speech. On one occasion she sent her page to him and asked him to stop talking, as she wanted to listen to Lord Aberdeen. Greville, in his memoirs, relates a most amusing incident of this kind. One evening at Holland House various topics came along, and Macaulay knew more about them than any one else present. Lady Holland did not know that Sir Thomas More had once been Speaker of the House of Commons, so Macaulay told her all about the celebrated interview between Cardinal Wolsey and More, when the latter held the Speaker's chair. The subject being changed, she wanted to know why Sir Thomas Munro, the Governor-General of India, was so distinguished, and Macaulay related all that he had ever said, done, written or thought, till Lady Holland got bored with Sir Thomas and told Macaulay she had enough of him and would have no more. Then the company got upon the fathers of the Church, and Macaulay repeated a sermon of Chrysostom's in praise of the bishop of Antioch, till Lady Holland put an extinguisher upon the subject by asking in a tone of derision: “Pray, Macaulay, what was the origin of the doll? When were dolls first mentioned in history?” But Macaulay was quite equal to the occasion and told how the Roman children had their dolls, which they offered up to Venus as they grew older. And he quoted from the Latin poets to prove what he said. But the anecdotes of Lady Holland and her guests would fill pages. She survived her husband five years, but kept up her brilliant dinner parties to the last. The French statesman Thiers and Lord Palmerston were present at the last she ever gave, in October, 1845. She died the following November. Although a skeptic in religion she met death with serenity and without concern.
WIT AND POET.
MACAULAY, writing to his sister in 1831 describing a breakfast at Holland House, says:
Our breakfast party consisted of my lord and lady, myself, Lord Russell and Luttrell. You must have heard of Luttrell. I met him once at Rogers', and I have seen him, I think, in other places. He is a famous wit—the most popular, I think, of all the professed wits—a man who has lived in the highest circles, a scholar and no contemptible poet. He wrote a little volume of verse entitled “ Advice to Julia"— not first-rate, but neat, lively, piquant and showing the most consummate knowledge of fashionable life.
At the time this letter was written few men were better known in the world of fashion than Henry Luttrell. One cannot read the story of the early part of the century as we have it in the memoirs and letters of Byron, in the diaries of Moore and Crabb Robinson, and in the reminis
cences of Rogers and other celebrities of the time,
without constantly meeting with the name of Henry Luttrell. He was universally known as a most agreeable member of society, as an incorrigible wit and sayer of good things, as a master of epigrams and sententious sayings and as a gentleman of the highest good breeding. He was, besides this, a scholar who knew the niceties of Greek and Latin literature. In the “Noctes Ambrosianae '’ he is called “one of the most accomplished men in all England—a wit and a scholar.” Byron, in conversation with the Countess of Blessington, said: “Of course you know Luttrell; he is the best sayer of good things and the most epigrammatic conversationist I ever met. There is a terseness and wit, mingled with fancy, in his observations that no one else possesses, and no one so peculiarly understands the apropos. Then, unlike most other wits, Luttrell is never obtrusive; even the choicest hons mots are only brought forth when perfectly applicable, and they are given in a tone of good breeding which enhances their value.” Henry Luttrell, wit, poet and man about town, for almost fifty years in London, the associate of Rogers, Moore, Campbell and Sydney Smith, a man who in his youth could have known Dr.
Johnson, and in his advanced years did know