+ ~ -
 
Please report pronunciation problems here. Select and sample other voices. Options Pause Play
 
Report an Error
Go!
 
Go!
 
TOC
 

political poetry has not graced the literature
of the age.

It was not to be supposed but that this
trumpet-blast of defiance, and shrill scream of
"war to the knife," should bring down upon
him much obloquy, much vituperation: but
all this fell harmlessly upon him; he rather
liked it. When people began to bear with
the turbid humour and angry utterances of
the " Corn Law Rhymer," and grew familiar
with the stormy march of his verse, it was
discovered that he was something more than
a mere political party song-writer. He was
a true poet, whose credentials, signed and
sealed in the 'court of nature, attested the
genuineness of his brotherhood with those
children of song who make the world holier
and happier by the mellifluous strains they
bring to us, like fragments of a forgotten
melody, from the far-off world of beauty and
of love.

Elliott will not soon cease to be distinctively
known as the " Com Law Rhymer;"
but it will be by his non-political poems that
he will be chiefly remembered by posterity as
the Poet of the People; for his name will
still be, as it has long been, a "Household
Word," in the homes of all such as love the
pure influences of simple, sensuous, and
natural poetry. As an author he did not
make his way fast: he had written poetry
for twenty years ere he had attracted much
notice. A genial critique by Southey in the
"Quarterly;" another by Carlyle in the
"Edinburgh;" and favourable notices in
the "Athenasum" and "New Monthly,"
brought him into notice; and he gradually
made his way until a new and cheap edition
of his works in 1840 stamped him as a popular
Poet. His poetry is just such as, knowing
is history, we might have expected; and
such as, not knowing it, might have bodied
forth to us the identical man as we find
him.

As we have said, Nature was his school;
but flowers were the especial vocation of
his muse. A small ironmonger a keen
and successful tradesman we should scarcely
have given him credit for such an exquisite
love of the beautiful in Nature, as we
find in some of those lines written by him
in the crowded counting-room of that dingy
warehouse. The incident of the floral
miscellany: the subsequent study of "The
Seasons;" the long rambles in meadows and
on hill-sides, specimen-hunting for his Hortiis
Siccus; sufficiently account for the exquisite
sketches of scenery, and those vivid descriptions
of natural phenomena, which showed
that the coinage of his brain had been
stamped in Nature's mint. The most casual
reader would at once discover that, with
Thompson, he has ever been the devoted lover
and worshipper of Nature a wanderer by
babbling streams a dreamer in the leafy
wilderness a worshipper of morning upon
the golden hill-tops. He gives us pictures of
rural scenery warm as the pencil of a Claude,
and glowing as the sunsets of Italy.

A few sentences will complete our sketch,
and bring us to the close of the poet's
pilgrimage. He had come out of the general
collapse of commercial affairs in 1837, with a
small portion of the wealth he had realised by
diligent and continuous labour. He took a
walk, on one occasion, into the country, of
about eighteen miles, reached Argilt Hill,
liked the place, returned, and resolved to buy
it. He laid out in house and land about one
thousand guineas. His family consisted of
Mrs. Elliott and two daughters a servant-
maid an occasional helper a Welch pony
and small gig, " a dog almost as big as the
mare, and much wiser than his master; a
pony-cart; a wheel-barrow; and a grindstone
and," says he, "turn up your nose if
you like!"

From his own papers we learn that he had
one son a clergyman, at Lothedale, near
Skipton; another in the steel trade, on Elliott's
old premises at Sheffield; two others
unmarried, living on their means; another
"druggisting at Sheffield, in a sort of chimney called
a shop;" and another, a clergyman, living in
the West Indies. Of his thirteen children,
five were dead, and of whom he says "They
left behind them no memorial but they are
safe in the bosom of Mercy, and not quite
forgotten even here!"

In this retirement he occasionally lectured
and spoke at public meetings; but he began
to suffer from a spasmodic affection of the
nerves, which obliged him wholly to forego
public speaking. This disease grew worse;
and in December, 1839, he was warned that
he could not continue to speak in public,
except at the risk of sudden death. This
disorder lingered about him for about six years:
he then fell ill of a more serious disease, which
threatened speedy termination. This was in
May, 1849. In September, he writes, " I have
been very, very ill." On the first of December,
1849, the event, which had so long been
impending, occurred; and Elliott peacefully
departed in the 69th year of his age.

Thus, then, the sun set on one whose life
was one continued heroic struggle with
opposing influences, with ignorance first, then
trade, then the corn laws, then literary fame,
and, last of all, disease: and thus the world
saw its last of the material breathing form of
the rugged but kindly being who made himself
loved, feared, hated, and famous, as the "CORK
LAW RHYMER."

Monthly Supplement of 'HOUSEHOLD WORDS'
Conducted by CHARLES DICKENS.

Price 2 Stamped 3d.,
THE HOUSEHOLD NARRATIVE
OF
CURRENT EVENTS.

The Number, containing a history of the past month, was
issued with the Magazines.

Profile Information

Application afterLoad: 0.000 seconds, 0.28 MB
Application afterInitialise: 0.116 seconds, 1.00 MB
Application afterRoute: 0.121 seconds, 2.05 MB
Application afterDispatch: 0.178 seconds, 3.64 MB
Application afterRender: 0.216 seconds, 3.97 MB

Memory Usage

4194632

21 queries logged

  1. SELECT *
      FROM jos_session
      WHERE session_id = '39ea35c7ea687a5864556ed25419df7f'
  2. DELETE
      FROM jos_session
      WHERE ( TIME < '1638637104' )
  3. SELECT *
      FROM jos_session
      WHERE session_id = '39ea35c7ea687a5864556ed25419df7f'
  4. INSERT INTO `jos_session` ( `session_id`,`time`,`username`,`gid`,`guest`,`client_id` )
      VALUES ( '39ea35c7ea687a5864556ed25419df7f','1638638904','','0','1','0' )
  5. SELECT *
      FROM jos_components
      WHERE parent = 0
  6. SELECT folder AS TYPE, element AS name, params
      FROM jos_plugins
      WHERE published >= 1
      AND access <= 0
      ORDER BY ordering
  7. SELECT id
      FROM jos_toc_pages
      WHERE alias = 'page-312'
  8. SELECT id
      FROM jos_toc_pages
      WHERE alias = 'page-312'
  9. SELECT *
      FROM jos_toc_pages
      WHERE id = '373'
  10. UPDATE jos_toc_pages
      SET hits = ( hits + 1 )
      WHERE id='373'
  11. SELECT template
      FROM jos_templates_menu
      WHERE client_id = 0
      AND (menuid = 0 OR menuid = 59)
      ORDER BY menuid DESC
      LIMIT 0, 1
  12. SELECT *
      FROM jos_toc_pages
      WHERE alias = 'page-312'
      AND id_volume = 3
  13. SELECT *
      FROM jos_toc_volumes
      WHERE id = '3'
  14. SELECT *
      FROM jos_toc_magazines
      WHERE id = '19'
  15. SELECT id, title,alias
      FROM jos_toc_pages
      WHERE  id_volume = 3
      ORDER BY ordering ASC
  16. SELECT id, DATE, id_page
      FROM jos_toc_magazines
      WHERE  id_volume = 3
      ORDER BY ordering ASC
  17. SELECT *
      FROM jos_toc_parameter
      WHERE `group` = 'voice'
  18. SELECT *
      FROM jos_toc_parameter
      WHERE `group` = 'voice'
  19. SELECT id, title,alias
      FROM jos_toc_pages
      WHERE id_volume = 3
      AND ordering > 322
      ORDER BY ordering ASC
      LIMIT 1
  20. SELECT id, title,alias
      FROM jos_toc_pages
      WHERE id_volume = 3
      AND ordering < 322
      ORDER BY ordering DESC
      LIMIT 1
  21. SELECT id, title, module, POSITION, content, showtitle, control, params
      FROM jos_modules AS m
      LEFT JOIN jos_modules_menu AS mm
      ON mm.moduleid = m.id
      WHERE m.published = 1
      AND m.access <= 0
      AND m.client_id = 0
      AND ( mm.menuid = 59 OR mm.menuid = 0 )
      ORDER BY POSITION, ordering

Language Files Loaded

Untranslated Strings Diagnostic

None

Untranslated Strings Designer

None