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offences may appear to the dealers in fiction, man. kind are too well acquainted with the value of
sec either of them; and “ dying in a few years, left £-1500 per annum inheritance at Stepney, to her chambermaid."
Philadelphia, Lady Wentworth, Lady of the manor of Stepney, I find, died in April, 1696, ten years after hier daughter, (the celebrated Lady Henrietta Wentworth, Baroness of Nottlested, and mistress of the Dukcof Mon. mouth,) for whom she ordered a monument to be crccted in the church of 'Tuddington, in Bedfordshire, of not less than £.2,000 value; which, by the neglect of those to whom the Earl of Cleaveland's estate has since devolved, is now hastening fast to decay. Her will, which was made April 2, 1696, and proved, May 4, following, (PR. Ofr. Bond, qu. 84,) contains no such devise as that above mentioned. She bequcathed about £.10,000 in legacies to various noble relations and friends ; £.200 to her servant, Mrs. Mary Tanningham, and £-330 to other servants; and she made her executors, Sir Robert Iloward and two other gentlemen, her residuary Icgitecs. By hier will slic. confirmed, and appropriated a fund for the payment of, certain legacies bequcathed by her daugh. ter; among which was, an annuity of £.100 for her life, “to Mrs.Flanningham," who probably had been Lady llenricita Wentworth's servant, and was the same person to whoin shc herself bequcathed £.200, thongls, perhaps, by a mistake in the transcript of this will, there is a slighe variation in the names.-Here we have the germ of Mrs. Thomases fiction.
Her mother, in 1684, rctiring with her daughter, for cheapness, to some place in Surrey, (she does not tell us where,) became acquainted with Dr. Glisson, [an eminent physician,] then (as she informs us) “ near a hundred years of age.” At his last visit to them, this gentleman VOL. 1.
integrity and truth, in all human dealings, not to hold the whole tribe of impostors and forgers of
having drawn on “ a pair of rich Spanish leather gloves, embossed on the backs and tops with gold embroidery, and fringed round with gold plate," he was asked their history; as " he seemed to touch them with particular respect." “I do so," returned he;" for the last time I had the honour of approaching my mistress, Queen ELIZABETII, she pulled them from her own royal hands, saying – Here, Glisson, wear them for ny sake :' I have done so with veneration, and never drew them on, but when I had a mind to honour those whom I visit, as I now do you : and since thou lovest the memory of my royal mistress, take them, and preserve them carefully, when I am gone !-Too true a prediction ! he went homc, and died in a few days !”
It must be acknowledged that Corinna had a good sprag memory; for Dr. Francis Glisson, a celebrated physician and anatomist in the last century, (the person here incant,) died in the year 1677, at which time she was just two years old; but if we allow the speech which she has with great precision given as his, to have come to her by relation from her mother, then we are only to suppose that the Doctor made it seven years after he was dead. “Thus bad begins, and worse remains bee hind;" for Dr. Glisson, when he died, being in truth just cightý, (and not near one hundred, as she chose to represent him,) must have been born in 1597, and consequently in the last year of Elizabeth's reign, was only five years' old. Here then we have an account of a very extraordinary phenomenon, well worthy the attention of our curious collectors of rarities;-a pair of gloves of so accommodating a nature, that in spite of their stiffened high tops, they not only equally suited either sex, but by a peculiar power of expansion and contraction exactly
every kind in abhorrence; and however they may be elated by the praise of ingenuity, or the profits
fitted a boy of five years old, a Queen of seventy, and an old physician of eighty. As they are probably yet forthcoming, the representatives of this lady cannot do bettet than present them to the gentleman, who, we were frequently assured some time since, was possessed of a curi. ous whole-length portrait of our great dramatick poet; as by an casy transition he may convert them into ShakSPEARE'S GLOVES with ncither of which incstimable trea. sures, though long and fondly expected, have the cyes of the steady BELIEVERS in this kind of trumpery yet been gratified.
In these extraordinary Memoirs we are next presented with the history of a chemical quack, whom the writer calls Dr. Quibus ; who, being reduced to poverty, poisoned himself “ with so strong a corrosivc," that “ in a few hours his belly burst, and his bowels gushed out." “ Thus (adds Corinna) ended the life of a poor wretch under the most excruciating dolours, who had ruined many without benefit to himself.” We shall hereafter find the very same excruciating dolours tormenting our author in his last moments.
Mrs. Thomases mother died in January, 1918-19; and a Mr. Richard Gwinnet, who had promised to marry her, having died about two ycars before, and by his will be. qucathed to her, as she states, six hundred pounds, she was involved in a lawsuit for this sum. Though she prevailed in this suit, she received, (she says,) at the end of several years, only £.213 16s. od.; and in 1727, being utterly destitute, she was thrown into the Fleet. Probably, while: she was confined there, slic sold to Curll, the bookseller, a parcel of Pope's Letters to Henry Cromwell, Esq.,' which she had by some means procured from that gen. .
of successful fraud, detection and disgrace will assuredly at last overtake them. ..
tleman, with whom she appears to have been intimately acquainted. Curll, in his Key to the DUNCIAD, 1728, says, that Mr. Cromwell gave them to her ; but in a note. on that poem, in 1729, (Book ii. 1. 66, “ Which Curll's Corinna," &c.) Pope thus represents this transaction :
" This name, [Corinna,] it seems, was taken by onc Mrs. T[homas,] who procured some private letters of Mr. Pope's while almost a boy, to Mr. Cromwell, and sold them, without the consent of either of those gentlemen, to Curll, who prinied them in 12mo. in 1727. He has discovered her to be the publisher, in his Kcy, p. 11. But our poet had no thought of reflecting on her in this passage; on the contrary, he has been informed she is a decent woman, and in misfortunes. We only take this opportu. nity," &c.-The words in Italicks were omitted by Pope, in the subsequent editions ; probably in consequence of Curll's informing him in an advertisement at the end of her Letters and Memoirs, printed in 1731, (under the eitle of Pylades and CORINNA,) that she was the author of an abusive pamphlet against him, entitled “ CODRUS, or thc Dunciad Dissected,” which she published in 1728, under the name of " Mr. Phillips.”
. For some ycars after the death of Dryden, she appears to have kept up a friendly intercourse with his family and relations; for she addressed a letter and a paper of verses to his kinswoman, Mrs. Creed, on the death of her daughter Jemima, who, I find from a MS. document now before me, was buried at Tichmarsh in February, 1705-6.
-Her scheme, however, of gaining some money by a. fictitious account of Dryden's funeral, seems to have been formed on her being confined in the Fleet in 1727 (if not before); and probably it was then put into Curll's
- This unfortunate woman, it appears from her own account, was put into the Fleet in the year
hands, though he did not think proper to produce it till three years afterwards, in the Memoirs of Congreve. This may be collected from a slight circumstance. In a poem on our author's death, which she wrote immedi. ately after that event, (for it appeared in the Collection entitled LUCTUS BRITANNICI, published on that occasion, in Junc, 1700,) are the following lines :
" But ah! Britannia, thou complain'st too late ;
“ As none could equal, but his Emily."
According to her own account, she was put into the Ficet in 1727. Under an Act of Insolvency, a warrant was issued for her release, in June 1729; but in consequence of her extreme indigence, she remained in con. finement till ncar the middle of the next year, as appears from the following original letter, written by her in a very neat hand, which was found in a presentation copy of her volume of Poems, purchased a few years ago by my friend Mr. Bindley. It has no superscription, but was probably addressed to Sir Joseph Jekyll, Master of the Rolls; Your Ilonour being the appropriate address to the person