Page:The parochial history of Cornwall.djvu/113

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71
BOCONNOC

gies; but each unfortunately, obeying the impulse of passion and of strong feelings rather than the dictates of reason, was hurried on to an untimely fate. The latter fell by the hand of a person born to the situation of a gentleman, but in other respects little entitled to that distinction.

The first Lord Camelford might not only claim a full share of the hereditary talent connected with the names of Lyttelton and of Pitt;* but also literary acquirements and taste obtained under the guidance of his two uncles William Pitt Lord Chatham, and Lord Lyttelton. His gratitude to the latter is commemorated at Boconnoc by a lofty obelisk.

Lord Camelford introduced to the rectory of his parish the Reverend Benjamin Forster, a contemporary at Cambridge of congenial taste, and worthy of his friendship, the associate of Gray and of Mason; and with a mind like theirs suited for retirement and for literary leisure.† In his hours of relaxation he adorned the woods and shades, the vales and the rivulets, of Boconnoc with descriptive and appropriate illustrations from ancient and from modern poetry. To the Glebe-house he applied,

A little lowly hermitage it was,

Down in a dale, hard by a forest's side,

Far from resort of people that did pass

In travail to and fro.

Mr. Forster has been long since deceased, his rectory taken down, and most of his friends departed from this life. His memory is for the present preserved by a tablet (brevi et ipsa interitura) bearing the following inscription:

  • A series of his letters to Mr. Justice Hardinge has been published in Nichols's Literary Illustrations of the Eighteenth Century, vol. vi. pp. 74—139.

A large quantity of Mr.Forster's lively correspondence with Richard Gough, esq. Director S. A. and John Nichols, esq. F.S.A. has been printed in Nichols's Literary Anecdotes of the Eighteenth Century, vol. ix. pp.648—650, and the Literary Illustrations, vol. vi. pp. 290—328, 860—864.