CollectionLady Augusta Murray
Record TypeCommonplace Books
TitleLady Augusta Murray's commonplace book
Datec. 1789
DescriptionCommonplace book in which Lady Augusta Murray has written and transcribed poems, prose, plays, songs, proverbs, epitaphs and prayers, on the subjects of sentiments, emotions and affections, character, friendships, relationships and love. Also includes some genealogical descriptions and historical and scientific notes. Many of the entries are copied from popular literary works of the day, while others concerning more personal thoughts may have been authored by Lady Augusta or her friends.

Volume front board has hand-pasted cuttings of engravings labelled as the Temple at Tivoli, the Parthenon of Rome, and Monte Cavallo of Rome. Volume back board and spine are pasted with cuttings illustrating classical antiquity.

The inside of the front and back boards are hand painted with rustic images.

f1r: Prose text beginning "The despondence of thy heart", containing reflections on sentiment.
f2r: Poem beginning "My friend who knew my flame", expressing fervent love. Prose text beginning "Pour peu qu'on n'ait ni l'esprit ni le coeur mal faits", containing reflections on the human spirit.
f3v: Poem beginning "Beneath a beach, th'abandon'd Virgin laid", expressing passionate love. Prose beginning "J'avais l'âme fière", expressing the challenges of loving.
f4r: Prose beginning "Il y a Ans que j'entrai, pour la premiere fois dans cette chère métairie" [? by Jean-François de Saint-Lambert, 1716-1803], on the subject of visiting an elderly parent.
f6r: Poem beginning "Aurais-je perdu le plaisir d'éstimer?", on the subject of emotions and love.
f6v: Proverb beginning "Les Sages de [? illegible] reprochait un jour au grand Hali de faire trop attendre ses paroles". Prose beginning "L'art de vivre avec l'amitié", on the subject of friendship.
f8r: Ballad attributed to [? John] Gay, beginning "Twas when the seas were roaring".
f9r: Prose summarising Dion's remarks on the Emperor Didius and expressing writer's agreement with his thoughts. Prose beginning "J'essai quelque [?] parmi ces peuples heureux", detailing a meeting with a man and a feeling of friendship with him. Saying: "Riches beget Riches; Poverty, Poverty; melancholy reflexion!".
f9v: Saying: "Que neglige sa reputation, est bien disposé a compter pour peu la vertu". Prose beginning "Les Dieux j'ose esperer veulent la pardoner", on the subject of virtue.
f10r: Prose beginning "La premiere loi de l'amitié [?] de l'amour est le respect mutual" on the subject of character and friendship.
f10v: Prose beginning "Puisque vous aimez la sagesse"[? from Télephe by Jean de Pechméja, 1741-1785], containing advice on good dispositions.
f11r: A dialogue between Pylade to Oreste attributed to Voltaire [1694-1778].
f12v: Saying "Despair gives the shocking ease to the mind that a mortification gives to the body". Rhyming couplets on the subject of beauty. Rhyming couplet on passionate love separated by death. Four-line poem [? epitaph] on the subject of life as a knightly journey.
f13r: Poem "Werter to Charlotte [? by Edward Taylor, 1784].
f16v: Prose beginning "J'ai souvent desiré briller devant quelques personnes" on the subject of behaviour and mortification.
f17r: Poem beginning "Thou know'st how guiltless first I met thy flame" [?"Eloisa to Abelard", by Alexander Pope].
f17v: Observation about hypocrisy beginning "hypocrisy is surely a silent homage". Prose beginning: "Je vois que l'idée des malheurs a venir a attristé", directed at Auguste, and speaking of happiness in the present and in the future.
f18r: Prose entitled "Mon Portrait", beginning "Je suis en train d'écrire".
f27v: Verse written by the Chevalier de Boufleur to the Marquis who was drawing or painting his portrait.
f28r: Prose beginning "C'est un grand secret", explaining how to appeal to a man's self-esteem. Poem beginning "Tu jurais que l'amour même", on the subject of an assymetrical loving relationship. Prose beginning "Je vois que j'ai l'immaginations trop faible", on the subject of a suspicious heart.
f28v: Poem entitled "Sonnet de Mr D'Urfé, sur l'amour, Auteur de Roman historique Astrée et Celadon ecrit sous le regne d'Henri III, et Henri IV A.D. 1610". Annotation reads "Mr George Ellis lent it me".
f29r: Poem attributed to Boileau, beginning "A quoi bon ravir l'or au sein du nouveau monde?"
f29v: Petition in verse from several thousand of His Majesty's subjects of both sexes, inhabitants of the Metropolis, asking to be able to dance in the King's rooms, and attributed to Mr Ellis.
f30v: The King's reply, granting the above petition, also in verse.
f31r: Poem entitled "On Mr Penelope", beginning "The gentle pen with look demure".
f31v: Poem entitled "My reply to Mr Ellis' petition", addressing playfully the question of a dance.
f33r: Verse beginning "I lov'd thee beautiful", on subject of the changes undergone by the object of love over time.
f33v: Poem entitled "Mon portrait": "A Sketch", attributed to G. Ellis Esq.
f37r: Poem "translated from the Latin" beginning "Each various aspect of the moon" on woman and nature. "Chanson" beginning "Te souviens tu de ce beau jour", on the subject of a loving meeting.
f37v: "Song" entitled "The je ne scai quoi" [? by William Whitehead, 1715-1785]
f38r: Genealogical description beginning with James 7th, Earl of Derby.
f38v: Poem attributed to an anonymous writer, "L", beginning "To call me friend, you honor me too much". Proverb about credulity. Epitaph entitled "Sur un lieu ou l'on enterrait les bons".
f39r: Letter entitled "Epistle by Mr W-e on seeing Lady Augusta Murray attend divine service".
f41v: Verse entitled "Sur un x", about passionate love. "Chanson" beginning "J'aimais une jeune Berjere", about betrayal by another lover.
f42r: "Elegie" beginning "Tout se fait, tout est calme". Reflection on providence, beginning "Selon moi Il faut se confier en la Providence".
fF42v: "Chanson" beginning "Je méprisais cette foule importune" [?by Jean-Pierre Claris de Florian, 1755-1794]. Verse entitled "By Mr A. G. with a seal to Lady Augusta Murray", beginning, "Go happy seal, and be my friend".
f43r: "Chanson" entitled "J'ai cru mon berger capable / De la plus noire trahison"
f43v: Genealogical description beginning with King Louis XIV. Poem beginning "No banish'd man condemn'd in woods to rove"
f44v: Short notes on historical personages, beginning with Catinent, pupil of Turenne. Inscription said to be on a ruin at Ermenonville. Verse beginning "De la mére à l'enfant, il rendit les tendresses". Verse entitled "Sur une Grotte Verte", beginning "O charmante couleur d'une verte prairie!"
f45r: Prose entitled "Fable par Lady Augusta Murray à Mr X X. Allégorique" recounting lessons learned in a garden.
f48r: Poem beginning "The merchant to secure his Treasure" [? by Matthew Prior, 1664-1771].
f48v: Poem beginning "In vain you tell your parting lover" [? by Matthew Prior, 1664-1771]. Geneological description beginning with the Duke of Monmouth.
f49r: Poem beginning "When from the cave thou risest with the day" [? by Matthew Prior, 1664-1771].
f49v: Epitaph from the tomb of Roupeau at Ermenonville. Enscription entitled "Sur un Temple dédié à l'amour".
f50r: Prose entitled "Ce que m'est arrivé" attributed to Augusta Murray, relating a dialogue and thoughts on the subject of true happiness.
f60r: Verse entitled "au bas de la Statue d'un Cupidon désarmé à Chantilly". Verse entitled "Sur un Roc taillé qui servit d'angle à [?] contre la pluie".
f60v: Verse entitled "Sur une fontaine dans le bois de __"
f61r: Prose entitled "Mon. Memnon, ou Fincastle", describing the character of a philosopher.
f63r: Verse entitled "Sur un auberge ou l'Empereur Joseph avait dine". Verses about faithfulness and love.
f63v: Description entitled "Portrait de Monsieur H [?]", describing the impressions made by a man upon the writer.
f66r: Poem entitled "Ode à la fortune" attributed to Batiste Roupeau. On continuation at f66v and again at f67r, transcriber has written "Some verses are here left out".
f67v: "Chanson" entitled "Un bouquet". "Chanson" beginning "Les Dieux sont grands par leur bienfaits".
f68r: Prose entitled "Portrait de …" comprising an address containing expressions of esteem from one person to another.
f71r: Poetry containing couplets ending "fille" and "Cheval", with explanatory note that "Monsieur de Bouffler avait fait six vers sur les rimes de fille, et Cheval", "et il compose impromptu ce badinage piquant".
f73r: A history of ancient Rome, beginning with its foundation by Romulus, and containing a chronological list of Roman Emperors with a description of their character.
f76r: Verse beginning "Life swarms with ills, the boldest are afraid" [?by Edward Young].
f76v: Sketches of heraldic symbols and their meaning and sketches of the coats of arms of the Bishops of England and Wales.
f77r: Moral exhortations beginning "Then please the best".
f77v: Prose description of heraldic symbols and their meaning.
f78v: Geneological description beginning with Richard, Duke of Gloucester, brother of Edward IV.
f79r: Extract from 'The Mysterious Mother: The Countess of Narbonne' by Walpole.
f81r: Geneological description beginning with Henry, Duke of Buckingham.
f82r: Short mythological descriptions of Aurora, and of Helle, daughter of Atharmas. Quotation of Monsieur de Buffon, along with the opinion that "c'est vrai". Description of the colour spectrum.
f82v: Note on the attitude of various historians to the reputation of Richard III.
f83r: Genealogical notes, beginning with Edward IV and Elizabeth Grey and their issue.
f83v: Genealogical notes, beginning with the marriage of King James of Scotland and the Lady Catherine Gordon.
f84r: Blank page.
f84v: Description of heraldic symbols and their meaning.
f87r: Poem beginning "Let love have eyes, and beauty will have ears" [?from the Epilogue to the Tragedy of Cato, by Samuel Garth].
f87v: Epitaph entitled "Epitaph found in a crossroad on a stake by Mr Hamilton on himself".
f88v: Verse beginning "Peindrai je o Dieux! Sa grace, et ses attraits" [?from Phrosine et Mélidore by Pierre-Joseph Bernard].
f89r: Verse beginning "Hard is the fortune that the fair attends". Verse beginning "Were you, ye fair, but cautious" [?from The Fair Penitent by Nicholas Rowe].
f89v: Notes on metals and elements and their use.
f92r: Poem beginning "All night the maid in pensive tumults lay".
f92v: Verse beginning "Toi seul, Ô toi cher amant que j'adore!".
f93r: Notes on precious stones and minerals found in the soil. Notes on attractions of substances in nature.
f93v: Short verse about "l'amour heureux". Poem entitled "Ecrit de la Ville", beginning "Helas! quel séjour pour un coeur". Reflection on "la generosité mutuelle".
f94r: Notes on ancient Greek lyric poets. Prose entitled "Lines of Voltaire to Haren, the Dutch Poet who has written Aventures de Frise Roi des Gangarides", beginning "Demosthene au conseil".
f94v: Short notes on acids and alkalis. Prose extracts on the subject of opinions, partiality and society from Hume's Essay, beginning "Our opinions of all kinds are strongly affected by society and sympathy".
f95v: Notes on several historians' assessments of the character of Charles II.
f97r: Contemplation on the order within the universe beginning "Quand on se figure les hommes tells qu'ils sont en effet".
f97v: Poem entitled "Vers sur miladi Augusta Murray" on the subject of her desirability.
f98v: Prose beginning "J'ai écrit ce depuis de grandes bétises". Epitaph of Johnson by Jenning.
f99r: Poem of F. Bryant, Tobacco-pipe maker.
f100r: Poem entitled "An Egyptian Song", beginning "Sweet doth blush the rosy morning". Chanson beginning "Pour un amour frivole". Chanson beginning "Quand j'étais dans non jeune age".
f100v: Verse attributed to John Frederick Bryant, with annotation "not published, in imitation of Thompson's seasons", beginning "To breathe fresh air, to view the sylvan scenes" (?John Frederick Bryant, 1753-1791).
f104r: Short verse attributed to John Mansel Smith Eyre, beginning "Happy my hero with each virtue blest". Proverbs on the subject of the interpretation of prose and verse. Prose summary of Monsieur (?)Grilliard's assessment of Charlemagne.
f104v: Two riddles attributed to "Mr W__m". Riddle attributed to "Mr St John".
f105r: Long prose prayer entitled "Prier que je me suis faite car je suis (?) de celle qu'il faut lire", dated 1789, expressing the relationship between creature and Creator and containing petitions for perseverance.
f107r: Riddle. Prose entitled "What I have remarked of Lady XXX" concerning her manner of expressing her opinions.
f108r: "Canzonetta" beginning "Fra i cari specchi, Oh Dio". List: "Cibber, Van Brugh, Otway, Rowe, Young, Cowley, Shakespear, Addison, (?)Congrene" with index numbers.
f108v: Prose beginning "il faut, selon moi, avoir une âme bien grossière" containing reflections on sentiment.
f109v: Prayer entitled "Priere française qui je me suis faite", with additional annotation "Short and pithy I hope. Voila qui est beau!", addressing God as Creator, Father, benefactor and Sovereign, petitioning for virtue and goodness towards neighbour and a loving disposition.
f110v: Extracts from Rowe's Tamerlane [? Nicholas Rowe, 1674-1718]. Poem beginning "To [?] Mira turn, she never took the height" [? Based on "Love of Fame" by Edward Young, 1683-1765].
f111r: Prose reflection on the relationship of consciousness to virtue.
f111v: Confiteor-type prayer, beginning "Mon Pere je viens devant vous, avec une ame penitente".
f112v: Extract from 'Idomenée"' by Crébillon.
f113r: Extracts from "Electre" by Crébillon.
f113v: Prayer beginning "Indulgent God, Oh how shall mortal raise", meditating on the wondrousness of God and the heavens.
f114r: Anacreontic poem entitled "L'inconstance pardonnable" by Cardinal de Bernice.
f114v: Short verse beginning "How empty learning, and how vain is art".
f115r: List of the Kings and Queens of England, starting with William the Conqueror.
f116r: Poem beginning "I never yet could see that face".
f116v: Poem from beginning "Let never man / Say in the morning, that the day's his own".
f117r: List of the Kings of France and their spouses, beginning with Philippe I.
f118v: Verse entitled "Vers de Madame de Mirepoix à Monsieur le Duc de Nivernais en lui envoyant ses cheveux" and verse entitled "Réponse de Monsieur de Nivernais".
f199r: Notes on colours to be used in different parts of painting composition.
f120r: Short historical note on the Knights Templar. Poem entitled "On my Sister Lady Catherine Murray who afterwards married Mr Bouverie on her having been burnt by her cloaks catching fire".
f121r: Notes on the earth's poles and meridians, celestial orbits, tides, consellations and atmospheric conditions.
f123v: Poem beginning "È la beltà, del Cielo / Un raggio che inamora".
f124r: Poem 'The Pleiades' by Charles Fox.
f124v: Poem "On Mrs Crewe", beginning "Where the loveliest expression to features is join'd" [? By Charles Fox"].
f125r: Extract from Rowe's Tamerlane [? Nicholas Rowe, 1674-1718].
f125v: Poem entitled "Romance – Caroline", beginning "Un jour pur, éclairait mon ame".
f126v: Poem entitled "Un Autre", beginning "La jeune Hortense, au fond d'un ver[?] bocage"
f127v: List of female French writers.
f128v: Proverb on power. Fact about Bonaparte.
f129r: Anonymous poem entitled "On my not bathing or washing at L- [?]H-n", beginning "In vain my tortur'd brain I rack".
f129v: Recipe for a medicinal infusion.
f130r: Verses beginning "For [?] lost never the strain".
f130v: Poem entitled "The Traveller", beginning "When thus creation's charms around combine". Short thought on the subject of Madame de Lambert's words to her son.
f131r: Poem entitled "The deserted village", beginning "Sweet was the sound, when oft at Evenings close" [? by Oliver Goldsmith, 1730-1774].
f132v: Poem entitled "by M. B at L. H_n", beginning "Belle regarde! C'est votre nom".
f133r: Summary of Pope's thoughts on the problem of human vanity.
f133v: Verse beginning "He can with a resistless charm impart / The loosest wishes to the chastest heart" [? by John Wilmot Earl of Rochester, 1647-1680].
f134r: Maxim on happiness and virtue. Riddle.
f134v: Verse of praise, beginning "To smile at death", on the subject of praise and creation.
f135r: Reflection on forbearance in length of conversation with men.
f135v: Notes on the national arms of various European countries.
f137v: Verse beginning "Now what reward for all this grief and toil?", on the subject of the subduing power of a female smile.
f138r: Poem entitled "Sur L'amour", on the subject of love. "Chanson" on the subject of nature's rejoicing. Short verse beginning "Let angel forms angelic truths maintain" on the subject of truth, beauty and virtue.
f138v: Poem entitled "Description du Hameu peint de l'[?]", on the subject of an attractive hamlet. Dated annotation, sum and endorsement, 21 April 1789. Verse beginning "What female beauty, but an air divine" on the subject of female beauty and grace.
Extent1 volume (138 pages)
Physical DescriptionVolume, with hand-pasted cuttings on front and back boards, and hand painted images on internal front and back boards
Document Image


Creditpublished with the kind permission of SeeAbility; the Shipwrecked Mariners' Society; and Guy's & St Thomas' Charity
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