Now to the Drama turn - Oh! motley sight!


Frank Brewer Bemis bequest, 1942 – *EC8.Si135.Zz814t

No Muse will cheer with renovating smile,
The paralytic puling of CARLISLE.

Frederick Howard, 5th Earl of Carlisle (1748-1825). Thoughts upon the Present Condition of the Stage, and upon the Construction of a New Theatre, New ed. (London, 1809).

Carlisle wrote several plays and occasional verse before his appointment as Byron’s guardian in 1799. Their relationship deteriorated after he failed to introduce his young charge as he took his seat in the House of Lords. Byron added this caustic couplet on Carlisle to the poem, replacing “On one alone Apollo deigns to smile, / And crowns a new Roscommon in Carlisle.” Shown is Sarah Siddons’ copy of Carlisle’s pamphlet on the contemporary stage, written after fire destroyed the two great London theatres at Drury Lane and Covent Garden. The pamphlet is bound in a tract volume with four other titles, including a copy of Hebrew Melodies presented to the actress by Lady Byron on May 28th, 1815.