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Charles Stuart Calverley (pronounced /ˈkɑːvəlɪ/) (December 22, 1831 – February 17, 1884) was an English poet and wit. He was the literary father of what has been called "the university school of humour".

Contents

Early life

He was born at Martley, Worcestershire, and given the name Charles Stuart Blayds. In 1852, his father, the Rev. Henry Blayds, resumed the old family name of Calverley, which his grandfather had exchanged for Blayds in 1807. Charles went up to Balliol College, Oxford from Harrow School in 1850, and was soon known in Oxford as the most daring and high-spirited undergraduate of his time. He was a universal favourite, a delightful companion, a brilliant scholar and the playful enemy of all "dons." In 1851 he won the Chancellor's prize for Latin verse, but it is said that the entire exercise was written in an afternoon, when his friends had locked him into his rooms, refusing to let him out until he had finished what they were confident would prove the prize poem.

A year later, to avoid the consequences of a college escapade (he had been expelled from Oxford), he too changed his name to Calverley and moved to Christ's College, Cambridge. Here he was again successful in Latin verse, the only undergraduate to have won the Chancellor's prize at both universities. In 1856 he took second place in the first class in the Classical Tripos.[1]

Later life

He was elected fellow of Christ's (1858), published Verses and Translations in 1862, and was called to the bar in 1865. Injuries sustained in a skating accident prevented him from following a professional career, and during the last years of his life he was an invalid. He died of Bright's disease[2].

Works

His Translations into English and Latin appeared in 1866; his Theocritus translated into English Verse in 1869; Fly Leaves in 1872; and Literary Remains in 1885.

His Complete Works, with a biographical notice by Walter Joseph Sendall, a contemporary at Christ's and his brother-in-law[3], appeared in 1901.

Notes

  1. ^ Calverley [formerly Blayds], Charles Stuart in Venn, J. & J. A., Alumni Cantabrigienses, Cambridge University Press, 10 vols, 1922–1958.
  2. ^ Collected Works, p. xxxvi.
  3. ^ Dictionary of National Biography, under Sendall.

External links

References

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Quotes

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikiquote

Charles Stuart Calverley (December 22, 1831February 17, 1884) was an English poet. He was the literary father of what has been called "the university school of humour".

Sourced

  • Now the "rosy morn appearing"
    Floods with light the dazzled heaven;
    And the schoolboy groans on hearing
    That eternal clock strike seven:-
    Now the waggoner is driving
    Towards the fields his clattering wain;
    Now the bluebottle, reviving,
    Buzzes down his native pane.
    • Ode - "On a Distant Prospect" of Making a Fortune, from Verses and Translations (1862)
  • White is the wold, and ghostly
    The dank and leafless trees;
    And 'M's and 'N's are mostly
    Pronounced like 'B's and 'D's:
    'Neath bleak sheds, ice-encrusted,
    The sheep stands, mute and stolid:
    And ducks find out, disgusted,
    That all the ponds are solid.
    • Dirge, from Verses and Translations (1862)
  • O Beer! O Hodgson, Guinness, Allsop, Bass!
    Names that should be on every infant's tongue!
    Shall days and months and years and centuries pass,
    And still your merits be unrecked, unsung?
    Oh! I have gazed into my foaming glass,
    And wished that lyre could yet again be strung
    Which once rang prophet-like through Greece, and taught her
    Misguided sons that "the best drink was water."
    • Beer, from Verses and Translations (1862)

Unsourced

  • I have a liking old
    For thee, though manifold
    Stories, I know, are told
    *Not to thy credit!
    • Ode to Tobacco.
  • I sit alone at present, dreaming darkly of a Dun.
    • In the Gloaming.
  • I can not sing the old songs now!
    It is not that I deem them low;
    ’T is that I can’t remember how
    They go.
    • Changed.
  • O my own, my beautiful, my blue-eyed!
    To be young once more and bite my thumb
    At the world and all its cares with you, I’d
    Give no inconsiderable sum.
    • First Love.
  • The farmer’s daughter hath soft brown hair
    (Butter and eggs and a pound of cheese)
    And I met with a ballad, I can’t say where,
    That wholly consisted of lines like these.
    • Ballad.
  • ’T was ever thus from childhood’s hour!
    My fondest hopes would not decay:
    I never loved a tree or flower
    Which was the first to fade away.
    • Disaster. Compare:
      • Oh, ever thus, from childhood’s hour,
        I ’ve seen my fondest hopes decay;
        I never loved a tree or flower
        But ’t was the first to fade away.
        - Thomas Moore, The Fire Worshippers, p.26.
  • Forever; ’t is a single word!
    Our rude forefathers deemed it two:
    Can you imagine so absurd
    A view?
    • Forever.

External links

Wikipedia
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1911 encyclopedia

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From LoveToKnow 1911

CHARLES STUART CALVERLEY (1831-1884), English poet and wit, and the literary father of what may be called the university school of humour, was born at Martley in Worcestershire on the 22nd of December 1831. His father, the Rev. Henry Blayds, resumed in 1852 the old family name of Calverley, which his grandfather had exchanged for Blayds in 1807. It was as Charles Stuart Blayds that most of the son's university distinctions were attained. He went up to Balliol from Harrow in 1850, and was soon known in Oxford as the most daring and most high-spirited undergraduate of his time. He was a universal favourite, a delightful companion, a brilliant scholar and the playful enemy of all "dons." In 1851 he won the Chancellor's prize for Latin verse, and it is said that the entire exercise was written in an afternoon, when his friends had locked him into his rooms, declining to let him out till he had finished what they were confident would prove the prize poem. A year later he took his name off the books, to avoid the consequences of a college escapade, and migrated to Christ's College, Cambridge. Here he was again successful in Latin verse, and remains the unique example of an undergraduate who has won the Chancellor's prize at both universities. In 1856 he took second place in the first class in the Classical Tripos. He was elected fellow of Christ's (1858), published Verses and Translations in 1862, and was called to the bar in 1865. Owing to an accident while skating he was prevented from following up a professional career, and during the last years of his life he was an invalid. His Translations into English and Latin appeared in 1866; his Theocritus translated into English Verse in 1869; Fly Leaves in 1872; and Literary Remains in 1885. He died on the 17th of February 1884. Calverley was one of the most brilliant men of his day; and, had he enjoyed health, might have achieved distinction in any career he chose. Constitutionally indolent, he was endowed with singular gifts in every department of culture; he was a scholar, a musician, an athlete and a brilliant talker. What is left us marks only a small portion of his talent, but his sparkling, dancing verses, which have had many clever imitators, are still without a rival in their own line. His humour was illumined by good nature; his satire was keen but kind; his laughter was of that human sort which is often on the verge of tears. Imbued with the classical spirit, he introduced into the making of light verse the polish and elegance of the great masters, and even in its most whimsical mood his verse is raised to the level of poetry by the saving excellence of style.

His Complete Works,. with a biographical notice by Sir W. J. Sendall, appeared in 1901. (A. WA.)


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