Original Epigrams. Epigrammatic trifles - Extracts - Madrigals Epitaphs and Short pieces of various descriptions. Composed and collected For the entertainment of M.B. - by her friend W.A.A
Original Epigrams. Epigrammatic trifles - Extracts - Madrigals Epitaphs and Short pieces of various descriptions. Composed and collected For the entertainment of M.B. - by her friend W.A.A Original Epigrams. Epigrammatic trifles - Extracts - Madrigals Epitaphs and Short pieces of various descriptions. Composed and collected For the entertainment of M.B. - by her friend W.A.A Original Epigrams. Epigrammatic trifles - Extracts - Madrigals Epitaphs and Short pieces of various descriptions. Composed and collected For the entertainment of M.B. - by her friend W.A.A Original Epigrams. Epigrammatic trifles - Extracts - Madrigals Epitaphs and Short pieces of various descriptions. Composed and collected For the entertainment of M.B. - by her friend W.A.A Original Epigrams. Epigrammatic trifles - Extracts - Madrigals Epitaphs and Short pieces of various descriptions. Composed and collected For the entertainment of M.B. - by her friend W.A.A
£250.00
[Ramsgate] n.p.. 1832.

Manuscript book containing 500 autograph manuscript poems and epigrams by various authors but many composed by the compiler of the book, the Reverend William Archibald Armstrong (1770-1837), Rector and Clerk of Ramsgate. 225x185mm. pp. 180. Green half morocco, marbled-paper covered boards. Spine and corners rubbed and worn. Tears to head and foot of spine and to edges of boards. All edges gilt. Internally fine, very clean and fresh.

The 500 poems are all numbered and written in Armstrong's neat hand. There is a mixture of work by established writers (Byron, Voltaire, Crabbe, Cowper, Milton all feature), anonymous pieces and Armstrong's own verses and epigrams, signed W.A.A, many of which are strongly expressive love poems. The book is dedicated to a young woman called Melba Beevor. The first leaf contains a dedicatory letter to Miss M. Beevor, dated 5 August 1832 and written from Forley House Ramsgate, in which he writes "My dear Melba, I have transcribed from a variety of manuscripts a number of poetic trifles for your amusement"..."there are some [poems] bearing my own mark and signature - these have the least merit - but still they claim the privilege of friendship". Armstrong's feelings, however, appear stronger than just friendship. In one couplet "To X.X." he writes: "What on my tomb inscribed shall be/ Mxx! - That I was loved by thee!". The book ends with a final dedicatory verse to Melba.

Melba was the daughter of Major General Robert Beevor who lived in Ramsgate and moved in the same social circles as Armstrong (they were both subscribers to a collection of Sermons by the Curate of the Chapel of Ease in Ramsgate dated 1836). She was born in 1810 so was twenty-two to Beevor's sixty-two when this manuscript was written. Ten years after this, in 1842, Melba married Samuel Allenby. By this time, Armstrong had been dead for five years, so he was spared having his heart broken.