with life…the grave: Perhaps an echo of Alexander Pope, (1734) IV 93-8:
Oh blind to truth, and God’s whole scheme below,
Who fancy bliss to vice, to virtue woe!
Who sees and follows that great scheme the best,
Best knows the blessing, and will most be blest.
But fools the good alone unhappy call,
For ills or accidents that chance to all.
It is tempting also to detect a distant echo of Percy Shelley’s account of the execution of the leaders of the so-called ‘Pentridge
Rising’ in his Address to the People on the Death of the Princess Charlotte
(1817) vi: ‘Brandreth was calm, and
evidently believed that the consequences of our errors were limited by that tremendous barrier [death]. Ludlam and Turner were full of
fears’. Shelley’s Address
had extremely limited circulation, however – perhaps only 20 copies were printed in 1817
for private distribution – and so for SG to have known it, he would almost certainly have to have had a close connection with the Shelley
circle. SG refers to ‘Her late Royal Highness the Princess Charlotte of Saxe Coburg’ in a footnote to the main text of Description