Clare wrote this passage as part of his novel "Memoirs of Uncle Barnaby" in the mid-1820s.  The Slave-Trade was of course, abolished in 1807, but it was 1833 when slavery itself was abolished in the UK and Colonies.  Clare, of course, was ahead of his time.  Written, as is always our practice, exactly as Clare wrote in his manuscript.

"Talk not of distinction – look at the poor affrican     does the color of his skin forbid us to treat him with mercy     is his complextion the liscence for our inhumanity – is it a discontinuance of that link that enacts us to be humane to our fellow creatures in what ever grade or station we find them     is color & complextion any insult to our feelings     no"

"Memoirs of Uncle Barnaby" is planned to be published in the Spring of 2017 by Arbour Editions


A message from Clare for politicians of all colour... image, Cruikshank's 'Freeborn Englishman'

"Tyranny may make obedient slaves but liberty & kindness only make willing subjects"

Pet MS A45 p9

The joys of song...

"Quiet as glides the gentle brook along"

from "I feel the rapture..."
Hidden Treasures (2016)


I will probably use this in a future publication, so you will be able to say you read it first!  Gleaned from the Peterborough Archives (D14 p9), it's not really an aphorism and I was looking for a piece to extract from it.  I gave up, so here it is in its entirety.

"As we grow into life we leave our better life behind us   like the image of a beauty seen in a looking glass      happiness only disseminates happiness while she is present & when she is gone we retain no impression of her enjoyments   but a blank of cold imaginings & real dissapointments     unless we are determined to shape our conduct by her approval   & then she is ever with us   [no]t her picture but her perfection   not in shadow but reality -- read this over & profit by it"

The picture is a little known portrait of Clare from 1855.


"Knowledge teaches us humanity"

Pet MS B4 p130


"a thundering clap in the gallerys..."

Pet MS B4 p127

The fool...

"The fool may ask much but he is more fool that gives it"

Pet MS A45 p44


"They who are not handsome at twenty nor strong at thirty nor rich at forty nor wise at fifty will never be handsome strong rich or wise"

Pet MS A18 p274

Of poetry... and childhood"

“It is the genuine essence of poetry that hangs around the simple essence of our childhood”    

Pet MS A49 p1

Poacher's song

"A shining night is our delight"

Pet MS B4 p80R

I do not think this poem - a song of four verses each with eight lines - has ever been published, but still lots of work to do on it.  Transcribed by Bridget & Roger on the 9th September 2016.

Sabbath Bells

"The very air seems deified
Upon a sabbath day"

'Sabbath Bells', lines 11-12
MP III 573

[Image: Glinton Church at dusk]

Hiding from the rain....

"... shelter rich and roomy"

from "Though still at first" 
'Hidden Treasures' (2016)


[Image:  The sky above the Bluebell at sunset]

"Like golden groves in a golden sky" 

from "The new spring grass was high" 'Hidden Treasures' (2016)

Cunning (again) ...

'Cunning has made many rich but it never left one respected"

Pet MS A18 p248r


"smiling hope stands on tip toe"

Pet MS A48 p40R


"Popularity is a busy talker"  
"... popularity is not true fame"

From Clare's "Essay on Popularity", spread across a dozen manuscripts in the Peterborough Archive.

Pride & Titles...

[Image: George Cruikshank]

"Prides pomps are shadows all"
"Titles honours toys"

both in A18 p268r (Unpublished)

False friendship...

Discovered this brilliant alliterative line in a poem from a Clare manuscript  I found in the archive in Peterborough yesterday afternoon (I'm still working on it):

"Tho flattery findeth friends"

Here is the context...

Tho flattery findeth friends
In every grade & state
& telling truth offends
The lowly & the great
Truth when the worst is bye shall rise
When follys vapour stinks & flyes

Pet MS A18 p268r

First love...

"'s first dreams will haunt the mind"

MP IV 11

Uncertain love...

... the tumult in a timid smile

from 'The nightmare'
MP I 332