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o F 

Samuel Johnfon, ll.d. 

VOL. 111. 


PiSated for J. BufiUaad, J. Rivington and Som, T* Payne and Som^ L« Da? ic» 
B* White and S009 T. Longmasy B* Law, J. Dodfley, H. Baldwin, J. Robfon^ 
}• Johaftn, C. DUiy, T. Vemor, W. NicoU, O* O. J. and J* Robinfont 
T« Cadal], T. Canian, J. Nidiols, J. Bew, R* Baldwili, N. Conant, P^ ElmH/y 
W. Cddfinitli, J. KnoK, R. Faolder, Leigii ft Sotheby, G. Nicol, J. Mttna|^ 
A* Straliany W. Lowndes, T. Evani, W. Beot^ S. Hajet, O. and T. WiUtie* 
T. and J. Sgerton, W. Fox, P. M'Qiaeen, D. Ogllvie, B^CoUmt, E. N^Wberfi 
and R« JaaMfoo^ 


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ENGLISH POETS, Conttnued. 

life of Kino, 


Page 1 





























































BtOOMBy • 




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t r 3 

« ?^^" ■-' ^ ■■■■■'■■ ■■'■•.'•■ ■■ ■ "• - '•••'"■'Jj^ 

K IN G. 

WiLLtAM ltlN<$ Was bofnin Lon^ohitt 
i66j; the fon o^ Ezekiel King^ ft gen* 
1;lemaih He Was allied tx) the family of Cla*- 

From Weftmittftcr-fchool, whtre he Wa§ a fcholat oil 
the foundation under the care of Dr. Bufty, he was at 
eighteen defted to Chrift'^churdi, in 1681 ; Where h6 
is faid to have pfofecuted hii ftudies With fo nluch in* 
tenfenefs and a&ivity, that, befotc h6 Wai eight yeari 
ibmding, he had read over, arid tnade remarks u^n> 
twenty-two thoufand odd hundred books and mittu-^ 
Icripls. The books Weir certainly not very loilg, th?5 
tnanufcripts not very difficult, nor the remarks Very 
large; for the calculator will find that he difpacched 
feven a day, for every day of his eight years^ with ft 
temnant that more than fatisfies moft other ftudents* 
ile took his degree \n the moft expenfiv« mansier, as k 

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2 KIN G. 

grand compounder; whence it is inferred that he itir 
herited a confiderable fortune'. 

In 1688, the fame year in which he was made maf-^ 
ter of arts, he publiihed a confutation of Varillas's ac* 
count of Wicliffe ; and, engaging in the ftudy of the 
Civil Law, became dodtor in 1692, and was admitted 
advocate at Doctors Commons. 

He had already made fome tranilations from th6 
French, and written fome humorous and fatirical 
pieces;, when, in ^94, Molefworth publrftwd his 
Account of Denmark y in which he treats the Dahes and 
their monarch with great contempt; and takes the 
opportunity of inlinuating thofe wild principles, by 
which he fuppofes liberty to be eftablilhed, and by 
which his adverfaries fufpedt that all fubordination and 
government is endangered. 

This book offended prince George; and the Danifli 
minifter prefented a memorial againft it. The priiw 
ciples of its author did not pleafe Dr. King, and 
therefore he undertook to confute part, and laugh at 
the reft. The controverfy is now forgotten; and book* 
of. this kind feldom live long, when intereft and re«- 
fentment have ceafed. 

In 1697 he mingled in the controverfy between 
Boyle and Bentley; and was one of thofe who tried 
what Wit could perform in oppofition to Learn- 
ing, on- a q^ueftioa which Learning only could 

In 1699 was published by him A Journey to Lon^^ 
don J after the method of Dr. Martin Lijt^f, who had 
publifhed A Journey to Paris. And in 1 700 he fatirifed 
the Royal Society, at leaft Sir Hans Shane their 
prefident, in two dialog^ucs, intituled the Tranfac^ 


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Thbiigh he was a regular advocate irt tne 6ouf ts of 
feivil and canon law, he did not love his profeflionj 
nor indeed any kind t>f bufincfs which interrupted his 
voluptuary dreams^ or forced him to roufe from that 
indulgence in whith only he could find delight. HiS 
reputation as k civilian was yet maintained by his 
judgements in the courts of Delegated, and raifed Very 
high by the addrefs and khdWiedgb Which he difi 
covered iii 1700, when he defended the earl ot An-^ 
glefea dgalnft his lady, iftenVards dutchdfs o^ Bucki 
Inghamlhire, who futd for a divorce^ iahd obtain^ 
fed it. : , . ' 

The expellee bf his pleafulrefei and iiegleft of btiii* 
hefs, had noW lefleried his revenues; and he Was wilU 
Ing td accept bf a fettlement in Ireland, Where^ about 
1702, he was made judge of the admiralty, conlmifi 
fionef df the prizes, keeper of the record^ in Bir- 
mihghim's toweir, and Vicar-general to Dr. Marrfi the 

• Bilt it IS vdih to {)Ut wealth within the feach 6f hiiii 
wild will not ftretch out his hand to take it4 King 
Toon found a friend, as idle and thoyghtlefs as him- 
ielfj In Upton, one of the judges^ who had a pleafant 
houfe called Mountowh, iieaf Dublin, to Which Kiiig 
frequently retired; delighting to negle'dt his Intercft^ 
forget his carfes, Snd defert his duty^ 

Her^ lie Wrote Mully of Mount own, d J)ocmj by 
■ whidh, though faiiciful readers in the pride bf fagadity 
have given it a political interptetation^ was mtztz 
briginally nd mor6 thah it dxpteffed, as it WaS didtSted 
only by the author's dtlight in the quiet o^ Mrf«- 

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4 KING. 

In 1708, when lord Wharton was fcnt to goveraf 
Ireland, King returned to London^ with his poverty, 
his idlenefs and his wit; and publi&ed fomc effays 
called Ufeful TranfaSions. His Voyage t$ the Ifland cf 
Cajamai is particularly commended. He then wrote 
th& Art of Love ^ a poem remarkable, notwithftaaading 
its title, for purity o^fentiment; and in 1709 imitated 
Horace in an Art of Cookery ^ which he pubiilhed, with 
fome letters to Dr- Lifter* 

In 1 7 10 he appeared, as a bver of irhe Churchy oa 
rhe fide of Sacheverell; ai;id was,fuppofed to have con- 
curred at leaft in the projeftion of He Examiner. Has 
«yes were open to all the operations of Whiggifmi 
and he beftowed fom« ftriftures upon Dr. Kennet's 
adulatory fermon at the funeral of the duke of Dc- 

The Hijiory (f the Heathen Godsy a book compofed 
for fchools, was written by him in 171 1» The wort 
is ufeful ; but might have been produced without- i\n^ 
powers of King. The fame year he publiihed,i2t(^trj,^ 
an hiftorical efTay, and a poem, intended to difpofe the 
nation to think as he thought of the duke of Marlbo^ 
tough and his adherents^ 

In 1711,. competence,, if not plenty, was ag^in put 
into his power. He was, without the trouble of atten- 
dance, or the mortification of a requeft, made gazet- 
teer. Swift, Freind, Prior, and ©ther men of the feme 
party, brought him the key of the gazetteer's office^ 
He was now again placed in a profitable employment^ 
and again threw the benefit away^. An Aft of Infol- 
vency made his bufinefs at that time particularly 
troublefome; and. he would not wait till hurty fliould 
be at an end, but impatiently refigned it, and returned 
to his wonted ixnligence and amuiibnentis.. 


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KING. 5 

One of his amufements at Lambeth, where he rc- 
fided, was to mortify JDr.^ Tenifon, the archbiihop, 
by a publick feftivity, on the furrender of Dunkirk 
to Hill; an event with which Tenifon's political 
bigotry did not fufFer Vim to be delighted. King was 
refolved to counteraft his fuUennefs, and at the expencc 
of a few barrels of ale filled the neighbourhpod with 
honeft merriment. 

In the Autumn of 171 2 his health declined; he grew 
weaker by degrees, and died on Chriftmas-day, 
Though his life had not been without irregularity, his 
principles were pure and orthodox, . and his death wai 

After this relation, it will be naturally fuppofed 
that his poems were rather the amufements of idlenefs 
than eflForts of ftudy; that he endeavoured rather to 
divert than aftonifh; that his thought feldom afpired 
to fublimity; and that, if his verfe was eafy and his 
images familiar, he attained what he defired. His 
purpofe is to be merry; but perhaps, to enjoy his 
mirth, it may be foraetimes neceffary to think well of 
his opinions. 


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C * 3 


THOMAS SPRAT was born In 1636, at Tal, 
laton in Devonfliire, the fon of a clergyman ; an4 
having been educated, as he tells of himfelf, not at 
Weftminfter or Eaton, but at a Jittle fchool by the 
churchyard fide, became a commoner of Wadham 
College ii^ Oxford in 1651 ; and, being chofen.fcholar 
next year^ proceeded through the ufual academical 
courfe; and iii 1657 became mafter of arts. He oh* 
gained a fellowihip, and commenced poet. 

In 1659, his poem on the death of Oliver was pub- 
Jifhed, with thofe of Dryden ^nd Waller, In his de- 
dication to Dn Wilkins he appears a very willing and 
liberal encomiaft, bpth of the living and the dead. He 
implores his patron's excufe of his verfes, both as fal-; 
Yingfo infinitely below t^e full and fublime genius of thai 
' excilUnl poet wJjq made this way of ivritirig free of our 
pation^ and being fo little (qual and proportioned to the 
renown of the prince on whom they were written i fuch 
f^reat anions and lives deferving to be the fuhjeH of the no^ 
bkji pens (ind moft divine phanfies* He proceeds : Hav^ 


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•SPRAT, f 

ingfi Img experienced your care and indulgence^ and been 
f/^med^ as it were^ by your own hands ^ not to entitle you 
to any thing which my meannefs produces^ would be not 
o;ily injuftice, but facrilege. 

He publilhed the fame year a poem on the Plague of 
Athens ; ^ fubjeft of which it is not eafy to fay what 
could recoqamend it. To thefe he added afterwards a 
poem on Mf^ CQwley's death. 

After the Reftpratipn he took orders, and by Cowley's 
recommendation w^s made chaplain to the Duke of 
Buckingham, whom he is faid to have helped in writ- 
ing the Rehearfal. He was likewife chaplain to the 

-As Ije was the favourite pf Wilkins, at whole houfe 
began thofe philofophical conferences and enquiries, 
which in time produced the Royal Society, he was. 
confequently engaged in the fame ftudies, and became 
one of the fellows i and when, after their incorporation, 
fomething feemed neceflar y to reconcile the publick to 
the new inftitution, he uridertook to write its hiftory, 
Mvhich he publiflied in 1667. This is one of the few 
books which feledtion of fentiment and elegance of 
diftipn haye been able xo preferv^, though written 
ijpon a fubjeft flux and tranfitory. The Hiftory of the 
Royal Society is now read, not with the wilh to know 
what they were then doing, bvjt ^Qw their Tranfac- 
t|ons are exhibited by Sprat, 

In the next year he publi<hed Qbfervatiom en Sor- 
biere^s Voyage info England^ in a Letter to Mr. Wren. 
This is a work not ill performed ; but perhaps re- 
warded with at leaft i;s full proportion of praife. 

in 1668 he publilhed Cowley's Latin poems, ai>d 
prefixed in Latin the Life of the Author j which he 

B 4 afterwards 

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I « P R A I'. 

afterwards amplified, and placed before Cowley*s Eng-r 
Jilh works, which w^re by will committed to hi3 

Ecclefiaftical benefices now fejl C|ft upon him, "In 
1 668 he beetle a prebendary of Weftminftf r, and had 
^fterward3 the church of St. Margaret, adjoining tQ 
the Abl?ey, He was in 1680 made canon of Windfor, 
in 1683 dean of Weftmipft(>r, ^nd in i6g4bi(hQp of 

The Court havbg thus a claim to his diligence and 
gratitude, he was required to write the Hiftoyy of the 
JRyehoufe PJot ; and in 1685 publiflied J Irue Account 
and Declaration of the horrid Cionjpiracf againjl the late 
fling, bif freffnt Majefy, and the prefent Government j 
{k performance which hp thought convenient, after ihQ 
!|R.evolutiop, to extenuate and e^fcufe, 

The fame year, being clerk of the clofet tq the king, 
lie was made dean of the chapel-royal j and the year 
afterwards received the laft proof of his matter's confii 
dence, by being appointed one of the commiffioner$ 
for ecclefiaftical affairs. On the critical day, when the 
Declaration diftinguiihed the true foiis of the church 
of Engl^d„ he ftood neuter, and permitted it to bo 
read at Weftminiler ; but prcfled none to violate hisi 
confcience; and when the biihop of London wa^ 
brougl^t before them, g^ve his voice in his favour. 

Thus far he fuffered intereft or pbedienge to carry 
him ; but further he refufed to go. When he found 
that the powers of the ecclefiaftical cQmmifl[ion were tQ 
be exercifed againft thofe who had refufed the Decla-i 
ration, he wrote to the lords, and other pommiflSoners, ^ 
a formal profeflion of his unwillingnefs to exercife that 
authority ^ay Ipnger, and withdrew himfelf from them. 


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^er they had read his Icqrer, they adjourned for iuc 
months, and fcarcely (?ver met afterwards. 

When iing James was frighted away, and a neir 
government was to be fettled, Sprat lyas one of choi« 
who copfidered, in a conference, the great queftion, 
whether the crown was vacant ; and nianfully fpoke m 
fiavoijr qf his old mafter^ 

He conjpUed, however, wjth the new eftabliihmenc, 
jind was left ynmolefted ; byt in 1692 a ftrange attack 
was made upon him by one Robert Taung and Siephen 
Blackbeady both men convi&ed of infamous crimes^ 
and toth, when the fcheme was laid, prifoners in 
Newgate. Thefe men drew yp an Aflbciation, in 
which they whofe names were fubfcribed declared their 
refolution to reftore king James ; to feize the princcfi 
pf Orange, dead or alive ; and to be ready with thirty 
\ \ tliit^ufand men tp meet king James when he fhould 
Jand, To this they put the names of Bancroft, Sprat, 
Marlborough, Saliftury, and others. The copy of 
Pr. Sprat's jiame was obtained by a fictitious requeft, 
to which an anfwer in his own hand was defired. His 
hand was copied fo well, that he confefled it might 
have deceived himfelf. Blackhead, who had carried 
the letter, being fent again with a plaufible meflagc, 
was very curious to fee the houfe, and particularly im-. 
portunace to be let into the ftudy ; where, as is fupn 
pofed, he defigned^ to leave the Affociation. Thia 
however was denied him, and he dropt it in a flowers- 
pot in the parlour. 

Young now laid an Information before the Privy 
Council; and May 7, 1692, the bifhop was arrcfted, 
and kept at a meflenger's under a ftrift guard eleven 
days. His houfe was fearched, and dircdbions were 


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i^ S- P R A T, 

^ixen that the flower-pots fliould be infpefted. Tho 
pjeflfengers however miffed the room in which the pa-r. 
per was left. Blackhead went therefore a third time j 
^od finding his p^per where he had left it, brought it;, 

fhe biij^qp^ having been enlarged, was, on June 
the loth and I3tb, examined again before the Privy 
Council^ and confronted with his accufers. Young 
perfift^d with the moft obdurate impudence, againft 
the ftr^ngeft evidence j but the refolution of Blackhea4 
by degrees ^aye way. There remained at laft no doubt 
fif the biihop's innocence, who, with great prudence 
apd diligenpe, traped the progrefs, and detefted the 
irfiarafters of the two informers, and publilhed an ac- 
count of his own examination, and deliverance ; which 
lyiade fuch an impreffion upon him, that he comme- 
iporated it through life by an yearly day of thankf* 

With what hope, or what intereft, the villains ha4 
contrived an accufation which they muft H^ow. them^ 
felves utterly unable to prove, was never difcovered. 

After this, he paffed his days in the quiet exercife 
pf his fimftion. When the caufe of Sacheverell put the 
publick in commotion, he honeftly appeared among 
the friends of the church. He lived to his feventy^ 
ninth year, and died May 20, 1713. 

Burnet is not very fav9urable to his memory ; but 
he and Burnet were old rivals. On fome publick oc- 
cafion they both preached before the houfe of commons. 
There prevailed in thofe days an indecent cuftom; 
when the preacher touched any favourite topick in a 
manner that delighted his audience, their approbation 
was expreffed by a loud buniy continued in proportion 


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S ¥ IB, A ^. M 

fp tbeir zeal or pleafure. When Burnet preached, part 
of his congregation bummed fo loudly and fo long, tha| 
^e fat down to enjoy it, and rubbed his face with hi« 
handkerchief. When Sprat preached^ he likewife wat 
bjjnoured witli thp like aniiuating bum; but he ftrflrchcil 
put his hand to the congregation, and cried, ^^ Peace, ' 
peace, I pray you, peace.^' 

This I was told in my youth by my father, an old 
man, who had been no carelefs obferver of the paffage* 
pf thpfe times* 

Burnet's fermon, fays Salmon, was remarkable for 
fedition, and Sprat-s for loyalty. Burnet had the 
thanks of the houfe ; Sprat had no thanks, but a good 
living from the king ; which, he faid, was of as much 
value as the thanks of the Comnions. 

The works of Sprat, befides his few poems, are. 
The Hiftory of the Royal Society, The Life of Cowley, 
The Anfwer to Sorbiere, The Hiftory of th^ Rye- 
houfc Plot, Thfe Relation of his own Examination, 
and a volume of Sermons. I have heard it obferved, 
with great jyftnefs, that every book is of a different 
kind, and that each has its diftindt and charadteriitical 

My bufineft is only with his poems. He confidered 
Cowley as a model ; and fuppofed that as he was imi- 
tated, perfedtion was approached. Nothing therefore 
but Pindarick liberty was to be expefted. There is in 
his few produftions po wapt of fuch conceits as he 
thought excellent ; and of thofe our judgement may 
be fettled by the firft that appears in his praife of 
Cromwell, where he fays that ' Cromwell's /7«j^, lih 
^an, will grow white aj it grows old. 


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t »• 3 



TH E life of the Earl of Halifax was properly 
that <^ aa artful and active ftateiman^ employed 
in balancing parties, contrivijig expedients, and com* 
bating oppo^tion, and expofed to the viciflitudes of 
advancement and degradation : but in this coUe&ion^ 
poetical merit is the claim to attention ; and the ac^ 
count which is here to be expedted may properly be 
proportioned not to his influence in the flate^ but ta 
his rank among the writers of verfe. 

Charles Montague was born April i6, 1661, at 
Horton in Northamptonlhire, the fon of Mr. George 
Montague, a younger fon of the earl of Manchefter^ 
He was educated firft in the country, and then re^ 
pioved to Weftminfter ; where in 1677 he was chofen 
It king's fcholar, and recommended himfelf to Bufby 
by his felicity in extemporary epigrams* He con- 
tradted a very intimate friendlhip with Mr. Stepney ; 
and in 1682, when Stepney was elefted to Cambridge, 
the eledtion of Montague being not to proceed till the 
year following, he was afraid left by being placed at 

- * 

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H A t i r A X* t$ 

Oxford he might be feparated from his compamon, 
and therefore folicited to be ranoved to Cambridge, 
without waiting for the advantages of another year. 

It feems indeed time to wifli for a removal ; for h* 
was already a fchool-boy of one and twenty. 

His relation Dr. Montague was then mailer of th» 
college in which he was placed a fellow-commoner^ 
and took him under his particular care. Here he com- 
menced an acquaintance with the great Newton, which 
continued through his life, and was at laft attefted by ar 

In 1685, his verfes on the death of king Charlei^ 
made fuch imprcffion on the earl of Dorfet^ that he 
was invited to town, and introduced by that univerfiil 
patron to the other wits. In 1687, he joined with 
Prior in the City Moufe and Country Motifep a burlefque 
of Dryden's Hind and Pdntber. He figned the invita- 
tion to the Prince of Orange, and fat in the conven- 
tion. He about the fame time married the countefs 
dowager of Manchefier, and intended to have taken 
orders ; but afterwards altering his purpofe, he pur- 
chafed for 1500U the place of one of the clerks of the 

After he had written his epifUe on the vifltory of the 
Boyne, his patron Dorfet introduced him to king 
William with this expreflion : Sir^ I have irought a 
Moufe to Wijiit on your Majefty^ To which the king is 
faid to have replied, Tou do it^ell to put me in the way of 
making a Man of him ; and ordered him a penfion of 
five hundred pounds. This ftory, however current^ 
feems to have been made after the event. The king's 
anfwer implies a greater acquaintance with our prover- 
. bial and fiuniliar diAion thaix king William could pof« 
iibly have attained^ 3 


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»4 14 A L t f A 3^. 

id id9i^ being member 10 thi} houfe of commdiiJl 
!» argued warmly in favbtir of a law to grant the af- 
finance df counfel in trials for high treafon ; and !h 
' the midft of his fpccch, falling into fortle coofufion^ 
was for a whilie fileiit ; bilt, Recovering himfetf, oB- 
fcrvcd, " how rfeafonable it Wis to alloW counfel td 
•* men called as Criminals before a court bf jiiflice, 
*• when it appeared how much the f)riefence of that 
•* aflembly could difconcett one of their own body *:*' 

After this he rofe faft into honours ahd employ- 
ments^ being made one of the commiflioners of the 
treafury, and called to the privy council. lii 1694^ he 
became chancellor of the Exchequer; and the next 
ifear erigd^cd in the great attenlpt bf the rccbmage, 
which was in two years happily cdrnpleated; lii 1696, 
he projefted the general fund^ and railed the credit of 
the Exchequer ; and, after enquiry concerning a grant 
of Iriih crown-lands, it was determined by a vote of 
the commons, that Charles Montague, efquirfej had 
tiffcrvedhis Majejiy^sfaiiour. Ih 169S, Being Idvahced 
to the fifft commiffion of the treafury, he was appointed 
one of the regency in the king's abfence : the next year 
he was made auditor of the Exchequer ; and the year 
after created baion Halifax. He was hbwevSr im- 
peached by the commons ; but the articles were dif-'^ 
miffed by the lords. 

At the acceffion of queen Anne he "^i^ difmifled 
from the council ; aiid in th6 fii'ft parliament of her 
reign was again attacked by the commons, and again 
efcaped by the protedion of the lords. In 1 704, he 
wrote an anfwer to Bromley's fpeech againft occafional 

* This Anecdote I have heard related of the Earl of Shaftefbury^ 
Author of the CharaderlHic^. 

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H A L I i?' At. i§ 

fcoiifbrmity. - He headed the Enquiry into the dang^ 
of the Churchi In 1 706; he propofed and negotiated 
the Union with Scotland ; and when the eledtor of Ha- 
nover received the garter, after the aft had pafled for 
lecuriiig the Proteftant Succeflion, he was appointed to 
carry the enfigns of the order to the eleftoral court-^ 
He fat as one of the judges of Sacheverell ; but voted 
for a mild fentcnce^ Being now no longer in favour, 
he contrived to obtain a writ fot fummoning the elec- 
toral prince to parliament as duke of Canhbridge. 

At the queen's death he was appointed one of the 
regents ; and at the acceffion of Ge6rge the Firft was 
made earl of Halifax, knight of the garter, and firft 
commiffioner of the treafury, with a grant to his ne- 
phew of the reverfion of the auditorlhip of the Ex- 
chequer. More was not. to be had, and this he kept 
but a little while ; for on the 19th of May, 1715, he' 
died of an inflammation of his lungs. 

Of him, who from a poet became a pitron of poets, 
it will be readily believed that the works would not 
mifs of celebration. Addifon began to praife him early, 
and was followed or accompanied by other poets ; per- 
haps by almoft all, except Swift and Pope ; whofor- 
%ott to flatter him in his life, and after his death fpoke 
of him, Swift with flight cenfure, and Pope in the 
charafter of Bufo with acrimonious contempt. 

He was, as Pope fays, fed wiib dedications; for 
Tickell affirms that no dedicator was unrewarded. To 
charge all unmerited praife with the guilt of flattery, 
tod to fuppofe that the encomiaft always knows and 
feels the falfehoods of his affertions, is furely to dis- 
cover great ignorance of human nature and human life. 
la determiaatio03 depending, not on rules, but on ex-^ 

• perience 

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i« tt A L I r A X. 

P&Abdlcc and comparifbn^ judgement is always in {bjpdd 
degree fubje£l: to affeAion* Very near to admiration 
is the wiih to admire« 

Every man willingly gives value to die praife which 
jbe receives, and confiders the fentencc pafled in his 
fiivcmr as the fentence of/ difc^rnment. We admire in 
m fr^iend that underftanding that fele£tcd us for tonfi* 
dence; we admire more, in a patron, that judgement 
^^oh, inftead of fcattering bounty indiforiminatelyj 
directed it co us ; and, if the patron bs an author^ 
thofe performances which gratitude forbids us to bkme^ 
a£^ion will, eafily diipofe us to exalte 

To thefe prejudices, hardly culpable, Intereft adds 
« power always operating, though not always^ becaufe 
not willingly, J)erceived* The modefty of praife wears 
gradually away $ and perhaps the pride of patronage 
may be in time fo increafedj that modefl praiie-wiU no 
longer pleafe. 

Many a blandiAiment was pra£l:ifed upon Halifax^ 
which he would never have known, had he had no 
pther attraaions than thofe of his poetry, of which t 
iiort time has withered the beauties. It would now be 
efteemed no hono\ir, by a contributor to the monthly 
bumiles of verfes^ to be told, that, in ftrains eithtt 
f^niliar or folemn^ he fmgs like Montague* 


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t ^7 1 

P A R N E L L. 

THE Life of Dr. PARNELL is a taik 
which I fhould very willingly decline, fince it 
has been lately written by Goldfmith, a man of fuch 
Variety of powers, and fuch felicity of performance, 
that he always feemed to do beft that which he was 
doifig ; a mart who had the art of being minute with- 
out tedioufnefs, and general without confufion ; whofe 
language was copious without exuberance, exaft with- 
out conftraint, and eafy without weaknefs. 

What fuch an author has told, who would, tell 
8Lg^ ? I have made an abftraft from his larger nar* 
fative ; and have this gratification from my attempt, 
that it gives me an opportunity of paying due tribute 
to the memory of Goldfmith. 

To -y«p ysp»s egi ^oofonm'. 

THOMAS PARNELLwasthefonofacomV 

monwealthfman of the fame name, who at the Reftora- 

tion left Congleton in Cheftiire, where the family had 

Vol. III. C been 

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i8 P A R N fi L t. 

been eftabliihed for feveral centuries, and, fettlmg ^ 
Ireland, purchafed an eftate, which, with liis lands in 
Chefhire, defcended to the poet, who was born at 
Dublin in 1679; and, after the ufual education at » 
grammar fchool, was at the age of thirteen admitted 
into the College, where, in 1 700, he became maftej 
of arts ; and was the fame y^ar ordained a delcon^ 
though under the canonical age, by a difpenfatioft 
from the bilhop of Derry. 

About three years afterwards he was made a pried j 
and in 1 705 Dr. Aihe, the bilhop of Clogher, con- 
ferred upon him the archdeaconr}' of Clogher. About 
the fame time he married Mrs. Anne Minchin, aft 
amiable lady, by whont he had two fon^ who ^4 
young, and a daughter who long furvived hina. 

At the ejeffidh of the Whigs, in the end of queert 
Anne^s reign, Parnell was' perfuaded to change his 
party, not without much cenfure from thofe whom hp 
forfook, and was received by the new miniftry as a 
Taluable reinforcement. When the earl of Oxford 
was told that Dr. Parnell waited amoBg the croud in 
the outer room, h« went by th«^ pevfuafion of Swift,, 
with his treafurer's ftaff in his hand, to enquire for 
him, and to bid him welcome ; and, as may be in- 
ferred from Pope's dedication, admitted him as a fii- 
Yourite companion to his convivial hours, but, as it 
feems often to have happened in thofe times to the fa- 
vourites of the great, without attention to his fortune, 
which, however, was in no great need of improve- 

Parnell, Who did not want ambition or vanity, was 
defirous to make himfelf confpicuous, and to Ihew 
how worthy he was of high preferment. As he thought 
hi^ifelf qualified to become a popular preacher, he 


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f A k ^ t t L ii 

^ifpUyed his elocution with great fuccefs in the pul* 
pits o( London; but the queen's death putting an end 
to his cxpedtation^, Jibatdd his diligence : and Pope re-^ 
prefents hlni as falling from that time into intempe-* 
/ance of winS. That In his latter life he was too much 
a lover of tht bottle, i§ not denied; but I have heard 
it impii'ted to a caufe iHore likely to obtain forgivenefl 
from mankind, the untimely death of a darling fonj 
or, as other? tell, the lofs of his wife, who died (171 2) 
in the ihidft of his Expeditions. 

He was now to derive every f\ature addition to liU 
preferments froni his pdrfoMl Itxtereft with his private 
friends, and he WaS not long iiniregarddd. He was 
tvarmly reconim^nded by Swift to archbifho]^ I'^mgj 
ivho give him a prebend ifi 1^13 ; and in May 1716 
prefented hlni to the vicarage of Finglas in th« diocefe 
of Dublin, worth four hundred pounds a year^ Such 
notice from fuch a itiah, inclines me to believe that 
the vide tJf which he has been accufed was not grofs^ 
or not notorious. 

But his profpeKity did not laft loil^* Wis dhdj 
whatever was its caiife, was now approaching. Hi 
enjoyed his pfefefmeht little more than a year; for iii 
July 1 71 7, in his thirty-eighth year, he died at Chel*-* 
ter, on his way to Ireland. 

He feems tO hftve beeh orlfe of^ tho^e poets 1*h6 taJk* 
delight in writing. He contributed to the papers or 
that time, and probably publifhed niort* thai! he owiied* 
He left nianyicompofltlons behind him, of Which 
Pope felefted thofe which h^ thought beft, and dcdi* 
Cated them to the .earl of Oxford. Of thefe Gold* 
fmith has given an opiriion, and his criticifm it is fel- 
liodl fafe to contradidt. He beftows juft praife upo;i 

Gt tiki 

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20 P A R N E L L. 

the Rife of fVoman^ the Fairy ^ale^ and the Pervigilium 
Veneris; but has very properly remarked, that in the 
Batile of Mice and frogs the Greek names have not ir^ 
Englifli their original effedk. 

He tells us, that the Bookworm is borrowed from 
Bezai but he Ihould have added, with modern ap- 
plications: and when he difcovers that G^ Bacchus is 
tranflated from Augurellus, he ought to have remarked 
that the latter part is purely Parnell's. Another 
poem, When Spring comes on, is, he fays, taken from 
the French. I would add, that the defcriptibn of 
BarrennefSy in his verfes to Pope, was borrowed from 
Secundus ; but, lately fearching for the paffage which 
I had formerly read, I could not find it. The NighU 
piece on Death is indiredtly preferred by Goldfmith to 
Gray^s Church-yard; but, in my opinion. Gray has 
the advantage in dignity, variety, and originality of 
fentiment. He obfer^^es that the ftory of the Hermit 
is in Morels Dialogues and HowelVs Letters^ and fup-i 
{)bfes it to have been originally Arahian, 

Goldfmith has not taken any notice of the Elegy U 
the old Beauty, which is perhaps the meaneft; nor of 
the Allegory on Man, the happieft of Parneirs perfor- 
mances. The hint of the Hymn to Contentment I fuf- 
ped to have been borrowed from Cleiveland. 

-The general charadter of Parnell is not great extent 
of comprehenfion, or fertility of mind. Of the little 
' that appears ftill lefs is his own. His praife muft be 
derived from the eafy fweetnefs of his diftion : in his 
verfes there is more happinefs than pains; he is fpritely 
N without, effort, and always delights, though he never 
ravilhes; every thing is proper, yet every thing feems 
cafual. If there is fome appearance of elaboration in 
the Hermit, tht narrative, as it is lefs airy, islefspleaf- 


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P A R N E L L. 21 

ing. Of his other compoiitions it is impoffiblc to fay 
whether they are the produdtions of Nature, fo ex- 
cellent as not to viZDt the help of Art^ or of Art fo 
refined as to refemble Nature. 

This criticifin relates only to the pieces publifhed 
by Pope. Of the large appendages which I find in 
the laft edition, I can only fay that I know not whence 
they came, nor have ever enquired whither they arc 
going. They fiand upon the faith of the compilers. 


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C *» 3 

■— — 1 ' . ■ . . ' ■ t u ■ ■ ■ ' tf*-3g 

G A R T H. 

SAMUEL OARTH was of a. good fetnily in 
Yorkihire, and from fome fchool in his own counr 
try became a ftudent at Peter-houfe in Cambridge^ 
where he refidcd till he commenced dodtor of phyfick 
on July the 7th, 1691. He was e^famined before tho 
Collegp at London on March the 1 2th, 1691^2, an4 
admitted fellow July 26th, 169^. He was foon fo 
much diftinguiihed by his cpnyerfation ^d accpm- 
plilhments, as to obtaiil very extenfive praftice ; and, 
jf a pamphlet of tttofe times may be credited, had the 
favour and confidence pf pnc party, as RatcUffe had 
cf the pther. 

He is always mentioned as a man of benevolence | 
and it is juft to fuppofe that his defire of helping 
the helplefs difpofcd hib^ to fq much zeal for the 
Difpenfary; an vjndertaking of which fpme account, 
however Ihort, is proper to be given? 

Whether what Temple fays be true, that phyfi- 
f^i^m have had more learning than ^^^ other facul-- 


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G A R t H. 23 

^s, I will not (lay to enquire; but, I believe, every 
inan has found in phyficians great liberality, and dig- 
•fiity of lentiment, very prompt effufion of beneficence, 
sind willingnefs to exert a lucrative art, where there is 
no hope of lucre. Agreeably to this charafter, the 
College of Phyficians^ in July 1687, publilhed an 
^di£t, requiring all the fellows, candidates, and licen- 
tiates, to give gratuitous advice to the neighbouring 
poor. . 

This edift was fent to the Court of Aldermen ; and 
01 queftion being made to whom the appellation of the 
poor ihould be extended, the College an{wered, that it 
ihould be fufficient to bring a teftimonial from a 
clergyman officiating in the parilh where the patient 

After a ytar's experience, the phyficians found their 
charity, fruftrated by Ibme malignant oppofition, and 
made to a great degree vain by the high price of phy- 
fick; they therefore voted, in Auguft 1688, that the 
laboratory of the College Ihould be accommodated to 
the preparation of medicines, and another room pre- 
pared for their reception; and that the contributors 
to the expence Ihould manage the charity. 

It was now e^jpefted that the Apothecaries would 
have undertaken the care of providing medicines; but 
they took another courfe. Tliinking the whole defign 
pernicious to their intereft, they endeavoured to raife 
ft faftion againft it in the College, and found fome 
phyficians mean enough to folicit their patronage, by 
betraying to them the counfels of the CoUege. The 
greater pj^rt, however, enforced by a new edift, in 
1694, the forager order of 1687, and fent it to the 
mayor and aldeimen, who appointed a cominittee to 

C 4 treat 

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24 GARTH. 

treat with the College, and fettle the mode of adml- 
niftring the charity. 

It was defired by the aldermen, that the teftimonials 
of churchwardens and overfeers Ihould be admitted; 
and that all hired fervants, and all apprentices to 
handicraftfmen, Ihould be confidered as po&r. This 
likewife was granted by the College. 

It was then confidered who Ihould diftributc tho 
medicines, and who ihould fettle their prices. - The 
Fhyfickins procured fome apothecaries to undertake 
the difpenfation, and offered that the Warden and 
Company of the apothecaries ftiould adjuft th^ 
price. This offer was rejected; and the apothe- 
caries who had engaged to affift the charity were con- 
fidered as traytors to the company, threatened with 
the unpofition of troublefome ofEces, and deterred 
ifrom the performance of their engagements. Thq 
apothecaries ventured upon public oppofition, and pre- 
sented a kind of remonftrance againft the defign to 
the committee of the city, which the phyficians con- 
defcended to confute: and at leaft the traders feem 
to have prevailed among the fons of trade; for the 
propofal of the college having been confidered, a paper 
of approbation was drawn up, but poftponed and for- 

The phyficians ftill perfifted; and in 1696 a fub- 
fcription was raifed by themfelves, according to an 
agreement prefixed to the Difpenfary. The poor 
were for a time fupplied with medicines; for how 
long a time, I know not. The medicinal charity, like 
others, began with ardour, but foon remitted, and at 
laft died gradually away. 

About the time of the fubfcription begins the ac- 
tion of the Difi^enfary. The Poem, as its fubjedt was 


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O A R T H. f5 

ftckft wd popular, cooperated with paflions and 
prejudices then prevalent, and, with fuch auj^ijiiariesf 
to its intrinfick merit, was univerfally and liberally ap- 
plauded* It was on the fide of charity againft the 
intrigues of intereft, and of regular learning againft 
licentious ufurpation of medicaj authority, and was 
therefore naturally favoured by thpfe whoi read and caq 
judge of poetry. 

In 1697, Garth fpoke that which is now called the 
Harueian Oration; which the authors of the Biographic 
mention with more praife than the paffage quoted xc^ 
their notes will fully juftify. Garth, fpeaking of the 
miichiefs done by quacks, has thefe expreffions : " Non 
)^ tamen tejis vulnerat ifta * agyrtarum coluvies, fed 
5^ theriaca quadam magis perniciofa, non pyrio, fejl 
f* pulyere nefcio quo exotico certat, non globulis 
f* plumbeis, fed pilulis aeque lethalibus interficit.** 
This was certainly* thought 'fine by the author, and 
p ftill admired by his biographer. In Odober 1 702 he 
|l)ecam,e one of the cenfors of the College. 

Garth, b^ing an active and zealous Whig, was ^ 
fnember of the Kit-cat club, and by confequence fami- 
Jiarly ^own to all the great men of that denominatioo. 
In 1710, when the government fell into other hands, 
he writ to lord Godolphin, on his difmiffion, a lhoi;t 
poem, which was criticifed in the Examiner j and lb 
jfuccefsfuUy either defended or excufed by Mr. Addiibiiy 
that, for the fake of the vindication, it ought to be 

At the acceflion of the prefcnt Family his nierits wem 
^acknowledged and rewarded. He was knighted with 
the fword of his hero, Malborough ; and was made 
phyfician in ordinary to the king, and phyfician-general 
to the army. 


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iB G A R T H. 

He then undertook an edition of Ovid's Mfctamof^ 
«>lu>fes^ tranHated by feveral hands ; which he recom* 
fpended by a preface, written with more oftentatioR 
|han ability: his notions are half^formed^ and his ma- 
teriab immethodically confufed. This was his laft 
work* He died Jan. iS, 1717-18, aad was buried at 


His perfonal charadter feems (o have been focial and 
tiberaL He communicated himfelf through a very 
vride ej^tent of acquaintance; and thpygh finn in m 
party, at a time when firmnefs included virulence, yet 
lie imparted his ]cindnefs to thofe who were not fup*^ 
pofed to favour his principles. He was an early encou- 
f ager of Pope, and was at wc^ the friend of Addifon 
and of Granville. He is accvftd of voluptuoufnefs and 
Irrcligioi}; and Pope, who fays that " if ever there 
*^ was a good Chriftian, without knowing himfelf to 
^' be fo, it was Dr. Garth," feems not able to deny 
what he is angry to hear and loth to confefs. 

Pope afterwards declared himfelf convinced that 
Garth died in the communion of the Churdi of Rome, 
having been privately reconciled. It is ohferved by 
Lowth, that there is lefs diftance than is thought be.n 
tween fcepticjfm and popery, and thfit a mind, wearied 
with perpetual ^9ubt, willingly ffek^ rcpofc in th« 
bofom of an infallible churchi 

His poetry has been praifed at Icaft equally to its 
pierit. In the Blfpenfary there is a ftrain of finooth 
and free verfification; but few lines are eminently 
elegant. No paflages fall below mediocrity, and few 
rif? myich above it. The plan feems formed without 
juft prpporcion to the fubjeft; the means and end 
t^ve no neceifary connection. Rejnel^ in his Preface 


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GARTH- *7 

10 Tpp^s Effay, remarks, that Garth exhibit? no dif» 
crimination of charafters ; and. that what any one 6iys 
might with equal propriety have been faid by anotheiv 
The general delign is perhaps open to criticiim; bac 
fhe compofition can feldom be charged with inaccunqf 
ox negligence. The author never llumbers in felf-iiH 
dulgence; his full vigour is always exerted; fcaroe m 
line is lef{ unfinifhe;!, por is it eafy to find an expicf> 
Jion uftd by conftralnt, or a thought imperfeftly cx- 
prefled. It wa^ remarked by Pope, that the D^petH 
farj had been corrected in every edition, and thit 
every change was an improvement. It appears, 
however, to want fome;hiiig of poetical ardour, and 
ibmething of general deleftation; and therefore, finoe 
it has been no longer fupported by accidental and eKh 
trinfick popularity, it has been fcarcely able to (iip-r 
port itfelf. 


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( »8 ) 


NICHOLAS ROWE was bom at Littl« 
Beckford in Bedfordlhire, in 1673. His fsuQily 
Kad long poiTeiTed a confiderable ellatej with a gpod 
houfe^ at Lambertoun ^ in Devonihire. The ^nc^ftor 
from whom he defcended in a dire& line received the 
^rms borne by his defcendants for his bravery in the 
Holy War. His father, John Rowe, who was 
the firft that quitted his paternal acres to praftife 
^y art of profit, profefled the law, and publiihed 
Benlow's and Dallifon's Reports in the Reign of James 
the Second, when, in oppofition to the notions thea 
diligently propagated, of difpenfing power, he ven- 
tured to remark how low his authors rated the prero- 
gative. He was made a ferjeant, and died April 30, 
1692. He was buried in the Temple Church. 

Nicholas was firft fent to a private fchool at High- 
gate 'f ; and bemg afterward removed to Weftminfter, 


* In the Villare, LamtrUn. Orig. Edit* 
f It was in the free*fchool at Highgate that Rowe received hit 
•ducation , concernipg which Newcourt, in his Rcpertorium, thut 


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R O W R 1^ 

was tt twelve years chofirt one of the King's fcholars. 
His mafter was Bulby, who fufFered none of his fcho- 
lars to let their powers lie ufeleifs; and his exercifes 
in feveral languages ai'e faid to have been written witt 
uncommon degtees of excellence, and yet to haVe coft 
him very little labour. 

At fixteen he had, in his father's opinion, made ad- 
vances in learning fufficient to qualify him for the 
ftudy of law, and was entered a ftudent of the Mid- 
dle Temple, where, for fome time he read ilatutes 
and reports with proficiency proportionate to the force 
of his mind, which was already fuch that he endea- 
voured to comprAend law, not as a feries of prece- 
d^its, or collection of pofitive precepts, but as a 
fyftemof rational government, and impartial juft ice. 

When he was nineteen, he was by the death of his 
fether left more to his own diredtion, and probably 
from that time fufFered law gradually to give way to 
poetry. At twenty-five he produced The Ambitious 
Stepmother J which was received with fo much favour, 
that he devoted himfelf from that time wholly to ele^ 
gant literature. 

His next tragedy (lyoz) was Tamerlane , in which, 
under the name of Tamerlane, he intended to charac- 

fpeakf : " Near adjoining to the chapel is a frec-fchool built bjr 
•• Sir Roger Cholmondely, or Cholmly, lord chief bnron of the cit- 
•* chequer (and after that lord chief juftice of the Icing's bench), ia 
•* the year 1562, at his own charges ; and he procured the fame to 
** be cftabliflied and confirmed by Queen Elizabeth, by her Ictten 
** patents, and endowed the fame with yearly maintenance, which 
«* fchool Edjvyn Sandys, bifhop of London, enlarged in 1570, by 
<♦ addition of a chapel for divine fcrvice, fince which the chapel hath 
•* been enlarged by the piety and bounty of divers honourable and 
♦•'worthy perfOQs, all whicii appears by an infcriptioa over the 
^* gate/' 


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^6 fe W E; 

terize king William, and Lewis the Fourteenth nhclef 
Bs^azet. The virtues of Tanierland feeni bo have been 
arbitrarily afiigned him by his poet, for I know not that 
hiftory gives any other qualities than thofe tvhich mak^ 
a conqueror. The fafhion, however, of the time, was, 
to accumulate lij^oh L&wis all that can raife horror 
2pd deteftation ; and whatever good Was withheld from 
liim, chat it might dot be thrown away, was beftowed 
upon king Williami 

This was the tragedy which Rowe valued moft, and 
that which probably, by the help of political auxili- 
aries, excited moft applaufe; but occalional poetry 
muft often content itfelf with occafional praife; Ta- 
Aerlane has for ^ long time been afted oqjy once a 
year, on the night when king William landed. Our 
quarrel with Lewis has been long over, and it novi^ 
gratifies neither zeal nor malice to fee hiiti painted 
with, aggravated features, like a Saracen, upon a fign. 

The Fair Pe7iilenty his next production (1703), is 
one of the mpft pleafing tragedies on the ftage, where it 
ftill keeps its turns of appearing, and probably will long 
keep them, for there is fcarcely any work of any poet 
at once fo interefting by the fable, and fo delightful by 
the language. The ftory is domeftick, and therefore 
calily received by the imagination, and affimilated to 
common life ; the didtion is excjuilitely harnicmiousi 
and (oft or fpritely as occafion requires. 

The charadker of Lothario feems to have been ex-» 
panded by Richardfon into Lovelaciy but he has ex-^ 
celled his original in the moral effedt of the fidlion. 
Lothario, with gaiety which cannot be hated, and 
bravery which cannot be defpifed, retains too much 
of the fpedator*s kindnefs. It was in the power of 
Richardfon alone to teach us at once efleem and detef^ 

^ tatioBji 

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R O W E- all 

fatlon^ to make virtuous refentment overpower all th* 
benevolence which wit, elegance, and courage, natu- 
turally excite ; and to lofe at laft the hero wkh thtf 

^ke fifth aft is not equal to the former ; the event* 
of the drama are exhaufted, and little remains but ta 
talk of what is paft. It has been obferved, that the* 
title of thp play does not fufEciently correfp^nd witb 
the behaviour of Califta, who at laft fliews no evident 
iigns of repentance, but may be reafonably fufpedhed 
of feeling pain from deteftion rather than from guilt, 
and expreffes more Ihame than forrow^ and more rag€ 
than ihame. 

His next (1706) was Ufyjej ; which, with the com*^ 
roon fate q£ mythological flories, is now generally ne- 
gle£ted« We have been too early acquainted with the 
poeticsd heroes, to expedl: any pleafure from their re- 
vival : to fliew them as they have already been fliewn, 
is to difguft by repetition ; to give them new qualities^ 
or new adventures, is to offend by violating received 

T\it Royal Convert (1708) fedms to have a better 
claim to longevity. The fable is drawn from an ob^ 
(cure and barbarous age, to which fictions are morq 
eafily and properly adapted ; for when objefts are im^ 
perfeftly feen, they eafily take forms from imagina- 
tion. The fcene lies among our anceflors in our own 
country, and therefore very eafily catches atten- 
tion. Rbodogune is a perfonage truly tragical, of high 
Ipirit, and violent paffions, great with tempeftuous 
dignity, and wicked with a foul that would have been 
heroic if it had been virtuous. The motto feems to tell 
t^t this play was not fuccefsfuL 


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si R O W E. 

Rowe does not always remember what his chafiftefl 
require* In Tamerlane there i^ fome ridiculous men- 
tion of thfe God of Lbve ; and Rhodogime, z. favagd 
Saxon^ talks of Venus, and the eagle that bears th^ 
thunder of Jupiter. 

This play difcovers its own dite, ^ty a predidibil 
^►f the Unioriy in imitation of Granmcr*s propheticfc 
^roniifes to Henry ibe Eighth. The anticipated bleff- 
ihgs of unioii are not very naturally introduced, ixof 
tery happily exprefled. 

He once (1706) tried to change his haiidi He Veh-^ 
furcd on a comedy, and produced th6 Biter; with 
which, though it was unfavourably treated by the au- 
dience, he was himfelf delighted ; for he is faid to 
have (at in thd hbufe, laughing with great Vehemencej 
whenever he had* in his own opinion produced ajeft« 
, But finding that he and the publick had no fympath/ 
of mirth, he tried at lighter fcenes no more. 

After the Royal Convert (17 14) appeared Jatti 
Shore, written, ai its author profcfles, in imitation of 
Shakfpeare^tjiyle. In what he thought himfelf an imi* 
taftor of Shakfpeare, it is not ea^ to conceive. The* 
numbers, the didtion, the fentiments, and the con- 
dtift, every thing in which imitation can cohfift, ard 
remote in the utmoft degree from the manner of Shak- 
fpeare ; whofe dramas it refembles only as it is an 
Englilh ftory, and as fome of the perfons have theii' 
names in hiftory. This play, confifting chiefly of do-» 
itieftic fcenes and private diftrefs, lays hold upon the 
lieart. The wife is forgiven becaufe fhe repents, and 
the hufband is honoured becaufe he forgives. This, 
therefore, is one of thofe pieces which we Hill welcQinV 
on the ftage. 

6 Hit 

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HOWE. 33 

Mis iaft tn^edy ( 1 7 1 5) was Lady Jane Grey^ This 
lubje£t had been chofen by Mr. Smithy whofe papers 
were put into Rowe's hands (uch as he defcribes them 
in his preface. This pl&y has likewife funk into ob- 
livion^ From this time he giVe nCH^hing more to th6 

Beii^ by a edmpetent fortune eJtempted from any 
Ueceffity of combating his inclination*, he never wrote 
in diftrefs^ and therefore does not appear to have ever , 
written in h^ftd* His "works were finilhed to his own 
approbation, and bear few m&rks of negligence or 
hurry« It is remarkable that his prologues and epi* 
iogues are all his own, though he (bmetimes fupplied 
others ; he afforded help^ but did not folicit it» 

As his ftudies necei&rily made him acquainted 
with Shakfpeare, and acquaintance produced venera« 
tion, he undertook (1709) ati edition of his works^ 
firom which he neither received much praiie, nor feems 
to have expedked it \ yet, I believe, thofe who com- 
pare it with former copks will find that he has done 
more thaA he promifed ; and that, without the pomp 
of notes or boafls of criticifm, many paflages are 
happily reftpred. He prefixed a life of the author, 
fuch as tradition then almoft expiring could fupply ; 
and a preface, which cannot be faid to difcoveir much 
prc^undity or penetration* He at leaft contributed to 
the popularity of his authon 

He was willing enough to improve his fortune by 
other arts than poetry. He was under-fecretary for 
three years when the duke of Queenfberry was Secre- 
tary of Hate, and afterwaids applied to the earl of 
Oxford for (bme publick employment ^ Oxford en- 

♦ Spcncc. 

Vfiu III. D joined 

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54 R O W R 

joifa^d him to ftudy Spanifb; anc} vihtxtf fome time 
afkecwards, he came again, and iaid chat he had ma(^ 
tered it, dilmifled htm with this congr^tubttoft^ 
" Then, Sir, 1 envy you tihe pleafurjc of reading Doa 
*^ Qijixot in the ofigina}/' 

This ftory is fufficiently attefted ; but why Oxford, 
wlio defired to be thought » favourer of literature, 
ihould thus infuk a man of acknowledged, merit ; or 
how Rowe, wlio was fo keen a Whig* that be did not 
willingly convcrfe with men of the opp<>fite party, 
could' aft. prefcrmcait from Ojcford ; it is noQ now pof<^ 
lible to difcover. Pope, who told the ftory, did not 
fay on what occafionthe advice was given ; and though' 
he owned Rowers difs^pointment, doubted whedier 
any injury was intended him, but thought it cather 
lord Oxford's oAf way. 

, It is likely that he lived on difi:ontented through 
the reft of queen Anne's reign; but the time came 
at laft when he found kinder friends* At the acoeflion 
of king George he was made poet laureat ; I am afraid 
by flie ejection of poor Nahum Tate, who (17 16) 
died in the Mint, where he was forced to feek ihelter 
by extreme poverty. He. was made likewife one of 
the land furveyors of the cuftoms of the port of Lon- 
don. The prince of Wales chofe him clerk of hi^ 
council ; and the lord chancellor Parker, as fbon as 
he received the feals, appointed him, unafked, fecre- 
tary of the prefentations. Such an accumulation of 
employments undoubtedly produced a very confiderable 

Having already tranflatcd fome parts of Lucgffs 
Pharfolia, which had been publilhed in theMifcella^ 

* Sijencc. . . 


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R 6 V E. 35 

ttie», tod doiAtkfs received many prstifes, he under- 
took t Terfion of the whole work, which he lived to 
finift, but not to puMifh. It feems to have been 
printed Khddf the care of Dn Welwood, who prefixed 
the author^s life, itt which ife contained the following 
chrtritfter : 

'* As to his pcrfon,'it was graceful and well-made ; 
** his face regular, and of a manly beauty. As his 
^ foul waj well lodged, fo its rational and animal facul- 
*^ ties excelled in a high degree. He had a quick and 
*^ fruitful invention, a deep penetration, and a large 
^'pcrmpafs of thought, with Angular dexterity and 
*• eafinefs in making his thoughts to be underftood. 
** He was maftet of moft parts of polite learning, ef- 
** peciaHy the claffical authors, both Greek and Latin ; 
** underftood the French, Italian, and Spanifh lan- 
** gtiages, and fpoke the firft fluently, and the other 
'* two tolerably well. 

" He had Hkewifc read moft of the Greek and Ro- 
** man hiftories iti their original languages, and moft 
*• that are wrote in Engliih, French, Italian, and 
^* Spanifh. He had a good tafte in philofophy ; ahd^ 
^* having a firm imprefBon of religion upon his mind^ 
** he took great delight in divinity and ecclefiaftical 
" hiftory,.in both which he made great advances in 
" the times he retired into the country, which was fre- 
** qucnr. He expreffed, on all occafions, his full per- 
*' fualion of the truth of Revealed Religion ; and be- 
" ing a fincere member of the cftablifhed church him- 
** fclf, he pitied, but condemned not, thofe that dif- 
•* fented from it. He abhorred the principles of per- 
" fecuting men upon the account of their opinions in 
" religion ; and being ftri€t in his own, he took it 
** Out upon him to ccnfure thofe of another pcrfuafion. 

D z " His 

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36 R O W E. 

^^ His converiktioii was pleafant, witty, and learned, 
•* without the leaft tin&ure of afieftatioa or pedantry ; 
'^ and his inimital^le manner of divertii^ and enliven- 
'^ ing the company, made it impoffible for any one to 
^' be out of humour T^hen he was in it. Envy and 
** detradion fecmed to be entirely foreign to Us con- 
^* ftitution ; and whatever provocations he met with 
*^ at any time, he palTed them over without the leaft 
** thought of refentment or revenge. As Homer had 
'^ a Zoilus^ fo Mr. Rowe had fometunes his; for 
" there were not wanting malevolent people, and pre- 
*^ tenders to poetry too, that would now-and-then bark 
'^ at his belt performances ; but he was fo much con- 
^' fcious of his own genius, and had fo much good- 
/* nature as to forgive them; nor could he ever be 
'^^ tempted to return them an anfwer. 

" The love of learning and poetry made him not 
•^ the lefs fit for buiinefs, and nobody applied himfelf 
** clofer to it, when it required his attendance. The 
" late duke of Queenfberry, when he was fecretary of 
'^ flate, made him his fecretary for publick affairs ; 
** and when that truly great man came to know him 
** well, he was never fo pleafed as when Mr. Rowa 
*^ was in his company. After the duke's death, all 
^' avenues were flopped to his preferment ; and during 
^^ the reft of that reign, he pafled his time with the 
^^ Mufes and his books, and fometimes the converfa- 
** tion of his friends. ' 

" WTien he had juft got to be eafy in his fortune^ 
^* and was in a fair way to make it better, death fwept 
^* him away, and in him 'deprived the world of one of 
'^ the beft men, as well as one of the bcft geniufes, of 
^^ the age. He died like a Chriftian and a Philofopher, 

7. *'^^ 

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. R O W E. ^ 37 

** in charity with all mankind, and with an abfolute re- 
*^ fignation to the will of God. He kept up his good- ' 
** humour to the laft ; and took leave of his wife and ' 
•* friend^) immediately before his laft agony, with 
* the lame tranquillity of mind, and the (nmc indif- ' 
** ference for life, as though he had been upon taking 
** but a ihort journey. He was twice married ; firfl: to 
^^ a daughter of Mr. Parfons, one of the auditors of' 
^* the revenue ; and afterwards to a daughter of Mr, 
•* Deveniihy of a good family in Dorietihire. ' By the 
^^ firft he had a fon; and by th;^ fecond, a daughter, ' 
** marnfed afterwards to Mn Fane. He died the fixth 
** of December, 1718, in the forty-fifth year of his 
**agc; and was buried the nineteenth of the fame 
•* month in Wcftminfter-abbey, in the ifle where many 
^^ of our Englifli poets are interred, over-agiinft 
** Chaucer, his body being attended by a feledt num-' 
^^ ber of his friends, and the dean and choir officiating 
** at the funeral." 

To this charafter, which is apparently given with 
the fondnefs of a friend, may be added the teftimony 
of Pope, who fays, in a letter to Blount, " Mr. Rowe 
^' accompanied me, and palFed a week in the Foreft. 
** I need not tell you how much a man of liis turn 
** entertained me ; but I niuft acquaint you, there 
*^ is a vivacity and gaiety of difpolicion, almoft pe- 
** culiar to him, which make it impoiTible to part 
•* from him without that uneaiinefs which generally 
** fucceeds all our pleafure." 

Pope has left behind him another mention of his 
companion, lefs advantageous, which is thus reported 

Dj *^Rowe, 

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38 R O W E- 

^^ Rowc, in Mr. Pope's opinion, maimained a <tecent 

^^ charafber, but had no heart* Mr. Addifon was juftly 

** offended with Ibme behaviour Mrhich arofe<from that 

*^ want^ and eflranged hitnfelf from him ; which Rowe 

*^ felt Very fcvercly. Mr. Pope, their common friend^ 

*< knov/ing this, took an opportunity, at fomc junc- 

^^ turc of Mr. Addifon's advancement, to tell him how 

^^ poor Rowe was grieved at his di(pleafure, and what 

". fatisfaftion he expreffed at Mr. Addifon's good for- 

^* tune ; which he expreffed fo natuxaiFy, that he (Mr. 

^* Pope) could not>but think him fincere. Mr. Addi- 

" fon replied, * I do not fufpeft that he feigneS ; but 

'^ the levity of his heart is fuch, that he is ftruck with 

** any new adventure ; and it would afFefl: him juft in 

*^ the fame manner, if he heard I was going to be 

" hanged/--r.Mr. Pope faid, he could not deny but 

*^ Mr. Addifon underftood Rowe well.'* 

This cenfyre time hatf not left us the power of con- 
firming or refuting ; but obfervation daily fliews, that 
much ftrefs is not to be laid on hyperbolical aceufa- 
tions, and pointed fentences, which even he that utters 
them defires to be applauded rather than credited. 
Addifon can hardly be fuppofed to have meant all that 
he faid. Few chara£t€rs can bear the microfcopick 
. \ fcruriny of v;it quickened by anger ; and perhaps the 
1 1 . beft advice to authors would be, that they ftiould keep 
I f out of the way of one another. 

;/ Rowe is chiefly to bc'Confidered as a tragick writer 
and a tranilator. In his attempt at comedy he failed 
fo ignominioully, that his Biter is not inferred in his 
works; and his occafional poems and ihort compofi- 
tions arc rarely worthy of cither praife or ceftfure; 
for rtey feem the cafual fports of a mind feeking 


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ROW e: 39 

rather to amafe its leifure tkua to ex^rclie its 

in the oonftruQion of his dramas, there is Dot much 
art ; he is not a jiice bbferver of the Unities. He e-x* 
tends time and varies place as his conveoienoe requires* 
To var^ the place is not, in my opinbn, any violation 
of Nature, iE the change be made between the a&s ; ibr 
k is no. lefs eafy.for the fpe&ator to fuppofe himfelf at 
Athens in the fecond aft> than at Thebes in the firfi; 
but to change the fcene^ as is done by Rowe, in the 
middle of im aft, is to add more a6ts to the play, fiooe 
an ad: is ft) much of the bufifieTs as is tranfiiid»l yrllfh^ 
out interruption. Rowe, by this licence, esElf extxhi 
cates hioifeif from difficulties ; as in Jane Grey, wken 
we hare been terriEed with all the dreadful pemp dF 
publick execution, and are wondering hew the heroino 
or the poet will proceed, no fooner has yane pro- 
nounced fome prophetick rhymes, than — ^pafs and bcr 
gcme^^he fcene clofes, and Pembroke and G^dtner %tc 
turned out upon the ftage. 

. I know not that there can be found in his plays any 
deep learch into nature, any accurate difcriminattom 
of kindred qualities, or nice difplay of paffion in its 
progrefs; all is general and undefined. Nor docs he 
much intereft or affedt the auditor, except in Jane. 
Shore J who is always feen and heard with pity* Alicia 
is a character of empty noife, with no refemblance to 
real forrow or to natural madnefs. 

Whence, then, has Rowe his reputation ? From the 
reafonablenefs and propriety of fome of his fcenes, 
from the elegance of his diftion, and the luavity of his 
verfe. He feldom moves cither pity or terror, but he 
often elevates the fentiments; he feldom pierces the 

D 4 brcaft. 

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40 R O W E. 

brcafl^ but he alwa}'s delights the ear, and oftea im* 
proves the underftanding. 

His tranflation of the GeUcn VerfeSy and of the firft 
book of ^iUet*s Poem^ have nothing in them remark-* 
able. The Golden Verfes are tedious* 

The veriion of Luean is one of the greateft produce 
tions c£ Engliih poetry; for there is periiaps none that 
fo completely exhibits the genius and fpirit of the 
original. Lucan is diftinguifhed by a kind of dictatorial 
or philoibphic dignity, rather, as Quintilian obferves, 
declamatory than poetical ; full of ambitious morality 
and pointed Cbntences, compriied in vigorous and anir 
mated lines. This chara£):er Rowe has very diligently 
sfnd fucoefsfuUy preferved« His verfification^ which is 
fiich as his contemporaries praftifed, without any at-< 
tempt at innovation or improvement, feldom wants 
either melody or force. His author's ienfe is fome- 
times a little diluted by additional infufions, and fome- 
Cimes weakened by toQ much expanfion. But fuch 
faults are to be expe^ed in all tranflations, from the 
conftraint of meafures and diflunilitude of languages^ 
The Pbarfatia of Rowe deferves more notice than it 
obtains, and as it is more read will be more ^eemed^ 



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C 41 ] 


JOSEPH ADDISON was bom on the firft 
of May^ 16729 at Milftoni of which his father, 
Lancelot Addifon, was then redor, near Ambrofebury 
in Wiltfliire, and appearing weak and unlikely to live, 
he was chriftened the fame day. ' After the ^ufual do* 
meftick education, which, from the charadter of his 
father, may be rea(bnably fuppofed to have given him 
Itrong impreffions of piety, he was committed to the 
care of Mr. Naiih at Anibrofebury, and afterwards of 
Mr. Taylor at Salifbury. 

Not to name the fchool or the mafters of men illus- 
trious for literature, is a kind of hiflorical fraud, by 
which honeft fame is mjuriouily diminiihed : I would 
therefore trace him through the whole procefs of hit 
educatioiL In 1683, in the beginning of his twelfth 
year, his father, being made dean of Litchfield, na- 
turally carried his family to his new refidence, and, I 
believe, placed him for fome time, probably not long, 
ynder Mr. Shaw, then mailer of the fchool at Litch<-^ 
fidd, father of the late Pr. Peter Shaw. Of this in- 

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42 A D U I S O N. 

terval his biographers have given no account^ and 'I 
know it only from a ftory of a barring-outy told me, 
when I was a boy, by Andrew Corbet of Shropihire, 
who had heard it from Mr. Pigot his uncle. 

The praftice of barring-out was a favage licence, 
practifed in many fchools to the end of the laft cen- 
tury, by which the boys, when the periodical vacation 
drew near, growing petulant at the approach of liberty, 
Ibme days before the time of regular recefs, 4:ook pof- 
feffion of the fchool, of which they barred the doors, 
and bade their mafter defiance from the windows. It 
is not eafy to fuppofe that on fuch occafions the mafter 
would do more than laugh; yet, if tradition may be 
credited, he often ftrugglod kard to force or furprifc 
the garrifim. The mafter, when Pigot was a fchooU 
boy, was barr^d-iut zt tLicchfield, and the wfade opera- 
tion, as he faid, wds planned and coodudted by Ad- 

To judge better of the probability of this ftory^I have 
enquired when he was ienc to the Charcreux ; but, as he 
was not one of thofe who enjoyed the Foundcr*s bene- 
faftion, there is no account preferved of his admiffion. 
At the fchool of the Chartreux, to which he was re- 
moved either from that of Saliibury or LifchfieW, he 
purfued his juvenile ftudies under the care of Dr^ 
Ellis, and contraAed that intimacy with Sir Richard 
^ede, which their joint labours have fo elfc&ually re- 

Of this memorable f riendftiip the greater pmife muft 
be given to Steele. It is not hard to love thofe from 
xVhom nothing can be feared ; and Addifon never confi* 
dercd Steele as a rh^al; but Stede lived, as he con* 
feffcs,' under an habitual fubjeftion to the predominat- 
;' 3 ' ing 

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A D D I S O ^. 45 

ing genms <>f Addifon, whom he always mentioned 
with reverence, and treated with obiequioufhefs. 

Addifbn *^, who knew his own dignity, could not 
always forbear to (hew it, by playing a little upon 
his admirer; but he was in no danger of retort: 
his jefts were endured without refiftartce or refenf- 

But the fneer of Jocularity was not the worlL 
Steele, whofe imprudence of generofity, or vanity of 
profufion, kept him always incurably neceflltous, upon 
fome. prefling exigence, in an evil hour, borrowed an 
hundred pounds of his friend^ probably without much 
purpofe of repayment; but Adcjifon, who feems to 
have had other notions of a hundred pounds, grew 
impatient of delay, and reclaimed h\% loan by an exe* 
cution. Steele felt with great fcnfibility the obduracy 
of his creditor; but with emotions of ferrow rather 
than of anger + . 

In 1687 he was entered into Queen's College in 
Oxford, where, in 1689, the accidental perufal of fome 
Latin verfes gained him the patronage of Dr. Lan- 
cafter, afterwards provoft of Queen's College; by 
whofe recommendation he was eled:ed into Magdalen 
College as a Demy, a term by which that fociety deno- 
minates rS^ok which are eKewhere called Sdiolars; 
young men, who partake of'the founder's bdnefaftion, 
and fiicceed in their ord^r to vatant &lk)yirfhips ^. 

^ Speaee. 

+ Thii fii^ wat communicated to Johnfon in my hearing by a 
perfo^of mqiieihoo»We vttacicy^ but wbofe' Dtimc I ain i;ot at ]>• 
berry to ipentioin. He had ij:^ .a^ be t<^ld i>s, froq> hdy rJmrne, to 
whom Steele related it with tears in his eyes. The late Lr^ Stin:r»n 
confirmed it to me, by%ing, that he ha<* }.•-,•• J it fi oiuTvIi, IL-'.Vc, 
aathof of ike Raman Hiftoiy ; and he, tr^m Mr I«;t,ec ^ 

i Ho took the de*grec of M. A. Ftb. :.;, i^ .-• 


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44 A D D I S O N. 

Here he continued to cultivate poetry and criticifm, 
and grew iirft eminent by his Latin compoiitions, 
^hich are indeed entitled to particular praife. He has 
not confined .himfelf to the imitation of any ancient . 
author^ but has formed his ftyle from the general lan- 
guage^ fuch ^s a diligent perufal of the produftiom of 
different ages happened to fupply. 

His Latin compoiitions feem to have had much of 
his fondnefs ; for he colle&ed a fecond volume of the 
Mufdt Anglicana^ perhaps for a convenient receptacle, in 
which all his Latin pieces are .inferred, and where his 
Poem on the Peace has the firft place. He afterwards 
prefented the colledion to Boileau, who from that 
time conceived^ fays Tickell, an opinion of the Englijb 
gefdus for poetry. Nothing is better known of Boileau^ 
than that he had an injudicious 4ind peevifli contempt 
of modern Latin, and dierefore his profeffionof r^rd. 
was probably the effed of his civility rather than ap- 

Three of his Latin poems are upon fubjedts on which 
perhaps he would not have ventured to have written iu 
his own language. The Baitle of the Pigmies and Cranes ; 
7 he Barometer ; and a Bowling-green. Wljen the mat- 
ter is low or (canty, a dead language, in which nothing 
13 mean becauio nothing is familiar, affords great con* 
veniences ; and by the fi>norous magnificence of Ro- 
man fyllables, the writer conceals penury of thought^ 
and want of novelty, often from the reader, and often 
from himfelf. 

In his twenty-fecond year he firft fhewed his power 
©f Engliih poetry, by fome verfes addrefled to Dry- 
den ; and foon afterwards publiihed a tranfiation of the 
greater part of the Fourth Georgick upon Bees ; after 


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A D D ^ ^ 6 VI. ^i 

which, &y% Drydeoj ny laitet fwarfn is bardfy worth 
. the bhing. 

About the fiune time he compofed the arguments 
prefixed to the feveral books of Dryden's Virgil; and 
produced an Eilay on the Georgicks, juvenile^ fuper- 
ficial, and uninftruftive, without much either of the 
fchdaPs learning or the critick's penetration. 

His next paper of verfes contained a charaAer of the 
principal Engliih poets, infcribed to Henry Sacheve^ 
rell, who was then, if not a poet, a writer of veries ^ ; 
as is fhewn by his verfion of a finall part of Virgirs 
Georgicks, publiihed in the Mifcellanies, and a Latin 
lencomtnm on queen Mary, in the Ahfr Anglicans. 
Thefe verfes exhibit all the fondneis of friendihip ; but 
on ooe fide or the other, friendihip was afterwards too 
weak for the malignity of £iftion. 

In this poem is a very confident and diforiminative 
charafter c£ Speniier, who& work he had then never 
read -f*. So little 6)metsmes is criticifm the efieft of 

* A l^tt^r wb^ob I fuiMi4.^^'"^S^'« Jobnfon^ papers, dated 19 
January 1784, from a lady in Wiltfliire, contains a (difcoveiy of foxQC 
importance in literary hi (lory, viz. that by the initials H. S. prefixe4 
€0 this poem, we are not to underftand the famous Dr. Henry S%- 
^beverelly whofe trial is the moll remarkable incident in his life. 
The infocmationxhus co/nmunic^ed is^ that the verfes in queftioa 
were not an addicfs to the famous Dr. Sacheverell, but to a very 
;ngeaious g^ntlemail of the fame name, who died youn^, fuppofed 
to bcaMankfman, for that he wrote the hi(lori|of the Ifle of Man*— < 
That this perfon left his papers to Mr. Addifoh^ and had formed a 
flaa of a tragedy upon the death of Socrates.— The lady fays, ihe 
had this informauo(i from a Mr. Stepfiqas, who was a fello^v of 
Merton college, a contemporary^ and intimate with Mr. Addifoa 
in Oxford, who died ne»r jo years ago, a prebendary of Winch^ftert 
* f Speace. 


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46 A ft D I g ^ K. 

jadgetntta^ It? }f Aecdr«?y w iirfdrm ti^tttcfer, ihat 
about this time he was introduced by Congreve to 
]lfeiitag>(e^ thett^Qumcdlor of the Ex^hequdr: Addi- 
ftn was. then I<^ftmg tk^ tnule ^ t txMctmy «d itib- 
joined Montc^d ai& d^ poetical name t^ thofe of Covrfey 
and of Drydcffib 

By the iflflfneneeof Mr. MoBiCEig;iQe« eoncunlagy at-' 
cording^ to Tickdl, with teb natural inqdcfty, he was 
diverted from hif octgnal defign^ of entorii^ into holy 
orders. Momague alkgied the corroptioff of men wldo 
eisgaged in cs^'A employmeiKi without liberal educa- 
tion; and declsmdy tkat^ though he wasr^refented 
M an enemy to the Cborch^ be would nerer do it any 
k^'itry but hf ^^ithholdhig Addifon fMxo it. 

Soon after (in 1 695) !» ^rote a poem to kli^. Wil- 
liam, with a rhymiog iiiirOduditon addreffed to lord 
Somen:* King WilBanm had no regard to elegance or 
Kferatore ; l^s ftody was oiiliy war ; yet by a choice of 
minifters^ whoie difpofitfoo was v^ry diiferetit &om his 
own, he procured, without intention, a very liberal 
patronage to poetry* Acldifon was Careffed both by 
Somers and Montague. 

In 1697 appeared his Latin verfes on the peace of 
Ryfwick, which he dedicated to Montague, and which 
waV afterwards called by Smith the bejk Latin poemfinie 
the Mneid. Praife muft not be too rigoroully exa- 
mined ; but the performance cannot be denied to be 
vigorous and elegant. 

Haviog yet no publick employment, he obtained 
(in 1699) a penfion of three hundred pounds a year, 
that he might be enabled to travel. He (laid a year at 
Bloi3^', probably to learn the French language; and 

» Spcncc. 


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A D :D 1 S O R 47 

die& proceeded in hisr jouraef td Itsd^, n^icb bfifur^ 
veyed with the eyes of a poet. 

While he wasf tntTeUIng it kidure^ he w^s hr ficom 
bekigidle; fox he m)t oidf cf)Ue£):ed his obfervickiM 
oa the coixntry^ hut fouoA tiine to ^kritke.hts E^dlogues 
on Medaky and ibur Afts o£ Caca 1 Such at ieaib 19 
the relation of TtckeU« Feriia{>& >ke tmly CoUe&ed his 
maoeriaLs and jEbmiedhisipiasL 

Whatever were his other employments in Itaiyv h9 
there wrote rfier letter ta lord Halifiir^ whkhr is juftly 
coniidered as the moft elegant, if not this moft fub^ 
lime^ of his poetical ptodu^fcions. But in about two 
years he found ie neceflary to haften heme ;. being; as 
Swift informs us> diftrefied by indigence, and com* 
pelied to beaome the tutor of a travelling; Squire^ be^- 
caufo his peofioo wa$ not remitted. x p 

At his return he- publi&ed his Travels, with a de* 
df cation to lord Somesrs. M his ftay in foreign coun^ 
tries was Ihort, his obfervattoas are fuch as might be 
fnpplied by a hafty view, and conlift chiefly in comr 
parifims of the prafeet face of the country with the 
deipriptions left us by the Roman poets, from whom 
he made preparatory collections, though he mi^t have 
fparad the troaiUe^ had het known that fuch coUe&ioas 
had been made.twice before by Italian authors. 

The mo£t anrufiog paflage of his book is his acr 
count of the* minute, republick of San Marino ; of 
many* parts it is not a very fevere cenlure to fay that 
diey might have been written at home.. His. elegance 
of language, and variegation of profe and verfe, how.- 
evor, gains upon the reader ; and the book> though a 
while negle&ed, became in time fo much the:6ivounte 
r. ' .of 

/ ..I 

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48 A D D I S O N* 

of the publick^ tfiat before it was reprinted it rofe ti» 
five times its price. 

When he returned to England (in 1702)^ with A 
ineannefs of appearance which gave teftimony of thd 
difficulties to which he had been reduced^ he found his 
old patrcms out of power^ and was, therefore, for a 
time, at foil leifure for the cultivation of his mind, and 
a mind fo cultivated gives rcafon to belike that little 
time was loft. 

But he remained not long neglefted or ufeleTs^ The 
vi£bory at Blenheim (1704), fpread triumph and con-* 
fidence over the nation ; and lord Godolpbin, lamenting 
to lord Halifax, that it had not been telebrated in a 
manner equal to the fubjeft, defifed him to propofe 
it to fome better poet. Halifax told him that there 
wa^ no encouragem^it for genius ; that worthlefs men 
W>ere unprofitably enriched with publick money, with- 
out any care to find or employ thofe whofe appearance 
might do honour to their country^ To this Godolphin 
replied, that fuch abufes ihould in time be redtified ; 
and that if a man could be found capable of the taflb 
then propofed, he ihould not want an ample recompenfe. 
Hali^x then named Addifon, but required that the 
Treafurer ihould apply to him in his own perfon. 
Godolphin fent the meflage by Mn Boyle, afterwardis 
lord Carleton; and Addifon having undertaken the 
work, communicated it to the Treafurer, while it was 
yet advanced no forther than the fimile of the Angela 
and was immediately rewarded by fucceeding Mc^ 
•Locke in the place of Cmmiffioner of Appeals. 

In the following year he was at Hanover with lord 
Halifax ; and the year after was made under-fecretasy 
of ftate, firft to Sir Charles Hedges, and in a isrm 
monthis more to the earl of Sunderland^ 


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A t) i> i 9 b Ni a 

, Abbiit this time the prevaleat tafte for Italian bpeini 
mclined htm to try what would be the efTeft of a mu-« 
fical Drama in our own language4 He therefore wrote 
the opera of Rofamond> which, when exhibited on 
the ftage, was either hified pr negledted^; but truft* 
bg .that the rted^rs wotUd do him more jiiftice^^ he^ 
publiihed it, with an infcription to the dutchefd of 
Marlborough ; a woman without ikill, or pretenfions 
t6 ikiU> in pofetry or literaturei His dedication was 
therefore .an tn(bnce 9/ feryile. a])furdity, to Ije ex-^ 
ceeded only by Joihua Barcfes's dedication of a Greek 
Anacreon to the Duke, . 

. His reputation had been fqixiewhat advanced by Thi 
Tend<r lh(fLiahdi a comedy which Steele dedicated td 
him, with a bonfeflfioh that he owed to him feveral of 
the moft fucefefsful fcfcnes; To this play AddifoA ftip« 
plied a prologub^ 

When the marquis of Wharton was ipp6irit'ed lord 
lieutenant of Ireland, Addifon attended him as his fe-i 
cretary ; and was made keeper of th6 recoWs in Bir- 
mingham's Tower; with a ftlafy of thrte hundred 
pounds 1 year. The office was little more than nominali 
and the falary was augmented for his accomiiiodation.' 

Intereft and faftion allow little to the operation of 
particular difpofitibns; or private opinionsi Ttvo men^ 

• It was very dcfcrvcdly reje(5Ve^ by the town for tkh bailncfi of thj 
miiiic, which was compofed by Mr. Thoinas Clayton, of w horn an 
dtrcount j fend ftlfo feme fpedmens of his l^yle, are ^iven ih the ** C^^ 
** ncral HUI017 of the Science and Praaicc of MulicJ voL V. {>. 1 3 ;^ 
'* ec feq^;" One of the airs in Rofinaond is zrnde to Hog thus t 

^* O thepleariifg, pleafing^ plea(^g, pleafl|ig pkafing, anguilb.^* 

Mr* Addifon had no.relilh for mufic, and U n^Vcl- fo much out of 
kit wa^ at when he talks about it. 

Vbtnm IS %l 

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^6 A d D I S( N. 

of perfonal charafters more oppofite than diofe of' 
Wharton and A^difon, could not eaiily be brdught to- 
gether. Wharton Was impious, profligate, and ihame- 
lefs, without regard, or appearance of regard, to right 
and wrong : whatever is contrary to this, may be faid 
of Addifbn ; b\it as agents of a pafrty they were con* 
neAed, and how they adjufted their other fentimentt 
we cannot know. 

Addifon muft howeter not be too haftHy condemned^ 
It is not neceflary to refufe benefits from A bad many 
when the acceptance implies no approbation of his 
crimes ; nor has the fubordinate^ officer any obligation 
to examine the bpinions or conduft of thofe under 
whom he afts, except that he may not be made the' 
inftrument of Wfcfkednefs. It is reafonable to llippofe 
that Addifbn oounteradted, as far as he was able, the 
malignant and filafting influence of the Lieutenant, and 
that at leaft by his intervention (btne gpod was done^ 
and fomc mifchief prevented. 

When he was in office, he m^de a laW to himfelf, 
scs Swift has recorded, never to remit his regular fees 
in civility to his friends : " For,*^ feid he, ^^ I rtay 
^^ have a hundred friends ; and, if niy fee be two 
*^ guineas, I ftall, by relinquiihix^my right, lofe two 
f ' hundred gtmieas, and no friend gain more than two ; 
" there is theriSfore no proportion between the good 
'^^ imparted and the'tvil fufferefl.*' 

He was in Ireland When Steele, without any commu- 
nication of his defign, began the puf>Iication of the 
Tatler : but he was not long, concealed : by inferting 
a remark on Virgil, which Addifon had given him^ 
he difcQvered himfelf. > It is indeed not eafy for an/ 
man to write upon literature^ or conuix>n life^ fo as' 

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A a D i S Q ^. it 

£q( td m^e himfelf known to thofe with wliom he fk« 
iniliarly converfes, and who are sicquainted with his 
track of fhidy, his favourite topick^ his pecidiar do^ 
tioos^ and his habitual phrafes. 

If Steele defired to write in fecret, he wis not lucky ; 
a fingle month detefled him. His firft Tatler Was pt]^- 
lilhed April 22 (1709), and Addifon'sf contribution 
Appeared Maiy 26. Tidkell obferves, that the Tatler 
began and was concluded without bis doncurren^i 
This is doubtfefs literally true ; but tlic^ <vork did not 
firfler much by his unconfcioufnefs of izi comimence* 
menty or his abfence at its ceiikttoD ; for be continued 
iiis affiftance to December 23, and ihc paper flopped 
to January 2. He did not diftinguilh his pieces by 
jiny fignaturi ; and I know not whether his name? was 
Hot kept fecrety till the papers were cuUedcd inW* 

To the Tatlery in abotit two months, ftSfcceieded thrf 
Speftatof ; a feries of eflays of the fame kind, but 
written with lefs Icvityy upon a hiore regular plaw, 
and publflhed daily; Such an imdertaking Ihewed the 
writers not to diftruft thcti' own copioufnefs of nSite* 
rials or facility of compoiition, and their perf6frnanc<r 
Juftified their confidence;* They found, however, in 
their progrefs, many auxiliaries. To attempt a fingle 
paper was no terrifying; latboor ; mtoy pieces were of- 
fered, and many Were received. 

Addifon had enough of the ieal of party, but Steele 
had at that time almoft nothing elfe. The Spedatof, 
in on6 of the firft papers, ihewed the poiitical tenets 
of its authors ; but a refolution was foon taken, of 
courting general approbation By general toptcks, and 
iubjefts on which faftion had produced no diversity of 

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Sz A D D I S 6 N, 

fentiments ; fuch as literature, morality, and familiaf* 
life. To this prafltice they adhered with few devia^ 
atioris. The ardour of Steele once broke out in praifc 
of Marlborough ; and when Dr. Fleetwood prefixed to 
fome fermons a preface, overflowing with whiggiiU 
opinions, that it might be read by the Queen, it was 
reprinted in the Spedator. 

To teach the minuter decencies and inferior dutlcis^ 
to regulate the pra<Stice of daily convef fationi, to cor- 
rect thofe depravities which are rather ridiculous than 
criminal^ and remove thofe grievances which, if they 
produce no failing calamities, imprefs hourly vexation^ 
was firft attempted by C/tfa in his book of Manners, 
and Cajiiglione in his Courtier ; two hooks, yet celebrated 
in Italy for purity and elegance, and which, if they 
are now lefs read, are negle&ed only becaufe they havj^ 
eSefted that reformation which their authors intended, 
and their precepts now are no longer wanted. Their 
ufefulnefs to the age in which they were written ij 
fufficiently attefted by tlie tranflations which almoft all 
the nations; of Europe were in hafte to obtain* 

This fpecies of inflruftion was. continued^ and 
perhaps advanced by the Frdnct; ambng whom L41 
Bruyeris Mariners of tte Age, though, as Bpileau 
remarked, it is written without conne&ion, certainly 
deferves great praife, for livelihefs of defcription, and 
juftnefs of obfervation. ] 

Before the Tatler s(nd Spectator, if the writers for 
the^^j^Lj^atFe are excepted^ England had no matters of 
common life. No writers had yet undertaken to re- 
form either the faVagenefs* of negledt, or the imper- 
, tinence of civility ; to Ihew when to fpeak, of to be 
"fiiii^ 9 how to refufe, or how to comply. We hai 


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jnany books to teach us our more important duties^ 
and to fettle opinions in philofophy or politicks ; but 
ica Arbiter ehgantiarumy a judge of propriety, was yet 
wanting, who fhould furvey the track of daily con- 
vcrfation, and free it from thorns ^qd prickles, whidi 
teaze the paffef, thouglj fhey do not wound him. 

For this purpofe nothing is fo proper as the fre- 
quent publicafiqn of Ihoft papers, which we read not 
as ftudy but amufement. If th*, fubjcft be flight, the 
treatife likewife is ihort. The b jfy may find time, and 
thp idle may find patience. 

f lj}S mode of cpnveying cheip and eafy knowledge 
began ^mong us in the Civil War, when it was much 
the intereft of either party to raifeand fix the preju- 
dices of the people. At that time appeared Mercurius 
Aulicus, Mercurius Rufticus, and Mereurius Civicus. 
It is faid, that when any title grew popular, it was 
ilfti^i} ]i>y the antagonifl, who by this ftrajtagpm con^ 
yey^ his notions to thofe who would not have received 
him haU he not worn the appearance cS a friend. The 
tumult of thofe unhapp]( days left fcarcely any man lei- 
fure to treaf^r^ up occaiional compbfitions; and fo 
much \vece they negl^od, that a complete coHe&ion 
is no where to be found. 

Thefc Mercuries were fvicceeded by L'Eftrange'** 
Obfecvators and that by \^^t^h BLehearfal, and per- 
haps \)y others ; l)\)t hitherto nothing had been con- 
vey^ to the people, in th^s commodious manner, but 
controverfy relating to the Church or State ; kjS which 
^hey taught many to talk, whom they could not teach 
to judge. 

It has been fuggefted, that the Royal Society was in** 
/lituted foon after the Reftoration, to divert the attca* 

£ 3 tiun 

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54 A D D J ^ O K, 

tion oi the peopl^ from publick dilcontent. The 
Tatlcr and Spcflator had the fame tendency; they 
^ivere publtflied at a tune when two parties, Ipud, reft- 
iefs, and violent, each with playfible declarations, and 
icach perhaps without any df ftinft termination of its 
yiewf, wpre agitating the nation; to minds heated 
with political conteft, they fupplied cooler and more 
inoffenfive refledioBS ^ and it is faid by Addifon, it| 
^ fubfeq^ueqt work, that (l^iey had a perceptible in** 
fluence upon the converfation of that time, and taught 
the frouck and the gay to unite merriment with de* 
qency ; an eflfe^ whic^ jdHcy can nev^r wholly lofe^ 
firhile th^f cpnttnue to be ijimopg the firft books by 
iwhicli .V>th ^^p^ are initiated iii the elegances of 

The Tatlcr and Spectator adjufted, like Cafa, the 
unfettled praftice of djiijy iijtercourfe by propriety and 
|>olitenefs ; and, like La Bruyere, exhil^ited the Cha- 
facers and Manners of the Age. The perfon^ges intro- 
duced in j:hei^ papers were not merely ideal; they were 
f hen known, and confpicuous in various ftations. Of 
the Tatler this is told by §teele in his laft p^per, an4 
cf the SpeOator by Budgell in tl^e Preface to Theo* 
phraftuSy a book which Addifoa has recommended, 
^nd w^ich he was fufpefted to have rey|fed, if he did 
not write it. Of thofe portraits, which msjy be lup- 
pofed to be fometiipes einl^lliihed, and fometimes ag- 
gravated, the oirigfai^ls are now ps^rtly knpwn, and 
ftartly fergptten* 

^t to f^y that they united the plans of two or three 
emipent writers, is to give them but a fmall part of 
fhetr duepraife; they foperadded literature and criri- 
IpfiUj and fpmetimes tQW^red % ^bove their prede: 
< ' fcffors^ 

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A D D I S O W. 55 

ceflbfs; and taught^ with great juftnefs of argutnent 
and dignity cf language, the moft important duties and 
fublime truths. 

All thefe topicks were happily varied with ele- 
gant iiftions and refined allegories, and illuminated 
with different changes of ftyle and fisUcitjies of in- 

It is recorded by Budgell, that of the characters 
feigned or exhibited in the Speftator, the favourite of 
Addifon was Sir Roger dc Coverley, of whom he had 
formed a very delicate and difcriminated idea, which 
he would not fuffer to be violated; and therefore when 
Steele had ihewn him innocently picking up a girl in 
the Temple, and taking her to a tavern, he drew upon 
himfelf fo much of his friend's indignation, that he 
was forced to appeafe him by a promife of forbearinjg 
Sir Roger for the time to come. 

The reaibn which induced Cervantes to bring his 
hero to the grave, faramfola nacio Don ^xote, yyg 
fara el^ made Addifon declare, with an undue vehe- 
mence of expreffion, that he would kill Sir Roger; 
being of opinion that they were bom for one 
another, and that any other hand would do him 

It may be doubted whether Addifon ever filled up 
his original delineation. He defcribes his Knight as 
having his imagination fbmewhat warped; but of this 
perverfioA he has made very little ufe. The irregulari- 
ties in Sir Roger's conduft fecm not fo much the ef- 
fe&s of a mind deviating from the beaten track of life, 
by tl>e perpetual preiTure of fome overwhelming idea, 
as of habitual rufticity, and that negligence which 
fplitary grandeur naturally generates. 

E4 The 

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5^ A p p I S p N. 

The variable weather of the mind, the flying va^?, 
pours of incipient madnefs, which from time to titqe 
ploud reafon, without eclipfing it, it requires fo much 
nicety to exhibit, that Addifon feems to have been 
{Jeterrcd ffoin profccijt}qg jiis ovfn defign. 

To Sir ^<^er^ wl^o, as a country gsntlem^n, ap- 
pears to be a Tory, or, as it is gently exprefled, an 
adherent tp the landed intereft, is oppof^ Sir Andrew 
Freeport, a n«w m^wij a Vcalthy merchanj, ;&ealou$ for 
the moneyed intereft, and a Whig. Of this contrariety 
of opinions, it is probable more confcquerjc^s ^ycre ^ 
firft iutcnded, than could be produced when tlie refolu- 
f ion yf^s t;'4ken to exclude party from the paper, S^r 
Andrew does \>}it littje, and that little feems not tp 
have pleafed A44ifoe, whq, wh^n hp difmiflfid him 
froq) (h^ (lvb| changed his opinions, Steele had 
made him, in the true fpirit of unfeeling commerce, 
declare th^t he would not build an ho/pi tal for idle people i 
^qt a( |afi hg l)uy$ land, fettles in the country, aq4 
l>\4ilds not a n)ani|fa£tory, but ^m hofpital for tii^elye 
old huib^nc}men, for men with whom a merchapt has 
little acq^aintaqcc;, and ^hom he gommooly confider^ 
with littl9 kjftdqeft, 

Of effays thus elegant, thus inftruftive, and thus 
commodiouHy diftributed, it is natural to fuppof<^ the 
approbatio^i gqncrs^l, and the fale numerous. I once 
heard \t obferved, that the faje may be calculated by 
the produft of the tax, related in the Uft number to 
prodpce more than twenty pounds 4 week, and there- 
jFora (tated at one and twenty pounds, or three pounds 
^n Ihillings a day: this, at a half-penny a paper, 
will give lUceen huijdred and eiglaty for the daily 
' ' • Thi^ 

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A D B I S O N. 17 

grys fale is not great ; yet ttiis, if Swift be fire^it^d^ 
fvas likely to grow lefs; for he declares that th^ Speot 
fztQfy whom he ridicules for his endlefs mendoa 
pf the fair feXy hgd b^6oce his rec^(^ wearied 1^ 

The next year (1713)1 in which Cato came i3poii 
•the ftage, was the grand climafterick of Addilbn'3 de- 
putation. Upon the death of Cato, he had^ as is faid^ 
planned a tragedy in the time of his trayels^ and had 
fof fevaral years the four firft a&s finiihed^ which were 
ihewn to fuch as were likely to fpread their admiratioiv 
They were feen by Pope, ^d by Cibber, who relatei 
lliat Steele, when he took back the copy, told hinif 
in the defpicable cant of literary modefty, that, wb<t* 
ever fpirit\hi$ ftieqd had Ibewn io the CQmpojfition, he 
doubted whether he would have courage fufficient to 
^xpofe it tp the cenfure of a Britiih audience^ 

The tirtje however was now come, )vhen thofe, who 
filQe£ted to think liberty in danger, afiedted likewife to 
think that a ftage-play might preferve it: and Addifoji 
was importuned, in the name of the tutelary ditties 
of Britain, to ihew his courage and his ze^l by f^iihr 
ing his defign. 

To refume his work he feemed perverfely and unao- 
countably unwilling; and by a requeft, which per* 
haps he wiflied to be denied, defired Mn Hughes, tp 
^^4 a 6fi:h a6t. Hughes fuppofed him ferious ; and, 
undertaking the fupplement, brought in a few day« 
iom^ fcenes for his examination; bur he had in the 
Oj^ tiii>c gone to work himfelf, and produced half 
an z&l which he afterwards completed, but with 
t^rejfity i^rqgM'j^rly difprppprfion^tc tfi ihc foregoing 

parts ; 

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patts; like a talk p6ifonne4 with reluftance^ and 
burned to its conclufion* 

It may yet be 4oubted whether Cato was made 
{mblick by any change of the author's purpofe; for 
Dennis charged hini with raifing prejudices in his owa 
^voqr by £dfe pofitioQS of preparatory criticiim, and 
with frifamng ibe town by contradi Aing in the Speftator 
the eftabliflied rule of poetical jqftice^ becauie his owii 
liero, with all his virtues, was to &11 before a ty- 
fant« The faft is certain; the motives we muft 

Addifon was, I believe, Sufficiently difpofed to bar 
an avenues againft all danger. When Pope brought; 
him the prologue, which is properly accommodated to 
the play, (here were tbefe words, Briim, arife^ it 
wor$b Uk€%tbis apfrtmed; meaning nothing mote than, 
Britons, ereft and exalt yourfelves to the approbation 
«f public virtue. Addiibn was frighted, left he ihould 
be thought a promoter of inlurredion, and the line 
iKras liquidated to Britom, attend. 

Now, heavily in clouds came an ibe day^ tbe great y tie 
imfartant daj^ when Addifon was to ftand the hazard 
of the theatre. That there might, however, be left as 
little to hazard as was poffible, on the firft night 
Steele, as himfelf relates, undertook to pack an au-r 
dience. This, fays Pop^ *, had been ?ried for the firf^ 
fime in favour of the Diftreft Mother; and was now, 
with more efficacy^ pra&ifed for Cato. 

The dai^r was foon over. The whole nation was 
at that time on fire with faftion. The Whigs s^ 
plauded every line in which Liberty was mentioned, a* 
f fatire on ;(he Tories; and the Tories echoed Qvei^ 

♦ Sppncc* 

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^p, to fliew that tbp fatire W4S unfelt^ The ftory of 
^Solingbroke is weU kpoyftu He called Booth to his 
f)9X, an4 gave him fifty guineas for defending the 
caufe of Liberty fo well againil « perpetual didator. 
The Whigs, &ys Pope, defign a fecond prefent, when 
fhey can ^cqippany it with as good a (bntence. 

The play, fupported thys by the emulation of fac- 
tious pndfe, was a&ed night after night for a longer 
time than, I believe, the public had allowed to anf 
drama before; and the author, as Mrs. Porter long 
afterwards related, wandered through the whole exhi^ 
}>ition behiii4 (b; fcenes with ripftlefs aoid ynappeafable 

When it was printed^ notice was given that the 
Queep would be pkafed if it was dedicated to her; 
puij as be bad deftgnedtbat complmenf elfewbere^ befouffd 
ffimfelf obliged, ^ys Tickell, iy bis duty off tbe ^ne band^ 
0nd bisbonour on ibe otbn^ to fend it into tbe world wttb* 
put any dedication. 

Human happioeis has always its abatements ; thp 
brighteft fun-ihine of f\|ccefs is not without a cloud# 
fio fooner was Cato offered to the reader, than it was 
attacked by the acute malignity of Dennis, with all the 
violence of angry criticism* Pennis, though equally 
ttealous, and probably by his ten^per more furious thai^ 
i^diibn, for what they called liberty, ^d tho^igh a 
jBatterer of the Whig miniftry, coii)d not fit quiet at 
a fuccefsful play ^ but was es^er 'to tell friends and 
enemies, that they hs|d mifplaced their admirations^ 
The world was loo (hibbom for inftruftion ; with the 
fate of the cenfurer of Comeille's Cid, his animadvert 
ficMis ihewed his a&ger without effe£t, and Cato con«- 

dnued to be pnu(ed^ 


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4o A P D I S p N. 

Pope had now an opportunity of courting the friend-r 
^p of Addifbn, by vilifying his old enemy, and 
could give refentn^ent its full play without appearing; 
to revenge himfelf. He thereftire publilhcd A Narra^ 
five of the madne/s qf^Jobn Demus ; a performjmcc which 
left the Qbjeftions to the play in their full force, and 
therefore difcovered iqore defire oi vexing the critick 
than of defbndii^ the poet« 

Addifon, who" was flo ftranger to the ^j^orld, proba- 
bly faw the felfilhnefs of Eope's friendihip ; and, re- 
folving that he Ihould have the confequences of his of- 
ficioufnefs to himfelf, informed Dennis by Steele, that 
he was forry for the infiilt ; and that, vhcoever he 
ihould think fit to anfwer his ren^arks, he would do it 
in a manner to which nothing could be c^jefted. 

The greateft weakneis of the play is in the fcenes of 
love, which are faid by Pope * p have been a^ded to 
the original plan upon a fubfequent review, in com- 
pliance with the popular praftice of the ftage. Such 
an authority it is hard to reject ; yet the love is fo in- 
timately mingled with the whole a£Hon, that it cannot 
eafily be thought extrinlGck and adventitious ; for if k 
were taken away, what would be left ? or how were 
jhe four afts filled in the firft draught ? 

At the publication the Wits feemed proud to pay 
their attendance with encomiaftick verfes. The beft 
are from an unknown hand, which wiU perhaps lofe 
ibmewhat of their praife when the author is known to 
be Jeffreys. 

Cato had yet other honours. It was cenfured as a 
party-play by a Scholar of Oxford, and defended in a 
favourable examination by Dn Sewel. It was tranila* 

♦ Spence. 


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ted by Salvini into Italian^ and a&ed at Florence; and 
bf the Jeiiiits of St. Omer's into Latin, and played bj 
their pupils. Of this verfion a copy was fent to Mn 
Addiibn : it is to be wifhed that it could be found, for 
the fake of comparing their veriion of the (bliloquj 
with that of Bland. 

A tragedy was written on the fame fubjeft by Dei • 
Champs, a French poet, which was tranflated, with 
a criticifin on the Engliih play. But the tranilator and 
the cfitick are now forgotten. 

Dennis lived on unanfwered, and therefore little 
read : Addifon knew the policy of literature too well 
to TMkt his enemy important, by drawing the attea* 
tion. ef the publick upon a criticifm, which, though 
fometimes intemperate, was often irrefragable. 

While Cato was upon the ftage, another daily paper^ 
caUed Jhe Guardian^ was publiihed by Stede. To 
thrsy^-^ddifon gave great afiiftance, whether occaixon- 
•Hy or by previous engagement is not known. 

The charafter of Guardian was too narrow and too 
ferlous: it might properly enough admit both the 
duties and the decencies of life, but feemed not to in^ 
elude literary fpeculations, and was in fbmc degree 
violated by merriment and burlefque. What had tho 
Guardian of the Lizards to do with clubs of tall or of 
little men, with nefts of ants, or with Strada's pro* 
hifions ? 

Of this pjtptfr nothing is neceflary to be faid, but 
that it found many contributors, and that it was a con- 
tinuation of the Spe&ator, wkh the fame elegance^ 
and the fame variety, till fome unlucky fparkle froni 
a Tory paper fet Steele's politicks on fire, and wit at 
Mce blazed into faftion* He was foon top hot £or 
3 fieutra) 

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i± A n n t ^ 6 i^ 

iieiitra} toptcks^ and quitted the Guardian to write ^ 

The papers of Addifbii iH marked it the %)eftatof 
by one of the Letters in the name of CUo^ and in thtf 
Guardian by a band; whether it was^ as Tickell pre^ 
tends to think, that he was unwilling to ufurp the 
praife of othe^s^ or as Steele, with far greater likeli- 
hood^ infinuates, that he could not without difcontent 
impart to others any of his own* I have h^rd that 
his avidity did not fatisfy itfelf with the air of renown, 
but that with great eagemefs he laid hold on his pro- 
portion of the profitf^ 

Many of thefe papers were written with powers 
truly domicfk, with hice difcrimination of charafters^ 
and accurate obfervatien of natural or accidental devi- 
ations from propriety; but it was not fiippofed that he 
bad tried a comedy on the ftage, till Steele, after his 
deaths declared him the author of the Drummer *; this 

* It hat nevtr, u Ikr as T eaa itcoDeft, been noticed, Oat tlift 
Sfencyof a drammer in this contdy was probably fuggefted by that 
ftoiy of the Denaon of Tedworth in WUHIiire, Mr. Addifon's nativo 
county, which induced a belief in the reality of apparitions in fome 
of the gravefi men, and ableft divinet of the tail age ; and among 
them of Dn Heniy More^ a ithtion whereof was publifiied by tbe 
Rev. Jofeph Ghuwilt, IM in a final! trad^ entided the Demon of 
Tdworth, and after that m his * Saddudfinus tiiamphatus/ to thki 
effisAt that a fellow who had been a foldier in Croinweirs ztmyi 
and luidcr a pretended pals had gone about with a drum, demand- 
ittg money of the conlMbiest had beed treated as a Tagrant by a ma- 
pftrate, and his dram fent to Mr, Mompeflbn's of Tedworth ;«*— • 
that the family of this' gentleman were for many months after dif« 
tnrbed by ftfange noiiest and mod of all with the freqaent beating 
^ adrum in the night, and thraatt that they ihould never ceafe till 
the drum was refiored. The circiimftancesof this ftrangefioryaie 
too many for a note; but are worth looldng at in the book abevc« 
mentioaed* The fellow was afterwards conviftedof felony, and fen« 
tenced te tranfportation i but the ttoifei #ere never aecounted for. 


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A IJ t) 1 S 6 tf . 6i 

)k&itwet Steele did not know to be true by tsij direfi: 
teftimony; for when Addifon put the play into hit 
htndsy he only tdd him, itwas the work of % GiuiU^ 
man in the Company ; and What it was recdved, as is 
tonfefled, With eold difapprobation^ he was probaUy 
\!tf& willing to claim it* Tickell omitted it in his col« 
IcAion ; but the teftimony of Steele, and the total rfi* 
lence of any other claimant^ has determined' the pub- 
lick to affign it to Addifon, ftnd it is now printed with 
his other poetry. Steele caitied the Drummer to the 
j^kyhoufe, and afterwards to the prefs, and fold the 
copy for fifty guineas. 

To the 6{^inion of Steele iitay be added the proof 
ibpplied by the-pfay itfelf, of which the charafters are 
filch as Addifon would have delineated, and the tea<» 
dency fuch as Addifon would have promoted. That 
k ihould have beeil ill received Would raife wonder, did 
We not daily fee the capricious diflribution of tbeatri^ 
cal praife. ' 

He was not all this time sm indifferent f^edtatot «f 
|rablick affairs. He wrote, as different' exigences re^^ 
quired (m 1707), The pre/ent State oftbeWar^ and tb$ 
hecejffitj of an Jugmentation ; which, however judici^ 
#us, being written on temporary topicks, and exhibit^ 
ing no peculiar powers, laid hold on no attention, and 
has naturally funk by its own weight into negle&. This 
tannot be faid of the few papers entitled The Whig Et^ 
aminer, in which is en^loyed all the force of gay ma- 
levolence and humorous fatire. Of this paper, which 
juft appeared and expired. Swift remarks, with exul- 
tations^ that it is now 4own amowg the dead men^. H9 

> From a Tory fong in vogue at the time, the buitfaen whereof isy 

And he that will this health deny, 
Skfwm among the dead men let him lie^ 


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64 A D t> r S O Jft 

mig^t well rejoice at the death of that which he qMM 
Hot have killed* Every reader of every party> fihce 
j^esfonal- malice is paft, and the papers which once iuf 
tfamed the nation are read only as efibfions of wit^* muft 
wilh for more of the Whig Examiners ; for on no occa- 
Soft was the genius of Addifon more vigoroiffly ex- 
trtedy and on none did the fnperiority of his powers 
more evidently appear. His Trial of Count Tariff, writ- 
ttn to expofe the Treaty of Commerce with France,' 
hVcd no longer than the queftion that produced it; 

Not long afterwards an attempt wis hiade to revive 
dke SpeSafor, at a time indeed by no means favourable 
to Hteratuiby when the fucceffion of a new &thily to 
the throne filled the nation with anxiety, difcord, and 
ccmfufion; and either the turbulence of the times| or 
tlie fatiety of the readers, put a flop to the piiblica- 
tk>n> after an experiment of eighty numbers^ which 
were afterwards coUefted into an eighth volume, per^ 
haps more valuable than any one of thofe that went be^ 
SsM lU Addifon pi^uced more than a fourth part ; 
,atid the other contributors are by no means unworth)^ 
<^ appearing as hi$ aifociates. The time that ha^ 
palTed during the fufpenfion of the SpeSi^tir^ though 
h h^ not leflened his power of humour, feems to have 
Sncreafed his difpofition t<> feHoufnefs : the proportioili 
of hid religious to his comick papers is greater thaA' 
ia th€ former feries« 

The SpiEtaior^ from its recommen^ment, was piib-* 
lilhcd oiily three times a week ; and no difcriminativd 
marks were added to the papers^ To Addifon Tickell 
haft afisribed twenty-three^'* 

• Numb» 5564 s{7« $j8« ;$$• ^6u j6i. {6$« 56^ $68. sM^ 
I7«» f 74* $>«• 57^ i^^^* i8s. j8ji 584. s8i. S9<*» 19*^ ««• ^«* 


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^he SpeBator had many contributors ; and Steele, 
whofe negligence kept him always in a hurry, when it 
was his turn to fumifli a paper, called loudly for the 
Letters^ of which Addifpn, whofe materials were more^ 
made little ufe ; liaving recourfe to iketches and hints^ 
the produdt of .his former ftudies, which he now re- 
viewed and completed : among thefe are named by 
Tickell the Effays on Wkj thofe on the Pleafures of the 
Imagination^ and the Criiicifm on Miltom 

When the Houfe of Hanover took pofleflion of the 
throne, it was reafonable to expedk that the zeal of 
. Addifon would be fuitably rewarded. Before the arri- 
val of king George, he was made fecretary to the re- 
fency, and was required by his office to fend notice to 
lanover that the Queen was dead, and that the throne 
was vacant. To do this would not have been difficult 
to any man but Addifon, who was fo overwhelmed 
with the greatnefs of the event, and fo diftrafted by 
choice of expreflion, that the lords, who could not. 
wait for the niceties of criticifm, called Mr. Southwell, 
a clerk in the houfe, and ordered him to difpatch the 
meflage. Southwell readily told what was neceflary 
in the common ftyle of bufinefs, and valued himfelf 
upon having done what was too hard for Addifon. 

He was better qualified for the Freeholder, a paper 
which he publilhed twice a week, from Dec. 23, lyi^'j 
toVae middle of the next year. This was undertaken 
in defence of the eftablilhed government, fometimes 
with argument, fometimes with mirth. In argument 
he had many equals ; but his humour was fingular and 
matchlefs. Bigotry itfelf mull be delighted with the 
Tory- Fox-hunter. 
Vol* ni. ^ There 

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6ft A D D I SO R 

, There are however fome ftrokes lefs degant, and 
lefs decent ; fuch as the Pretender's Journal^ in which 
one topick of ridicule is his poverty. This mode of 
abufe had been employed by Milton againfi: king 
Charles IL 

" — — — — Jacolal. 

" Centum exulantis vifcera Marfupii regis." 

And Oldmixon delights to tell of fome alderman of 
London, that he had more money than the eiiled 
princes ; but that which might be expedted from Mil- 
ton's favagenefs, or Oldmixon's meannefs, was not 
fuitable to the delicacy of Addifon. 

Steele thought the humour of the Freeholder too nice* 
and gentle for fuch noify times ; and is reported to* 
have faid that the miniftry made ufe of a lute, when 
they Ihould have called for a trumpet. 

This year (1716*) he married the countefs dowager 
of Warwick,, whom he had folicited by a very long 
and anxious courtlhLp, perhaps with behaviour not 
very unlike that of Sir Roger to his difdainful widow ; 
and who, I am afraid, diverted herfelf often by play- 
ing with his paffion.. He Is faid to have firft known 
her by becoming tutor to her fon-f-^ " He formed,'*" 
faid Tonfon, " the defign of getting that lady, from 
^^ the time when he was firft recommended into the 
*^ family.'* In what part of his Ufe he obtained the 
recommendation, or how long, and in what. manner He 
lived in the family, I know not.. His advances at firft 
were certainly timorous, but grew bolder as his repu- 
tation and influence increafed ; till at laft the lady was* 
perfuaded to marry him, on terms much like thofe on^ 
which a Turkiih princefs is efpoufed, to whom the Sul- 

* Augull 2. f Spcncc. 


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tan is reported to pronounce, ** Daughter, I give thee 
*^ this man for thy Have." The marriage, if uncohtra- 
difted report can be credited, made no addition to his 
happinefs ; it neither found them nor made them equal. 
She always remembered her own rank, and thought 
herfelf entitled to treat with very little ceremony the 
tutor of her fon. Rowe's ballad of the De/pairwg Shep- 
herd is faid to have been written, either before or af- 
ter marriage, upon this memorable pair ; and it is cer- 
tain that Addifon has left behind him no encourage- 
ment for ambitious love. 

The year after (1717), he rofe to his higheft eleva- 
tion, being made fecretary of ftate. For this employ- 
ment he might be juftly fuppofed qualified by long 
practice of bufinefs, and by his regular afcent through 
other offices ; but expeftation is often difappointed ; 
it is univerfally confeffed that he was unequal to the 
duties of his place '*'. In the houfe of commons he 


* This truth I a few years ago advanced in " The general hifloiy 
of the fcience and pradicc of Mufic,** adding to it, that Mr. Addifon, 
wth all tboje talents for nxjhUb be is jujlly celebrate J^ not only made a very 
tmean figure in tbe office of fecretary of ft ate ; hutftyenjued himje'fto be as little fit 
far aHive lift as an excefs of timidity^ even to fbeep'fbnefsy could render a 

At this aflertion, which I yet aVow, and the reader will (liortly 
fee proved, the editors of the new Biagrapbta Bntannica^ in their 
\\ic of Mr. Addi/on^ have taken offence ; and farther, in a la* 
boured ft rain of argument, have not only attempted to refute \\\% 
charge^ but afiertcd, that I had no authority for ia^ ing, that Mr. 
AdJifon made a mian figure by an excefs of timidity even tjheepifhwfse 
it Ihall iherefore be the bufinefs of this note to make good what I 
have faid, and to fliew the futility of thole arguments by which thej 
have endeavoured to evade it. 

It is to be hoped the reader has not ff^rgot a palfap^e that occurs 
in a preceding pa^e, in wnich we are toid, that the lords of the re* 

F X geucy 

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could not fpeak, and therefore was ufelefs to the de- 
fence of the government. In the office, fays Pope*, 


gcncy employed Mr. Seut/jwcll^ a ckrk, to difpatch a xneflage in 
writing too hard for Mr. Adiiijbn ; nor will he overlook the para- 
graph with which the prefent note ia connected, containiag thefc 
words : *' It iB univerfally confefTed that he was unequal to the duties 
•* of his place,** or be rn attentive to the two feds there exprefsly 
mentioned, that ihew he could not fpeak, nor without lofs of time 

Of the particulars abovementioncd, though they arc decifive of 
the queftion of Mr. Addifon\ inability, I will not avail myfelf, as 
they are contained in a work written after the appearance of vaj 
•' Hiftory of Mufic." I muft therefore recur to the year 1776, 
when it was publiflied, and fhew how the quellion then flood. And 
here I muft obfer\'e, that the fad^s abovementioncd were then as 
true, and fome of them, I may add, nearly as notorious, at the time 
when 1 wrote the Hiftory of Mi>ric, as they are now j and if the edi- 
tors of the Biegraphim Brif^nnica were ij;iiorant of them, which can 
hardly be fuppofed, the greater is their ilmme for pretending to give 
a chara<fler of a man of whom they knew fo 'little, and whom they 
are fo weak as to call ^fiattf^nan. 

Thefe gentlemen fay, that my charge again ft Mr. Addifon is tx- 
tremfly unjuji : to induce a belief that he was qualified for his oflice, 
and confequently could not make a mean figure in it, they mention 
that he was trained up under lord So/ntrs^ lord HoUfaXy and other 
officers of ftate, which circumftance fliews, fay they, that he was 
regularly forn«ed for bufinels. 

Upon this argument I muft ©bferve, that between the premife^ 
and the conclufion there are certain intermediate propolitions 
which, being omitted, have reduced it to a nullity : were it other- 
wife, it would follow that eveiy boy trained up to learning, i. e. 
who had gone through the feveral clafTes in a regular fchool, muft 
iiecelFarily be a fcholar. 

In the fame fallacious ftrain of reafoning, ^ they purfue the argu- 
ment tf/nV/, the feebleft of all modes of demon ftration, and tell \is» 
*• that he muft, by his knowledge of the modern languages, and his 
♦* readinefs and elegance of compofition, have been admirably qua - 
** lifted for the writing of difpatches." To this I anfwer, that of his 

* Spence. 


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he could not ilRie an order without lofing his time in 
queft of fine cxpreflions. What he gained in rank, 


rcadinefs it is impoffible to produce, and of the cleganoe of his dif- 
patches they have not ^iveu any evidcjQce. 

And here I cannot but exprcfs my wonder, that thefc gentlemen, 
who either arc or fhould be converlant with, and well vcried in flate- 
papers, Ihould fo far err as to think ih \t they partake of the nature 
of moral or oeconomical cira)S, or that, to produce tlie ends for 
which they are written, it is neceflary they lliou d be embcHiftied 
with any of thofe excellences and beauties of flyle for which the 
writings of Mr. Addifon are cebbirated. If they will turn over the 
Cabala^ the Burleigh^ the Sidney^ the Strafford^ and other collet ions 
of ilate-papers, they will find that a nervous and perfpicuoiis, and 
not a florid (lylc is the proper qualification for a writer of official 
papers,. and perhaps be convinced that f/r^^z/yr^ of coanpofnion is 
as little required in a fecretaiy of Hate, as tliat he fliould write a 
line hand. 

So much for Mr. AdJi/on^s official abilities : I am now to maintain 
the charge agaiuft him of tim:d:ty even to Jheepijbncfi ; and here let 
me cite the following words from their own work : *' Lord Sundir* 
** land^ who niufl have well known what were Mr. AddfotC^ talents 
** for adlive life, wiflied him to have been fecretary of ilatc imme- 
•* diately upon Geor^t the firiVs coming to the crown ; but he mo- 
** deflly declined the office, on account of his deficiency as a parlia- 
" mentary fpeaker." That deficiency which thefe writers have here 
noted, is what I mean by the words timidiy even to JbecpiJJjnefl ; and 
that it was nothing lefs, will appear by the following anecdote, which 
is fo well known, and by frequent repetition become fo dale, that 
in converfation to relate it would excite rather ridicule than atten- 
tion. In a word, it is an anecdote known to all but fuch as are 
ilrangers to the world and unufedto literary communication. Mr* 
Addt/on^ in the heat of an important debate in the houfe of com- 
mons, rofc from his feat to fpeak, and began : ** Mr. Speaker, 

** I humbly conceive ;" but, not being able to go on, fat 

down confounded. After a fliort interval, he again rofe with the 
fame intention, and addrefied himfelf to fpeak in the fame form 
of words, and again fat down. The houfe in a filent expedtation 
waited for what was to come, till a gentleman, provoked to fee a 
inan of Mr, AddifoiCz parts and character fo iUamefiiliy cowed, with 

F 3 a inixr 

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he loft in credit^ and, finding by experience his own 
inability, was forced to folicit his difmiflion, with a 


A mixture of wit and indignation, got up and faid : ** The honour- 
•• able gentleman oppofice me has twice informed the houie, that 
•* he cptrcerva ; I fhould be glad to know when he meahs to Sri/tg 

I know that this impotence of fpecch is frequently glofTed with 
the name oimodfy ; but whctficr juftly or not let my author decide, 
who, fpeaking of Mr. Add'ijon% habits or external manners, lays of 
them ; *' Nothing is ib often mentioned as that timorous or fuUen 
** taciturnity which his friends called modefiy^ by too mild a name." 

The editors have now before them, befides an egregious example 
of Mr. Addijbis inability as a parliamentary fpeaker, a defcription 
of that deficiency mentioned by them as the reafon for declining the 
office which he afterwards accepted; and whether they will, with 
me, call it timidity rven toJJjeepiJhae/s^ or, with Dr. John/on^ own that 
it was a timorous or fulJen taciturnity^ too m'ldly by his friends calUd mo» 
defty^ is left to their choice ; but is of fmall importance to the ar- 
gument : however, till they can fliew that both defcriptions are 
falfe, they will fail in the proof of their aflcrtion, that my charge is 
txirtmtly unj jK 

He that cannot fpeak in public is fit only for private life ; a dumb 
fenator IS no very relplendcnt charader ; but a m'deft, a bafliful 
fecietary of ftate is an objeft of contempt. How fliall be, who is 
cither Jullenly or timidly filent^ be able to look a foreign ambaflador, 
fuch a one as Gondomariov inflance, in the face ? or be able 

to unfold 
The drift of hollow flates, liard to be fpcU'd ? 

Mihonh Sonnet to Sir Htmry Fatie the younger. 

But waving all other evidence, I reft the proof of Mr. Addifon% 
general inability to difcharge the duties of his ilation, upon the tra- 
ditional character of him which yet exifts in the offices of both the 
fecretarics of flate, and is never likely to be effaced ; and I will 
^dd, that he is the only perfon who ever held the employment, of 
whom inch a memorial is there remaining. 

The fa£t recorded by Dr. Johnfon of Mr. Jddifon*s embarraiTment 
in the drawing up of an official difpatch, my adverikries may think 
of as they pleafe : I iliall only oblerve, that it is an hifiorical rela- 
tion aocompanied with names, times, and collateral circumftances^ 
vhichj added to the teltimony of Mr. Popt^ that ;he could not ifTue 


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penfion dF fifteen hundred pounds a year. His friends 
palliated this relinquilhment, of which both friends 


an order without lofing his time in queft of iine cxpreffipns, is as 
cood evidence of the fad in qucftion as any we haye for half the par- 
ticulars recorded in •• The mirror or looking- glafs both for Saints 
*« and Sinners, by Sa. Clark, Paftor in Bcnnet Fink, London ;" 
Dr. CaIam/% " Account of the ejefted ininiftcrs,'* or Mr, ^eaP% 
*« Hiftory of the Puritans.^' 

His removal from the office is alfo a feft that neceflarily foL- 
lowed from his incapacity ; and, though my adverfaries have called 
it a rgfignailon, cannot properly be fo termed ; for no man can 
with truth be faid to refiin that which he cannot hold. Dr. John-^ 
fon faw through the fallacy of the term, when he faid, that his friends 
folUated tbisftUnquiJhment, rf^Mcb hotbfriinds and enemies knew the Uut 
rcafon, wih an account o/dediniM^ health, and the necejjity ofrectfs andquitt^ 
■and when he alTerted, as he has done in his life of Prior, that ** Ad- 
«« difon exalted /• a hiJj flacr^ v^as/orctd into degradation by thefenfe of 
** bis own incapacity^ 

To prove it was what thefe gentleman will have it to be, they , 
have adduced the following curious argument, viz. that he aftei*- 
wards %ealouJly fufponed in the houfe of commons the miniftry that 
then took place. Now, it is not ftrange, that Mr. Addijon, a whig 
by principle, fliould vote with a whig adminiftration ; but^ in the 
name of wonder, let me afli, What fort of fupport it was that Mr. 
Addij'on gave them, and whether, without a tongue, to fpeak in an 
aiTembly where eloquence alone is power, it could poffibly be any 
other than that of his bare vote ? 

I have farther incurred the difpleafure of thefe gentlemen, by 
recording a faying of Dr. MandevilU'% refpefting Mr. Addijon, which, 
though they affedt to doubt it as coming from a mujual knight. Dr. 
Jobnfon has honoured with a place in his page, and which will go down 
\o pofterity, viz. that in an evening's converfation at lord chief juf- 
ticc Parkers, he feemed a par/on in a tye-ivig, and in terms not the 
moft handfome, as they feem to draw into qucftion the veracity of him 
who relates it, am called upon to produce my authority. This I am 
now ready to do, though I fee not how it can profit either them or their 
argument, and, with more civility than they make the demand, I here 
inform them and the public, that the ilory was related to roc by a 
• gentleman of worth and unqueftionable veracity, Mr. Henry Hat/ell^ 
a barriftcr of the Temple, the fon of a baron of the exchequer, con- 

F 4 temporaiy 

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and enemies knew the true reafon, with an account of 
declining heakh, and the neceffity of recefs and quiet. 
He now returned to his vocation, and began to plan 
literary occupations for his future life. He purpofed 
a tragedy on the death of Socrates ; a ftory of which, 

temporary with the chief juilice above-named, and \*ho very pro- 
bably might have had it from his lordfhip himfelf. 

It was not my intention, in the account which I gave of him in the 
Hiftoiy of Mufic, to take from Mn Addifon any part of th© praife 
due to his charadter : on the contrary, I have afcribed to him thofe 
talents for which he is juftly qelebrated. I was formerly acquainted 
with a perfon next in office under him, the father of the late lady 
JUihfordt from whom I bad feveral particulars refpcding him, 
that have given me greater reafon for efteeming him, than all that 
flatteiy with which thofe who have prefumed to reprehend me have 
befmeared his memory; but I did not think myfelf bound, by the 
conlideration that he is the idol of the whigs, to fupprels a fa^ 
which is only provoking, becaufe it is true. I meant not the dif;^^* 
vantage of Mr. Addifon^ when I related that he and Dr. Mamde<uiUe 
met at lord chief juftice Parkir\y and that the DoAor faid of hitp, 
that he thought him 2^ par/on in a tje-wig: inch an expredion import^ 
no crime, and, as John/on juftly obferves, can detract little from his 
character. It was likely to come from fuch a man as Maudevifk^ 
of whom it is notorious, that he entertained no refped for tjie 
clergy, and little revereiice for religion, and might have been occa- 
fioned either by the fubjedts of their converfation, or the decency 
and gravity of Mr* Addifott% deportment ; nor do 1 think my credit, 
in any fenfe of the word, affe6ted by the publication of it. I take no 
pleafure/s the difparagiment of exalted cbaraSltrsy but am ever difpofed 
to yield honour to whom honour is due : and whether my affertions are 
not as well digefitd^ and better fupportcd than thofe which thele unin- 
formed hiftorians and feeble reafoners have thrown out in a note of 
more than fi^ folio columns, let the readers of both determine. 

The bufinefs of this note has hitherto been to jullify the charader 
I had given of Mr. Addifon in my work. Having, as 1 am fati:fied, 
done that, I may now oppofe to the eulogium which thefe writers 
have bcftowed on him, the fa£ts related by my author, all tending 
to the fame point, and leave them to get rid as they can of the 
charge of his unfitneis for an office, to which the abilities of a CeciU 
PX ^ H'l^lMg^^^t were not more t^n adequate. 

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A D D I S O N: 73 

as Tickell remarks, the bafis is narrow, and to wWch 
I know not how love could have been appended. There 
would however have been no want either of virtue in 
the fentiments, or elegance in the language. 

He engaged in a nobler work, a defence of the 
Cbrijlian Rdigfon, of which part was publifhed after 
his death ; and he defigncd to have made a new poe- 
tical verfion of the Pfalms. 

Thefe pious compofitions Pope imputed * to z fel- 
filh motive, upon the credit, as he owns, of Tonfon ; 
who having quarrelled with Addifon, and not loving 
him, faid, that, when he laid down the fecretarjr's 
office, he intended to take orders, and obtain a biihop* 
rick ; fovy faid he, / always thought him a pricjl in bis 

That Pope fliould have thought this conjefture of 
Tonfon worth remembrance, is a proof, but indeed fo 
far as I have found, the only proof, that he retained 
fome malignity from their ancient rivalry. Tonfon 
pretended but to guefs it ; no other mortal ever fuf- 
pefted it ; and Pope might have reflefted, that a man 
who had been fecretary of ftate, in the miniftry of 
Sunderland, knew a nearer way to a bilhoprick than 
by defending Religion, or tranflating the Pfalms. 

It is related that he had once a defign to make an 
Englilh Didtionary, and that he confidered Dr. Tillot- 
fon as the writer of higheft authority. There was 
formerly fent to me by Mr. Locker, clerk of the Lea- 
therfellers Company, who was eminent for curiofity 
and literature, a coUeftion of examples felc&ed from 
Tillotfon's works, as Locker faid, by Addifon. It 
fame too late to be of ufe, fo I infpedted it but flightly, 

* Spence 


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54 An P I; s O N. 

;and remember it indiftinaiy. I -thought the paffagcs 

too fllOFt. 

Addifon however did not conclude his life in peace- 
ful ftudies; but relapfed, when he was near his end, 
t9 a political difpute. 

It fo happened that (17 18-19) a controverfy was 
agitated with great vehemence between thofe friends 
of long continuance, Addifon and Steele. It may be 
aiked, in the language of Homer, what power or what 
caufe could fet them at variance. The fubjedl of their 
difpute was of great importance. The earl of Sunder- 
land propofed an aft called The Peerage Bill; by which the 
number of peers ihould be fixed, and the king reftrained 
from any new creation of nobility, unlefs when an old 
family Ihould be extinft. To this the lords would na- 
,turally agree; and the king, who was yet little zt- 
quainted with his own prerogative, and, as is now well 
known, almoft indifferent to the poffeffions of the 
Crown, had been perfuaded to confent. The only dif- 
ficulty was found among the commons, who were not 
likely to approve the perpetual exclufion of themfelves 
and their pofterity. The bill therefore was eagerly 
oppofed, and among others by Sir Robert Walpole, 
whofe fpeecli was publiftied. 

The lords might think their dignity diminifhed by 
improper advancements, and particularly by the in- 
trodudtion of 'twelve new peers at once, to. produce a 
majority of Tories in the laft reign; an adt <rf autho- 
rity violent enough, yet certainly legal, and by no 
mesuis to be compared with that contempt of national 
jight^ with which fome time afterwards, by the infti- 
gation of Whiggifm, the commons, cho&n by the 
people for three years, chofe themfelves for {even. 


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But,- whatever might be the difporitioa of the lord^, 
the people had no wiih to increafe their power. The 
tendency of the bill, as Steele obfervcd in a letter to 
the earl of Oxford, was to imroduce an Ariftocracy; 
for a majority ia the houie of lords, fo limited, would 
have been defpotick and irrcfifiible. 

To prevent this fubverfion of the ancient •eftabliihf 
ment, Steele, whofe pen readily feconded his politick 
paflions, endeavoured to alaroi the nation by a pam- 
phlet called ^hc Plebeian ; to this an anfwer was pub- 
liihed by Addifon, under the title of The Old Whigj in 
which it is not difcovered that Steele was then known 
to be the advocate for the commons. Steeje replied 
by a fecond Plebeian \ and, whether by ignorance or 
by cpurtefy, confined bimfelf to his queftion, without 
any perfonal notice of his opponent. . Nothing hitherto 
wa5 committed ggainft the lawjs of friendlhip, or pro- 
prieties of decency; but controvertifts cannot long re- 
tain their kindneis for each other. The Old Whi^zn^ 
fevered the Plebeian^ and could not forbear fome con- 
tempt of ^ little jyickyy whofe trade it was to write 
pampixlsts.' Dicky however did not lofe his fettled 
veneration for his friend; but contented Jbimfelf with 
quoting ibme lines of Cato, which were at once detect 
tion and reproof. The bill was laid afidc during that 
iefiion, and Addiign <lied befoiiie the next, in which its 
commitment was rejefted by two hundred iixty-five to 
one hundred feventy-feven. * 

Every reader .fiirely mulft regret that thefe two illuf- 
trious friends, after fo many years pail in confidence and 
endearment, in unity of inteceft, conformity of opinion, 
and fellowfhip of ftudy, Ihould finally part in acrimo- 
niojM oppofitioo* Sucjj a contf ovcrfy was BeUum pluf^ 


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qua7tt civiky as Lucan expreffes it. Why could not 
faftion find other advocates } But, among the uncer- 
tainties of the human ftate, we are doomed to number 
the inftability of friendfliip. 

Of this difpute I have little knowledge but from the 
Biograpbia Britannica. The Old IVbi^ is not inferted 
in Addifon's works, nor is it mentioned by Tickell in 
his Life; why it was omitted the biographers doubt- 
lefs give the true reafon; the fa£t was too recent, and 
thofe who had been heated in the contention were not 
yet cool. 

The neceflity of complying with times, and of fpar- 
ing perfons, is the great impediment of biography. 
Hiftory may be formed from permanent monuments 
and records ; but Lives can only be written from per- 
fonal knowledge, which is growing every day lefs, and 
in a fliort time is loft for ever. What is known can 
feldom be immediately told; and when it might be 
told, it is no longer known. The delicate features of 
the mind, the nice difcriminacions of charafter, and 
the minute peculiarities of conduft, are foon oblite- 
rated ; and it is furely better that caprice, obftinacy, 
frolick, and folly, however they might delight in the 
defcription, Ihould be filently forgotten, than that, by 
wanton merriment and unfeafonable deteftion, a pang 
fhould be given to a widow, a daughter, a brother, or 
a friend. As the procefs of thefe narratives is now 
bringing me among my contemporaries, I begin to 
feel vaykM walking upon lajhes under which the fire is not 
extinguijhedy and coming to the time of which it will 
be proper rather to fay nothing that is fal/e, than all 
that is true. 

The end of this ufeful life was now approaching.-^ 
Addifon had for fome time been oppreffcd by fliortnefs 


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of breath, which was now aggravated by a dropfy; 
and^ finding his danger prefling, he prepared to 
die conformably to his own precepts and profef- 

During this lingering decay, he fent, as Pope re- 
lates *, a meflage by the earl of Warwick to Mr. Gay, 
defiring to fee him : Gay, who had not vifited him for 
fome time before, obeyed the fummons, and found 
himielf received with great kindnefs. The purpofc 
for which the interview had been folicited was then 
difcovered: Addifon told him that he had injured 
him; but that, if he recovered, he would recompenfe 
him. What the injury was he did not explain ; nor 
did Gray ever know; but fuppofed that fome prefer- 
ment deligned for him had, by Addifon's intervention^ 
been withheld. 

Lord Warwick was a young man of very irregular 
life, and perhaps of loofe opinions. Addifon, for 
whom he did not want refpedt, had very diligently en- 
deavoured to reclaim him ; but his arguments and ex- 
poftulations had no efFed. One experiment, however, 
remained to be tried : when be found his life near its 
end, he direAed the young lord to be called; and when 
he defired, with great tendemefs, to hear his laft in- 
jundlions, told him, I have fent for you that you maif fee 
bow a Cbrifiian can die. What effedt this awful fcene 
had on the earl, I know not; he likewife died himfelf 
in a ihort time. 

In Tickell's. excellent Elegy on his friend are thefc 
lines ; 

He taught us how to live ) and, oh ! too high 
The price of knowledge^ taught us how to die. 



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yS A D D I S O W. 

In which he alludes, as he told Dr. Young, to thii 
moving interview. 

Having given dircaions to Mr. Tickel! for the pub- 
lication of his works, and dedicated them on his death- 
bed to his friend Mr. Craggs, be died June 17, 
1 719, at Holland-hou(e, leaving no child but a 

Of his virtue it is a fufBcient teftimony, that the re- 
ientment of party has tranfmitted no charge of any 
crime. He was not one of thofe who are praifed only 
after death; for his merit was fo generally acknow- 
kdged, that Swift, having obfcrved that his eleftion 
paffed without a contcft, adds, that, if he had pro* 
pofed himfelf for king, he would hardly have been 

His zeal for his party did not extinguifli his kind- 
nefs for the merit of his opponents : when he was fe- 
crctary in Ireland, he refufed to intermit his acquain- 
tance with Swift. 

Of his habits, or external manners, nothing is fo 
often mentioned as that timorous or fullcn taciturnity, 
which his friends called modefty by too mild a name. 
Steele mentions with great tendcrnefs " that remark- 
^^ able balhfulnds, which is a cloak that hides and 
" muffles merit;*' and tdls us, that " his abilities were 
** covered only by modefty, which doubles the beau- 
*^ ties which are feen, and gives credit and efteem to 
" all that are concealed.'' Chefterfield affirms, thaft 
*.* Addifon was the moift timorous and aukward man 
" that he ever faw." And Addifon, fpeaking of his 
own deficience in coavcrfation, ufed to fay of himfelf 
that, with rcfpeft to intelleftual wealth, " he could 
*' draw bills for a thoufand pounds, though he had not 
** a guinea in his pocket.'' 

7 That 

y Google 

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That ke wanted cwrcnt coin for ready payment, aad / 
by that want was often obftruded and diftreffed; that 
he was oi>prefled by an improper and ungraceful ttmi'- 
dity, every teftimony concurs to prove; but Chefter* 
field's reprefentation is .doubtlefs hyperbolicai. That 
man cannot be fuppofed very unexpert ia the arts of 
eonverfatton and prad:ice of life, who without fortone 
or alliance, by his ufefulnefs and dexterity, became fe- 
cretary of ftate; and who died at forty- feven, after 
having not only flood long in the higheft rank of wit 
and literature, but filled one of the moft important 
offices of flate. 

The time in which he lived liad reafoh to lan^ent 
his obflinacy of filence: " for he was," fays Steele, 
" above all men in that talent called humour, aind en- 
** joyed it in fuch perfedtion, that I have oflen re- 
" fleded, after. a night fpent with him apart from all 
" the world, that I had had the pleafure of converfing 
" with an intimate acquaintance of Terence and Gatul- 
** lus, who had all their wit and nature, heightened 
" with humour more exquifite and delightful than any 
" other man ever pofTeiled." This is the fondnefs of 
a friend; let us hear what is told us by a rivaL 
" Addifon's converfation *," fays Pope, " had fome- 
** thing in it mc=^'e charming than I have found in any 
** other man. But this was only when familiar : be- 
" fore flrangers, or perhaps a fingle flranger, he pre- 
** ferved his dignity by a fiifF filence." 

This modefty was by no means inconfiflent with a 
very high opinion of his own merit. He demanded to 
be the firit name in modern wit; and, with Steele to 
echo him, ufed to depreciate Dryden, whom Pope and 
Congreve defended againft them f. There is no rea- 

* Spencc. * f Tonfon and Spenee* 


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to A D D I S O Ji. 

ion to doubt that he fufiered too much pain fit>m th^ 
prevalence of Pope's poetical reputation; nor is it 
without flrong reafon fufpeded, that by ibme diiinge* 
nuous a£b he endeavoured to obftrud it ; Pope was not 
the only man whom he infidioufly injured, though thei 
only man of whom he could be afraid* 

His own powers were luch as might have fatisfied 
him with confcious excellence. Of very extenfivc 
learning he has indeed given no proofs. He feems to 
have had (mall acquaintance with the (cienoes, and to 
have read little except Latin and French; but of the 
Latin poets his Dialogues on Medals Ihew that he had 
perufed the works with great diligence and fkilL The 
abundance of his own mind left him little need of ad-' 
ventidous (entiments; his wit always could fugged 
what the occalion demanded. He had read with cri- 
tical eyes the important volume of human life, and 
knew the heart of man from the depths of ftratagem to 
the (urface of afie&ation. 

What he knew he could cafily communicate. 
** This,'* lays Steele, ** was particular in this writer, 
** that, when he had taken his refolution, or made his 
*' plan for what he deiigned to write, he would walk 
" about a room, and didbate it into language with as 
^^ much freedom and eafe as any one could write it 
*' down, and attend to the coherence and grammar of 
" what he didtated." 

Pope *, who can be lefs fufpedted of favouring his 
memory, declares that he wrote very fluently, but was 
flow and fcrupulous in correfting; that many of his 
Spectators were written very faft, and fent immediately 
to the prefs; and that it feemed to be for his advan- 
tage not to have time for much revifal. 

* Spcncc* 


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ADDISON. • 8i 

^'^ rte would ilter/* fays Pope, " any Aing tO; 
^' plea& his friends, before publication; but would 
*^ not retouch his pieces afterwards: and I believe. 
^^ not one word in Cato, to which I made an obje^Uoa, 
^* was fuffered to ftand/' 

The laft line of Cato is Pope^s, having been origi- 
hally written 

And, oh I 'twas this that ended Cato's life. 

Pope might have made more objedions to the fix con- 
cluding lines. In the firft couplet the words yr^;» hence 
are improper; and the fecond line is taken from Dry- 
den's Virgil. Of the next couplet, the firft verfe 
being included in the fecond, is therefore ufe- 
lefs ; and in the third Di/cord is made to produce 

Of die courle of Addifon's familiar day *, before his 
marriage. Pope has given a detail. He had in the 
houfe with him Budgell, and perhaps Philips. His 
chief companions were Steele, Budgell, Philips, Careys 
Davenluit, and colonel Brett. With one or other of 
thefe he always breakfafted. He ftudied all morning; 
then dined at a tavern ; and went afterwards to But-^ 

ButtoA had been a fervant in the countefs of War- f 
Wick's family, who, under the patronage of Addifonj ' 
kept a coffee-houfe on the fouth fide of Ruflel*ftrect, 
about two doors from Covent-garden. Here it was 
that the wits of that time ufed to aflcmble. It is faid, 
when Addifon had fuffered any vexation from the 
countefs, he withdrew the company from Button's 

From the coffee-houfe he went again to a tavern, 
where he often fat late, and drank too much wine. In 

* Spence* 

Vol. III. G the 

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the bottle^ difcont«nt feeks for comfort, cowardice fof 
courage, and baflifulnefs for confidence. It is not un- 
likely that Addiibn was firft feduced to excefs by the 
manutniflion which he obtained from the fervile timi- 
dity of his fober hours. He that feels oppreffionfrom* 
the prefence of thofe to whom he knows himfelf fiipe- 
rior, will defire to fet loofe his powers of converlation; 
and who, that ever aiked fuccour from Bacchus, was 
able to prefer ve himfelf from being enflaved by hif 

Among thofe friends it was that Addifon difplayed 
the elegance of his colloquial .accomplifliinents, which 
may eafily be fuppofed fuch as Pope reprefents them. 
The remark of Mandeville*, who, when he had pafied 
an evening in his company, declared that he was a par- 
fon in a tye-wig, can detract little from his character; 
he was always referved to Grangers, and was not in- 
cited to uncommon freedom by a character like that of 

From any minute knowledge of his familiar man- 
ners, the intervention of fixty years has now debarred 
us. Steele once promifed Congreve and the publick a 
complete defcription of his chara&er; but the promifes 
of authors are like the vows of lovers. Steele thought 
no more on his defign, or thought on it with anxiety 
that at lafl difgufted him, and left bis friend iA the 
hands of Tickell. 

One flight lineament of his charaAer Swift has pre- 
ferved. It was his practice when he found any man 
invincibly wrong, to flatter his opinions by acqui- 
efcence, and fink him yet deeper in abfurdity. This ar- 
tifice of mifchief was admired by Stella ; and Swifc 
fceiris to approve her admiration. 


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A D D I S O N,. 83. 

His works will fupply fome. information. It appears 
from his various pictures of the world, that, with all his 
bafhfulnefs, he had converfed with many diilindt clafles 
of men^ had furveyed their ways with very diligent ob« 
fervation, and marked with great acutenefs the efieS^a 
of different modes of life. He was a man in whofe 
preiienc^ nothing reprehenfible was out c^ danger; 
quick in difcembg whatever was wrong or ridiculou3> 
and not unwillbg to expofe it. There are^ fays Steele, 
in bis writings many oblique Jlrokes uponfomeoftbe witliefi 
vun of the age. His delight was more to excite mer* 
riment than deteftation ; and he deteds follies rather 
than crimes. 

If any judgement be made, from his books, of his 
moral character, nothing will be found but purity and 
excellence '*. Knowledge of mankind indeed^ kfs ex- 
tcnfive than that of Addifon, will Ihew, that to write, 
and to live, . are very different. Many who praife vir- 
tue, do no more than praife it. Yet it b reafpnable to 
believe that Addifon's profeffions and praftice were at 
no great variance, fince, amidil that ftprm of fa&ion 
in which mod of his life was palTed, though his llatio|i 
made him confpicuous, and his activity made him 
formidable, the charadter given him by his friends 

♦ Concjciving It in ibmc degree criminal to fupprefs Uny evidence 
to fiivour of a character, ftich as that of Mr. Addifon, 1 take this 
opportunity of mentioning that, in a Magaxioe. printed about twenty 
years ago, but whicb I ^un not now able to recoUed, I faw a copy 
of a letter of his in anfwer to one from a lady, who, though a wife, 
had entenained a pallion for hinn 5 wherein are contained fuch dit 
fuafives againil the cncoivagement of it, and fuch a declaration of 
inflexibility on his part, as could hardly iail 10 anfwer the cad fer 
which it was writteo. 

G a was 

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84 A D D 1 S O N. 

was never contradid:ed by his enemies : of thofe with 
whom intereft or opinion united him^ he had not only 
the efteem, but the kindnefs ; and of others, whom 
the violence of oppofiticm drove againfthim, though 
he might lofe the love, he retained the reverence. 

It is juftly obferved by Tickell, that he employed 
wit on the fide of virtue and religi<m. He not only 
made the proper ufe of wit himfelf, but taught it to 
others ; and from his time it has been generally {vh* 
{ervient to the caufe of r^fon and of truth. He has 
diffipated the prejudice that had long connected gaiety 
with vice, and eafmefs of manners with laxity c^ 
principles. He has reftored virtue to its dignity, and 
taught innocence not to be aihamed. This is an ele- 
vation of literary charafter, above all Greeks above aU 
Raman fame. No greater felicity can genius attain^ 
than that of having purified intelledual plealure, ie* 
parated mirth from indecency, and wit fiom licenti- 
oufhefs ; of having taught a fucceifion of writers to 
bring elegance and gaiety to the aid of goodnefs ; and, 
if I may ufe expreffions yet more awful, of having 
turned many to rsgbteoufne/s* 

ADDISON, in his life, and for fome time af- 
terwards, was confidered by the greater part of readers 
as fupremely excelling both in poetry and criticifm. 
Part of his reputation may be probably afcribed to the 
advancement of his fortune : when, as Swift obferves^ 
he became a ftatefinan, and faw poets waiting at his 
levee, it was no wonder that praife was accumulated 
upon him, Much.likewife maybe more honourably 
a£:ribed to his perfonal character : he who^ if he had 
claimed it, might have obtained the diadem, was not 
likely to be denied the laurel. 


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But time quickly puts an end to artificial and acci- 
dental fame ; and Addifon is to pafs through futurity 
protected only by his genius. Every name which kind- 
oefs or lAtereft once raif^ too high is in danger, left 
the next age ihould, by the vengeance of criticifm, 
fink it in the fame proportion. A great writer has 
}ately ftyled him an indifferent foet, and a worfe critick. 
His poetry is firft co be coniidered ; of which it muH be 
confeffed that it has not often thofe felicities of di&ion 
which give luftre to fentiments, or that vigour of fen* 
timent that animates diftion : there is little of ardour^ 
vehemence^ or tranfport ; there is very rarely the aw- 
(ulxiefs of grandeur, and not vfery often the fplendour 
of elegance. He thinks juftly ; but he thinks faintly. 
This is his general charafter; to which, doubtlefs^ 
jBany (ingle pafTages will furnifli exceptions. 

Yet, if he feldom reaches fupreme excellence, he 
rarely finks into duUnefs, and is (lill more i^rely en- 
tangled in abfurdity. He did not truft his powers 
enough to be negligent. There is in moil of his com- 
pofitions a calmnefs and equability, deliberate and 
cautious, fometimes with little that delights, but fel-* 
dom with any thing that offends. 

Of this kind feem to be his poems to Dryden, to 
Somers, and to the King. His ode on Sc. Cecilia has 
been imitated by Pope, and has fomething in it of 
Dryden's vigour. Of his Account of- the Englilh 
Poets, he ufed to fpeak as a p$or thing * ; but it is not 
worfe than his ufual (train. He has faid, not very 
Judicioufly^ in his charaffcer of Waller, 

Thy vcrfe could (hew ev*n Cromweli's innocence. 
And compliment the ftorms that bore him henco« 

■ * Spencc« 

G 3 a f had 

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86 A D I> t S O K. 

O ! had thy Mufe not come an age too foon^ 
But feen great Naflau on the Britiih throne. 
How. had his triumph glittcr'd in thy page ! — 

What is this but to fay, that he who could compli- 
ment Cromwell had been the proper poet for king 
William ? Addifon^ ho>vever, never printed the piece. 

The Letter from Italy has been always praifed, but 
has never been praifed beyond its merit. It is more 
correft, with lefs appearance of labour, ^nd more 
elegant, with left ambition of ornament, than any 
other of his poems. There is, however, one broken 

metapho;r, of which notice may properly be taken : 

Fir'd with that name— . 
I bridle in my ftruggling Mufe with pain, 
That longs to launch into a nobler ftrain. 

To bridle z goddefs is no very delicate idea ; but why 
muft Ihe be bridled ? becaufe (he longs to launch ; an 
aft which was never hindered by a bridle : and whither 
will ihe launch jf into a nobler ftrain. She is in the firft 
line a horfey in the fecond a boat ; and the care of the 
poet is to keep his horfe or his boat from Jinging, 

The next compofition is the far-famed Campaign, 
which Dr, Warton has termed a Gazette in Rhyme, with 
'harfhncfs not often ufed by the good-nature of his cri- 
ticifm. Before a cenfure fo fevere is admitted, let Us 
confider that War is a frequent fubje6k of Poetry, and 
then enquire who has defcribed it with more juftnefs 
and force. Many of our own writers tried their powers 
upon this year of viftory, yet Addifbn's is confcffedly 
the beft performance ; his poem is the work of a man 
not blMided by the duft of learning ; his images are not 
l)orrowed merely from books. The fuperiority which 
)ip confers upon his hero is qot perfonal prowefs, and 
. " migbtji 

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m^btyhne, hut deliberate intrepidity^ a calm' com-^ 
mand of his paffions^ and the power of confulting his 
own mind in the midft of danger* The reje&ion and 
contempt of fiftion is rational and manly. 
. It may be obferved that the lafl line is imitated by 
Pope : 

Marib'rough's exploits appear divinely bright— 
- Kais'd of themfeive^ thdr genuine charms they boaft. 
And thofe that paint them trueft, praife ihem moft. 

This Pope had in his thoughts ; but, not knowings 
how to ufe what was not his own, he fpoiled the thought- 
inrhen he had borrowed it : 

The well-fung woes (hall foothe my ghoft ; 
He beft can paint them who fhall feci mem moft. ' • 

Martial exploits may be painted; perhaps woes may be 
fainted; but they are furely not fainted by being well^ 
Jung : it is not eafy to paint in fong, or to fing in co- 

No paflage in the Campaign has been more often 
mentioned than the fimile of the Angel, which is faid 
in the Tatler to be one of the noblejl thoughts that 
€ver entered into the heart of man ^ and is therefore wor-r 
thy of attentive confideration. Let it be firft enquired' 
whether it be a fimile. A poetical fimile is the dif- 
oovery of likenefs between two adtions, in their ge- 
neral nature diflimilar, or of caufes terminating by dif- 
ferent operations in fome refemblance of effeft. But 
the mention of another like confequence from a like 
caufe, or of a like pcrforniance by a like agency, is 
not a fimile, but an exemplification. It is not a fi- 
mile to fay that the Thames waters fields, as the Pa 
waters fields ; or that as Hecla vomits flames in Ice- 
land, fo JEtna vomits flames in Sicily. Wlien Horace 

G 4 fays 

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88 A P D 1 « O N, 

lays of Pindar^ that he pours hts vioknce and fapidi^ 
of verie^ as a river fwoln wUh ram ruflies from tljd 
mountain; or of himfelf^ that bis genius wanders ii^ 
queft of poetical decorations^ as the biee waftdei^ tq 
colled): honey ; he^ in either oife^ produces a fimile ; 
the mind is imprefled with the rcfemblance of thk^ 
generally unlike, as unlike as intelle<9: and body. But 
if Pindar had been defcribed as writing with the copir 
oufnef^ and grandeur of Horner^ or Horace had told 
that he review^ and iiniihed his own poetry with 
die fame care as liberates poliihed his orations, inftead 
of fimiHtude, he would have exhibited almoft identity ; 
he would have given the fame portraits with different 
names. Iti the poem now examined, when the Engliih 
are reprefcnted as gaining a fortified pafs, by repetition 
of attack and perfeyerance of refolution ; their obfti- 
nacy of courage, and vigour of onfet, is weU illuftrated 
by the fea that breaks, with inceffant battery, the 
dikes of Holland. I'his is a (imile : but when Addi- 
fon, having celebrated the beauty of Marlborough's^ 
perfon, tells us, that Achilles thus was formed with every 
grace, here is no fimile, but a mere exemplification. 
A fimile may be compared to lines converging at % 
point, and is more excellent as the^ lines approach 
iFrom gre^iter diftance : an exemplification may be con- 
fidered as two parallel lines which run on together with- 
out approximation, never far feparated, and neve^ 

Marlborough is fo like the angel in the poem, that 
the adtipn of both is almoft the fame, s^nd performed 
by both in the fame manner. Marlborough teaches the 
battle io rage; the zngcldire^s the Jiorm: Marlborough 
ijs unmoved in peace^l thought j the angel is calm and fe^. ^ 

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ffm ; Maflboroiigh ftandb unmoved amidjl Ihi fliack tf 
h$Jisi the angel rides calm in the whirlwind. Tho 
lines on Marlborough ^e juft and noble ; but the 
fimtle gives alnaoft the fame imager a fecond time. 

But perhaps this thought, though hardly a fimile, 
was rcnaote from vulgar conceptions, and required 
great labour of refes^ch, or dexterity of ^application. 
Of this. Dr. Madden, a name which Ireland ought to 
lionour, once gave me his opinion. If I had Jet ^ ftid 
he, ten fchwhbiijs to write en the battle of Blenheim, 
and eight bad kro^bt m fbe Angela IJhoukl not have 

The opera of Rofamond, though it is feldom men* 
fioned, is one of the firft of Addilbn*s compofitions. ' 
The fubjeft is well chofen, the fiftion is pleafmg, and 
(he praiie of Marlborough, fbr which the fceoe gives 
an opportunity, is, what perhaps every human excel* 
|ence mvift be, the produ6t of good-luck improved by 
^nius. The thoughts are fometimes great, and fome<* 
tinies tender ; the vcrfification is eafy and gay. There 
IS doubtlefs (bnie advantage in the Ihortnefi of the 
lines, which there is little temptation to load with ex- 
pletive epithets. The dialogue feems commonly better 
than the ibngs. The two comic charafters of Sir 
Trufty and Grideline, though of no great value, are 
yet fuch as the poet intended. Sir Truft)r's account 
pf the death of jR^ofamond is, I think, too grofsly ab- 
iurd. The whole drama is airy and elegant ; ei^ging 
in its-procefs, and pleafing in i|:s conclufion. If Ad- 
difcm had cultivated the lighter parts of poetry, he 
would probably have excelled. 

The tragedy of Cato, which, contrary to the rule 
pbicrved in feledting the works of other poets^ has by 


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the weight of its charadkcr forced its way into the late^ 
coUeftion, is unqueftionably the nobleft produaion of 
Addifon^s genius. Of a work fo much read, it is dif- 
ficult to fay any thing new. About things on which 
the publick thinks long, it commonly attains to think 
right ; and of Cato it has been not unjuftly determined^- 
that it is rather a poem in dialogue than a drama, ra-^ 
ther a fucceflion of juft fentimcnts in elegant language, 
than a reprefentation of natural afie&ions, or of any 
Hate probable or poffible in human life. Nothing here 
eudtes or ajfuages emotion ;. here is no magical powfr oj 
raifing pbantajlick terror or wild anxiety. . The events 
axe expected without folicitude, and are remembered 
without joy or forrow. Of the agents we have no care : 
we confider not what they are doing, or what they are 
fuffering; wc wiih only to know what they have to fay» 
Cato is a being above our folicitude ; a man of whom 
the gods take care, and whom we leave to their care, 
with heedlefs confidence. To the reft, neither gods 
nor men can have much attention ; for there is dot 
one amoBgft them that firongly attradts either afiedtion. 
or eileem. But they are made the vehicles of fuch 
i^ntiments and fuch expreflion, that there is fcarcely 
a fcene in the play which the reader does not wiih to 
imprefs upon his armory. 

When Cato was ihewn to Pope *, he advifed the 
author to print it, without any theatrical exhibition; 
^ppofmg that it would be read more favourably than 
heard. Addiibn declared himfelf of the fame opimon; 
but urged the importunity of his friends for its ap* 
pearance on the ftage. The emulation of parties toade 

* Spcncc« 


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!t fuccefsful beyond expeftation, and its fuccefs has in- 
troduced or confirmed among us the ufe of dialogue 
too declamatory^ of unafiefting elegance, and chill phi* 

The univerlality of applaufe, however it might quell 
the cenfure of common mortals, had no other efftSt 
than to harden Dennis in fixed diflike; but his diflike 
was not merely capricious. He found and ihewed 
many faults ; he ihewed them indeed with anger, but 
he found them with acutenefs, fuch as ought to refcue 
his criticifm from oblivion; though, at laft, it will 
have no other life than it derives from the work which 
it endeavours to opprefs. 

Why he pays no regard to the opinion of the audi- 
ence, he gives his reafon, by remarking, that 

** A deference is to be paid to a general applaufe, when 
f ' it appears that that applaufe is natural and fponta- 
*' neous; but that little regard is to be had to it, when 
*^ it is affefted and artificial. Of all the tragedies 
*r which in his memory have had vaft and violent runs, 
'^ not one has been excellent, few have been tolerable, 
** moft have been fcandalous. When a poet writes a 
*^ tragedy, yvho knows he has judgement, and who 
*^ feels he has genius, that poet prefumes upon his 
*' own merit, and fcorns to make a cabal. That peo- 
^' pie come coolly to the reprefentation of fuch a tra- 
*' gedy without any violent expeftation, or delufivc 
*^ imagination, or invincible prepoffeflion; that fuch 
** an audience is liable to receive the impreflions which 
*' the poem Ihall naturally make in them, and to judge 
^* by their own reafon, and their own judgements, and 
•' that reafon and judgement are calm and ferene, not 
.f^ formed by nature to make profelytes, and to controul 

<< and 


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^^ and lord it over the imaginations of pthers* But 
^^ that when an author writes a tragedy^ who knows he 
^' has neither genius nor judgement^ he has recourfe to 
^' the making a party, and he endeavours to make up 
^^ in induftry what is wanting in talent, and to fupply 
** by poetical craft the abfence of poetical art : that 
*^ fuch an author is humbly contented ^o raife men's 
«< paffions by a plot without doors, fince he defpairs of 
<< doing it by that which he brings upon the ftage« 
** That party and paifion, and prepofleffion, are cla* 
^' morous and tumultuous things, and fo much the 
** more clamorous and tumultuous by how much the 
** more erroneous : that they domineer and tyrannize 
** over the imaginations of perfons who want judges 
** ment, and fometimes too of thofc who have it; and, 
^' like a fierce and outrageous torment, bear down all 
" oppofition before them/' 

He then condetpns the negleft of poetical juf^ 
tice; which is always one of his favQ\irite princi*- 

" 'Tis certainly the duty pf every tragick poet, by 
'^ the exa£t diftribution of poetical juftice, to imitate 
*^ the Divine Difpenfation, and to inculcate a par- 
" ticular Providence* ^Tis true, indeed, upon the 
" ftage of the world, the wicked (bmetimes profper, 
** and the guiltlefs fuffer. But that is permitted by 
" the Governor of the world, to ihew, from the attri- 
^^ bute of his infinite juftice, that there is a compenfa* 
^* tion in futurity, to prove the inunortality of the 
** human foul, and the certainty of future rewards and. 
^^ puniihments. But the poetical perfons in tragedy 
*^ exift no longer than the reading, ot the reprefenta-> 
^* tion; the whole extent of their entity is circum- 

" fcribe4 

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^ fcrtbed by thofe ; and therefore, during that reading 
'' or reprefentation, according to their merits or de- 
'* merits, they muft be punilhed or rewarded. If this 
'* is not done, there is no impartial diftribution of poe- 
** tical juftice, no inftruftive lefture of a particular 
** Providence, and no imitation of the Divine Difpen- 
'* fation. And yet the author of this tragedy does hot 
'^ only run counter to this, in the fate of his principal 
•' charafher ; but every where, throughout it, makes 
*^ virtue fufFer, and vice triumph : for not only Cato 
** is vanquiflied by Csfar, but the treachery and perfi- 
** dioufnefs of Syphax prevails' over the honeft fim- 
** plicity and the credulity of Juba; and the fly fiib- 
** tlety and diifimulation of Fortius over the ge- 
^^ nerous firanknefs and open-heartednefs of Marcus/' 
Whatever pleafure there may be in feeing crimes 
puniihed and virtue rewarded, yet, fince wickednefs 
often profpers in real life, the poet is certainly at 
liberty to give it profperity on the ftage. For if 
poetry has an imitation of reality, how are its laws 
broken by exhibiting the world in its true form ? The 
Stage may fometimes gratify our wiflies ; but, if it be 
truly the mirror of life ^ it ought to fliew us fometimes 
what we are to exped. 

Dennis objefts to the charafters that they are not 
natural, or reafbnable; but as heroes and heroines are 
not beings that are feen every day, it is hard to find 
upon what principles their conduft fliall be tried. It 
is, however, not ufelefs to confider what he fays of the 
manner in which Cato receives the account of his fon's 

** Nor is the grief of Cato, in the fourth aft, one 
^^ jot more in nature than that of his fon and Lucia in 

" the' 

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94 A I> I> I S O N* 

'* the third. Cato receives the news of his (bn's deatk 
** not only with dry eyes, but with a fort of fatisfac- 
** tion ; and in the fame page Ihcds tears for the cala- 
** mity of his country, and does the fame thing in the 
** next page upon the bare apprehenfion of the danger 
** of his friends. Now, fince the love of one's country 
*' is the love of one's countrymen, as I have Ihewn 
^^ upon another occaflon, I defire to aik thefe queftions : 
** Of all our countrymen, which do wc love mod, 
** thofe whom we know, or thofe whom we know not ? 
'* And of thofe whom we know, which do we cherifh 
*' mofl, our friends or our enemies ? And of our 
** friends, which are the deareft to us ? thole who 
^* are related to us, or thofe who are not ? And of all 
*^ our relations, for which have we moft tendemefs, 
^^ for thofe who are near to us, or for thofe who are 
*' remote ? And of our near relations, which are the 
" neareft, and confequently the deareft to us, our off- 
^* fpring or others ? Our offspring, mofl certainly ; as 
** nature, or in other words Providence, has wifely 
" contrived for the prefervation of mankind. Now, 
** docs it not follow, from what has been faid, that 
*' for a man to receive the news of his fon's death with 
^^ dry eyes, and to weep at the fame time for the cala- 
*' niities of his countr}', is a wretched afleftation, and 
'^ a miferable inconfiftency ? Is not that, in plain £ng- 
*^ lifh, to receive with dry eyes the news of the deaths 
*' of thofe for whofe fake our country is a name fb 
" dear to us, and at the fame time to fhed tears for 
** thofe for whofe fakes our country is not a name fa 
" dear to us r" 

But this formidable afTailant is lead refiftible when 

he attacks the probability of the adion, and the reafon- 

5 ablenefs 

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a1>Ienjers of the plan. Every critical reader muft re- 
mark^ that Addifbn has, with a.fcrupulofity almoft 
unexampled on the Englifh ftage, confined himfelf in 
time to a fingle day, and in place to rigorous unity. 
The fcene never changes, and the whole action of die 
play pafles in the great hall of Cato*s houfe at Utica. 
Much therefore * is done in the hall, for which any 
«her place had been more fit ; and this impropriety 
affords Dennis many hints of merriment, and opportu- 
nities of triumph. The paiTage is long ; but as iiich 
difquifitions are not common, and the objedtions are 
ikilfully formed and vigoroufly urged, thofe who de- 
light in critical controverfy will not think it tedious. 

" Upon the departure of Fortius,, Sempronius makci 
** but one foliloquy, and immediately in comes Sy- 
'* phax, and then the two politicians are at it imme- 
*' dtately. They lay their heads together, with theif 
** fnuff-boxes in their hands, as Mr. Bayes has it, and 
** league it away. But, in the midft of that wife 
^' fcene^ Syphax feems to give a ieafonable caution t6 
*' Sempronius : 

** Sypb. But is it true, Sempronius, that your fenat© 
**' Is callM togethel-? Gods ! tliou muft be cautious^ 
'* Cato has piercing eyes. 

*' There is z great deal of caution Ihewn Indeed, in 
*^ meeting in a governor's own hall to carry on their 
*' plot againfl him. Whatever opinion they have of 
*^ his eyes, I fuppofe they had none of his ears, or 
*' they would never have talked at this foolifh rate To 
^^ near : 

'^ Gods ! thou muft be cautious. 

*^ Oh ! yes, very cautious : for if Cato Ihould over- 
^ " . ^ ** hear 

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96 A i> D t S O Jf i 

'^ hear you, and turn you off for politiciafis, txta. 
'^ would never take you ; no^ C«£ur woidd never taJu^ 
'* you. . 

" When Cato, A& II. turns the fenators out of the 
'^ hall, upon pretence of acquaintiDg Juba witk the 
'^ refult of their debates, he appears to ms to do al 
*^ thing which is neither reaibnable nor civil. Juba 
'^ might certainly have better been made acquainted 
** with the refult of that debate in fome private apart^ 
'^ ment of the palace. But the poet was driven upon 
** this abfurdity to make way for another ; and that is^ 
'^ to give Juba an opportunity to demand Marcia di 
'* her father. But the quarrel and rage of Juba and 
** Syphax, in the fame Aft, the inveftives of Syphax 
'^ aginft the Romans and Cato ; the advice that he 
*^ gives Juba, in her father's hall, to bear away Marcia 
^^ by force ; and his brutal and clamorous rage upon 
'^ his refufal, and at a time when Cato was fcarce out 
'^ of fight, and perhaps not out of hearing ; at leaft^ 
'^ fome of his guards or domefticks mud neceflarily be 
** fuppofed to be within hearing ; is a thing that is ici 
*^ far from being probable, that it is hardly poffiblp. 

" Sempronius, in the fecond Ad, comes back once 
*^ more in the iame morning to the governor's hall, to 
♦^ carry on the confpiracy with Syphax againft the go* 
** vemor, his country, and his family ; which is fo 
** ftupid, that it is below the wifdom of the O— 's^ 
" the Mac's, and the Teague's ; even Euftace Com- 
*^ mins himfelf would never have gone to Juftice-hall, 
'^ to have confpired againft the government. If officers 
** at PortCnouth Ihould lay their heads together, in 
*^ order to the carrying off J — G — ^'s niece oir daugh- 
" ter, would they meet in J— G— 's hall, to carry op 
6 « th«t 

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A d"^d' l S O^'nA 97 

•' tti^t ^confpiracy * ? There would be up jieccflxty for 
•* tlieir \mJecting there^j at Icaflt till they came to the. 
•* cxecutjon of their plot!, becaufe there woujd be 
*^ Qthej pUccs to meet ^i. There wouW t;je uo proba- , 
" bilj^y .tbat they iJiouH meet there, becajafe thexe 
*' would be places niore private and more commodious* 
•* Now there ought to be nothing in a tragical adion 
*' but what is neceflaty w probabie. 

" But treafon is not the only thing thit is carried on 
*^ in thishatl: that tnd love, tsA philbTophy, take' 
^ their* titrtts in it, wittiput any manner ^f «eccffity or 
^^^nDi>ability occa^nedby tiie a£HxM», ao idulyandas . 
^^ regularly, with4»2t interiiupcmg <:aie anotlier, as if ^ 
** there ^ei« a triple league between them, and a mu-' 
^ luai agreement that each ihould give plaoe to mid 
^ make way for the -other, in a duc: and coderly fac« 
^ cefi^ift. • 

^' We cOBie now to the third AS:^ ' Sempronlus, in 
^ dlis Adty bomei into the govcmor^s haU, with the 
^ k»dti«-of the mutifiy : but as ibon q,% Ceto is gone^ 
^ SeiftfJMmu^ who but juft before had a&ed like. an 
<^ ttni{>araileM ktksm, dlfcovers hitnTdf, like an e^e* 
^ g^(A» fed, to be an aecomplice in the ooDipiracy. - 

'^ ;Swif^-1Kno>^, villains, ^^hen fnch paltry Slaves prcfuinb 
•* To mix in treafon, if the plot fuccee4«, ^ '' 

. «^Th4j^'«iiunowanogIfafdby: bi^tfit&ils, 
•* They're C\xtc to ^ lite dogs., «$ yo^ Ihall do. 
** litia^:tBkc tht£6 fad^bcs.mcmftfurs^ 4r«( theoi fbrdi 
•*T:o:fttddtn death-.- 

^''Tistrue, i'ndped,'?hefecond leader fays,^ there are 

•Tie perfon mcaut by the initials J. Gr is Sir JohmGibfon, 
L!eutemml CJoVcfuOr of Portrniouth in thc5 year 1710, and after- 
wards. He was mndvbdbv^ij ifi the army,* and by theconwon foU 

, Vol. m: ' H •- ^Jtooc 

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98 A D D I. S O N. 

*^ none there but friends : but is that pofiible at fuch, 
y^ a jundure ? Can a parcel of rogues attempt to afraf-\ 
** linate the governor of a town of war, in his own^ 
'^houfe, in mid-day, and, after they arc di(covered^ 
** and defeated, can there be none near them but 
" friend^ ? Is it not plain from thefe words of Sem- 
** proniiis, 

'* Here, take thcfe fafiious monfters, drag them forth 
. ** To fuddcn death— 

^^ and from the entrance of the guards upon the word 
'^ of command, that thofe guards were within ear-^^ 
*• Ihot ? Behold .Sempronius then palpably difcovered. 
'^ How comes it to pafs, then, that, inftead of being* 
** hanged up with the reft, he remains fecure in the 
^^ governor's hall, and there carries on his confpiracf 
<' againft the. government, the third time in the (ame 
'* day, with his old comrade Syphax ? who enters at? 
*^ the fame tinit that the guards are carrying, away the 
'* leaders, big with the news of the defeat of Sempro^ 
f ^ nius ; though where he had his inteiligenoe io foon 
^f is difKcult to imagine. And now the reader may 
^^ expedt a very extraordinary fcene : there is not al^ 
« undance of fpirit indeed, nor a great de^j of pafj 
^< iion, but there is wifdom more than enough to iup-> 
^^ ply all defeds. 

** %yfh. Our firft deiign, my friend, has prov'd abonive; 
.^ Sctll there remains an after-game to play : . 
^ My troops are mounted, their Numidian deeds 
** SnufT up the winds, and long-to fcour the de(art : ' 
*^ Let but Sempronius lead.iis in our flighti ' 

«* We'll force the gate, where Marcus keeps his guard, 
-** And hew down all that would oppofe our paflage; 
•* A day will bring us into Caelar's camp. 
<« Stmp. Confufioh ! I have faird of half my purgpfe^ 
« ^ Marcia, the channing;^Marcia's left behind^ 


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A"D D I • S O N., f9 • 

'* W6\U but though he'ttlls u$ the half-purpbfc that 
** he has faird of, htJ does ndt'teii u$' the half that hf ' 
*^ has darriedi But what does h€ ixtein by 

** Marcla, the charmirig Marcia's left behihd ? 

*^ He is noW in h^r own houfc; dnd We havd neither , 
** feen her nor heard of her any where elfe firic^ the ^ 
*' play began. But now let us hear Syphax : 

" What hinders then, but that you find her out^ 
*• And hurry her away by nianijr, force ? 

*' But what <ioes old Sypliax liieah by. finding her out ?^ 
♦* They talk as if flie were as hard to be found as a 
** hare in a 6:ofty piprnirig* , * 

*! S^p* Bat how to gain addiiirion i 

^^ Oh ! flie is found out then, it^f^cmg* . ' 

•• But how to giih aditiiffidn ? fdr accefs 

*' Is giv'n to n^ite^ but Juba and her brothers* 

'* But, raillery apart^ ifrhy itcefi to Juba > For he was 
'' owned and receiveid as a lover neither by the father 
" nor by the daughter. Wdl ! but let that pafs. &y- 
*^ phax puts Stmprontu^ olit of paid immediately i> 
*' andi being .a^N.umi^!ian, abounding in wUes^ fup-;. 
*f plies him withf a UratR^m fo^admii&Qn, that| I be^. 
*'licve, is ^ jiQnrp^reille I ' . 

•• Sypb. Thot^ftalr haviJ juba*s 4rtfs, artd Jiiba*aguwd« r, 
** The dcors witl open, when Namidia's princft 
^ ** Seems taiat^aai' before tb^tid* 

\«- Scmpronlus is, it feenls, t<i pafs ftr jiiba iti fuU/ 
^ day at Cato's houfe^ wherd thijy were both lb v^ry* 
^ wdl kn^wn> by having Juba's drcfs and his guards :• 
**- as if one 1^ the marihals c^ France could pais, for 
*^ theduke of Bavaria, a^ noon«day, at Verfaillei,.by' 
* haVing* his <irers and liveries. But how does Syphax 

Ha " pretend 

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i^ AD . ,D : I : S O^ rNl; 

"riporticfid to help^.SexntVftniw to yoimg JJul^^ ^r^fi,?^^ 
'^ Daea:he. fecve kioi xti. a double capzcitl, a$ getec^ - 
" and mafter of hu^vrai^rpbe ? Bu^ why: Juba's guards:?. . 
^ For the devil of any. guards has Juba appeared witli 
*' yet* Well! though this Is a mighty polkick in- 
'* ventioo, yet, methililts'; they might'have done with- 
^^outlVv'for, finc^ the 'advice that Syphax gave to ' 
** .Sempronius was, ' ' ' .. *: . 

•* To hurry Kcr awliy by manly fcrcc^ 

'', in my opinion, th^ flibrteft and likelieft way of com- 
*Mng at the larfjr was l>y demolifliing; iftftead of pnt- 
*' ting on an impeftin^t difgUife to circnmvcftt t^o 
*' or three Haves. But Sempronius, it feems; is ti 
** another opinion. •' He extols to the Ikits che iaven-- 
*^ tion of old Sy.pfcaK;: ; , ' . » 

** Sempr. Hca.rciB J .what t da6i;^t ww Atrtl 

^' Now I appeal to The reader, if I hate not been 
'^zi goSd «s^ thy wwd. v>Did I QQt teU him, that I* 
*^* worid lay before hitn a very wife fccne > - '* 

/* But now let us liy before the reader that part of 
" the fccticry t)f the Fdufth Aft, which may Ihew the 
♦'libiurdxties Vhieh- the author has'rtm irtto, throtigh 
*^the itrdMcreet ob'fervance of the-Ufcitf of Placit.. ^ i 
" do not remember that Ariftotle hits itid anything 
M ixpisfeV cpnccrriiag the U»ity of jRlaceu 'Tis tiue^ 
^^ implicitly he hfislfaiA. enough in thftNTi4ttS which* he 
** has laid down for the-Ghotus. J^PftT^tnakiiig'the 
*''Choi:iB'an eflfccitmfc ptrt of T^agedyj^. and by l^iog* 
^ting it on thsi Aage ioimediately i^CQr< ;-^e opcMpg 
.** of thR fccnc, andrrettiBfiing it th^ro.tiU.tihe vefy^^^a^ 
^ i^ftrophe, he kas/fcLdKerminesd ^ fikc4 thi|;plsuy» 
'^ c{ a&ton, thst it was ijEni^iSfai!^ for ^ «ittlK>r. om* 

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** tjie Greciait ^age . to break t^r9ugh that unity. I 
■** aixi o£ opinion; liiat if a'ttibdl^iji 'tragic.'^\|e{'.'cah 
*5 preferve the uriitj^of place,* without deftro^ji^ the 
** jptpbaitaity .of 1:li^ inci4eatsj''!*tts"aiwa^^ 
"to 'do it; becaiifel W the rffi^fervitioh of '^/tSiriity, 


«« times monftifeVi!;'''tiscercayirMttrJto'lJfe3i:'l?.' 

^'KyaW* ebflWs IwUy SeanjptdJilUy, '«6tfticatlf''a(dcou- 
** tredlantf'o^aJpjpied with Ms 'NuMfettatt'd^ his 

** Nuau<naU"ktiil'as. ' "LM 'M"f^ePii\ie^%o him 
«. wjtfr |i|^;^fxi5^1f4^s ^^^f^ f he wor4s; pf ^t^^ \^ifc are 

" Smpr.'tEbf^'.^AiCfntilod^J^if'i'M*. msikNiz hW to her 
*^::^**JM«j:5 «WuS*^i» know t.Wiy this de^r 13' taid to 

'''the pl?y beg^;! ^^' h€f ib^g'iK^dilaJod of ilirbqd^ : 

• ^< UiUf'v^li'^^itM^ the 4'tf(»m^e:wfeh t^ich/die and 
^ k\kia b^A^ti^ -Jf^ft, tv^b hstY!; cdi&n torbelidvtlithtit 
^» ^^ hM Wdify l>€teii talfciUg'Qf &t>h mattt^ri^hi the 

• •^^ iliftct^* tftwWWf, to pl^ftue .Scffftpfoniiis^i let tis 
*^< tb^pofi, for OfllCej^ that the deer in lodged^ n '^ '^ 
--^«Thc deei ^ lodgM, Ifve.lrtdifa*W*G her b^mr * 

" If hehaa^lWn her in tHc'dperiflt'ld, wTiat^fifiafion 

^^ had he to tbid&hcr^ wheb h&hdcKfb haany Numidian 

*' dogs it hi*%«^y^h4ch, Wltil'orie Sdlte^^Tie might 

,rff.|^i;vefoupqi|ij^rhaund;/^i^;df ^9.di^ Of^ibo her 

^!'\:d" ^ ^ H3 ^ "in 

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%ez . ADDISON. 

f' in.fl>p ^cn Scjdy Hqw could he ppflSbly track her? 
. ^^^.he had feen hpt in the ftreet, why did he not fet 

^^/'Pptqp her in th(5 ftrecf, fince thrpugh the ftrcet Ihe 
^^'muftbp carried at. Jaft? Npw here, iiifte^ pf hay- 
f.ff.ingJbiS thoughts wpoti his byfinefs, -^ndfiipon the 

^^.f.prsfent danger; ir^ead-of nieditatipg and contriy- 
.^^ ing hpiv hf ihall pais with his miltrefe through, tljc 
^,^* jToytjberji gate, where her Jtjrother^Marcus Vv^ 

^^'z'Si^rfif?^^ H^^*» ,$e| 

>* 5|itf^t2iin]i^^^^ .7 . , 

-1 .> .*^ 5f/*y>n ^w .wiU ^b« ^ung NvufiidUn n^ve. ^o fee 
.; ; ff* Hii «||iftrcfs,ipft !/ IC'a^ight coaIdgU44:9y foul,'. 
;"Btypnd ti^' cnjoyippot of fo bright a prize, .^ ^ 
«^*.*T would be to torti?rc that yoiing gay Barl^ariaiU 
*' But hark ! wTiat noifc ? Death to my hopes, •tis he, 
•* 'Tis Juba*s ftif 1 There is but one way Icfr! 
. '^' lU muft be m«2rd«r'<i, and a paflage cut 
** Through thofe his guards. 

r J f ;fc Pray, what are tiojir bisj^mrdi f ^ l thought at pre- 

: <^-feQt,:that Juba^'s guards had heeaSemptoqius's c<kiis, 

: ^< aiid had lueen dangHng after his h^St. . 

i ^^ 6yt now liim up qU th^^ ahfurditieg (oge^ 

♦.Either*! . Scq^ronius goes at nooftrdayi^injuba's clothes, 

^'* and with Jwba's tf^ards, to, C»to's.pSiJ^K§i \fX twder 

. .f* tft p^fs for Juba, in a place where, they were bPl^h'ib 

** very well kno^yht his meets Jul^therQ, <iA<Jr(jfolvesto 

^^ murder him with his own guards. Upon the guards 

eJt, appearing a lipcle hfihful, he chreajcp^ them ; .. 

. , ' .: . ^* Hah ! pailards, do you tfrmhie I , ' ^* 

fM Or a^ ljke,njci|i, or by yoii aawff^.hcai^'n l,-:. w 

"^ ^^ ButtKc guards ftill remaining reftlvei Sempronius 


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^' htmfelf atUcks Juba, while each of the guards it 
•* reprefenting Mn Speftator's fign of tha Gaper, 
•* awed, it.feems, an4 terrified by Sempronius's threats. 
•* Juba kills Sempronius, and takes his^wn army pri- 
^.* fbners, and carrier them in triumph away to Cato, 
•* Now I would fain know, if any piart of Mr. Baycs*s 
^^ tragedy is fo full of abfurdity as this ? 

" Upon hearing the clalh of fwords, Lucia and 
^* Marcia come in. The queftion is ^hy no men 
** come* in upon hearing the noife of fwords in the 
** governor's hall ? Where was the governor himfelf ? 
** Where were his guards } Where were his fervants ? 
^ Such ±n attempt as this, fo near the perfon of a go- 
** Ternorof a place of war, was enough to alarm the 
*• whole garrifon : and yet, for almoft half ^n hour after 
*' Sempronius was kJUcd, wje find none of thofe appear, 
** who Were the likelieft in the world to be alarmed; 
*^ and the noife of fwords is made to draw only two 
" poor Women' thither, who were moft certain to run 
i< away from it. Upon Lucia and Marcia's coming in, 
•' Lucia appears in all the fymptoms of an hyfterical 
** gentlewoman : 

" Luc. Sure 'twas the clafli pf fwords ! my troubled heart 
" Is (o caft down, and funk aniidll its forrows, 
** It throbs with fear, and akes at c%'ery found ! 

f And vnmediately her old whimfy returns upon her i 

^' O Marcia» Ihouid thy brothers, for my fake— 

»* I die away with horror at the thought, * 

^' She fancies that there can be no cutting-of-throats, 
" but k^amO^ for her. If this is tragical, I would 
" fiiin know what is. comical. Well ! upon this they 
'< fpy the body of Scnipronius j and Marcia, delude^ 

H 4 ** by 

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1^ A' n D I s; a n. 

*' fays (he, . / .• 

• ** The fece is muffled «p wffiin the gmtieHt. ' ' . 

^' Now how a man could fight, and fall withKis/ace 
'• muffled up in his garment, js^ 1 think, a little h^ird 
^^ to conceive I Befides, juba, before he kilted him^ 
^* knew him to be Sempronius. It was notj by hi^ gpr* 
*/ ment that he knew this ; it was by kis face thep : 

V bis face therefore was not muffled. Upon feeing 
^* this man witK the muffled fa9e,; Marcla falls Vrav- 

V ing; and, .owning her^paflipji for the fuppqi^d (le^- 
** fund, bcgiqs tQ make his funeral qration. Upon 

V which Juba enters liftening, J fuppofe on tip-toe ; 
f* for I cannot imagine how any one can enter liftea* 
" ing, ia any other pofture. I would fain know; how 
\^ it came to pafs, that during all this time he had feat 
** nobody, no not fo much ^ a candle-fnuffer, to takfi 

V away the dead body qf Sempronius. Well I but lot 
" us regard him Jiftening. Having left hij.appre* 
** henfion behind Kim, he, at firft, "applies wliat Warci^ 
*^ fays to Sempronius. Bui finding at l'^ft,,.wi{i^.much 
^^ ado, that he himfelf is the happy man, he quits his 
^'^ eve-dropping, and difcovers himfelf juft time enough 
" to prevent hh being cuckolded by a dead .niajn^ of 
** whom the moment before he had appeared fojea- 
f* teus; *nd greedily intercepts the blifs, wMch-wai 
** fondly dcllgocd for one who cpyld not be ^hcr bccter 
** for it. But here I muft a& a (fueftion : how tomes 
^* Juba to liilcn here, who had not liftened before 
^ throughout the play ? Or, how comes lie to. lie the 
'^* only*perfon of this tragedy who liftens,, /when /love 
y and treafoh were fo often talked in fo puhlic]fe, ip^^cp 
'^^as a hall? I ^ afraid tjip 'author was driven iipon 

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*^. all <kcil^ tfafwditios <wLy to itftcodiiq; tlp^ :Qiii;i;ni^ 

^5 faelovr .th^^ipuQr of th^dj^/i aa -aoyr thiof u vriAck^ 

^* But let us come to the fcenery of the Fifth^; A&» 
^ Cato appcars^fiift tipoa tioe &ca», fitting ||{ n ;iih|R^||^- 
^ (ill pofture; iii hir hind Plato^^ treatire,tfi;tkia Im*^ 
f^ mortaihy of the Soul^ aId(atvfr£wofd on^^liefj^^e jj^jy; 
^^ him. iSTcnr let iii& coii^dtr .the fiaipQ b^m]^c)^^ tfaiy, 
*^ fight is prefffittd to u&i Thii) place^ foriopth^ is a 
'.^ lolag hall Let i^ fupppfe, that apy; one ^ould 
f ^ place hkftfelf in this poftiorci, in the miM pf opt o£ 
'^ our hiUa it London; that he fliould oppesixfoius^ ia 
^* a fallen pollure^ a dritttf IVrord o& the table by him; 
^' ia hia haftd Plato's tjwati^ qn the Inut^ortaiity o^ 
^^ the Soul> ^^raoflated lately by. St^^ard Liotoc: I de* 
'' firethf. reader to oooiid^i .whether fuch a perfon as 
^ this would pafs with them who beheld him^ for ^, 
'* great patriot, a great philofopher, or a general^ 
'^ or for ibme lujhimfical perfon who fanicied . himfclf 
^^ all thefe; apd^yrhetherthe peopki who belonged to 
^^ the f^mity^ jwQuld think that fuch a perfo^ had a 
^^ defign upoo their midrifs or his own? 

^' In ihorfyjthaft Qato fl^ul4 fit long enough, in the 
'^ aforeiaid. poApre, .in the midft of this large hall^ to 
** rea4 over Plwo's trcatife on the Immortality of the 
** Soul, which is a ledture of two long hours; that he 
ihould pwpofe to himfclf to be private thcyre upon 
that oc^a^i^that h$ fliould be angry vyfth his fon 
for if^t^iiig [(here; then^ that he ihould ][caye this 
** hal\ upon, the pretence of fleep, give himfclf the 
^^ mort^i. yfdmd, in hif, hfdchamber^ aod then be 

" brought 

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m6 a UJf V son: 

^« broiijglit back into t^th^li to expirey ptirelf M IHct^ 
^ biST^ gdodf^breeding^ ' ahd- fave hk frutedsidie trouble 
<* of coni&ig lip^ to hi$ bedchamber ; all tbis ap- 
*' pears to me to be io^ppolSable^ snocedible^ impof-' 
*^fibW''"''' •'• • '--'^ ' •^- ^ - :• 

'Su^ k'the t^ndfurc of Denlm^ Jlifiuceiis^ ^s? Dryden' 
exprdfes*'^, ' -pcrhapi t»$ nmcb, borfepkf in his raillery ; 
but if bis jbftd are coarfe^^his^ arguments are ftrong. 
Yet as ijre love bcttef to'ibb^pieafed than to be tau^tV 
Cato is refad, "and thccritick i^0egleacd. 
' Flulhcd with confcioufnefs.of thefe dete&iosis of ab*' 
fordity in the conduft, Jie afterwards attacked the fen- 
timents of Cato; but -he then amufed himfeUf with 
petty cavils, and minute objiftions. 

Of Addifoh's fmaller poems> no particular mention 
IS neccffary; they have little that can employ or re- 
ijuire a critlck. The parallil^f the Princes ahd Gfods, 
in his verfes to Kneller, is oftea happy^^ but is too wclf 
known to be quoted. • . 

His tranflations, fo for als I have compared theni^ 
t^'ant the exaftnefs of a fcholar. That 8e uiiderftood 
his authors cannot be doubted ; but his verfion^ will not 
teach others to underft»nd them, being tfto Itcentiouily 
paraphraftical. They are however j for the moft part, 
fmooth and eafy ; and, what is the firft excellence of a 
tranflator, fuch as may fee read with pleafurc by theft 
who do not' know the originals; 

His poetry is poliflied and pure; the produa of a 
mind too judicious to commit faults,'but not fuffici* 
ently ri^roiis to -attain excellence. He has fometimes 
a ftriking line, or a ihihing paragraph ;' but in the 
whole he is warm rather than fervid, and ihews morfe 


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A* n D 1 S O K. 107^ 

dexterity than ft^ength. He was however ^ne of oar 
carlieft examptes.oY correckneJ&. ' ; 

The vcrlification which he hadlejarned frpinLDryden 
he dehafed. rather than r^aed. .His rhymes are ofeea 
diilonant; wi his Gcorgick he adftiits broken lines* 
He^uies both triplets and alexandrines, but.tnpl^ 
more frequently in .his traulhttons than his qther 
wofkst The mere ftrufture. of verfes * feems nev^ 10 
have engaged miich of his care« &ut his lines are 
very fmooth jii 'Rofamond, and too imooth in Cato. 

Addifon is now to be coniidered as a critick; a namo 
which the pfe(eht generation is (carcely willing to 
allow 'knr\. His critlcifin is condemned as tentative 
or experimental^ rat;her than fcientifick, and. he is 
confidered as deciding by tafte rather than by prin* 
ciples. . . . ^ 

' It is not uncommon for tho(e who have grown wife 
hy the labour of others, to add a little of their own, 
and overlook their matters. 'Addiloh is now defpiled 
bjr fome who perhaps would never have feen his de- 
fers, but by the lights which he*afiorded them. That 
be always wrpte lis he would' think at neceflkry to writ^ 
"now,. cannot be affirmed; his' inftru6Uons were fuch as 
the charafters of his readers made proper. That ge- 
neral knowledge which now circulates in common talk, 
was. in his time rarely to be found. Men not profeiT- 
ing learning were not afhamed of ignorance ; and in 
'the female world, any acquaintance with books was 
diftxhguifhed only tp be cenfured. His purpose was^o 
iafufe literary, c^rioftty, l?y gentle and unAifpe^d 
'cpnveyancc^ into i;he gay, the idle, and the wealthy; 
He therefore prefentcd knowledge in the moft alluring 
form, hot lofty and auftcre, but acceffible and familiar. 


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if? f ^ » ? ! 9j If. 

^VTipn he fhcwed tjicm their defeats, ,, he ^ewecl rfieok 
fiiKewfc diat'tlii^Wighf TC eafiljr . fupplied. liisat- 
tc^g^. fucc^ed; cnqmrj^ was awakened, and com- 
fjfe^henfio expanded. An emulation' of intelledual 
ckgaiice ,was excibcd, ^d from Us diiie to our own^ 
tigi has be^ gradually exalted, ^and .cohverfation puri-- 

fieg and pnlarged. , ^ ^^ , 

"'DrySen lia^* wt m critl- 

femiuar,,'Eis'mann tooTchofafttck f«r 

ttofe who haif yet'tkcir nidinients id and found 

^it.ftot eafy tp underftand tlieir jtftaiter. ^ His obferya- 

toojrij' were framed Irattie^ thole /th,at. were; learning 

to writV, than for thofc that read pnTy. to talk, 

jftn"iiiftrua:or like Aa^ifon was now wanting, wj^ofe 

lemarks being fuperficial. might be eafily.underft'ood. 
tr.v It".": ". n'%: cfe:v ^mr • *>» .r,<. ,.^ y/ • , ; 
ana T)emg juit might, prepare the njmd for more at;- 

*t?annK;dt:s. HaH' he. p tpfented Paradife* Loji to the pub- 

T\ct with' all tng pomp of fyHem and' (^verity of fcicnc^, 
tfia,criticifm would perhaps have* been adpiired,\aiMl 
tlie poem ftiirX^ve^teeii rieglededj but by the lilan- 
dilKments ofg^ntTenyf^^^ facility^ he Jias made )VIu- 
ton an. uhlvc'rial Tavoiirlte with' whom readers of' every 
Qafttnm^ ' ". ' 

* ' ' JHe" defcendeiJ hc^w auci then €9 lower ' difquifetions ; 
afid^ by * a ferious dijlpra^'of 'the * beauties • of Cbeyy 

'(^afe^ 'exppfea 'him{elf *to the ridicule of Wagffait, 
who beftowed .a lUce pompous 'character on ^of» 

^Tpum^i^ jind, to the contempt of ^Dennis, who,^ con^ 

* Ecjiiflng ' ' tlie"^ fundaniehtal pofft 10^ of his criticifm, 

* tiiat,C%^y Chq/e ^leafes, /and oyght to pleafe, becaufe 
^Ttisnafural, obfe'rves: ^^. that tlierc^s'a way of deviate 


jio;* rff 

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sdx>vt iiatiioe» and ofakirg^'s imag^ii liieybiid'ttetrfxci^I 
balk; tsy afitOacxon/. which fbc&k^ laKiurc ntquislb^f: 
fixoething unfiaiubie; and by! iptbmUiity^ whkkidc^ 
gnules nature by faintn^s and:dtmiaotb% by^ebfiftir^-T 
ing 1(5 s^pearanoea^ and weakening its efibdsl»'5 ■^iar 
CbtiTf Qmft there »i5 not inneh t)£ either. bond>aKt oo! :^ > 
fe£batioa ; but thei-e' k chill anA Jiifdefs - iibbeofiiitjttt 
The (tory caittiOt'poffibly be toldri&ainannarthat^UI: 
ntitkelfefs impriKSpii'oDthemind. -'; ' .j j . < ii,' 

Before the profoiond obfenress of!theptefi»a.nittte«r 
pefe' tido fecurely on the confrioMfncft. qf tfatir Tiqie^ 
riority to Addifor^ J^ Vhem' coniiBec his^ RmxiMrks. om 
Ovid, b which rp? f^ftd ip^cipc^ ^ criticifm 
fufHcientiy fubtle and refined i let them penii^ likewiie 
Us Eflays on'i^V '«ftd 4ii\^ fhafurn ^/Am^2m* 
/MH, in i;^ich he fiMVifds art on th^ ba^ bf n^rifui^y^mi^ 
draws the prmii]f>les of inventi6h frbift 4tfpo&idto 
herent in the mh«d'"oSF man, with ikill andefcgtoce^* 
filch as his gDnterimers will not eafily attain, ' '■ 

As a defcriber of JJFe and nwrtnteAf, lie muft bfe al-' 
I6\^ed t6 ftand'petliafps tlie firft^of <he Brft rankw * • Si©^ 
humour^ which^ as^ Steele obfefvei, b peculiar to him*; 
felf, is fo happily diflfufed as td^h'c tlie^ ^wtce oif no*^ 
Yetty' to damel!ftdr fcenes ahft d^ly'occftrriJencW^ ^ke 
never outjleps fie modefiy $f natlirfyribr t^Hes mernmefti? 
or wonder by the violation bf^rtitli, T^s figures^ -net^ 
ther divert by dilicrt^ttbn, ridx i^itt'\>^ aggravtftibtif 
He copies Ufe Vith femuA' fldftitjr/that \t tx&^W . 
hardly faid tq^ invent ; yet his exhibitions* have iii^iiP 
fi>. much * original, that it is difficult; to * iupprfe 'tWt4 . 
act tnercly th^'prodHA of tefagifiitibA^.'^ • ' ' '"^ "' ' '^'"f . 

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tarn: A D D^ i: 6^1 o:i NL 

r M^tAxiitT,€£wi£iom, he nxayb&confidencfy fol^' 
hmd. Hisxdipouhsa.Tiothmgtnk 
{vKfetta^aasi he appears neither weakly credidous> 
BCfT wantonly foeptici); his morality is neither danger 
leully l9Xi^ nor impca&icably rigid. All. the enchant- 
ment of fancy^ and all the cc^ency of argument^ are 
empfayed to recommend to the reader his real intereft,r 
the care of pteaiing the Author of hts being. Truth 
is fhevn fbmetimes as the phantom of a viHon^ fome*> 
times appears half* veiled in an. allegory} fometiojes 
actraAs riegard in the robes of fancy» and (bmetimes 
iteps fordi in the coi^ence of retfon. :She wears a 
thousand drefTes, and in all is pleaflng. . t 

Mille habet omatuSi inille decenter hat)cf« 

(Ks.profe is the tuodel of the o^iddie ftyle; on grave* 
lubjefts not forr^al,, on light occafioois not grovelling; 
pwe without fcrupulofity, and exaft without apparent 
elaboration; always equable^ and always eafy, without. 
glowing words or pointed fentences. Addifon nevef 
deviates from his track to fnatch a grace; he feeks no 
ambitiQUS ornaments; and tries no hazardous innoya->, 
tions. His page is always luminous, but never blaze:^ 
in unexpeded fplendou; . 

It was appaiiencly his principal endeavour to.avQid 
all harlhnefs and feverity of diftipni he is therefore, 
fometimes verbofe in his tranfitions. and connections/ 
and fometimes de(cend3 too much to the language of 
4:pnver{auon ; yi:t if his language had been lefs id}o^ 
matical^ it might have 16ft fomewhat of ^its genuirie* 
Angliciim. Wlvat he^ttempted^ he perfornied; he i& 
. never feeble, and he did not wiih to be energotickj he 
is never rapid, and he never llagnates. * His fentences' 
have "neither ftudied amplitude, nor affc&ed brevit}'; 


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his periods, though not diligently rounded, aw vduUe 
and eafy. Whoever wilBies to attain an Englifh ftyle^ 
familiar but not coarfe, and elegant but not oftenuti- 
ous, muft give his days and nights to the volumes of 
Addifon. _ .. . ^ . .^ 


^«* lo a preceding note I hare endeavoured to refcue from oIh 
liTion a h6t reipeAing Mr. Addifon, that does honour to hit moal 
charaSer. With the iaine view, I relate a fignal iaftance of his dif- 
intereftedneift in his official capacity, which feems to have efcaped 
the nodce of the lateft of hts biographers* Mr« Ad^fon* whSe fe^ 
^retary to lord Sunderland, as lord lieutenant of Ireland, had folicitol 
a favour for major David Dunbar, and pievailed b his fuit, which 
was of fo beneficial a nature, that the major thought himfelf bound 
to a grateful acknowledgement of it, and accordingly ient him a pre- 
feht of a bank note for three hundred guineas, which Mr« Addifon 
would by no means accept. The major upon this converted hts 
pre&nt nito another fbrm; and diade him ateocfntof^jdiamond 
ring of the fame valuei whkhalfi^ was reeded.., The fea^ fiir. 
thia. leluial y(\\l bg beft explained by jjyf r. Addifon's own words, ex^ 
Uaded from a letter which he thougt^t proper to write dn the occa^ 
ikm, and are as follows : o>.. ''.:!.'> 

'« And now, fir^ befieveitief^hitif :a<rure yooHnsierJdid'ttair 
^^ ever wilt on my prpt^noe wbatfiienr^i take maf^ Omir the &$jtt^ 
^ and cuftomary fees of n\y office. I might keepihexootrary prac- 
^ lice, concealed from the world were 1 capable of it, but I couhl 
** not from myfelf. And I hope I (hall always fear the reproaches 
^ crf'my own he^t more than tbofe.of all mankind. In the moui 
** Um^ if r^an ferve a gentleman bt' merit, and fuch a cbara&er ai 
' ** you bear in the world, the ijatisfaclion I meet^itl^ oh fuch an oc«' 
** caiion is always a fufficicnt, and the only reward to, fir, 

« Your, mott obedient humWc fc^vant." 


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; V# 

. > A. i 

I l Ol >»»« ) !■». 

H U G H E S. 

JOHN>HUOHSSy th6 fon of a dtizen in Losi« 
dtm, anA' 9f Aimc Burgefs/ tjf an tftidew family m 
Wihfliire, 'W? l^orn at iMarlboroughji July a^^* 1677. 
He was educated at a f)riWe fchool; aid though his 
advantet inikcfatuce are m. the Bi$grapkia . vcj^r .ofte*^ 
.fatioi^y idiQ)ia)Fad, the Mine of his imftqr irfottlewhat 
ungratcftjfy/cottcealcd *. 

..._;\. .,;;:;■ ; ^••' At. 

♦ This II Vijryjvffly ohfcnrcdTiy Dr. Johnfon j but the fccret has 
at kft cfcaped^ abd'wc knaw now that he wsw educated iii a <Mfent- 
JDg academy^ of which the rev* Mr. Thomas Rowe was tutor; an<i 
was a feUow ftudcnt there with Dr, Ilaac Watts, Mr. Samud'Say, 
and other pcrfons of cmmetoco* In tiic *♦ Horae Lyrica" of Dr. 
Watts is a peem to the naemory of Mr. Rowe. Dr. Johnfon once 
intimated to me a fufpicion, founded on his connexions, that Mn 
Hughes was a diifenter; but lived not to be certified of the fad. 
It feems by their filence as to the place of his education, and the 
name of his tutor, that his friends were (ludious to fiipprefs that 
which furely it would have been no difgrace to reveal ; but they are 
now both made known in the life of Mr. Say, in the Biographical 
Didtionary, vol. xi. p. 304. 

. > . . It 

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H o o H e fe; ff3 

At ifaflttOA kr 4mw tk^ plan of n tragedy'; tp^ pa- 
raphrafed, rather coo Alffofdj, the ode of Hof ace which 
btq^M hiigir Visa. To poetry he added the fcience of 
Mttfiek, in which he feeim to have attained eoniidera*^ 
ble fkiily together with the pra^ice of defiga^ or ftrdt^ 
inance of paintijig. 

His ftudies did not withdraw him wholly from bufi^ 
wtfs, Qor dU bufinefs hinder him Ir^m ftudy. Hs had 
• pkct in the office of ordnanee i and was &cretaty t^ 
ieveral ccunmiffions for purchflfing; laiuis neccffary to fc* 
«ure the royal docks at Chatham and Portfinouth ; 
jret faond tiaie to acqiiatat iHm^f with modern hn-^ 

In 1697 he publiftied a poem on the Pract (f Ry/^ 
wkki and in 1699 another piece, cdllcd The Court of 
H^une^ oivthe return of king WilUam, which he ad- 
difefled to Mr, Montague, the general patron of the 
blowers of the Miafcs, The ftme year he produced 9, 
iong OH the duke of Glcn.)ceftcr's birth-day. 
- .He did not confine l\imfelf to poetry, but cultivatefl 
other kind3 of writing wjth great fuccefe ; and about 
this tim^ ihewed his knowledge of human nature by an 
EJpgif M th^ Pieafurc ff being deceived. In 1702 he 
publifhed, on the death of king William, a.Pinid*rick 
ode called The Houfe of Najfau; and wroi;^ ^a^thor 
|»araphr;|{b oa the Olium Divos of Horace^ 

It is probable, as Mr. Hjoghe^ ba4 no f i^A^^ioft of a patrimony, 
that he was educated for tjic diikniiQgjmi}i&fy* I am wit\i inforn)ed, 
that Dr. Watts regretted bis attachment to ppe^ry, an4 v^ 9oC 
pleaied that he wrote for the ftage. By the ^iriibfitpp wbigb h^ g^rf 
10 many and various publications it Qiould i'eeni, .th^t io th^ foroier 
pirt of his life at leaft, be iv^$^ like Joh(iron, a Yfik^ fyf thic book" 

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^1.14 HUGHES. 

In 1703 his ode on Mufick was performed at Sta- 
tioners Hall; and he wrote afterwards fix cantatas^ 
which were fet to mufick by the greateft matter of that 
Xime, and.feem intended to oppofe or exclude thc_ 
Jtalian opera*, an exotick and irrational entertain^ 
ment, which has been always combated-, and always has 

His reputation was now fo far advanced, that the 
pubUck began to pay reverence to his name; and he 
was folioited to prefix a preface to the tranllation of 
Boccaliniy a writer whofe fatirical vein coft him his life 
in Italy; but who never, I believe, found many readers 
in this country, even though introduced by fuch power* 
ful recommendation- 
He tranflatedjontenelle's Dialogues of the Dead; and 
his verfion was perhaps read at that time, but is now 
pegkfted ; for by a book not neceffary, and owing its 
reputation wholly to its turn of di£fcion, little notice 
can be gained but from thofe who can enjoy the graces 
of the original. To the dialogues of Fontenelle he ad- 
ded two compofed by himfelf; and, though not only 

* Mr< Hughes bad no fuch intention. He was Hdlled in mulic, and 
admired Scarlatti and Bononcini, and other compofers of Italian 
operas. The writer of the account of Mr. Hughes, prefixed to his 
works, fays, that his fix cantatas, fet by Dr. Pepufch, were written 
before the introduction of the Italian opera on the Englifli flage: this 
alfoisa miftakes for4n the firft of theiu, iatituled " Alexis," are 
thefe lines, 

• ** To ihining theatres he now repairs 
; ,, . >* To learn Camilla's moving airs." 

• i. c. the airs in the opera of Camilla, compofed -by Bonoucini, 
and performed at Drury Lane Theatre in 1 708. 

The cantata is an elegant fpecies of vocal mufic, rcfemblingthc 
b^rai in that it is divided into air and recitative; it was invented by 
the Italians. Mr. Hughes wrote many cantatas : thofe above were 
fct by Dr. Pepufch j others that he wrote were fet*y Mr. Hansel 
Ikd Mr. GaUiard. 

7 5tn 

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H U G H £ S. n$ 

Vi Kdn^ft but a pious man, dedicated his work to the* 
eari of Whanon, He judged ikilfuUy enough of hii 
own intereft ; for Wharton, when he went lord lieute- 
nant to Ireland, offered to take Hughes with him, and 
cftabliih him; but Hughes, having hopes of pro*^ 
mifes from another man in power, of fbtrie pro- 
vifion more fuitable to his inclination, declined 
Wharton's offer, and obtained nothing from the 

He tranflated the Mi/er of Moliere; which he 
flever offered to the Stage; and occafioiially amufed 
himfelf with making vcrfions of favourite fcenes in 
other plays. 

Being now received as a wit among the wits, he 
paid his contributions to literary undertakings, and af^ 
lifted both the Tatler, Sp^Satoir^ and Guardian. In 
1 712 he tranflated Vertot^s Hiftory of the Revolution of 
Portugal; produced an Ode to the Creator of the World, 
from the Fragments of Orpheus ; and brought upon the 
Stage an opera called Calypfo and Telemaebus, intended 
to Ihew that the Englifh language might be very hap- 
pily adapted to mufick. ' This was impudently oppofed 
by thofe who were employed in the Italian opera; and, 
what cannot be told without indignation, the intruders 
had fuch intereft with the duke of Shrewft)ury, then 
lord chamberlain, who had married an Italian, ^s to 
obtain an obftrudtion of the profits, though not an in* 
liibition of the performance. 

There was at thjs time a projeft formed by Tonfott 
for a tranflation of the Tbarfatiaj bjr feveral hands; 
-and Hughes engliihed the tenth book* But this de- 
fign, as- muft often happen where the concurrence of 

J A * msmy 

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yi6 U V G H E S. 

many It neceilary^ fell to the ground; and the wiK)litf 
lyoark was iaftcrwwds performed by Rowc. 

Hi3 f cquaintaoce with the great writers of his time* 
appears to have been very gcoeral; but of his intimacy 
with Addifon there is a remarkable proofs It is told^ 
q^ good authority, that Cat^ was fiaiihed aaad played 
\ky his perfwafioDu It had long wanted the laft ad^ 
which he was defired by Addifon to fupply. If the re* 
queft was fincere, it proceeded from an opinion, what- 
ever it was, that did not l%ft long; for when Hughes 
came in a week to fliew him his firft attempt, he found 
Ikalf an t^ written by Addifon himfclf.- 

He afterwards publiftied the works (A Spenfery with 
^i's Life, ^ Gloffary,.and a Difcourfe on Allegorical Po-» 
.^ry; a work for w^hicli he wa5 well qualified, as a judge 
of th« beauties of writing, bift perhaps wanted an an- 
^lquary*s knowledge of the obfolete words^ He did 
not much revive the curiofity of the publick; for near 
thirty years elapfed before his edition was reprinted. 
The f*me year produced his Apollo and Daphne^ of 
which the fuccefs was very earneftly promoted by 
Steele, who, when the rage of party did not mifguidc 
him, feems to have been a man of boundlefs benevo- 

Hughes had hitherto fuffered the mortifications ef z 
' narrow fortune; but in 171 7 the lord chancellor Cow- 
per fet him at eafe, by making him fecretary to the 
Commiffions of the Peace; in which he afterwards, by 
a particular requpft, defired his fucceffor lord Parker 
to continue him. He had now affluence; but fuch i^ 
human life, that he had it when his declining health 
<:ould neither allow him long pofleflion nor quick enr 


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rt ir d « E *. uf 

His laft work was hh tragedy, t^ Siege ^Hmotf^ 
0u; after which a Siege became a pojHrtar title. Thi¥ 
play^ wliich ftiH continues on the Stage, aad of which 
it is unneceffary to »4d « private voice to fuch eontiiifr- 
ance of approbation, is not afte^ 6t printed ftccdrdfhg 
to the author^s original draughty oriiis fettled intentira* 
He had made Pbciyat appftatize from bis retigidnr; 
^er which the abhorrence of Emkcia wc^ld h^ve hftelt 
realmaUe, his mtfery would have been jaft, and the 
JhonxMrs of his repentance exempiary. The pl«yeri; 
however, required that the guilt of Fhwyts flioold ttt'^ 
minate in defettion to the eneijiy; kod Hughes, un-» 
willing that his stations ihould lofe the beacfit of b^ 
yirprk, complied with the alteration ♦^ 

He wa; now weak with a lingering confiamptlonp 
juid Qot able tp attend the rehearfai; yet u/:as fa 
vigorous in hi; faculties, th^t oiity ten days befone his 
death he wrote the dedication to his patron lord Cow- 

J)er. On Febryary 17, 1^19-20^ the play was repre- 
cnced, and the authqr d^ed* Wt lived tp hear thait it^ 
was well received; but paid no reg4r4 to the tatetli^ 
gence, being then wholly eniployed ii| the fue^itattqnf 
pf a departing' Chriftian, 

A man of his charader was undoubtedly regretted 5 
find Steele devoted aa ef^y^ b thf p^per (^alled The 
fbeatrey to the memory of his virtues. His life ia 
written in the Biographia with fome degree of favour- 
able partiality^ s^u\ af\ stcfCKunt of him is prefixed to 

♦ In his cnumcratiop of Mn Hughe^'i writing*. Dr. Johufon hnt' 
forgot the preface to the comj^letc hiftory of England, called Dr. 
kerinet's becaufc he wrote Ac third volume. Thit is fjiid by th^ 
author of Mr, Hughes's life, in the Biographia Brita'nnica, to be 
an admirable preface, ^nd on its oubliqatipn t^ have X^tn much 

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xi8 HUGHE S: 

his works, by his relation the late Mr. Duncombe, a man 
whofe blamelefc elegance deferved the fame refpeft. 

The charafter of his genius I Ihall tranfcribo from 
the oorrefpondence of Swift and Pope. 

** A month ago/' fays Swift, ** was fent me over, 
^^ by a friend of mine, the works of John Hughes, 
•^ £(qutre. They, arc in profe and verfe. I never 
^' heard of the man in my life, yet I find your name ast 
^^ a fubfcriber. He is too grave a poet for me; and I 
•* think among the mediocrtfis, in profe as well as verfe.** 

To this Pope returns: " To anfwer your queft ion 
^* as to Mr. Hughes; what he wanted in genius, he 
*^ made up as an honeft man; but he was of the clafa 
** you think him." 

Ill Spcnce's CoUe&ions Pope is made to fpeak of him 
with ftill lefs refpedk, as having no claim to poetical 
reputation but from his tragedy, 

*^* Mrt Hughes was a lover of (nufiCf and a performer in cQn-» 
cert on the violin. He was ufcd to frequent the concert of Britton the 
iinall-cioal man, of whom an account may be fccn in the ** General 
*• liiMfy of the Science and Praaicc of Mui^f ," vol. V. p. 70, and 
wrote the lines under one of the prints of him, beginning •* Thougli 
•^ mean thy rank." Many of his friends, namely, Dr. Pepufch, Mr, 
Niecdler, ' and Alr^ Woollafton the painter, were alfo mine: they 
were ulj^ to fpeak of him in terms of great refpeft, and defcribed 
liiro to me as remarkable for the eafmefs and gentlenefs of his mnn« 
ners. They always called him Mr* Jphn Hughes* 


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C ^^9 } 



JOHN SHEFFIELD, dcfcendcd /rom Jr 
long fcries of illuftrioas anceftors, was boiB in' 
1649, the Ton of Edmvind earl of Mulgrave, who died 
1658. The youqg lord was put into the hands of a* 
tutor, with whom he was fo little fatisfied, that he got 
rid of him in a ihort time, and, at an age not exceeding 
twelve years, refolved to educate himfelf. Such a pur-' 
pole, formed at fuch an age^ and fuccefsfuUy profe* 
cured, delights as it is ftrange, and inflru&s as it ir 

His literary acquiiitions are more wonderful, as thofc 
years in which they are^ conunonly made were fpent by 
him in the tumult of a military life, or the gaiety of 
a court. When war was declared againft the Dutch, 
be went at feventeen on board the Ihip in which prince 
Rupert and the duke of Albemarle failed, with the 
^nunand of the fleet ; but by contrariety of winds 

1 4 they 

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they were rcftrained from adlion. Hia «eal for the king's 
fervice Was recompenfed by the command of one of 
the independent troops of horfe^ then raifed to prote^ 
the coaft. 

Next year he received a fummons to parlUuneatj, 
which, as he was then but eighteen years old, the earl 
of Northumberland cenfured as at leafl: indecent, and hi^ 
objeftion was allowed, tie had a quarrel with tha 
earl of Rochcfter, which he has perhaps tod oftentati- 
oufly related, aS Rochefter's furviving fitter^ the lady 
Saildwich> is faid to have told him with very Iharp tgt 

When another Dutch War'(i672) broke out, he 
Weftt again a vohinceer in the fhip whic^ tl^ celebtated 
lord Oflbry commanded; and there made, as he relates, 
two curious remarks* 

** I hdvc obferved two things, which I dare afErm, 
^ though not ^erally btlieVed. One was, that tb£ 
** wind of « ctnaon-bultet, though flying never fo 
^ itoar^ is incapabk of doing th« lead harm; and in* 
" d«al> were it othtrwife, n^ man ab6ve deck wouW 
*f cfcapc. Tht othfcf wis^ that n great flv^ may be 
** fomttknes airoided, e^en aft it ffics, by ehanging 
^ one^s gDMnd a liictle; for, when the wind fometimes 
^bkw away clkt fsiKrica, it was fe ckaf a ihn-fiiiny 
*♦ dliy, thw we coald eitflly perceive the bullets {that 
•* were half-fpent) fall into the water, and from thence 
^^ bonod up ag^B amoi^ us^ whid^ gives fufScienc 
" time ft)t making a ftep or two on any $6e ; though 
^* in 'fo iwiit a mmion^ \h haft! tK^ judge w«^I in 
Vwhat Utte tht bilikt comcs^. which> if mtftaken^ 
'.^ may by Mtiovtng coft a tnaa his life^ inHeML «f &t^ 
<' lag it/' 

. ^ fifo 

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His behayibur was fo jBatvourably feprefented hj 
lord Offi^, thai l^e was advanced to the commaxi^ 
fif the Kajthcrme, the b^ft fccooi-ratp fliip ii> the 

He |Bitecwar4s taiCed ? i^in^Qt of fooit, an} com* 
manded it as colonel. The land-forces were fept aih$>m 
fey prince Rupert; axjid he Jived hi the camp very fa- 
aniliarly with Schomberg. If e was ;ben ^ppoim:ed 
colonel cf the old HoUaod regiment, together with hia 
pwn; and had the proii^ife of ji garter, which he ob* 
fainejl in his twenty-fifth year^ He wa? Jikewife njade 
•gentlemap of the bed-chamber^ 

He afterwards, wejy: into the Frjench fervice, to leam 
the art of war under Turez^e, but ftaid only a Ihoa 
time. Being by the duke of Monmoyth oppofed in 
his pretenfions to the firft trpop of horferguards, fae» 
in return, made Monmouth fufpofted by the duke of 
york. He was not long after, when the unlucky 
Monmouth fell into difgrace, repompenfed with the 
jfieutenapcy of Yorkihire and* the goverament <^ 

\ Thus ^pidly did he make his way both to mi- 
litary ^^d civil honours and employments; yet, bufy 
;ai$ he Yras, he did not neglect his fludies, but at kaff 
cultivat^,4 poetry ^ in which he muft have been ^rly 
poafidered aa uqpomponly &ilful, if it be true which 
is reported, that, when he was yet not twenty years 
old, his recommendation fidvaaced Dryden to the 

The MpoT^ having beiipged Tangier, he was (ent 
( 1.680) with two thoufand men ro its relief* A ftrange 
ilory is told of danger to which he was iYitentionally 
expofed in a leaky Ihip, to gratify fome rcfentful jea- 
ioufy of the king, whpfe health he therefore would 

I never 

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never permit at his table, till he faw himfelf in a fafe^ 
place. His voyage was profperoufly performed ii^ 
thr^e weeks, and the Moors witkom a contcft retired 
before him. 

In this voyage he compofed the Vifion ; a licentious 
poem, fuch as was faftiionable in thofe times, with 
little power of invention or propriety of fentilnent. 

At his return he found the king kind, who perhaps 
had never been angry ; and he continued -^ wit and 
9 courtier as before. 

At the fucceffion of king James, to whom he was 
intimately known, and by whom he thought himfelf 
beloved, he naturally expefted ftiU brighter fyn-fhine^ 
but all know how foon that reign began to gather 
clouds. His expectations wqre not difappointed ; h^ 
was immediately admitted into the privy-council, and 
made lord chamberlain. He accepted a place in the 
high commiffion, without knowledge, as he declared 
after the Revolution, of its illegality. Having few 
religious fcruples, he attended the king to mafs, and 
kneeled with the reft ; but had no difpofition to re- 
ceive the Romifh Faith, or to force it upon others ; 
for when the priefts, encouraged by his appearances of 
compliance, attempted to convert him, he told them, 
as Burnet has recorded, that he was willing to receive 
inftruftion, and that he had taken much pains to be- 
lieve in God who made the world and all men in it j 
but that he fliould not be eafily perfuadcd that man wa^ 
quits y xind made God again. 

A pointed fentence is beftowed by fticceffive tranf- 
miffion on the laft whom it will fit ; this cenfure of 
tranfubftantiation, whatever be its value, was uttered 
long ago by Anne Afkew, one of the firft fufFercrs for 


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SHE F P I E L D, 12^$ 

^c Proteftant Religion, who, in the time of Henry 
VIII* was tortured in the Tower *; concerning which, 
there is reafon to wonder that it was not laiown tp the 
Hiftorian of the Reforniation. 

In the Revolution he acquiefced, though he did. 
not promote it. There was once a delign of a^ociating. 
him in the invitation of the prince of Orange ; but 
the earl of Shrewlbury difcouraged the attempt, by 
declaring that Mulgrave would never concur. This 
king William afterwards told him, and afked what , he 
would have dope if the propofal had been made, &>, 
(aid he, / ivould have difcov^red it to the king whom t 
tbenferved^ Tq which King William replied, I cannot 

Finding king James irremediably excluded, he voted 
for the gon)un£tive fovereignty, upon this principle, 
that he thought the titles of the prince and his conibtc 
equal, and it would pleafe the prince their proteftor 
to have a Ihare in the fovereignty. This vote gratified 

* It 18 poffible that this fentence might have been uttered both by 
Anne Afkew and the duke of Buckingham, and been an original fen* 
timent with both of them* Mr. Garrick once told me, that he and 
Quin went to fee the houfe at Twickenham^ whidi Hudibn the 
Painter had then bought and furnifhed, and that Quin, contemplating 
its fituation oq the bank of the river, the beautiful fcenes around it, 
the piflures, the furniture and general elegance of the dwell ing, 
i|iid« *' Thefe are the things that make a death«bed terrible," whidi 
Mr. Garrick admired as a fine mor^l fentiment, as it certainly isi 
but it had been uttered before* The emperor Charles the fifth 
being at Venice, and with the di|ke walking through the feveral 
apartments of the palace there, and having viewed the ilatucs, pic- 
tures, and coftly furniture, with a deep and compofed melancholy 
exclaixped : ** Hsep funt quae fadunt invitos mori :'* Thefe are tke 
things which make us unwilling to diet 

This llory I relatp from an author whom Quin can hardly b^ fup- 
fak^ to hare ever read, an old divine of Cambridge* 


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king William ; yet, either by the king^s dtftraft of hi^^^ 
pwtt difcontent, he lived fome years without employ-t 
ment* He looked on the king with malevolence, and^ 
)f his verfes or his profe may be credited, with con- 
tempt. He was, notwithilanding this av?rfion or in-? 
difierence, made parquis of Nomianby (1694); but 
ftill opppfed the court 6n fome important queftions ; 
yet at laft he was received into the cabinet council^ 
with a penfion of three thoufand pounds. 

At the acceflion of queen Anne, whom he is faid to 
have courted when they* wcipc both youfig, he was 
jiighly favoured. Before her coropation (1702) Ihe 
made hiiu lord privy feal, and fopn after lord lieute- 
nant of the North-riding of Yorklhire. He was then 
pamed comn^iffioner for treating with the Scots about 
^ Union ; and was made next year firft duke of Nor- 
xnanby, and then of Buckinghamihire, there being 
fufpeflied to be ^mewhere a latent c]aim |o the title of 

Soon after, becoming jpalous pf the duke of Marl- 
borough^ he refigned the privy feal, aiidjoiiied the 
difcontented Tories in a motion extremely offenfive tQ 
the Queen, for inviting the princefs Sophia to England, 
The Queen courted h^npi back with an offer no lefs than 
that of the chancellorihip j which he refufed. He now 
retired from bufinefs, and built that houfe in the Park^ 
which is now the Qu[een'S;, upon groiind g^nted bj 
the Crown. 

When the miniftry wj^si changed (1710)^ he wa^ 
made lord chamberlain of the houfehpld, and concur-* 
red in all tranfa£tions ^ ^hat time, except that he 
endeavoured to proteft ?he Catalans. After the Queen's 
deaths h^ became a f o^iftaiit Qp|)C)Qent of ^0 Court ^ 


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and, having no public bufinefi^ is fuppofed to have 
amuied himfelf by writing his two tragedies. He died 
February 24, 1 720-2 1, 

He was thrice married ; by his two firft wives ha 
had no children : by his third, who was the daughter 
of king James by the countefs of Dorchefter, and the 
widow of the eari of Anglefey, he had, befides other 
children that died early, a fon born in 1 716, who died 
in 1735, and put an end to the line of Sheffield. It 
is obfcrvable, that the Duke's three wives were all wi- 
dows. The Dutchefs died in 1742. 

His charafter is not to be propofed as worthy of 
imitation. His religion he may be fuppofed to have 
learned from Hobbes ; and his morality was fuch as 
naturally proceeds from loofe opinions. His fentiments 
with refpedt to women he picked up in the court of 
Charles ; and his principles concerning propeity were 
fiich as a gaming-table fupplies. He was cenfured as 
covetous*, and has been defended by an inftance of 


* Backwardnefs id the p^jvacnt of debts, is ont evidence of cove* 
toufnefs, and that thia was a part of the duke's chara£ler may be in- 
ferred from the following ilofy, which . was related to me by two 
difimnt perfons, at very remotie periods : One of the workmen 
employed in building the boufc in the park, I think it was Strong ' 
the mafon, had a large demand on the duke, which he could nop 
l^revail on bim to difcharge* He therefore waited on him, and by 
tetie preteaoe or other having decoyed him up to the leads, he told 
liini how much he wanted money, and how often his grace had' 
broken his word« conducing his complaints with a menace, backed , 
with an oath, that, unlefs his neceffities were immediately and on \ 
the ipot £itisfied, he would tumble him over the baluftrade ; and \ 
with a feeming refolution to make good his threats he feized him by f 
the collar : the duke upon this began to expofhtlate, iaying, that he « 
could not be fuppofed to have any large fum about him, and for 
the purpofe of payment muft go down into the houfe; but. the 


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inattention to his affairs, as if a man might not at odCG 
be corrupted by avarice and idlenefs* He is faid, how- 
ever, to have had much tendemefs, arid to have been 
very ready to apologife for his violences of paffion. 

He is introduced into the late coUeAion only as a 
poet ; and, if we credit the teftimony of his contem- 
poraries, he was a poet of no vulgar rank. But favour 
and flattery are now at an end ; criticifm is no longer 
foftened by his bounties or awed by his fplendor, and, 
being able to take a more fteady view, difcovers him 
to be a writer that fometimes glimmers, but rarely 
ihines, feebly laborious, and at beft but pretty. His 
(bngs are upon common topicks; he hopes, and grieves^ 
and repents, and defpairs, and rejoices, like any other 
maker of little ftanzas : - to be great, he hardly tries ; 
to be gay, is hardly in his power. 

In the Eflay on Satire he was always fuppofed to 
have had the help of Dryden. His Effay on Poetry is 
the great work, for which he was praifed by Rofconv 
nion, Dryden, and Pope, and doubtlefs by many more 
whofe eulogies have periflied. 

Upon this piece he appears to have fet a high value ; 
for he was all his life improving it by fucceffive revifals^ 
{o that there is fcarcely any poem to be found of which 
the laft edition differs more from the firft. Amongft 

roan was prepared for fuch an excufe, he produced pen ink and 
paper, and compelled the duke to iign a draft on Child's ihop £ob 
the fum demanded ; then, defcending the flairs^ he bolted the door 
that opened on the leads, leaving the duke a phfoner. As he pafled 
through the hall, he told the iervants that the duke was upon the 
leads amufing himfelf with the profped^, and would want one of 
them in half an hour. While that time was palling, he got to the 
banker's^ and converted hii draft into money* 


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S H E F F* I li L D; Hi 

ether changes, mention is made of feme compofitions 
of Dryden, which were written after the firft appear- 
ance of the Effay. 

At the time when this work firft appeared, Milton's 
fame was not yet fully eftablifhed, and therefore Taflb 
ind Speirfer were fet before him. The two laft lines 
were thefe. The Epick Poet, fays he, 

Muft above MiIton*s lofty flights prevail, 
Succeed where great Torquato, and where greater Spenfef 

The laft line in fucceeding editions was fhortened, and 
the order of names continued ; but now Milton is at 
laft advanced to the higheft place, and the paifage thus 

Muft above Taflb's lofty flights prevail, 
Succeed where Spenier, and ev'n Milton feil. 

Amendments are feldom made without fbme token of 
a rent : lofty does not fuit TafTo fo well as Milton. 

One celebrated line feems to be borrowed, Th6 
Eflay calls a perfeft chara£ter 

A faoltlcfs raonfter which the world ne'er faw. 

Scaliger in his poems terms Virgil fine labe monjirum. 
Sheflield can fcarcely be fuppofed to have read Sca- 
liger's poetry; perhaps he found the words in a 

Of this EflTay, which Dryden has exalted fo highly, 
. it may be juftly faid that the precepts are judicious, 
fometimes new, and often happily expreffed ; but there 
are, after all the emendations, many weak lines, and 
fome ftrange appearances of negligence ; as, when he 
gives the laws of elegy, he infifts upon connexion 
and coherence ; without which, lays he, 



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»a S H fe F F i E L & 

*Tis epigram, 'tis point, *tJs what you wiUj^ 
But not an elegy, nor writ with fkill. 
No Paiicgyrick, rior a Cocrper's Hill. 

\Vlu7 ^ould tc^ fuppofe that Waller's FzfKigfiAck mi 
Detdiam's Cooper's Hill were Elegies ? 

His verfes are often iniipid ) but his memoirs are 
lively Iftci agreeable ; he had the perfpicuity and elef* 
gance of afi hiftorian^ but not the ^e add fangy of a 


. •-. * - •- 


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£ "9 3 

P R I O R. 

MATTH EW PRIOR is one of thofc that have 
burfl out from an oblcure ordinal to great emi- 
.fie&ce. He was bom July 21, 1664, according to 
£6mcy at Winburne in Dorietfliire, of I know not what 
paients ; cithers fay that he was the fon of a Joiner of 
London : he was {>erhaps willing enough to leave his 
birth unfettled.*« in hope, like Don Qjjixote, that the 
hiftonan of his aftions might find him fome illuftrio^s 

He H fuppoied to have fallen, by^.his father's death, 
into the hands of his uHcIe, a vintner .near Gbaring** 

♦ The difficulty of fettling Prior's birth-place is gicat. In ths 
res^fter of his Cdlegehe is called, at his adnniffion by the Frefident, 
Manbtw Frhr of ffirtkirm tn MMiffix ; t>y himfelf nqct ,d3)% Mft* 
fbem Prur of Dorfetjbiri^ iu which county, not in Middlefcx, Wsn^ 
hrn^ or JFimharm as it (lands in the yVUire^ is fbuhd>^ When he 
Hood dUididate for his fellosvfliip, five years afterwards, he was re* 
{iftered a|^in by himfelf as of MiddUfex. The laft record ought to 
be |ire£eTred, becaofe it war.madc \tpon oath. .Jt is obferyable, that» 
as a native of Wmhwm^ he is fiil^ ^i%^ OtoriH frkr^ ggner$f^ 
SKit Confiitentl^wi^^this coinmQn acco^pt of the ineadnefs of bit 

Vol. m. K ^% 

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1^0 PRIOR* 

crofs, who fent him for fomc time to Dr. Bufby ae 
Weftminfter ; but, not intending to give him any edu- 
cation beyond that of the fchool, took him, when he 
was well advanced in literature, to bis own hovfe ; 
where the earl of Dorfet, celebrated for patronage of 
genius, found him by chance, as Burnet relates, read- 
ing Horace, and was fo well pleafed with his profici- 
ency, that he undertook the care and coft of his acade- 
mical education. 

He entered his name in St. John V College at Cam- 
bridge in 1682, in his eighteenth year; and it may be 
reafonably fuppofed that he was diftinguiihed among 
his contemporaries. He became a Bachelor, as is ufual^ 
in four yiars * ; and two years afterwards wrote tfie 
poem on the Deity j which ftands firft in his volume. 

It is the eftablilhed praftice of that College, to fend 
every year to the earl of Exeter fome poems upon fa- 
cred fubjeds, in acknowledgment of a benefafbion en- 
joyed by them from the bounty of his anceitor. On 
this occafion were thofe verfes written, which^ thou^ 
nothing is faid of their fuccefs, feem to have recom- 
mended him to fome notice ; for his praife of the coua- 
tefs^^ mufic, and his lines on the famous pifture of 
Seneca, afford reafon for imagining that he was more 
or lefs converfant with that family. 

The fame year he publilhed the Gty Moufe and Coun- 
try Moufe J to ridicule Dryden's Hind and Panther^ in 
conjundion with Mr. Montague^ There is a ftory-f- 
of great pain fuffered, and of tears ihed, on this occa- 
fion, by Dryden, who thought it hard that an old man 
Jhould be Jo treated by thoje to wlx^m be bad akoajibetn 
dvil. By tales like thcfe is theenvj^aifed by fuperior 

'^ He was admitted to his Bachelor's degree in 1686, and to |li« 
I^laiitcrft, by mandate, in Z700« ■ t ^pence. 


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^ilities> every day gratified : whea they are attacked^ 
every one hopes to fee them humbled ; what is hoped 
is c^ily believed, a^d what is believed is confidently 
told* Dryden had been more accuftomed to hoililities, 
than that fuch enemies ihould break his quiet ; and if 
we can fuppofe him vexed, it would be hard to deny 
him fenfe enough to conceal his uneafinefs, \ 

The Giy Moufe and Country Moufe procured its au- 
thors more folid advantages than the pleafure of fret- 
ting Dryden; for they were both fpeedily preferred. 
Montague, indeed, obtained the firft notice, with fome 
degree of difcontent, as it feems, in Prior, who pro- 
bably knew that his own part of the performance was 
the beft. He had not, however, much reafon to com- 
plain; for he. came to London, and obtained fuch no- 
tice, that (in 1 691) hewas.fent to the Congrefs at 
The Hague as fecretary to the embafly. In this aflem- 
Uy of princes and nobles, to which Europe has per- 
haps fcarcely f^en any thing equal, was formed the 
grand . alliance againit Lewis ; which at laft did not 
produce ejBTeds proportionate to the magnificence o^ 
the tnm&dion. 

The conduft of Prior, in this fpkndid initiation 
into public bufinefii, was fo ple&fing to king William, ' 
that he made him one of the gentlemen of his bed* 
chamber.; and he is fuppofed to have pafled fome of 
the n^xt years ii) the quiet cultivation of literature and 

The death of Qu*en Mary (in 1695) produ<:ed a 
fubjeft for all the writers 2 perhaps no funeral was ever 
jfo poetically attended. Dryden, indeed, as a man dil:^ 
fiountaanced and deprived, was filent; but fcarcely 
Miy other miaker of verfes omitted to bring his tribute 

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of turiefiil lorrow. An eihUlatioii of ele'gy Was tiftivdr- 
fal. Maria's praffe was Aot cbhfinied to the Efi^lilh 
Uriguage, bit fffls ^ great part <3f the Mija AngScMa. 

Prior, who was both a poet and a codrtief, was toe 
diligent to mifs this opportunity of fe1|>e(9:. He wmte 
a long ode, which was prefented t6 the kii%, }>y vfhpvtk 
it was not likely to be eVer read. 

In two years he was fecretary ro another emba% at 
the treaty cif kyfwick (in i%7) ; attd lifext year had 
the fame office at the court of France, where hfe is tkid 
to have been cohficiered with grdftt idiftlnftion. 

As he was one day furVeyii% tfab ajnurtmeiits at Ver- 
failles, being 'Ihewn the Vift'orie^ of Lewis, painttA 
by Le Brun, aiicl afked whether the kiajg of E^lknd's 
palace had any fuch decoratioiis ; The monimefUs rf tiy 
MaJlerVaSlhnSy (aid he, areioh/Mi every ^bere bui 
in bis (mm bbufe. The pidtnres of Le Bnia are sbt t>iily 
in theriifelves fufficiehtly oftentsEtibus, but weJe ex- 
plained by ihfcriptions fo arrc^^'nt, th&t Boil^^uH^Sl 
Racine thoiight it neceilafy to kake theth more fihit^le. 

tie was in the foUowing^ydu: lit Ldo with the kiflg; 
from whom, after a long audience, he carfidd "d^d6^ 
to Eiij^and, and upon his airiv^ fiecahle Uixier-Iecre- 
tary of ftate in the eari'Af Jerfey^s ^%ed ; a^oft whicii 
lie cfidnbt retain * lojS^ 'b^ufe>Jei£fty was* temoved^ 
but Be was foon made 'coilfibiiffidner of Trade. 

This yekr(i70o)^ptx)daoed i>iie bf^te^ ft&l 

moft fplendid compofitions, the CenrnmSecubir^^^ifi 
which he eJchaiifts aArVis-p««^^of cd^bhitldiu I 
Wan hot to accufe him of' WsSbt^j^ 'he^p^objfb^ 
dioifght all tKat 'he Writ, liAdi ri&^iSjS}t^^ 
city as can "be prbperty eMi6l:ed frWst^oeff'ffMflJSR^ 
eVicomi^i!tic. Kiilg ^lUifatiiRipt)^^ d^4M^«iKfcM 


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fi^r eidt^r verfe pr fU'o^. J^is wfioje li^e had been ac- 
tion, and none ?ver 4^nlt4 him t|je refpfendent qua- 
Uti$s of fteadjr refolutbii ai^ Pf ^.^^ 99^f?SI^ ^^ 
:^as reaUy m Prior's mind what he reprejrenp ]nm in 
his yerfes ; he cpnn4^red him as a hero> and was ac- 
cufto^ed to ^y, diat h^ P^^^^ others in compliance 
with the faijuon, but that |n celebrating king \^illiaixi 
h^ followed his inclination. To ^rior gratitude would 
dictate praife, which rp^fon would not refufe. 

Axaof^ the a4vjantag?s to arifc from the future years 
pf William's reign, he mentiops a Society for ufefiil 
Arts, and ajnipng tbf^i 

Some that with care true eloquence fhall teach. 
And to juft idioms fix our doubtful fpeech 3 
That from our writers diftant realms may know 
The thanks we to our, monarch owe. 
And ichools profefs our tongue through every laqd, 
That has ihyolcM his aid, or blefs^d his hand. 

Tickell, in his fr^peil ofVeace, has the fame hope 
of a pew acad^iny : 

In happy chains our daring language- bound. 
Shall fport no more in arbitrary found« 

Whether the iimiUtude of thofe paflages which exhibit 
the iame thought on the fame occafion proceeded from 
accident or imitation, is not eafy to determine. Tic- 
kell mijjht have been impreffed with his expedation 
by JSwift's Pr^fntfpr afcertaining the En^li/b Languagi, 
then lately publiflied. 

In. the parliainent that met in 1701, he wais chofen 

reprcfentative of Eaft'Grinftead. Perhaps it was about 

this time that he changed his party ; for nc voted for 

the impeachment ic^ t^ofe lords who had perfuaded 

■' • ■"' ■" K3 *•' ■ '' '■ the 

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134 PRIOR. 

the king to the Partition-treaty, a treaty in which he 
had himfelf been minifterially employed. 

A great part of queen Anne'^ reign was a time of 
war, in which there was little employment for negoti- 
. ators, and Ptior had therefore leifure to make or to 
polifli verfes. When the battle of Blenheim called 
forth ail the verfe-men. Prior, among the reft, took 
care to Ihew his delight in the incrcafing honour of his 
country by an Epiftle to Boileau. 

He publiihcd, foon aftenvards, a volume of poems, 
with theencomiaftic charafter of his deceafed patroh 
the duke of Dorfet : it began with the College Ex- 
crcife, and ended with the Nut -brown Maid* 

The battle of Ramillies foon afteivrards (in 1706) 
excited him to another effort of poetry. On this oc- 
cafion he had fewer or lefs formidable rivals ; and it 
would be not eafy to name any other compofition pro- 
duced by that event which is now remembered. 

Every thing has its day. Through the reigns of 
William and Anne no profperous event paflcd undig- 
nified by poetry. In the laft war, when France was 
difgraced and overpowered in every quarter of the 
\ globe, when Spain, coming to her affiftance, only 
\ Ihared her calamities, and the name of an Englifhman 
I wis reverenced through Europe, no poet was heard 
I amidft the general acclamation ; the fame of our coun- 
J fellors and heroes was intrufted to the Gazetteer. 
4 The nation in time grew weary of the war, and the 
queen grew weary of her miniflers. The war was bur- 
denfonr.e, and the minifters were infolent. Harley and 
his friends began to hope that they might, by driving 
the Whigs from court and from power, gratify at once 
^bc queen and the people. There was now a call for 


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PRIOR. 135 

writers, who might convey intelligence of poft abufes> 
and Ihew the wafte of public money, the linreafonable 
C(mdu3 of the Allies^ the avarice oi generals, the ty** 
ranny 6f npnions, and the general danger of approach*- 
ing ruia* 

For this purpofe a paper called the ExMiiner was 
periodically publiihed, written, as it happened, by any 
wit of the party, and fometimes as is faid by Mrs. 
Manley. Some are owned by Swift ; and one, in ridi- • 
cule of Garth's verfes to Godolphin upon the lofs of 
his place, was written by Prior, and anfwered by Ad- 
difon, who appears to have known the author either 
by coDJedture or intelligence. 

The Tories, who were now in power, were in haftc* 
to end the war; and Prior, being recalled (1710) ta 
his former employment of making treaties, was fenc 
(July 171 1) privately to Paris with propositions of 
peace. He was remembered at the French court ; and, 
returning in about a month, brought with him the Abb£ 
Gaultier, and M. Mefnager, a minifter from France, 
invefted with full powers. 

This tranfadion not beiog avowed, Mackay^ the 
mailer of the Dover packet-boat, either zealoufly or 
ofBciouily, feized Prior and his aflbciates at Canter*- 
bury. It is eafily fuppofed that they were foon releaied* 

The negotiation was begun at Prior's hou(e, whece 
the (^een's minifters met Mefnager (September 20, 
1711) and entered privately upon the great bufinefs. 
The importance of Prior appears from the mention 
made of him by St, John in his Letter to the Queen.. 

*^ My Lord Treafurer moved, and all my Lords 
*^ were of the fame opinion, that Mr. Prior ihould be 
f^ added to thofe whp are empowered to fign ; the rea- 

K 4 '' fOA 

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136 PRIOR. 

'^ fim ^ which is^ becai^e he« having tM^fiMatly 
*' treated vAth Modfieur de Torcy^ Is the beft witneft 
^^ we caa prodttce c^ the fe&le in which tbe generat 
'^ prdiWni^tf cttgatgccMt^ ate emeied into : befides 
^* which^ as he is the beft verfed in matters 6£ ttade 
^' <^ adl jmir Majefty's fervams who have beeli cruftod 
<^ iA this fK:yec> if you Ihall think fit to emptoy him 
^' in tbit ^Kure treaty of commerce, it will be of con- 
^^ fi^^iiee tliat hie ka& been a party concerned in ccm- 
^'xtudlng that convention^ which muft be the rate of 
^^ this treaty/' 

The afemWy of this important nij^ was in feme 
degree clandeftine, the defijgn of treating not being yec 
opeiily dbctared^ and, when the Whigs returned to 
|)ower, was aggravated to a charge of high tPeaibn; 
fhougb, as Prior remarks lA his imperfedk aiifwer to 
the Report of tht Committee of Secrecy^ no treaty ever 
was made without private interviews and preliminary 

My bufinefs is not the hiftory of the peaces but the 
life of Prior. The conferences began at Utrecht on 
the Hrft of January (1711-12), and the Engliih pleni- 
potentiaries arrived on the fiftiecnth. The minifters of 
the difiirent potentates iottferred and conferred ; but 
the pielsce advanced fb ilowly, th^t fpeedier methods 
were foUnd tieceffary, attd ''Sblittgbroke was fent to 
Paris to adjtift differences with Jifs formality ; Trior 
either accompanied him or f6llbwfcd him ; and after his 
departure had the appointments and authority of au 
amb&flador^ though ho public chairaiftef. 

By fome miftike of the Qucen^s orders, the c6urt 
of France had been diJgufted; and Bolingbrbke-fiys in 
his Letter, " Dear Mat, hide the Uiftednefs of thy 

" countrv. 

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<< cmmtify md give the beft mm thy ^tt^ toain vill 
^^ fnrmfli thee with to die bkuidors (xf;th]r cQ(iHKr3iEt^ 
*^ who are aot much.bmor pfllitictaiis tbim tfa^ Pr«ti(1i 
.** arc poets*" 

Soon after, the duke of ShtcWfb my wwt m ^ formal 
aabafly to Paris. . It is relate l^ Boyer^ tH^t tfie i^t 
tention was to have joined Prior in the fame coBMjiii^ 
6mk, hut that Shtewibury refuiS^d to h^ ^ffqe^^tj^i with a 
jnflft fo itieanly born. Prior the^off coatiiiudd to aft 
wkhoui: a titl^ till the dv(kfi rcturaed next year to Eng^ 
land, and thea h^ aiFumi^ th^ ftyle a^ dignity of 

But, while he continued xj^ appearance a private 
nao, hQ was treated with confidence by Lewis^ who 
leot hm with a lett^ to the Qjieen, WJrUteo in favour 
f^ Che ek^pr of Bavaria* '^ I ihall exg^,** fays he, 
^^ with in^atience, the ^return of Mr. P^ior., who& coqt 
/^ duA is very agreeable to me." And while the Duke 
<>r$breivA>ui;y was ftill at Paris, BoUq^rpke wrote Uf 
Prior thus : '^ Moniieur de Torcy has a confidence in 
^^ you; make ufe of it^ once for all, upon this occa- 
^^ fioo, and convince him thoroughly, that we inuft 
'^ give a diflferent turn to our parliament and our pep- 
^^ pie, according to their refdlution at this crifis/' 

Prior'3 public dignity nnd iplendour commenced in 
Augull 1 7 13, and continued till the Auguft following.; 
but I am afraid that, according to the ufual fate of 
greatnefs, it was attended with fosae perplei^ities and 
'OMmifications* He had not all that is cuftomarily 
given to ambafladors : he bints to the Q^eeh, in an 
impecfed poem, that he had no fervice of plate; and it 
appeared, by the debts which he cgntrafted, that his 
yrmirtances were not pundtugUy made. 

3 On 

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138 PRIOR- 

On the firfl: of Auguft, 1714, crrfued the dcwnfall of 
th» Tories, and the degradation of Prior, Hfe was re- 
called; but was not able to returA,'being detained by 
the debts which he had found it neceflary to contra^, 
and which were not difckarged before M^rch, though 
his old friend Montague was now at the head 1^ the 
treafury. * 

He Returned then as foon las he couW, and was wel- 
comed on the 25th of March by a warrant, but was, 
however, fuffered to live in his own houfe, under the 
cuftody of the mcjQTenger, till he was examined before a 
committee of the Privy Council, of which Mr. Walpole 
was chairman, and Lord Coninglby, Mr. Stanhope and 
Mr. Lechmere, were the principal interrogators ; who, 
in this examination, of which there is printed an account 
not unentertaining, behaved with the boifteroufnefs of 
men elated by recent authority. They are reprefented 
as afking qucftions fometimes vague, fometimes inff- 
dious, and writing anfwers different from thofe which 
they received. Prior, however, feems to have been 
overpowered by their turbulence; for he confeflfes that 
he figned what, if he had ever come before a legal 
judicature, he Ihould have cbntradifted or explained 
away. The oath was adminiftered by Bofcawen, a 
Middlefex juftice, who at laft was going to write his at- 
teftation on the wrong fide of the paper. 

They were very induftrious to find fome charge againft 
Oxford ; and aiked Prior, with great earneftnefs, who 
was prefcnt when the preliminary articles were talked 
of or figned at his houfe ? He told them, that either 
the earl of Oxford or the duke of Shrewfbury was ab* 
fent, but he could not remember which; an anfwcr 
which perplexed them, becaufe it fupplied no-accufil- 

"• tipvk 

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P R I O R. 139 

tion againft cither* ** Cciuld any thing be more ab- 
** furd," fays he *^ or more inhuman^ than to piopofe 
** to me a queftion, by the anfwering of which I migh^^ 
^* according to them, prove myfetf a traitor ? And not- 
'* withftandiiig their folenm promife, that nothing 
^* which I could fay ihould hurt myfelf, I had no rea- 
** fon to truft them: for they violated that promife 
•* about five hours after. However, I owned I was 
** there prefent. Whether this was wifely done or no 
*^ I leave to my friends to determine/* 

When he had figned the paper, he was told by Wal- 
pole, that the committee were not facisfied with his be- 
haviour, nor could give fuch an account of it to the 
Commons as might merit favour; and that they now 
thought a ftfider confinement neceflary than to his 
t)wn houfe. *• Here," fays he, ** Bofcawen played the 
^^ moralift, and Coningiby the chriftian, but both very 
<< aukwardly:'* The meflenger, in whofe cuftody he 
was' to be placed, was then called ^ and very decently 
afked by Coningfby, if bis houfe was fecured by bars and 
bolts? The meflenger anfwered, No, with aftonifh- 
ment; at which Coningiby very angrily faid. Sir, you 
muji fecure this prifoner \ it is far the fafety of the nation : 
if he efcapf^ you Jhall anfwer for it* 

They had already printed their report ; and in this 

examination were endeavouring to find proofs. 

^ . He continued thus confined for fome time ; and Mr. 

'Walpole (June 10, 1715) moved for an impeachment 

againft him. What made him fo acrimonious does 

/JWC^appieaf : he was by nature no thirfler for blood. 

Prior was a week after committed to clofe cuftody, 

with orders that no perfon Jhould be admitted to fie him 

xvitbout leave from the Speaker. 


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Wfaex^ twp years after^ aa AA ol! Grue teas pai«)^ 
he was excq)ted) and coixtinued ftiU in coftody, which 
he i^ made le& tedious by wrkipg bis JBma. He was^ 
^Mwever, fooa a£Der difcharged. 
: Hb had Do^y his ltt)ert:jr> but ha h^d nothing die. 
Whatever the poofii: of his emf^aymeocs might have 
ixen^ l^e had always fpeni: it; and a£ the^e of j&fty* 
duee waft, wih i^i hi« ri>ilitie$, 19 dwger of penury, 
Itt^g yet no iolid reyep^e bf4( fronj the feljowftip 
of his college, w^ich, v^hgn in his ej^^jj^^pQA hc l^^as 
4fAtiaiA4 for retwning it, hfe (^id, b,e co\dd live upon at 

B^ag howi^yer gfjeaUy feowja ^ .^fipcjoed, be 
waa ,encpwrgg^ Co 2M oiih^r poem^ to tbofe ivluch he 
Jbad pfineod, and to pybltfii ^em bf fubfibriptioa* 
Tfe^ fJKpcdiawt fijcoeecj^ by t\ft «duftr.y of many 
h}m^%t who circulated the pnp^pfal^ fy and the care of 
f^mcj wl¥>^ it i^ fyx^j withheU the money from him 
\^ he iboukl AlMaf^er it. The price c^ the volume 
w^s x^o gvine^^s; tl^e whole cqlle&ion was four thpu^ 
ilvad; to which l^qrd Harley, the fon of the eft\ cf Ox;- 
ford, ,to whom he h^d invariably ^4he];c4> ^^d^ an 
.equ^al fum for the purchafe of ^own-hall, which Prior 
was to enjoy during life, and Harley after his d^cpale* 

Hfi had nQw,.what wits and pbilof^phejcs .h%y$ ^ften 
wilhed, the power of pa(Eng.the d^y ifi cp^^efjipl^tive 
tKant^uillitj. But it feems that bufy n^en ^Idom live 
lotc^ in ,a fiate of quiet. It is not unlikely that l^is 
health jdeclined. He complains of d^fne^s ; /^r, fay^ 
h?,;/ tifok liuie care of my fats whiU I tuasmt/nre ifiy 
btad W41S my own% 

Qi ajny pccyrreuaes in l^is rcmabbsg life I i^ye 
found no account. In a letter to Swift, " IJ;^v^,** 

^ Swift obtained mai^ Subfcrlptions for him in Ireland. 


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fays he, '^ treated lady Htririot at Cambridge; (a 
^' FeUow of a College tre* i) and (poke verfes to her 
" in a gown ahd cap ! What, the plenipotentiary, fo 
" far concerned m the damned peace at Utrecht ! the 
" man that makes Up half the volume of terfe profc, 
** that makes up the report of the committee, fpeakine 
" verfes ! Sk(/i, bomfum:' ^^ 

He died ztWimpoUj a fc»t of the earl bf Oxfoid,<Mi 
the eighteenth ijf September i72i> and tvas buried in 
Weftminfter; where on a monument, for which, as 
the laft piece of human vanity^ he left five hundred 
pounds, is engraven this epitaph : 

Sai Tenipofis •Hiftbriam mcditami, 

'Paulatihi obr6pens Febris 

Operi'ffmnl & 'V'iUt fAxaa «bnipit, 

8«pt. f8. An. Dom. 17^1^ Mtix.^fy 

Vir Exiihiua 


•fcegi'QoErEi.'Mo Uegiiwquc M-Anue 

\u CbagrelfioneFaedeiatontm 

Hagiranno i690jcelebraia, 

Donde Mi^ie Britannice 2>gatis 

Fun iiSy 

QSi^aimo'i697'ncdm'RYswieKi confocertrnt, 

Tifm lis, 

Qai>^ud Gayos'xmriSipi^teiiDis Leghtionem obierun^ 

EMUte tttiam aono 1697 in Hibettkia 

SECait A1LIU8 ; 

^Kec'rito In VLftWfUt Hononibtli conlciEi 

' Eoruuiy 

Qai'iirlho 1760 oi^Mftdis Gommerciiticgotiisy 

Qfique-atino 1711 dirtgendts Portorii ubus^ 


Commission ARius; 


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14* P It r O K. 


Fcliciflima memorix Regini 

Ad LudOvicum XIV. Galliae Regcm' 

MiiTus anno 171 1 

Dc Pace ftabilicnda, 

(Pace etiamnum durante 

Diuque ut boni jam omnes Iperant duratura) 

Cum iuinnxa potefbte Legatus. 



Hos omnes, quibus cufhulatus eft, Titulos 

Humanitatis» Ingenli, Eruditionis laudc 

Supcravit ; 

Cui eniih nafcx^nti faciles arriferant Mufsp. 

Hunc Puerum Schola hie Regia perpolivit ; 

Juvencm in Collcgio Sti. . Johannis 

Cantabrigia optimis Scientiis inftruxit; 

Virum denique auxit ; & perfecit. 

Malta cum viris Principibus confuetudo ; 

Ita natus, ita inftitutus, 

A Vatum Choro avelli nunquam potuft, 

Sed folebat fxpe rerum Civilium gravitatem 

Amceniorum Literarum Studiis condire : 

Et cum omnc adeo Poetices genus 

Haud infeliciter tentaret, 

< Turn In Fabellis concinne kpi^eque texendi^ 

Minis Artifex 

Neminem haboit parem. 

Haec liberalis animi obleftamenta 9 

Quam nullo Illi labore confliterint. 

Facile ii perfpexere, quibus ufus eft Amici ; 

Apud quos Urbanitatum & Leporum plenus 

Cum ad rem, qu£cuiv}ue forte incidefat, 

Apte varie copiofeque alluderet, 
Interea nihil qujciitum, niliil vi exprcfliim 


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H Uf t H 145 


Sed omnia Mliro efHaere, 

£t quafi jugi c fonte ^fiatikn exuberare, 

Ita fuos tandem dubios rellquit, 
Elletne ia Scriptis, Poeta Elegantior, 
An in Conviftu, Comes Jucundior. 

Of Prior, eniinent as Ke was, both by his abilities 
and ftation, very few memorials have been left by his 
contemporaries; the account therefore muft now be 
deftirute of hb private charaftcr and familiar pradices. 
He lived at a time when the rage of party dete&cd all 
which it was any man's intereft to hide ; and as little 
31 is heard of Prior, it is certain that not much was 
known. He was not afraid of provoking cenfure ; for 
when he forfook the Whigs *, under whofe patronage 
he firft entered the world, he became a Tory fo ardent 
and determinate, that he did not willingly 'Confort witli 
men of different opinions. He was on^ of the fixteea 
Tories who met weekly, and agreed to addrefs each 
other by the title of Brother; and Teems to have ad^ 
hered, not only by concurrence of political defigns, 
but by peculiar afFedtioa, to the earl of Oxford and his 
family. With how much confidence he was trufted^ 
has been already told. 

He was however, in Pope's * opinion, fit only to 
make verfes, and lefs qualified for bufinefs than Ad- 
difon himfelf. This was furely faid without confider- 
ation. Addifon, exalted to a high place, was forced 
into degradation by the fenfe of his own incapacity; 
Prior, who was employed by men very capable of ef- 
tJmating his value, having been fecretary to one em- 
bally, had, when great abilities were again wanted, 

6 the 

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the fame office another iwie ; and was, after fo mucb 
experience of his fandm^ledge and dextierity^ at laft fent 
to tranfad a negdciftticm ia die higheft degree arduous 
and important ; -for ^ich he was qualified, among 
other requifites, in the opmion of Bolingbroke, hy 
his infiuence upon the French minifter, and by ikill 
in queftioQs .dF commerce 4ibav(e other jnen. 

Of hit behaviour in the lighter parts of life, it is 
too late to get much intelligence. One of his anlwcos 
toa boaftful Ftdnchman ^has <been rdated, and to an 
impertinent he 'made another equally proper. During 
iuscmbafiy, he fat .at the opera by a^man, who, in 
iiis rapture, accompanied with his own voice -the prin- 
loipal &iger. Prior fell to railing at the performer 
whh all the terms of reproach that ht could colled, 
%ill the Frenchman ceafing from hisibng, began to ex- 
4)oftulate 'With him for his harih cenfure of a. man who 
was confeiTedly the omatnentof the ftage. *^ I know 
*^ that,'^ {ays the ambaflador, '^ nuUs U cbtmUfi ixno/, 
** qutjt neffounis vmu entendre.** 

In a'gay French company, where every one iung -a 

little fcmg or ftanza, of which the burden was, Bamttf- 

ffmsJa Aklaniboiie; when it came to his turn-to fing, 

after the performance of a young lady that &t next 

him> he produced thefe extemporary lines : 

Mais celle voix, et ces beaux yeux, 
Font Cupidon trop dangcrcux, 
Et jc iuis triftc quand je cnc 
Banniibns la Melancholie. 

Tradition reprefents him as willing to defcend from 
the dignity of the poet and the ftatefman to the low 
delights of mean company. His Chloe probably was 
ibmetimes ideal : but the woman with whom he co- 

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habited was a defpicable drab * of the loweft fpecies. 
One 9f his wenches, .perhaps Chloe, while he was ab- 
lent from his houfe^ ftole his plate, and ran away j 
as was irelated by a woman who had been his ferv^f. 
X)f this propenfity to fordid converfe I have feen an 
kccount fo fcrioufly ridiculous, that it feems to deferve 
infertion ^. 

^* I have be^ri dflured that Prior, after having fpent 
*^ tho evening with Oxford^ Bolingb^oke, Pope,' and 
*/' Swift, would go and {piolce a ^pipe, dnd drink a 
*^ bottle of ale> with a common foldier and his'wif^^ 
*^ in Long- Acre, before he went to bed ; not from any 
** remains of the Ipwnefs of his original, as one fai4, 
*^ but, I fuppofe, that hi^s faculties, 

" -^traih'd to. the height, 
>* III that celfllial colloquy fu^linie,. 
** Dazzled and fpcut, funk down, and fo\igJ;it' repair.*** 

PoorPrior, why.t^a$he fo^r^W^, and in fuch want 

,^ repair^ after a canvcrfatiQu with men not^ in the 

.opinion .of the worlds cnuph wifer than himfelf? 

But fuch are the conceits pf fpeculatifts, who^rain 

their faculties to find in a mine what, lies upon the 


His opinions, . fo far as tlie means of judging are 
left us^ have been right i but his life was, it 
ftems/irregular^ negligent, and lenfuaL 

PRICK has' written wkh gr^t variety, and his va- 
riety-has made him populan He has tried all ftylos, 
^m the groteique to the folemn, and has not fo failed 
in any as to ificur derii&on or difgrace. 

• Spcncc* f Richardfoniana. 

VoIm III. L His 

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146 PRIOR. 

His works may be diftinAly confidered as comprifin^ 
Tales, Lo^^c-verfes, Octafional Poems, Alma, and 

His Talcs have of)tained general' approbation, being 
written with great familiarity arid great fprkelinefs : 
the language is eafy, but feldom grofs, and the num- 
bers fmooth, without appearance of care. Of thefc^ 
Tales there are only four. The Ladle ; which is in- 
troduced by a Preface, neither neceflary nor pleafing, 
neither grave nor merry. Paulo Purganti ; which has 
likewife a Preface, but of more value than the Tale. 
Hans Carvelj not over decent; and Frotogenes and 
ApiUeSj an old ftory, mingled,' by an affedation not 
difagreeable, with modem images. The Tcung Gen- 
tlernan in Love has hardly a jufl claim to the title of 
a Tale. I know not whether' he be the originarauthor 
of any Tale which be has given us. The Adventure 
of Hans Carvel has pafled through many fucceffions of 
merry wits ; for it is to be found in Ariofto's Satires, 
and is perhaps yet older. But the merit of fuch ftorits 
is the art of telling them. 

In his Amorous Effufions he is lefs happy ; for they 
are nqt diftated by nature or by paffion, and have 
neither gallantry nor tendemeft. They have the cold- 
neft of Cowley, without his wit, the dull exercifes if 
a fkilful verfifier, refolved at all adventures to write 
fomething about Chloe, and trying to be amorous by 
dint of fhidyV His fidions therefore are mythological. 
Venus, after the example of the Greek Epigram, afks 
when ihe was feen naked and bathing. Then Cafut is 
niiftaken ; then Cupid \% ^farmed; then he lofes hk 
darts to Ganymede ; then Jupiter fends him a fummons 
by Mercury. Then Chloe goes a-hunting, with an ivory 


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P It. 1 b R; !r4y 

SftTMT grtuefiil at ber Jtdi \ , Diijia ntiftakes her iiA ooo 
0f Iktr nym)pi«i, and Cppid; ih^ blunder: All 
this is furely deQ>icabIe ; ^d even when he trite to aft 
ithe lover;. withQyt; the help of gods or goddcflis; his 
thoughi^ afe unaffefting or remotel He t^ks not liki 
amw^f thhviprld,^ 

. The ^reajceit pf .all hi^ amoroUs effa^s is Hairy atAl 
£;ii;9tf ; . % dull and tedious di^Qgue^. which excited 
neither efteem for the coan^ nor tend^mefs for the wo- 
man* . .The.exiUiiple erf Einmfe; who reifblves to follow 
an outlawed, pitirderer .wherfiver fear, apd guilt Ihall 
4riye hifiii jdfefervcs n5 imitatioti^ ai^ the experiment 
)by which Heniy triet the lady's conflahcy is fuch as 
muft end eitUer m infamy to her^ or iii difiq^ffointmeac 
to hin^i^lF* » . . - 

His occaEohal Pdims iieceflarily loft paft 6f thrfr 
value^ as their occafions^ being lefs reniembefed> raifed 
}e(s emotion. Some of theih^ however; are p^eferv6d 
by their.lnhcrent ewtllence!; . Thi tut lefqtte of Bdi- 
lean's Ode on Namur has^ iii fonle paftsy fnch airlnefs 
and levity as wiU always procure it readers, even 
among tKofe who cannot consrpare it with the origiittL 
The Epiille to Bpileau is ndt /ohappy. The Poems to 
the King are now peruied only by young ftudents, who 
tead merely that they may leairn to write ; and of the 
(jormen Secitiarey 1 cannot but fiifpeft that I might 
praife or cen&re it by caprice, without danger of de- 
teftion; for who 6^ ht lapfefkd to have laboured 
through it ? Yet the time has been when this negle&ed 
fioA was fo popular; that it was tranHated into LAin 
by no cbmnjdn mafter. 

His Poem on the battle of Ramillies is neceflarily 
tidious by the form of the ftanza : an uniform mafs of 

L 2 ten 

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tea- Itees, thiity-fiVe times tej>eai^, Inconfeqvefitl^ 
imd fli'gluly co«itieaed, i^^ Weaty both the ear-tiii 
the intxlerftanding^ ^Hts kmit^^n <)f ^leitfefr, ^wklck 
confifts principally in liveen ^tA I wai^^ if/ixhoxk^ex^ 
iclufionof later modes of fpeech, makes his poem nei^ 
ther ancient nor modern. His mention of Mats efnd 
IBelluM, and his comparifon of Marlboroujgh tb the 
Eagle that bears tlie thunder oiJtipiJ^ry are till puerile 
and unaffe^ing ; and yet more d^fpicable is the 'long 
tale told by Lewis y ift his defpaif , of Bruu 4sA Trt^fU-^ 
vantf, and the teeth ctf* Cadmus y With bis flmiHes of tfee 
raven and eagle, and tvolf -and lion. By the help «f 
fuch eafy fiiliofts, and vulg&f tdpicks, without ac- 
qu^ntance with life, arid without knowledge of artnor 
nature, a poem of any kngth, cold and lifelef^ like 
• this, jnay be eafily -written on any ftibjt&. 

In his Epilogues to Pbadra and to Lucius y he' i^ 
. very happily facetious ; but in the Prologue before the 
. Queen, 'the t)edknt''has found his way, with Miaewa^ 
Perfeus, and Andromeda. 

His Epigraqns andligliter pieces are, Kke^thofe of 
others* fbmetimeis elegant, fometimes tFifting, ^a&d 
foinetimes duU ; among the bcftare the Cameiioity and 
the epitaph on John and Joan^ : .. 

Scircely «ny one of our poeti? has written ib taadif 
and tranflated fo' little-: the verfidn of Callimachus' i^ 
fuftciently. licentious ; the partphrafe on St. PaiiFs 
Exhortation to Charity is cnfiinently beautiful. 

Alma is written in profefled imitation of Huctibtms^ 
and has at Icaft one accidentaj refemblancc : Httdibra» 
wants a plan, becaufe it is left imperfeft ; Alma is tin« 
perfcft, becaufe It fcems never to have had a planv 
Prior appears not to have propofed to himfelf any drift 


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pr R- l^ O- ^ 145^ 

iir «efigt\, but to have writtea tte cafual dilates of the. 
prefent moment. : 

- What Horace faid whw^hc imitated L,uc.*iW xmght 
i)e faid x>f Butler by Prior, his numbers were npi; 
/mooth or neat: Prior excelled him in verfiftcation^ 
J>ut he was, like Horace, im^iOorf 'minor. ; he had not 
fKiijlcr's exuberance of matter and variety of illuftra- 
Ition. The fpangles of wit which h$ cp^ld afford, hft 
knew how tp polifh ; but he warned th9>ullion of his 
maflcr. Butler pours out ^ i^egligem prqfufioi^, cer- 
tain of th0- weight, butcarfkft of the ftanpf^. . PriQC 
has cjoraporatiyely little, but with th^t l«tlc-hf .make^ 
.a^ fine ihew. Alma has many admirers, ?n4 \vas the 
only pietee among Prior's works of whlflfe f ppe fai4 
riiat he flumld wilh to be the author^ ' 

&9kfttcn\% the work tp whirfi he entfjjft^M tftepro^ 
teaion of his name, and which he ex^pe^^od. fycceed, 
sng agoa to regard with Yfin?ratipii» His aff^dioij was 
natural J, it had undoubtedly been* written with great 
Jabomr; aDd who is willing tp think than hp h^ b^cif 
labouring in vain ? He had infufed intp if rpygh know* 
ledge and tmxth thought j had pft^n pplifl>pd it to elef 
fiance, oftan dignified it with fplendpuf, »nd fome^ 
limps heightened it to fublimlty : he pereejved in it 
maay excellences, and did not difcpver ihat ii wanted 
liMC without which all others ar^ of foiajl ay^l, thp 
power of engaging attention and aUgcing curiofity. 

Tedio^iheiis is the nwft fatal of all faults ; negli-* 
geoces or errors are fingle and local, but tedioufnefs 
-pervades the whole; other faults are cenfured and for-. 

fatten, but the power of tedioufnefs propagates itfelf, 
le that is weary the firft hour is more weary the fo- 
jCpnd ; as bodies forced into motion, contrary to their 

L 3 tendency, 

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i^o :r R I o r; 

tendency, pafs more and more flowly tliraugh'ever)^ 
fucccffive intervdi of fpace. 

'Unhappily t^is pernicious fiulure is that which aa 
author is leaft able to ^ifcover/ We are ieldom tircf- 
fbme'ta ourfelves ; iand the aft of cbmpofiticHi fills and 
delights the mind with change of language and fuc- 
ceflion of images; every couplet when produced i$ 
new, and novelty is the great fource of plfafore. Per- 
haps: no msui ever thought a line fuperfluous when he 
firft wrote it, or contradted his work till his ebulU^ 
tions of invention had fubiided. And even if he ihould 
cbntroul his defife of immediate tehoyrn, and keep his 
work nine' years uhpubliihed, he will be .jftill the aUf 
.^hor, and ftill m danger of deceiving himfelf ; and i£ 
he confults his friends, he will probably find men who 
have'triore' kindnefe^ than judgement, qi; more fear to 
bifehd than defire to inftruft. 

' The tedioufhers of this poem proceeds not from the 
uniformity of the ful)jea,'for iris fijfficicatly diverfi- 
fied, but froi!n the continued teiieur o£ the narration; 
In whicfh Solomon delates the fucceffive viciffitiides of 
his own* mind, Without *thc intervention of iany other 
i][>ea]cer^ ^r Xhc mention of any other agecit, uplefs if: 
be Abra ; the reader is only to leam wh^t hP thought, 
imd td be told that * hi thought Wrong. The event of 
every eipefimentis forefeen, and there*fore the procefs 
is not much regarded.'* * ." * 

Yet thie work is fat from deferving to be n^lefted. 
He that ftiall perufe it will be able to mark many pat 
fages, to which he may' recur for inftru&ion or de* 
light ; many from which the poet may learn to write^ 
and the philofopher to reafon. ■" 

■ n 

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F ir r o R, jsi 

If Prior^s poetry be goserally coofideredy hi$ praife 
will be that of corredneis and uiduftry, rather than of 
CQinpa& of compreheofiony or aftivity of fancy. He 
naver made any efibrt of invention : his greater pieces 
are only tiflues of common thonghts ; and his fmaller^ 
which conlift of light images or lingle conceits, ar^ 
not always his own. I have traced him among the 
French fipigrammatifts^ and have been informed that 
he poached for prey among obfcure authors. . The 
Tiief and the Cordelier is, I iuppofe, generally con- 
fidered as an original prodiufUo^; wfth how much 
juftice this E^igrajn m^y tell, ^fa^ch was written by 
Georgius Sabinus, a poet now little known or read^ 
though once the friend of Luther and Melanfthon : 
De Sacerdote f urem conibiante. 

Qpidam facrificus furem comitacrsis cuntem 

Hue ubi dat fontes carnifieina neei, 
Ne fts moefttts, att ; fiiiiutii conviva Tonantis 

Jam cntq, CGelitibm (fi modo cpsdi$) erif • 
|lle gemen^y fi vera iplh} folati^ prcbes, 

Hofpes apud fiipeiy>s fis n^e^s oro, refert. 
^ Sacriiiciis contra ; mibi non convivia fas eft 

Ducere, jejunans hac edo luce nihil *• 

What he h^s yalijable h,p q^cs to his diligence and 
][iis judgement* His diligence has juftly placed him 

^ The tjifjczm \m the text is pot the only one to which Prior ap- 
peafs to have beep indebted on thia occafion, for aa Owen's col- 
lection of Epigrams I meet with the following, which evidently 
fupplicd Prior with a hint, of which he has not failed to avail himfdf. 

De Bardella, latrone Mantuano. 

Bardellam monachus folans in morte latronem, 

£uge, tibi in Ccelo ccena paratur, ait. 
Bcfpondit Bardella ; Hodie jcjunia fervo ; 
' Ccenabis nofh-o^ fi Iisber, ipie loco. 

L 4 amongft 

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isi if li I 6 t^ 

amongft the moft correft of t!hS EmglSh poets y JKid'he 
was one of thte firft that refoI,utcly endeavoured it cor- 
reAnefs. He never facrifices accuracy to halWy not- 
indulges himfelf in contemptu6us negligence, or im-. 
patient idlenefs ; he has no carel^fs lines, or entangled 
fentiments ; his words are nicely felcdted, afnd his 
thoughts ftilly expanded. If this pfart of his charafter 
fuffers any abatement, it muft be from the difpropor- 
tion of his rhymes, which have not dways fufficient 
confonance, and from the ^dqiiffioa of broken line^ 
into his Solomon i but perhaps he thought^ like Cowr 
ley, that heiiiiftichs ought to b? admitted into heroic 

He had apparently fuch redtitude of judgement ai 
fecured him from every thing that approached to the 
ridiculous or abfurd; but as laws operate in civil 
agency not to the excitement pf Yirrve, but the re- 
preflion of wickednefs, fo judgement in the operations 
of intelledt can hinder f^iults, but riot produce excel- 
lence. Prior is never low, nor very often fublime. It 
is faid by Longimis of Euripides, that h^ forces him- 
felf fometimes into grandeur by violence of effort, as 
the lion kindles his fury by the. laflies of his o^n ^ail. 
WTiatever Prior obtains above mediocrity feems the 
effort of ftruggle and of toil. He has many vigorous 
but few happy lines ; he has every thing by purcha(e, 
and nothing by gift ; he had no nigbtfy vijifations of 
. the Mufe, no infufions of fentiment or felicities of 

His didlion, however, is more his own than that 

of any among the fucceffors of Dryden ; he borrows 

no lucky turns, or commodious modes of language, 

from his predeceffors. His phrafes are original, but 

I they 

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fl ft I t. fjf 

thty are fometimes harili ; afe hd inherited no elegan-? 
ces, none has Jbe bequeathed. His expreffipn has every 
mark of laborious ftudy ; the Hut feldoiit feen» lo hfeve 
been formed at oftce j the worAs dbi not qome till they 
were called, and vitre then put by ^dWkf^nt into their 
places, whefethey do t^eir duty, but ^ it fulfenly. 
In his greater compbfftions ther'e rtlay be found riiore 
rigid ftatelinefs than graceful dignity/ 

Of verfificafipn he was not "negligent : 'what he re- 
ceived from Dryden he did hot lofe; riekher dW he 
Increase the difficulty of writing by unheceflary fe- 
yttiify bn^ iSfts* Tripkiis an^\A|exindrMie5 i*ith6ut 
fcruple^ In iis preface to iolomon he |3h:opo{es fdmc! 
Improvpmeflits, B/ e^te'nding^ tlie 4etife froni oxtd 
^ouplet^to anothpr, with variety of paufes. This he 
iizi attempted, but Without filcceft ; his interrupted 
Jines are tirfpleafiflg, and his (enfe as lefscliftinais 

j^is-fttiking. ';. 

rie has ialtered the Stanza of Spenfer, as a houfe h 
altered by building another in 'its place of a different 
form. With how Hjttle refemblihcie he his formed his 
neW St'dnza to that of his mailer, thefe fpecimens will 


She flying fall from heaven^s hated face. 
And from the world that her difcoverM wide. 
Fled to the waflcful wildernefs apace, 
From living eyes her opea Humc'to hide, 
And lurk'd ir^ rocks ^nd caves Icing unefpy'd. 
But that fair crew of knights, and Una fair, 
Did in that c^ftte afterwai'ds aliide, 
To Tcft thcmfelves, and weary powers repair, 
Yifhtxt ftqre tl^ey fouqd of all, th:^t dainty was ^nd rare. 

P RI O R- 

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i|f 3P R I It, J 


To the clofe rock the frighted raven flies, 
' Soon as tlie rifiag eagle cuts the air : 

The fliaggy wolf unfeen and trembling lies, :"; 

When the hoarfe roar proclaims the lion near«^ 

Ill-ftarr'd did we our forts and lines forlake. 

To dare our Britifh foes to opeii fight : 

Our conqueft we by ftratageni fhould make : 

Our triumph had been fpunded in our flight. 

'Tis ours, hy craft and by furprife to ^ain : 

'Tis theirs^ to ifi&^t in arms, and battl^ In the plain. 

By this new firp^re of his linesi he has avoidc<l 
difliculties; nor am I furc that he has lofl: any of 
the ppwpr of pleafingj but he; oq longer imitates 

^omc of hi* poems arc written without regularity of 
meafvires; for when he commenced poet^ he had mo^ 
recovered from our Pindarick infatuation; but he proi- 
bably lived to be convinced, that the eflfence of verfe is;^ 
order and confonance* 

His numbers are fuch as mere diligence nky attain; 
they feldom ofiend the ear, and feldom footh it; they 
commonly want airinefs, lightnefs, and facility; whaC 
is fmooth, is not foft. His verfes always roll> but they 
feldom flow, 

A furvey of the life and writings of Prior may ex- 
emplify a fentence which he doubtlefs underftood well, 
V^hen he read Horace at his uncle's; the vejfel long rt- 
fains the /ant which itfirft receives* In his private re- 
laxation he revived the tavern, and in his amorous pe- 
dantry he exhibited the college. But on higher occa- 
(ions and nobler fubjefits, when habit was overpowered 
by the neceffity of tefledion, he wanted not wifdom as 
a ftatefman, nor elegance as a poet. 

5 CQN^ 

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i ns ) 

g Q N a ft E V E. 

9. family in Staffordfliireji of £> great anttqmty 
jthat |t ci»xnfi a place among the fevr that extend 
|heir )ine beyond the Norman Conqueit; and was the 
^n of Wiltiam Coi^^ve, f^coQd fon of Richard Con- 
grcve <^ Congreye mid Strattpn. He vifited^ once at 
leaft, thf reiidenc^ o^ his aqce(lprs; and, I believe, 
more pl^^ces Ihin one are ftUl ihewi!, in groves and 
^.gardens, Vf^eri^ h^ if r^latqd (o have le^itten his Old 

Neither th^ time nor place of his birth are certainly 
known; if the infcription upon his monument be true, 

te was bom in 1672. For the place; it was faid by 
imfejf, that l^e owed his nativity to England, and by 
every body e^fe th^t he was bom in Ireland. SQ\)them 
mentioi^ him with iharp ccnfure, as a man that 
meanly djfowned his native country. The biographers 
fUiign his nativity to Bardfa, pear Leeds in Yorklhire, 
from the s^ccount given \>y hliqfelf, as they fuppofo, 

to Jacob. 


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To doubt whether a man of eminence has told the 
truth about his own birth, is, in appearance, to be very 
deficient in candour; yet nobody can live long without 
'Icnowmg th?kt falfehood& rf cmMmeocr^or. T^wty,- 
falfehoods froni which no evil in^mediately vifiblc 
lenfues, except the general degradation of hunjan tefti- 
mony, are very lightly uterrdi, and pnce uttered, are 
fuUenly fiipporte4 Bc^leau, who defired to be thougl^t 
a- rigorous and fteady tiioralift, having told a petty*lfc 
to Lewis XIV, continued it afterwards by falfe dates ; 
thinking himfelf obliged in honour, fays his admirer, 
to maintain what, when h? faid it, was foweU re^ 

• Wherever Congi-eVeW^ iJorti, he wa* echlckti?d fiift 
at Kilkenny, and aftehVards at Dublin; his father 
having fome military employment that' ftatiohed him 
in Ireland : but after having pafled through the ufoal 
preparatory ftudics, t^f may be ijeafonably foppofcd^ 
with great celerity and fuccefs, his father thqUght it 
proper td affign him a prpfeflipn, by which fbipething 
proper might be gotten j and ibout the tin>e of the 
Revolution ftnt him, at* the age of fixteen, fo ftudy 
law in the Middle Temple, where he lived for feveral 
years, but with v?ry little attention to Statutes of 

His difpofition to become an- author appeared very 
early, as he very early felt that force of imagination, 
and poflllfed that copioufnefs'of fentiment, by which 
intelleftual plcalure can be given. His firft pcrfoff 
inance wa<5 a novel, called IncQgnita^ er Love and Duty 
reconciled : It is praifed by the biographers, who quote 
fonie paa of the preface, that is indeed, for fuch a time 


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Cr tj N Q R E V El tsi 

it than artid>4. • ' 

' 'His firB cbriolaliiokrlahpticiivasL the.OJtf Satb^ehri of 
«indiiiieia>H5>iiii Ihisi^defeoee ^g^mft Ctiim^ *^^it)ttt 
'^ comedy nwBg>\vifttt»n> )a$ &i^ral kno^, ibme^yeais W 
" fotcktifasaaed* .WheaLwuore iity 1 had Jittle 
i^^thooghJSiof ihcftagc; hut did it> to.anliife j^fkH 
**'in a ftMv fecowJeiy :firom.ia -fif :iiaE ficianefs^ 'AfteH^ 
<^*'v^nlsV'^ht^ugh Ttty iadi&rdtion, it.ivas feen, and.ifl 
** ifomd little ilttlexTK^rc ;it was a£Led; and I^ through 
^^ the remaixuler of my indifcretion^ fiifFered myfelf to 
'^ be drawn in^ >to^i^paro£boution of a difficult »d 
'^ thaokids fiudy^ iand to Jae involved in a perpetual 
** war with knaves and;foBDls/' 

There feetns to^be a' ftrange ratfibftation in authors of 

•j^fKOxitlg to have doneerery thh^. by qhance. The 

Old Batcbehr was written for amufement, in the lan- 

;,gUQr of:oon\*alefcence« i5ii|)pareutly compofed 

mth great ebhoratcnefs of dialogue, aiKl inceiTant 

jomhition of wit- The age of the writer confidered, it 

is indeed a very wonderful performance; for, whenever 

..writtcfl, it was a£ted:(i693) when he Was not more 

"than twentyrone years old; and w^s then recommended 

■*)y*)Mr;.I>ryden, Mr, Southern, and Mr. Maynwaring^ 

Jdiydeiv ifaid that he never. had, feen fuch a iiril play; 

but /they :defiQient ia fotne things requifite to 

thd iiuQcefs of its exhibition^ and by their greater 

-experience- fitted it /or the ft^ge. Southern ufed to 

fctotfe of one comedy^ probably of this, that when 

Gongreve read it to the players, he pronounced it fo 

Wretjdbiedly, that tliey hsui almoft reje^aed it; but they 

were afterwards fo well perfuaded of its excellence, 


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tluit^ for half a yttr before it Wts.afted9 dienumagef 
^owed its author the privilege of the houfe; 

Few plays have ever been fb beiidficial to &€ writer i 
fer it procured him the patroAage of HaHfuy^ifrhb im^ 
mediately made him one of the commiffiooers fbr licenf- 
ixng coaches^ and fbon after gave him a place in the pip^r 
office, and another in the cuftoms of fix hundred 
pounds a year. Congreve's oonverlation muft furdy 
have been at lead equally pleafing with his writings. 

Such a comedy, written at fuch an age, requires 
fome conliderationi As the lifter fpecies of dramsh 
tick poetry profefles the imitation of common life, cHT 
real manners, and daily incidents, it apparently prefuj)- 
pofes a familiar knowledge of many charaders^ and e<« 
a6t obfervation of the paffing world; the difficulty 
therefore is; to conceive how this knowledge can be 
obtained by a boy. 

But if the Old Bnitbilor be more iiearly eiamined; 
it will be found to be one of thofe comedies which 
may be made by a mind vigorous and acute, and. 
fumiihed with comick characters by the perufai bf 
other poets; without much adhial commerce with 
mankind; The dialogue is one conflartt reciprocatioii 
of conceits, or claih of wit; in i^hich nothing flows 
neceiTarily frorii the occaficm, or is didated by nature. 
Tht charaAers both of men and women are either 
liditious and artificial, as thofe of Heartzvell and the 
JUadies ; or eafy and common, as Wittol a tsfiM ididt, 
Bhijr a fwaggering coward; and FcHdktvife a jealoUs 
puritan; and the cataftrophearifes from a miftake nbt 
very probably produced, by marfying a woman in' a* 

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C O N G R E V fi. ts^ 

Tet diis gay comedy, when all thefe deduftions are 
Made, will ilill temain the work of very powerful 
an4 fertile faculties: the dialogue is quick and 
iparkling, the incidents fuch, as feize the attention, 
and the Wit fo exuberant that it o'er^informs its tem^ 

Next year he gave toother Q)ecixneli of his abilitiesi 
\xiTbe DcubU Dealer y which was not received with 
equal kindnefs. Ha writes to his p^ron the lord Hali- 
fax a dedication, in which he endeavours to reconcile 
the reader td that whidh fouttd few friends among the 
audience. Thefe apologies are always ufdefs; degitf- 
tibus turn eji diffutandumi men may be convinced, but 
they cannot be pleafed, againft their will. But though 
tafte is obftmate, it is very variable, and time oftdn 
prevails when arguments have failed. 

Queen Mary conferred upon both thole plays the 
honour of her prefence; and when Ihe died, foon after, 
Congreve teftified his gratitude by a defpieable efiufl6n 
of elegiac p^ftoral ; a compofition in which all is un- 
natural, and yet bothing is new. 

In another year (1695) his prolific pen produced 
Love for Love; a comedy of nearer alliance to life, and 
exhibiting more real manners, than either of the for- 
mer. The chara&er of Forejight was then common. 
Dryden calculated nativities ; both Cromwell and kiiig 
William had their lucky days; and Shaftelbury him- 
felf, though he had no religion, was faid to regard 
prediftions. The Sailor is not accounted very oaturAl, 
but he is very pleafant. 

With this play was opened the New Theatre, under 
the direction of Betterton the tragedian; where he ex- 
hibited two years afterwards (1697) ^bt Mourmng 


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^^ ,(i (^ if ^k ^ y^ fy 

^f:ide,flc tr^^e'iy,.fo yrp^<iji gs to fliew hirn J5#ci- 

; In thjS Dlay, ,pf whieh^ Whdn he afterwards ieylfed 

tt,^he reduced the Verfificatipii to. greater x6gkxhniyj 

tiiQrtis more buftle rtHan feutiment; the plot is"\)u(y 

and intricate/ and the events take Kotk on the'^tten- 

.tiop; but, e:y9ept :^ y^ry few. palTages,: ^e are. rather 

;amvif^d jvith noife, .^nd perplexed witH'ilrat^a^ 

.than entertained yf^th any true del jrieatfpfx pf^r^tural 

. charadtei;s. . .This, however, was receiv^ii.Vitli more 

. bensvoience. than ,aay other of hfs 'works, and 'ftill 

contipvcs to be adkcd a^ appla.udejd. 

But whatever -'Objections ,may be made eit'hei' to hjs 
. cppiicor tragic excpllfenfce, t&ey are loft at once^iii the 
blaze of sUjmiration, when it is remembered' that lie 
had produced thefe fouf plays before he had paffed his 
:^ twenty-fifth year; before other men, even fuch is are 
. (<Hne tirnejo dfcine ip. eminence, have paffid their pro- 
bation of literature, or.prefurne to Jibpe for any oth?r 
. notice than fucli as is beftpwed pn d^Iigenci and en- 
quiry* Among all the efforts of early genitfe which 
. literary hiilory records, I doubt whether .any on^ can 
be produced that more furpafles the commqp luriits pi 
nature than the plays of Congreve; 

About this time, began the long-continued eontro-' 
Verfy between Collier and the poets. In tlie/reigtf 
of Charles the Firft the Puritans had raiied a y,^olent 
clamour againft the drama, which they 
an entertainment not lawful to Chriftians, an opinion 
held by them in common with the church of Rome i 
and Prynne publilhed HiJino'Via/lix y a huge vol^nie^ 
in which ftage plays were cenfured. The outrages and 
■ crimes of the Puritans brought afterwards their wholtf 


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fyftem of doArinft inctt difrepute^ and from the Refto- 
kktiotk th« poetis scid tke pl^eb w^tr left at quiet; fdr 
f o We ffiofofted tlunai Would have had the appearance 
of tendency to puritanical malignity; 

This darlgeiri however j was worn away tyjr tlmfc; arid 
toUier, a fierce attd implaciiblc Nonjuror, knew that 
im attack tlpoii the theatre would never make him fuf- 
pe&ed For a puritani hfe thertfore (1698) publilhed 
AJhori ViefV if the Ifmerality and Prtfanettifs of the En-, 
glijh Stai^r^. I tielicvS with n^ other motive than religi- 
ous iittk and honed indignation; He was formed for 
acontrdWtift) with fufficicnt learning; ivith didtioh 
Vehement and pointed, though often Vulgar and incor- 
teSi; with linci^nquerible pertinacity; with wit in the 
higheft degree keen and farcaftick; and with all thofe 
powers exalted dnd invigorated by juft confidence in 
his cauiiti 

Thus qiialified, tod thUs incited, he ivalkcd out td 
battki and aflaited at once moft of the living writers, 
Froni Drydcn t6 Dtjrfey. Hid onfet wis violent : thofc 
litfiTageSy Which While they flood fmgle had pafied 
tvith \iXxU ootiod, ikrhen th%y were accumulated and ex« 
pofed together, cateited horror; the wife and the pious 
' taught the aUrm, and the nation i^ondered why it had 
fo long fuSered irreligic»i and licentioufnefs to be 
ppenly tai:^kt at the publick ehargei 

Nothing how iemained for the pdCts \i\it to refift or 
By. Drydeii^s confcieiide, or his prudence^ 4ngry is 
lie was, withheld hini from the confiid; Gongreve 
kxii^ Vanbrugh attempted anfwers. Congreve, a very 
toung tnah, elated with fuccefs, and impatient of cen* 
fure, alDEtmed an air of confidence and fecuritjf^ His 
thief artifice of controverfy is to retort upon his adver- 

Voi/m*; M fary 

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i62 GONG R-f: V E. 

fary his own words; he is very angry, and, hopii^ ta 
conquer Collier with hisiown weapons, allows himfeif 
in the ufe of every term of contumely and contempt; but 
he has the fword without the arm of Soanderbeg; he 
has his antagonift's coarfenefs, but not his ftrength. 
Collier replied; for conteft was his delight, he was 
not to be frighted from his purpofe or his prey. 

The caufe of Congreve was not tenable; whatever 
gloffes he might ufe for the defence or palliation of 
fmgle paflages, the general tenour and tendency of his 
plays muft always be condemned. It is acknowledged, 
with univerfal conviftion, that the perufal of his works 
will make no man better; and that their ultinute ef- 
. fed is to reprefent pleafure in alliance with vice, and 
to relax thofe obligations by which life ought to be re- 

The ftage found other advocates, and the difpute 
, was protraded through ten years; but at lad Comedy 
grew more modeft ; and Collier lived to fee the. reward 
of his labour in the reformation of the theatre* 

Of the powers by which this impcMHant vidbory was 
atchieved, a quotation from Lovt for Love^ and the re- 
mark upon it, may afford a fpecimen. 

Sir Sampf. SampforCs a very good name; for your 
, Sanipfons were firong degsfrom the beginning. 

Angel. Have a care — Jfyou remember ^ the Jirong^ 
, Sampjon of your name fuUd an old houfe over bis bead at 


*^ Here you have the Sacred Hlftory burlefquej^; 
./^ar^l Sampfoil once more brought into the houfe of 
^ ** Dagon, to make fport for the Philiftines T' 

Congreve's laft play was The Way of the World i 

which, though as he hints in his dedication it was 

7 , witten 

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%nlten with great labour ind much thought^ "was re- 
vived With fo iitlle favour^ that, being in a high de- 
gree offended and diigufted, he refolved to commit ^ 
lus quiet and hJs faine no mofe to the caprices of aft 

From this tirirt his life ceafed to be publick ; hfc 
lived for himfelf and for his friends ; and among his 
friends wis able to narfte every n\an of his time whom 
Vrit ihd eleganc6 had raiffed to reputation^. It may be 
therefore reafonably foppofed that his manners wer^ 
polite, ^iid his <i(mverfatTonpleafing\ 

He feems not to have taken much pleafiire in writings 
4s he Contributed nothing to the SpeHator^ and only 
«ie paper to the ?i/*r, though publifhed by men with 
"whdn^ he might be fuppofed willing to aflbciate ; and 
though hfe lived mtoy years after the publicatioin of 
his Mifcelkiieous Poems, yet he added nothing t6 
them> but lived on in literary indolence ; engaged in 
no contrdvctfy, contending with no rival, neither fo** 
licking flattery by publick commendations, nor pro« 
Poking eiimity by malignant criticifm, but paffing his 
time among the greit and fplendid^ in the placid en- 
joyment of his fi^me and fortune* 

Having owed his fortune to Halifax, he continued 
)a1Ways of his patron's party, but, as it feems, with- 
out violence or acrimony ; and his firmnefs was natu- 
rally efteemed, as his abilities were reveirenced. His 
Security therefore was never violated 5 and when, upon 
the extrufion of the Whigs, fome interceffion was ufed 
left CongreVe Ihould be difplaced, the earl of Oxford 
made this anfwer i 

" Non obtufa adeo gcftatnus peftora Pceni, 

*' Ncc tam averfus equos l^yria fol jungit ab urbe/' 

M 2 He 

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i64 e O N G ^L E V R 

. He tha;e wis thiis honoui^d by the adv<rie p^ttf^ 
mghx BacujraUy e^ptOt to be advsmood whea hi$ frtcods 
returned ta poi^r> wd he was accordipgiy m^ £:« 
i:reury for the iflaad of Jamaica; a pSace^i I foppofe^ 
without trufl or care, but which, with his poft in the' 
.cuftoms^ i$ iai4 to have afibrded hua twdi?e hundred 
pounds a> year. 

. His honours were yet far great^er th^n hU prc^ti. 
Every writer mentioned hm with refpe^ ; aod, a^pog 
^ther teilimonies to his merit, Steele made bira the 
patron of his Mifcellany, and Pope iafqribed to him 
his tranilatlon of tlie Iliad* 

@\H: he treated the M}^b with ingratitude; fws 
having long converfed fajmJU^rly with the great, he 
wiihed tp be confidered rather as a man. of &fl^io^. than 
of wit i and, when he received a vi6t from Voltaire^ 
^f^ufted him by the defpic^le foppery pf defiring to 
be considered not t$ an author but a. gcntfeman ; to 
.which the Frenchmqdd replied, ^* that if he had been 
/' only a gentkn^a^i^ he iho\ild not have come to vifit 
« him/' 

la his retireoaept he n)&y be ^ppoied to hate ap 
plied himfelf to books ; ibr he difoovers mow litera* 
rare than the poets have commonly attainsd* But his 
fludies were in his ktter days obfinided by eamraAf 
in his eyes, which at laft tecminated m blindnels. This 
melancholy fiate was aggravated by the gout, for which 
he fought relief by a journey t0 Bath; hM being over* 
turned in his chariot, complained from that time of a 
pain in his dde, and died, at his houfe in 9urrey-itreec 
in the Strand, Jan. 29, 1728-9. Having lain ia Oate 
in the Jerufalem-chamber, he was buried in Weftmin* 
ftei-abbey, where a monument is created to his me- 

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mftry by Henrietta dutchefs of Mariborough) tft whom, 
for reafoos either not known or ndt iMntiotx^d, his bd^^ 
queathed a legacy of about ten tho^&nd pounds) ^ i the^ 
wciinralAiob f^f atttotite parfimony, Which, though 
to her fiiperfluous and ufelefs, might havtf given great 
affifiance to the aocient family from whieh he defcend* 
ed, at chat time by the imprudence of his relation 
reduced to di^c^Uies A»4 diftrefs* 

CONGREVE has merit of the higheft kind ; he 
b an original writer, who bcMrrowed neither the ilnddels 
of his plor, nor the manner of his dialogue. Of his 
phys I caonot fpeak diftin£tiy ; for finca I infpeded 
than many years baye paiTed ; but what remains upoa 
my memory is, that bis charafbers are commonly &Stu 
tious and artificial, with very little of nature, ind nor 
much of life. He formed a peculiar idea of comick 
excellence^ which he fupppfed to cohfift in gay remarks 
and unexpe&ed anfwen ; but that Which he endea* 
roured, he feldoni failed of perfismung* His icenes ex** 

* Of thefriendfhip which thia lady entertained fbr Mt. Congreve, 
an Mmk telKmuny is (iycti in ths ixtlcription on his monument. It 
is laid tbat (h^ cauicd an effigy of him to be made in wax, which 
ihe fe^ upoa her toilf t^ and delighted to ga^c on. 

His picture, s^s a member of- the Kh-o^t^lub, was painted by 
Kneller ; and with the reft was hung up in the diBing«»n>om of 
old Jacob Tonfon's houfe ill the Strand. One day the diichefs 
topped there, and alighting from her carriage, nlked to fee it ; 
being ihewn up ftain^ flie ditiniffed the ienram, dtfiting to be lefc 
alone, and after fome flay came down and drove away* In a 
fliort time afterwards, it was dHc&vered that the pi^lure was miffing, 
being taken otit of thd fraoi^ j upon which Jaeob immediately went 
to the duchefs, and got it murned, and, to prevent any fuoh attempt 
for the future, he built a room in his houfe at Barnes in Surrey, 
luid removed the piiShires thither. This ftory was related by the late 
Mf« Richar4 Tonfon to a friend of mine, who tol4 it me. 

M 3 hibit 

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x66 C O N G R E V E. 

hibit not much of humour, imagery, or palfiea^ 
his perfonages ar^ a kind of intellectual g^diators;^ 
every fentence is to ward or ftrikei the eoAteft of 
fmartnefs is never intemiitted ; his wit is a meteor 
playing to and fro with alternate corufcatioiis. Hi^ 
comcdiQS have therefore, in fon\e degree,, the ope-, 
ration of tragedies ; they furprife rathe? than divert^^ 
and raife admiration pftener than merriment. But they 
ure the works of a mind, repkte with images;, an4 
quick in combination* 

Of his mifcellaneous poetry, I cannot fay any thing 
very favourable. The powers of Congreve feem ta 
defert him when he leaves the ftage, as Antaeus^ was; 
no longer ftrong than when he could touch the ground. 
It cannot be obferved without wonder, that a mind fa 
vigotous and fertile in dramatick compolitions fhould 
on any other occalion difcover nothing but impotence 
and poverty. He has in thefe little pieces neither ele-. 
vation of fancy, feleftion of language, nor ikill in ver-. 
fification : yet, if I were required to fele£t frpm the 
whole mafs of Englilh poetry the moft poetical para^ 
graph, I know not what I could prefer to an ^xcUna^* 
tion in The Mourning Bride : 

It was a ftncy*d noifc; for all is hufh'd, 

It bore the accent of a human voice, 


It was thy fear, or elfe foroe tranficnl wind 
Whittling thro' hollows of this vaulted iik ; 
. We'Ulifteu~.. 


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C O N G R E V E. 167 


No, all is hufh'd, and ftill as death. — 'Tis dreadful ! 
How reverend is the face of this tall pile'; 
Whofc ancient pillars rear their marble heads, ' 
To bear aloft its arch'd and ponderous roof, 
By its own weight made ftedfaft and immoveable, 
Looking tranquillity ! It ftrikes an awe 
And terror on my aching fight ; the tombs 
And monumental caves of death look cold. 
And Ihoot a chilnefs to my trembling heart. 
Give me thy hand, and let me hear thy voice ; 
Najs quickly fpeak to me, and let me hear 
Thy voice — ^my own afirigbts me witli its echoes. 

He who reads thofe lines enjoys for a moment the 
powers of a poet ; he feels what he remembers to have 
felt before, but he feels it with great increafe of fen- 
iibility ; be recognizes a familiar image, but meets it 
again amplified and expanded, embellifhed with beauty, 
and enlarged with majefty. 

Yet could the author, who appears here to have en- 
joyed the confidence of Nature, lament the death of 
queen Mary in lines like tfafe : 

.The rocks arc cleft, and new-defcending rills 
Furrow the brows of alt th* impending hills. 
The water-gods to floods their rivulets turn, 
And each, with ftrcaming eyes, fupplies his wanting urn. 
The Fauns forfake the woods, the Nymphs the grove. 
And round the plain in fad diftraftions rove : 
In prickly brakes their tender limbs they tear. 
And leave on thorns their locks of golden hair. 
With their (harp nails, thcmfelves the Satyrs wound, 
And tug tlieir Ihaggy beards, and bite with grief the 
J giround. 

_• M 4 Lo 

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i6$ CONOREVl^ 

Lo Pan himfelf, beneath a bfaiiUd oak> 

Dejected lies, his pipe in pieces broke 

See Pales weeping too, in wild defpair> 

And to the piercing winds her bofom bare. , 

And fee yon fading myrtle, where appears 

The Qa^^*^ 9^ Love, all bath'd in flowing tears i 

See how Ihe wrings her hands, and beats her bres^ 

^nd tears her ufelefs girdle frojn he;* w^iift ; 

Hear the fed murpurs of her fighing doye^ I 

For grief they iigli» fprgc^ijl of th?i^r loves. 

And many years after^ he gave nq proof tl^at titM ba<3( 
improved his vi'ifdbm or his wit ; fpr, on the death o$ 
the marqul^ of Blandfprdj this was hi$ fong : 

And now tine win^Sy which had (p }ong beei) iUlU 
Began the iwclling air with fighs to fill ; 
The water-nymphs, Who motionlefs remained. 
Like images of ice, v^hile ihe complainM, 
Now loos'd their ftreams : as when defcenditig rai^j 
Roll the fteep totrents headlong o'er the plain^. 
The pron« creation* ^hp fo l(:^g had gi^z^d, 
Charm'd with her cries, and at her grieh aolas'd^ 
Began to roar and howl v/ith horrid y^, 
Difmal to hear, aqd ^erribl$? to tell ; 
Nothing but groans ^^id iighs w?^rQ heard around. 
And Echo muUipIied each mournful found. 

Jn both tliefe funeral poems, when' he has jelled out 
mznyJylW^s of fenfelefs dolour^ he difmifles his rei^de^ 
with fenfelefs confolation : from the grave of Pafton^ 
rifes a light that forms a ftarj and Where Attiaryllis 
wept for Amyntas, from every tear fprung up ^ violet. 
But William is his hcrp, ^nd of William he linrill 
fing ; 

The hovering winds on dovmy wings fhaU wait around. 
And catch, and waft to foreign lands, the dying found. 


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P O N O R E y £• i«9 

It cannot but be proper pf fkcw what they ibaU }Mm 
fQ catch and carry : 

?Twas ijow, vrhcn ^loj^ery lawns the ptofpeil mad^ 

Asid ilowiqe brookd betl^at^ ^ fo^ft ihtd<B> 

A lowing bttfer, lovelieft pf tlie herd^ 

Stood i^di^g by ; wl^ile two fierce bvfk prep«ir*4 

Their ariqed heads fgr fight ; by fat^ pf war tp ftom 

The vidor worthy pf the feir-oac's Ipvc. 

Unthougbt preiage of wb^t met nctt vfiy view ; 

r or foon the ihady fccne withdrew. 

And now, for woods, and fields, and fpringitig flowers^ 

)3ehoId a town jirifc, bulwark'd with w?fl5 and loftf 

towers ; 
Two rival armies sill the plain o-erfpread^ 
Each in battalia rangM, and Ihining arm; arr^yM ; 
With eager eyes beholding both frpm %» 
Kamur^ die prize and miftrefs of the war. 

The Bfrtk if iht Mufe is a mifcrable fiftlon. One 
ffi^ line it has^ which was bprrowj^d from Diydeou 
The conlud^og yer (bs are thefe : 

This faidy no xt^re remax^'d. Th- etherial hoft 
Again impatient crowd the cr)'ftal coaft. 
7*he fiither, pow, within his fpacious handSf 
Encompafs'd all the mingled mafs of feas and lands ; 
Andf having heay'd aloft the ponderous fphere^ 
He iaunch'd the world to float in ambient ^r. 

Of his irregtflar poems, that to Mrs. Arabella Hunt 
^n^s* to be the beft * : his pdp fof Cecilia's Diy, 


* Mri« Arabella |Iunt was celebrated for hf r beauty^ but snoie 
for hc^ £oe voice and exquifite hand on the lute : many of the fongs 
pCBlow and Purcf^ll were conipofed for her. She tau^t tlie Princcft 
Anne of Denmark to fing, and was much fayoqrcd by Queen Maiy» 
Who, for the lake of having Mrs. Hunt near her, bellowed on her 
ma employmeot about her perlon^ and would frequently be enter* 


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i7o; C O N G R E V E. V 

hofwcvtt^ has lome lines which Pope had in his mind 
when he wrote his own. 

His imitations of Horace are feebly paraphraftical^ 
and the additions which he makes are of little value^ 
He fometimes retains what were more properly omit-^ 
ted^ as when he talks of vervain and gums to propi- 
tiate Venus. 

Of his tranflations, the fatire of Juvenal was writrea 
very early, and may therefore be forgiven, though it 
have not the maflinefs and vigour of the originaL 
In all his veriions ftrength and fpritelinefs are want- 

tained with her performance, even of common popular fong« ; of 
which inclination the following anecdote may ferve as a psoof» 
The Queen, one afternoon, being defirous to hear muiic, fent toi 
Mr. Goftling, then a prieil of her chapel, who had a very fine bafft 
▼oice, and alfo to Mrs. Hunt and Purcell, with a requeit to attend 
her. They obeyed it ; and Mrs. Himt and Mr. Goftling fung fevctal 
compofitions of Purcell, who accompanied them on the harpfichord« 
At length the Queen» beginning to grow tired, aiked Mrs. Hunt if 
ilie could not ling the old Scots ballad *^ Cold and raw.'* Mrs. 
Hunt anfwcred yes ; and fung it to her lute. Purcell was aH this 
while fitting at the harpfichord unemployed* and not a little oetfled 
at the Queen's preference of a vulgar ballad to his mufic ; but, feeing 
her maje&y delighted with this'ttihe, he determined that (lie fhould 
hear it' upon another occafion ; and, accordingly, in the next birth* 
day foRg, viz. that for the year 1692, he compofed an air to the 
words, ** May her bright example chace vice in troops out of the 
<<. land," the bafs whereof is the tune to Cold and raw. It is 
printed in the fecond p?rt of the ^* Orpheus Britannicus,*' and ia 
note for note the fame with the Scots tunc. Gen. Hift. of the Sci- 
ence and Practice of Mufic, Vol. IV. page 6. in not. 

Mrs. Hunt had the misfortune to be married to a man who ought 
to have continued for the ivhole of his life in a ftate of celibacy.. 
Ncverthelefs (he lived irreproachably, and maintained the chara^r 
of a modcft and virtuous -woman. She died on the 26th of DPcem- 
ber, 1705. Kneller painted her, and from bis pii^irc Smith 
fcraped ope of his fineft mczzotintos. 

ing : 

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C O N O R E V E. 171 

Jag : his Hymn to Venus, from Homer, is perhaps 
the beft. His lines are weakened with expletives, and 
his rhymes are frequently imperfeft. 

His petty poems are feldom worth the coft of cxU} 
ticifcn J fometimies the thoughts are falfc, and fome- 
times common. In his verfes on lady Gethin, the 
latter part is an imitation of Dryd^n's ode on Mrs. 
Killigrew ; and Dons, that has been to laviihly flat^ 
tered by Steele, has indeed fome lively ftanzas, but 
the expreflion might be mended ; and the moft ftriking 
part of the charadter had been already ihewn in Lov^ 
for Love. His Art ofPlea/ing is founded on a vulgar, 
but perhaps impracticable principle, and the ftalenefs 
of the fenfe is not concealed by any novelty of illuftra* 
tion or elegance of diftion. 

This tiffue of poetry, from which he feems to have 
hoped a lading name, is totally negledted, and known 
only as it is appended to his plays. 

While comedy or while tragedy is regarded, his 
plays are likely to be read ; but, except what relates 
to the ftage, I know not that he has ever written a 
ftanza that is fung, or a couplet that is quoted. The 
general charadter orf his Mifcellaiues is, that they fliew 
little wit, and littld virtue. 

Yet to him it miift be confeffed that we are indebted 
for fhe correftion of a national error, and for the cure 
pf our Pindarick madnefs. He firft taught the Engliih 
writers that Pindar's odes were regular ; and though 
certaiflly he had not the fire tequifite for the higher 
fpecies of lyrick poetry, he has fliewn us that enthuliafm 
has its rules, and that in mere confufion there is neither 
grace nor greatnefs. 

B L A C K- 

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i: «7» 3 

*Pti t « _ L ■ ! ■■■■ ' . '■ ' 1 ' i " !*<^ M *>f<*W 


thofe mep whofe writings have attracted much no* 
tice, but of wlipfe lifb and manners very little Im 
been commynioated, aud whofe )oc it has been to bq 
much oftener mentioned by enemies than by fViendSt 

He was the fm of Robert Blac](more of Corfliam 
m Wiltfliire, ftyled by Wood Gintliman, and fup^t 
poied to have been an attorney; having bee^ fof 
ibme time educated in a country-fchool, he was fen^ 
at thirteen to Weffan^nfter ; and in 1668 was watered 
ac Edmund-Hall in Oxford^ where he tookth^de^ 
grte of M. A. June 3^^ 1676, and ^fided thirteen 
years ; a much longer time than i( is ^fual €0 fpend at 
the univerfity ; and which he feMis to have pafibd 
with very little attention ro the bufinefi of the place j 
for^ in his poems^ the ancient names of iiations or 
places, which he often introduces, arc pr<mounced 
by chance. He afterwards tntvdled : at Padua hQ 
wasmade dodtorof phyfick; and, after having wan- 
dered ^bout a jcar and a half on the Coritincnt, retum-f 
fd home. , 

1 Iq 

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» L A C K ii« O R E. 173 

In ioiM part of his life, U 1$ not known when^ his 
indigence compelled him to teach a fchool, 9^ his« 
miliation wkli which, though it certainly kitol but 
a little whik, hit enemies did not forget to re« 
pioach himj, when hie became confpicuous dough to ex* 
cite malevolence ; and let it be remembered fior hit ho- 
nour, that to have been once a fchool-mafier is the only 
reproach which all the perfpicacity of malice, animated 
by wit, has ever fixed upon his private life. 

When he firft ei^aged in the ftudy of phyfie, he 
tnquired> as he fays, of Dr. Sydenham what authors 
he Ihould read, and was direded by Sydenham, to Don 
Quixote; which, laid he, h a very gc&d bif^k; Ireai 
it fitlL The perverfenefs of mankind makes it often 
mifchievoiis in men of emtnence to give way to mer* 
riment. The idle and the illiterate will \m% Ihelter 
them&lves under this fooliih apophthegm. 

Whether he reft«i facis&d with this dir^ion^ or 
ibught for better, he commenced phyficiia^ and <^ 
tained high eminence and extenfive praftice. Ife be* 
came Fellow of the College of Phyficians, April 12, 
16^7, being one of the thirty which, by the new 
charter of king James, were added to the fomaer Fel- 
lows. His refidnce was in Cheapfide^, and his 
friends were chiefly in the city. In the early part of 
Blackmore's time, a citizen was a term of reproach ; 
and his place of abode was another tc^ick to which his 
fidverfaries had recourfe in the penury of Scandal. 

BJackmore, theiefore, was made a poet not by ne* 
ceflity but inclinadbn, and wrote not %yt a livelihood 
hue fi)r fame ; or, if he may tell his own motives, £br 

» At Sadler's Hall. 

a nobler 

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174 S t A C K M 6 ft g. 

a nobler purpofe^ to engage pbetry in the caufe df 

1 believe it is peculiar tohlm, that his firft publick 
work Was an heroick poem. He was not known as a 
maker of verfes^ till he publiflied (in 1695) Prinie 
Arthur; in ten book^^ written^ ds he relates, byfuch 
catches andjiarts^ and in fucb Hctiftonal uncertain bouts 
at bii frcfejfum afforded^ and fw the great ejl part iti 
cffffee-houfes^ or in f offing up and down the JltettSi For 
the latter part of this apology he was accufed of writing 
to the rambling of his chariot-wheels* He had read, he 
fays, but little poetry throughout his uhole life J and far 
*ff teen years before had not written an hundred verfes^ ex* 
cept one copy rf Latin verfes in praife of a friend's hook^ 

He thinks, and with fome reafon, that from fuch * 
performance perfe&ion cannot be expeflt^ ; but he 
finds another reafon for the feverity of his ccnfurer?, 
•which he exprefles in language fuch as Cheapfidc 
•cafily furrtiihed. / am not free of the Poets Comparrff 
having never kiffed the governor's hands : mine is therefore 
not fo much as a permiffion poem^ but a downright inters 
hper. Thofe gentlemen who carry on their poetical trade 
. in ajointjlock^ would certainly do whai they could to Jink 
and ruin an unlicenfed adventurer ^ notwithjianding I dif 
turbednone of their faStories^ nor imported any goods they 
had ever dealt in. He had lived in the city till he hadj 
learned its note. 

That Prince Arthur found many readers, h cenaiil i 
for in two years it had three editions; a very uncom- 
mon inftance of favourable reception, at a time whea 
literary curiofity was yet confined to particular claflet 
of the nation. Such fuccefs naturally raifed animofity i 
and Dennis attacked it by a formal criticifm, more 


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B t A C K M O R E. 175 

tedious aud difgufting than the work which he cott- 
demns. To this cenfure may be oppofed the approba 
tion of Locke and the admiration of Molineux, which 
are found in their printed Letters. Molineux is par- 
ticularly delighted with the fong of Mapas, which is 
therefore fubjoined to this narrative. 

It is remarked by Pope^ that what raifef the beta 
often ftnks the man. Of Blackmore it may be faid, 
that as the poet finks, the man rifes; the animadVer- 
(ions of Dennis, infolenc and contemptuous as they 
were, raifed in him no implacable refentment : he an^ 
his critick were afterwards friends; and in one of his 
latter works he praifes Dennis as equal to Boileau in 
poetry y andfuperior to him in critical abilities. 

He feems to have been more delighted with praife 
than pained by cenfure, and, inftead of flackening, 
quickened his career. Having in two years produced 
ten books oi Prince Arthur y in two years more (1^97) 
he fent into the world King Arthur in twelve. The 
provocation was now doubled, and the refentment of 
wits and criticks may be fuppofed to have increafed in 
proportion. He found, however, advantages more 
than equivalent to all their outrages; he was this year 
made one of the phyficians in ordinary to king Wil- 
liam, and advanced by him to the honour of knight- 
hood, with a prefent of a gold chain and a medal. 

The malignity of the wits attributed his knighthood 
to his new poem; but king William was not very 
ftudious of poetry, and Blackmore perhaps had other 
liierit : for he fays, in his Dedication to Alfred, that he 
had a greater part tn the fuccejjion of the houje of Hanover 
than ever he had bouflcd. 

What Blackmore could contribute to the Succeflion, 
or what he imagined himfclf to have contributed, can- 

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176 B L A C £ M 6 R i;. 

mc now be knowcL That he had been of cpnfiderabte 
v&y I doubt not but he believed^ for I hold him to 
lunre been very hont&; but he might Miiiy make a 
^fe eftiniate of his own importance : thnfe whom thekr 
virtue reftriifts from deceiving others^ are olten dif- 
pofed by their vanity to decsive themfrlves. ^ Whether 
lie promoted the Succei&on or not, he at kail approved 
it» and adhered invariably to his principks and party 
ihrough his whole life;^ 

His ardour of poetry ftill c6ntiniied; and not long 
t£ter (i 700) hi poUiihed a Parapbraft an the Bo^i ^f 
Jl$bi and other parts of the icrxpture. This perfor- 
mance Dryde&5 iirho pUrfued him with grSat malignity^ 
lived long enough to ridicule in a Prologue^ 

The wits eafily confederated againft him, a$ f>iyAtni 
whofe favour they almoft all c*o«rted, was his profeffed 
aidverfary. Ho had befides given them reafon for uc- 
lentfx^mty as^ in his Preface to Prince ArtbuTy he had 
iaid of the Dramatick Writers almoft all that was 
alleged afterwards by Collier ; but Btackmore's cenfure 
was cold and general. Collier's was pcrfonal and ar- 
dem; Blackmore taught his reader to difiike, ^hat 
Collier incited him to abhor. 

In his Prefece to King Anbur he endeavoured to 
gain at leaft one friend, and propitiated Congreve by 
higher praife of his Mourmt^ Bride than it has obtained 
from any other critick. 

The fame year be publiihed a Satire oti Wit; a pro- 
clamation of defiance which imited the poets almoft all 
agaihft him, and which brought upon him lampoo^ 
and ridicule from every fide. This he doubtlefs fore-, 
faw, and evidently defpifed ; nor fliould his dignity of 
mind be without its pralft^, had he ix)t paid thef 

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B* L A C K U 6 R E: i}f 

homage to greatnefs which he denied to genius, and 
degraded himfelf by conferring that authority oVer the 
national tafte, which he takes from the poets, upon 
men of high rank and wide' infiuenc^^ but of lefs wit,- 
and not greater viftue. 

Here is again difcovered the inhabitstnf of Gheap- 
fide, whofe head cannot keep his poetry tmmingled 
with trade. To hinder that inteHeftwal bank- 
niptcy which he aflfedsf to fc«, lie will er^dfc a Bank 

in this poem he juftly cCnfured Dfyden's impurfties,' 
but praifed his powers; though m a fubfequent cditioiit 
he retained the fatire and bnritt^ the praife. What 
was his reafon I know not; Dryden was then no longer 
in his way. 

His head ftili teemed with herotc poetry, and (i 7c^5) 
he publiflied Eliza in ten books; I am affa:id tnat tlie 
world was now weary of contending about Blackmore's 
heroes; for I do. not remember that by any aruthor, 
ierious or comicai, I have found £//zj either praifed or 
blamed. She dropped^ as- it feemsy dead-born from the 
frefs. It is never mentioned^ and was never feen by ^ 
me till I borrowed it for the prefent otrcafion. ' Jacob 
iays^ // h corte^ed^ and revifed for another impref 
fion\ but the labour of reyilion was thrown away; 

From this time he turned fome of his thoughts to' 
the celebration of Hying charadlers; and wrote a poem 
on the Kit-cat Cluhy smd Adsiice to the Poets hdw to cele- 
brate the Duke of Marlboraugi^-hvix. oil occafioff of ano- 
ther yeaf of fuccefs, thinking- himfelf qualified to give 
mare rnftruAion, he again wrote a: poem of Advice td 
a Weaver i>fTapeJlry. Steele was then publilhing ths 
Taller; and looking, round hkn for fomethkig at which 

Vol. III. N he 

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1^8 B L A C KM O^ R E. 

he might laugh, tinl\ickily lighted oa SirRichard% 
Work, aiKi treated it with fuch contempt, that, as Fen^ 
ton obferves, he put an end to the fpectes of writers 
that gave Advice to Painters. 

Not long after (1712) lue publiflied CreMttM, a pU^ 
hfopbical Faettty which has been, by my recommenda- 
tion, inferted in the late coUedtioa* Wlioever judges . 
of this by any other of Biackniore's performances, will 
do it injury. The pra^fe given it by AddUbn (Spec. 
339) is too well known to be tranfcribed; but (bme . 
notice is due to the teftimony of Dennis, who csSSiA it 
a '^ philofophical Poem, which has equaled that oF 
" Lucretius in the beauty of ks verification, and infi- 
*^ nitely furpafled it in the fblidity and ftrengtk of its 
*^ reafoning." 

Why an audior furpafles himfelf, it is natural ta 
enquire. I have heard from Mr. Draper, an eminent 
bookfeller, an account received by him from Ambrofe 
Philips, << That Blackmore, as he proceeded in this 
^< poem, laid his nuuiufcript from time to time be-^ 
'^ fore a club of wits with whom he aflbciated; and 
'^ that every man contributed, as he could, either im- . 
" provement or correftion; fo that,'* faid Philips, 
^ there are pei^haps no where in the book thirty lines. 
^ together that now fiand as they were originally writ*^ 
^f ten." 

The relatioft of Philtps, I ft^^pofe, was true; bur 
ilrhen all reafonable, all credible allowance is made for 
this friendly levifion, the author will ftitt retain ar^ 
ample dividend of praife; for to him muft always bo 
afligned the plan of the work, the diftribution of its 
parts, the choice of topicks, the train of argument^ 
and, what is yet more, the generstl predominance oC 


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B L A C K M O R E: 1?^ 

j^j^fophical jndgcBMBt and po4ical ipi^it. Gorroc^ 
tioD ifeldom efifeds more tbah the ^uppreflktt of iwfes i 
a happy line^ 4>r a £agle ^ogauce^ may perhaps le ad- 
ded; but «f a large wor£. the gcnendi diaraftdr nxnft 
always aretiiahii the originil conftifiiitioii can tie very 
Iktk helped by k>cal ranediesi inherent and radical 
4vdliie(s WUl iiever hi much invigorated by Jbsctrinfitk 

.ThispoM, K Ji« t^ written ni>thlng elfe, woul^ 
kave traafhutted him to poftenty among the firil fa- 
vomites of the Eh^ik&i Mufe ; but to oiake verfes was 
jus tninfcendeiit plei(urey and as he was ntit deterred 
by ceafufi) he #as n^ &ti^e^ n^kh^taife: 

He deviated^ however^ (omitimss mto other tracks 
6f Utemnke, aiid (X)nde(beiided tor entertairf Hi^' readers 
with plaitr pr6(e. Wheii the SfeBator i^opped^ h^ 
coniidered the polite world as deftinite of entertain- 
taeqt} and in tencek with M^i Huf^s^ wfab #r6te 
kvtrj diird p^r, piaiblifiied three times a weeS the 
^Mj Mmafisryi foiihded on the ftrppe^tion tiiat (bat€ 
Ikerary jnen^ whofe chara&efs are defcribedy hii re^ 
^ired to a houfe in the countty to ei^tijf phildfc^hical 
}eifure^ and r^folved to inftriift die puUic^ by com* 
miiaksating tbek difciuifitions and anmfements. Whe^** 
iher any real peribos were coaceaikd /under fidjtiotii 
Xiamen, is hot Jloowsu The biro id iht cltfb^is 6ne 
^r. Jehiifon; fWch a conftellatioh oif exceKence, that 
bis chaiicaAer AoU not be fupprefled^ though thel*b 
2s no ffeax. genius in the defign^ nor &ill m the dd!^ 

"^The firft I fliall name is Mr. |ohnibl^y a geiitlfe- 
^^ man that owes to Nature exc^Uent faculties and ^n 
,/' Ayaxed ^genius> mi t^ induftiy and applicatioh 

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j8o B L a C K %t O R E. 

** many acqtrired acoomplHhments.- Hb taftc is dii^ 
" tmguifliing, jaft and delicate j Mis jfudgement deaiv 
'^ and his reafon ftrong, accomptoied itiih an imagi-^ 
** nation full of fpirit, of great edttipaft, and ftorcdf' 
** with refined ideas. He is a critick d the firft rank f 
** and^ what is. his peculiar ornament/; he is delivered 
^* from the oftentatbn, malevolence, ^ fupercilious* 
*' temper, that fo often blemifh men of that charaften- 
? His remarks refidit Irom the nature and reaion of 
** things,, and are formed by a judgement free, and 
** unbiaflcd by the authority of thofe who hffvr lazily 
*.^ followed each other in the fame beaten* track of 
^^ thinking, and are Arrived only at the imputation of 
^* acute grammarians and commentators; men, wha 
** have been copying one another many hundred years^ 
** without any improvemcm; or, if they have ven- 
" tured farther, have only applied in a mechanical 
*' manaer thp rules of antient ctiticks to modern^ writ^ 
^^ fngs, and with great labour difcoveced nothing but 
** their own want of judgefnifent and capacity. As 
*^ Mr. Johnfon penetrates to the bottom of hrt {ubjeft, 
*^ by which means his obfervations are folid and natu-^ 
^ ral, as well as delicate, (o his delign is always to 
^ brbg to light femething ufe^l and ornamental ; 
'^ whente hU chara&er i» che reverie to theirs, who 
^^ have eminent dl)ilities ia infigniiicsait knowledge^ 
'^ and a great felicity in fiodiagout trifles. He is no 
." lefs induftrious to fearch tHit the merit of an aifthlpr, 
^^ than fagacious in difcerning his ervofs anddefefts ; 
" aBd takes more pleafurein commending the beauties 
^ than expefing the bletnifl^es of a laudabfe writing : 
." like Horace, in a long work, 'he'can:l)ear fomc dc- 
^' foanities,. and juftly lay them on theimperfidftloi^ 

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B^l.- Arc X MO R E: rfi' 

^^of littaum nature^ wliich is mctpable of ftulclrfs 
^ pcodudbiens. When aa excellent Drama appears in 
^^ piabltck, and by .its incriniick worth attra^ a gene* 
^ ral appiaufe^ he is not ftung witiL.enry and ipken ; 
^ iior does he expreTs a lavage nature^ in faftening upon 
^^ the celebrated author, dwelling upon his imaginary 
^ defefts, and paffingover hucon^icuousexcellences* 
^ He treats all writers upon the fame impartial foot ; 
^ and is not, iike the little criticks, taken up entirely 
'^ in finding out only the beauties of the ancient, and 
^ nothing but the errors of the modern writeis. Ne- 
^ ver did any one exprefs more kindnefs and good- 
^ nature to youdg and unfiniihed authors ; he promotes 
^ their interefts, prote^ their reputation, extenuates 
^ their faults, and 6ts 4>ff their virtues, and by his 
'^ ca^our guards them fmm the feverity of his judge- 
^^ ment. - He is not like tik>fe dry criticks, who are 
^ morofe becaufe they caiHK>t wriL themfelvcs, but is 
*• hSmfelf matter of a good vein in poetry ; and though 
•* he does not often employ it, yet he has fometimes 
** eateftained his friends with his unpuUilhed perfbr- 
^* mances.^^ 

The reft of tlie Lay Monks feem to be but feeble 
mortals, in comparifon with the gigantic Johnfbn; 
who yet, with all his abilities, and the help of the fra- 
ternity, could drive the publication but to forty pa- 
pers, which were afterwards collefted into a volume, 
^nd called in the title A Sequel to thtSpeBators. 

Some years afterwards (1716 and 1717) he publiihed 
two volumes of EfTays in profe, which *can be com- 
Attended only as they are written* for the higheft and 
ndbleft purpofe, the promotion of religion. Black- 
morels profe is not the profe of a poet ; for it is lan- 

N 3 guid, 

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%^ »^ h A C%VU OIJLE, 

Ipg nor ewi&f hb fkm neMbar lipid nor Jnfy^ mi kis" 
peifjot^ar Bc&kiar finaotk not ftroiog. iBis aocbunc of 
^1/ win Ami wiiElibw fittk dflaciie& he is. coocencito 
fhiidc, add hotv licrle his thoug^ks aice i«commGnie<^ 
t>y his labgugau ' 

' ^^ 4^ to its dficioat caufe^ IVif^ owes Its prodoftfett 
ff to an eaEkraordiciary and pecoiiar tempectniciil' in 
^ the ooo&kaaan of the pofieflSbr a£' it^ tn wliish; is 
f ^ ifoiu^ a: GQDcnmaoff of regular and exalted fermnt^^ 
f.^ afiid af> a fflttencc of animal fpitits^ refined and reft^- 
f.^ fiod to a great degnse of pH^itjr.; whence^ bfing 
f ' eodowed with vivacity^ bdgtcnei^^ and celerity^ 3i 
^' weU iQ thfir refloAtona as!^ceiS^ ihooow^ they ho^ 
^'^ come ptiDper tQilnmient& &>ir i^e^fit^ oper9ti9» 
^^ o^ die miod ; by whieb UEtm» the iimgiBfttiaft can 
<Vwtth great &csiUty rangr the wide fieidof j^afiw^il 
^^ QQ0temphite aft ii^nito vmecy <^ ol^§S:a> andv hf 
<^ observing the ilumlk^ df dn^ir fe^ 

<^ veaiol qUalkiesi. iingle out Md abftn^^ and cHc^n iiait 
<< and unite thefe; ideas which will heft ferye its- pur« 
f^ pofe. Hence beautiful allufions^ furpriiipg soeta^ 
f/ phors, and admitaUe {entiments^ are always roady 
<^ at hand : and while the i^ancy is full of inures coU 
** ledlid froi;a Umunierablc objcfts and their different 
ff qualities^ relations^ and habitudes^ it can at plea* 
^^ fure di;ers a common notion in a ftnmge but becom- 
" ing garb; by which/ as before obferv^d,' the fame 
f ^ thought will appear a new one, to the great delight 
" and Woiider of the hearer^ What we caU^mir^ref^ 
^< fults from this particular kappy complexion in 
<^ the iirft. formation of the pierfoa that enjoys it, and 
f ' is Nat\ire^s gifi;j but diversified by various Ipecifidip 

f * cRarad^ 


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B L A C K M O R E. 183 

*^ chara&ers and limitations, as its afitive fire is blendecj 
*' and allayed by different proportions of phlegm, or 
*' reduced and regulated by the contrail of oppofitc 
*' ferments. Therefore, as there happens in the corur 
*^ poiition of a facetious genius a greater or lefs^ 
^^ though (till an inferior, degree of judgement and 
'^ prudence, one man of wit will be varied and diftin^- 
*^* guiflied from another." 

In thefe EfTays he took little care to propitiate the 
wits ; for he fcorns to avert their malice at the expence 
of virtue or of truth. 

" Several, in their bopks, have many farcaftical 
and fpitcful ftrokes at religion in general; while 
others make themfelvcs plca(ant with the principles 
f ^ of the Chriftian. Of the lail kind, this age has 
'^ feen a moft audacious example in the book inti* 
'^ tukd, ji Talc of a TuK Had this writing been pub- 
'* iiflied in a pagan or popiih nation, who are Jufily 
'^ impatient of all indignity offered to the eftabliflied 
^f religion of their coxmtry, no doubt but the author 
** would have received the punifluiient he deferved. 
^* But the fate of this impious buffoon is very diffe- 
*' rent : for in a proteftant kingdom, zealous of their 
^' civil and religious immunities, he has not only 
'^^ efcaped affronts and the effects of publick refentment, 
^^ but has been careffed and patronized by perfqns of 
^< great figure^ and of all denominations. Violent 
** party-men, who differed in all things belides, agreed 
** in their turn to fliew particular refpedt and friend- 
^* fhip to this infolent derider of the worlhip of his 
** country, till at laft the reputed writer is not only 
*^ gone off with impunity, but triumphs in his dig- 
f^ nity and preferment. I do not know that any in- 

N 4 ** quiry 

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1^^ B L 4 C K Af Q R ^ 

/* quixy or (carch was ever aft^r this writing, of 
^^ that any reward was ever offered for the difcovefy of 
f^ the author, or that the infamous boojc wa? ever con? 
•f ' dcmned to be burnt in publick : whether this pro- 
^* ceeds from the exceflive *eftcem and loye that men ip 
'^ power, during the late reign, had for wit, or their 
f ' dcfedt of zeal and concern for the Chriftian Reli- 
^^ gion, will be determined bieft by thofe wl^o arc beft 
f f acquainted with their charafter." 

In another place he fpeaks with becorning abhor- 
rence of a godlefs author who has burlefqued a Pfaln;, 
This author was fuppofed to be Pope, w|io publilhed 
a reward for any one that would prpdupe the coiner of 
the accufation, but never denied it ; ai)d was after- 
wards the perpetual and inceifant enemy of Blackmore^ 

One of his Eflays is upon the Spleen, which is 
treated by him fo much to his own fatisfaftion, that 
he has publilhed the fame thoughts in the lame words ; ' 
firft in the Lay Monajlery ; then in the Effay j and then 
in the Prefece to a Medical Trcatife on the Spleen. 
One paliagc, which J have found already twice, I will 
here exhibit, becaufe I think it better imagined, and 
better eacpreffcd, than could be pxpcfted from the 
eonimoA tenour of his profe : 

*f —As the feveral combinations of fplenetic madnefi 
f ' ^i^^ folly produce an infinite variety of irregular un? 
{' derftanding, fo the amicable accommodation and al- 
f f liance l^etween feveral virtues and vices produce an 
{^ eqifal diyerfity in the difpofitions and manners of 
f * mknkind i whence it comes to pafs, that as many 
?* moniirous j^^d absurd prociudkions vc found in tHe 
^* moral as in the intelledhial world. Howlurprifing 
ff \^Vi to obferve, among theleaft culpable men, fomb 

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^\ A C K M Q Kr li; f?^ 

^< whpfe minds are ^ttraded by heaven nA f arth^ 
/* with a feeming equal force ; fome who are proud of 
** humility ; others who ajrc ccnforious and unchari^ 
** table j yet felf-dcnying and ^evout; fome who joiij 
*^ contempt pf the world with fordid avarice ; and 
*' others, who prcferye a great degree of piety, with 
** ill-nature and ungoverned paflions : nor are inftances 
^* of this inconfiftent n^ixture lefs frequent among badi 
'* men, where we often, wkh admiration, fee perfoQj 
^* at once generous and ynjuft, impious lovers of their 
*^ couAtry, and f^agitipu^ heroes, good-natijred fharpers, 
^^ immoral men of honour, and libertine^ who will 
** Iboner die than change their religion ; and though 
♦' it is true that repugnant coalitions of fo high a de* 
** gree are found but in a part of mankind, yet none 
** of the whole mafs, either ^ood or bad, are intirely 
f * exempted from fome abiurd mixture." 

He about this time (Av^. 22, 17 16) became one of 
the E/eSs q£ the College of Phyficians ; and was footv 
after (Oft, i) diiofen CenJ^. He feems to have ar- 
rived late; Whatever ^as the reafon, at his medical 

Having fticceeded fo well in his book on Cr^ation^ 
by which he eftabliflied the great principle of all Re- 
ligion, he thought his undertaking Imperfea:, unlefs 
he Ukewife enforced the truth of Revelation ; and for 
that puqpoie added fuiother poem on RedemptioH^ He 
had lik«wUc written, before his Creation^ thi^e books 
on the NMtun tfMan. 

The lovers of mufic^ devotion have always wiihed 
for a moi^ happy metrical verfion than th»y have yet 
pbtatMd of tlou^ book of Pfalms ; this wi^h the piety 
(f ]^l^porc& |ed bw to gT^ifyi wd lie produced 


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iS« ^ i A C K M 6 K i, 

(itit) a new Verfion of the Pfelms ef Dzwid, Jilted fe 
fbe Tunes u/edin CAurcbes ; which, bdng recommenced 
tfthe archbiihops aad many biihops/dbiained ali- 
icence for its admif&on into publick wdMlp ; bt ftjia 
Itdmiffion has it yet obtained, nor has it any ri^Hp 
icbme where Brady and Tate have got pofleffion. Blacks 
morels name muft be added to thofe of many others^ 
t7ho> by the fame attempt, have obtained only the 
l^raife of meaning welL 

He was not yet deterred from heroick poetry j 
there was another monarch of this ifland^ for he did 
not fatch his heroes from foreign countrie^^ whom bq 
considered as worthy of the Epic mufe, and he dig^ 
nified Alfred (173^3) witb twelve books. But the opi-? 
nion of the natioa was now feuled ; a hero introduped 
by Blackmore was not likely to find either reiped^or 

'. kindnefs ; Mfred took his place by Elim ia iilence and 
darkneis : benevolence was afliamed to favour, aiKl 
xnaUce was weary of infultixig^ . Of his. fp^r £^^ 
Poems, the firft had foeh reputation and pc^larity a^ 
enraged the criticks ; the fecond was at leaft lvx>wn 
9W»2g^ to be ridiculed ; the two laft hadneithqr friend^ 

.nor enemies. 

Contempt is a kind of gangrene, which if it feiaes 
ene part of a charadxr corrupts all the reft by d^;rees. 
BlackmcMre^ being defpifed as a poet, was ia time ne- 
glefted as a phylician; his pradice, which was once 
invidioufly great, forfook him in the latter part of his 
life ; but being by nature, or by principle, averle froth 

'■ idlenefs, he employed his unwelcome leifure in writii^ 
bodes on phyfick, and teaching others to cure thofe 
whom he could himfelf cttte no -longer. I know not 
whctker I can enumerate all the treatifes by which 


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TBf LA C K AC 9 R K W? 

hi Im ^9de«iV9if«ed ta ^fkSt ^^ <it of h^d&ig; far 
there is fcarcelf anf ^Aaeapctf of 4veadfiil Maine, 
WUch b? bt9:Mi: tragh^ h)s ropder how to oppofe* He 
lliMPfrittcp oa *tfa<? £aiz&-pbx, vUk a vehsmos iinnec* 
ti^Kgainii inoculation ; on copfonxptions^ the fpleen, 
ritt^gotity the rheuQ^tifm, th(^ kisgfs-^i}, the dcopfy, 
^j^nndiGe, ^c ^ip» the (Jaabem, and ^plague. - 

Of thofe boBtks, if I bad isad tfaem^ it coiiliinot b^ 
t »p c g) tB d that I fhonld jt)|? able to give a critical &c<* 
eonnt. I have been tdd that dieca is fomcthing in i^m 
ci vexation and' difcontttiit, di&overttd by a perpetual 
attempt to degra<le phyfick from its feblimity, and to 
feprefentlt as attainable with6ut much previous or con- 
eooMCan^ learning: By the tranfient glances which 1 
MTC thrown upon them, 1 have obferved an afleAed 
contempt of the Ancients, and a fopcrcjlious derifion 
of tranfmitted kncrwfcdge. Of this indecent arrogance 
thefedlowing quotation from his Prefecc to the Treatilc 
iwi the SmaU-pox will afford a (pecimen ; in whichi 
inrhen the reader finds, what I fear is true, that when 
he- wa» ceasing Hippocrates he did not Jcnow the dif- 
ference between apborijm and apdfbtbtgm^ he w3I not 
pay much regard to his determinations concerning an** 
cient learning. 

•* As for this book of Aphorifins, it is like my lord 
f* Bacbnts of the fame title, a book of jefts, or a ^rava 
^ colieAion of trite and trifling obfervadons ; of which 
*^ though many are true and certain, yet they fignify 
^' nothing, and may ^Ibrd diyerfion, but no inftruc^ 
^ tion ; liioft of tllem being much iuierior to the fay^ 
^ ittgs of the wife men of Greece, which yet are lb 
^ low and mean, that we are entertained every day 


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iSt B L A C-K U iy 

*< with more valuable {entiments at the table-convetfij^ 
<* tton 6{ ingenious and learned mcfi.** 

I am unwilling, however^ to leave him in total dif*^ 
grace^ and will therefore qupte from another Prefaod 
g paflage lei3 reprehenfible. 

^^ Some gentlemen have been difingenuous and ua« 
*^ juft to me, by wrefting and forcing my meaning in 
'< the Pre&ce to another book, as if I ccmdemned and 
^* cxpofed all leaming,^ though they knew I declared 
^ that I greatly honoured and efteemed all men of fu^ 
^^ perior literature and erudition; and that I only v^ 
^' dervalued falfe or fuperficial learnings that fignifies^ 
^^ nothing for the fervice of mankind ; and that, as to 
** phyfick, I exprefsly s^ffirnied that learniijg muft bo 
^^ joined with native genius to make a phyficianof thfi 
^' firft ranl(; but if thofe talents are feparated, I af*. 
^^ ferted^ and do (till ii^ift, that a man of native fag»t 
•^ city and diligence will prove a more able and ufefiil 
^' pra&ifer^ than a heavy notional fcholar, encvinibere4 
^^ with a heap of confnfed idqjs/* 

He was not oply g poet and a j^yfician, but pro^ 
duped Uk^wife a work of a di^erent kind, A true and 
impartial ti^fiory of tb^ Con/piracy again/i King William^ 
of glorious Memory J in the Tear 1695. This I have nc* 
Ver feen, bpt fuppofe it at l^ft corppiled with inte- 
grity. Hp engaged lik^w^fe in theological controverff) 
and wrote two books againft the Arians ; Juji Pr^fU^ 
dices againfi fbe Afi^D Hypoibefis ; and Modern Aripis 
unmajked^ Another of his works is Natural Tbeokgf^ 
^r Moral Puiies conjiderid apart from Pqfitive ; witb fome 
Obfervations on fbe Dejirablenefs ondNeceJity of nkfafier^ 
natural Revelation. This was thf laft bpok that he ppb*» 
liih^d. He left behind him ^be accoinpUfhed Preacher^ 

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» L A C IC M OR E. tf^ 

§f/m Effaj upon Divine Eloquence; which was printed 
srftcr his death by Mr. White of Nayland in Effex, the' 
minifter who attended his death-bed, and teftified the 
fervent piety of his laflrhovnrs. He died on the eighth 
ofOaober, 1729, 

" BLACKMORE^, by the unrfcmftted enmity of the 
wits, whom he provoked more by his virtue than his 
dulnefsy has been eicpofed to worfe treatment than he 
defetved ; his name wais fo long ufed to point every 
epigram upon duU writers, that it became at laft a bye* 
word of contempt : but it defervcs obfervation, that 
ihalignity takes hold only of his writings, and that his 
life pafled without reproach, even when his boldnefi 
of reprehenfion naturally turned upon him mstny eyes 
deiirous to efpy faults, which many tongues would 
have made hafte to publifh. But thofe who could nor 
Blame, could at leaft forbear to praife, and thetefore 
of his private life and domeftick character there are 
00 memorials. . 

As an author he may juftly claim the honours of 
magnanimity. The inceiTant attacks of his enemies,' 
whether ferious or merry, are never difcovered to have 
difturbed his quiet, or to have leflened his confidence 
in himfelf ; they neither awed him to filence nor to 
caution i they neither provoked him t6 petulance, 
nor deprefled him to complaint. While the diftribu^ 
ton of literary fame were endeavouring to depreciate 
and degrade him, he either defpifed or defied them, 
wrote on as he had written before, and never turned 
a£de to quiet them by civility, or reprefs them by 


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t^. fe t'A c K u b tL k 

. Heciepeiided^diih gre^l^itkyin 
apd perhaps. Wis for tfaiai: xct&m lt& diUgdit ia peru* 
img books. His literature was, I think, btit fmalU 
What he kikw of aatiquity^ I fufped: him to Have|;a-^ 
thered from nlodern compilers : but though he couhl 
not boaft of much critical ktibwledgc^ his Inind waj 
ftored with general principles^ atid he left mimite re- 
fearches to thofe whom he coKfid^red asi little minds. . 

With this difpofition he wrote mdft of his poems.. 
Haviilg fbtmed a magnificent defign; ht was catekfi 
of particular and fubordinate elegances ( he ftudled no. 
nicet?ies of rcrfification ; he Waited fof no felicities of 
fancy ; but caught his fitft thoughts ib th^ flrfl: Wordi 
in which they Were prtfehted : iiot' does it appear that 
he faw beyond his own performances, bi- had ever ele-^ 
Vated his views to that ideal perfeftioh ^hlch feverj^ 
genius born to excel is condemned always to purfije; 
iind never overtake; In the firft fuggeflions of hii 
imagination he acquiefced ; he thought them good^ aaici 
did not feek for better. His works may be read i long 
timd tirithout the occurretkce of a fingle line that ftandi 
|>romihenf from the feft; 

The potem on Creation has, however, the ap]{)earancdJ, 
of more clrcunrfpedtlon ; it wants neither harmony of 
numbers, accuracy of thought, nor elegance 6f dic- 
tion : it has either been written with great care; or; 
what cannot be imagined of fo long a workj with fucU 
felicity as made e^re lefs n6teffary. 

Its tivo conftituent parts are ratioicinati^^' and de*^ 
Icription. To reafon in ve'rfe, is allowed to be difficult ; 
but Blackmore not only reafons in verfe^ bUt very o£- 
ten reafons poetically; and finds the ajt of uniting or- 
nament with ftrength, and eafe wkh clofenefs; This' 


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B L A C K Sf D R^^ 191: 

is a ikill which Pope might have condefeendedl to learn 
fromhimj Vrhen he nee^ it fotnuch in his Moral 

In his defcriptions both of life and pature^ the poet 
and the philofophei:; happily co-operate; truth. is re- 
commended by elegance^ and di^pnce fufttiaed/by 

In the ftrufture and order of the poem, not ohiy 
the greater parts are prt)periy confecutivc, but the di- 
daftick and illuftrative paragraphs are fo happily 
mingled^ that labour is relieved by pleafure, and the 
attention is led on through a long fucceflion of varied 
excellence to the original pofition^ the fundamental 
principle of wifdom and of virtue. 

AS the heroick poems of Blackmore are now little 
read, it- is thought propet to infert, as a fpecimen 
from Prince Arthur^ the fong of Mofas mentioned by 

But that which Arthur with moft pleafure hear49 
Were noble ftrains, by Mopas fung the bard. 
Who to his harp in lofty vcrfc began, 
And through the fecret maze of Nature ran. 
He die great Spirit fung, that all things fill'dy 
That the tumultuous waves of Chaos fiill'd ; 
Whofe nod difposM the jarring feeds to peace^ 
And made the wars of hoftilc Atoms ceafe^ 
All Beings we in fruitfid Nature find, 
Proceeded from the great Eternal Mind ; 
Streams of, his unexhaufted fpring of power. 
And cheriih'd with his influence, endure. 
He ijpread the pure cerul^n fields on high. 
And archM the chambers of the vaulted fky. 
Which he, to fiiit theit glory with their Height, * 
^r Adorned with globes^ that reel, as drunk with light* 


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tgz & L A C K M O ft fe. ; 

His hand imSttd all the tiinefal fpheies, 

He turn'd their orb$, and poliih'd all the ftart • ^ 

He fiil'd the Sun's vaft lamp with golden light. 

And bid the filver Moon adorn the night. 

He fprcad the airy Oceaft without fhores, 

Whtre birds ate wafted with their feathered oars. 

T^hen fung the bard how the light vapours rife 

From the warm earth, and cloud the fmiling ikie?. 

He fui^ how feme, chiird in tHck airy flight',. 

Fall.fcatterM down in pearly dew by night. 

How fome, raisM higher, fit in fecrct ftcams 

On the refleftcd points of itounding beams ; 

'Till, chiird with cold, they fhade fh' etherial plain/ 

Then on the thiffty earth dcfccnd in fain. 

How fome, whofc parts a flight corttcxture fliow, 

Sink hovering through the air, in fleecy fnow. 

How part is fpun in filken threads, and clings 

I^htangled in the grafe in glewy ftringsv 

How others Itamp to ftonos, with rafliiog foiitld 

tall from their cryftal quarries to tlie ground, 

{low fome are laid in trdns, that kindled fly 

In harmlcfs fires by night, about the Iky. 

How fome in winds blow with impetuous force, ! 

And carry ruin where they bend their courfe r 

While fome confpire to form a gentle breeze. 

To fan the air, and play among the trees. 

How fome, cnrag'd, grow turbulent and loud, 

Pent in the bowels of a frowning cloud ; 

That cracks, is if the axis of the world 

Was broke, and heaven^s brfght towcn were downwarcT^y 

He fung how earth's wide ball, at Jove^s command. 

Bid in the midft on airy columns ftand. 

And how the foul of pfatits, in prifon held. 

And bound with fluggifli fetters, lies concealed. 

Till with the Spring's warm beams, almoft rdeaft 

From the d^ weiglu, with which it lay oppreft,- 

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.B L A C K M O R E;, 19% 

its vigour fprcadSf and makes the teemiiig earth 

Heave up, and labour with the fprouting birth : 

The aftive fpirit freedom ieeks in vain. 

It only works and twifts a ftronger chaifi* 

Urging its prifon's fides to break a way, 

It makes that wider, where *tis forc*d to flay: 

Till, having form'd ks living houfe, it rears 

Its head, and in a tender plant appears. 

Hence fprings the oak, the beauty <o{ the grove, 

Whofe ftately trunk fierce ftorms can fcarcely movc^ 

Hence grows the cedar, hence the fwelling vine 

Does round the elm its purple clufters twkie. 

Hence painted flowers the fmiUng gardens blefi^ 

Both with their fragrant feent and gaudy dre&* 

Hence the white lily in full beauty growth 

Hence the i^lue violet, and blufliing rofiu 

He fung how fun-beams brood upon the earthy 

And in the g)ebe hatch fuch a numerous 'birt^ ; 

Which way the genial warmth in Summer ftomtt 

Turns putnd vapours to a bed of worms ; 

How rain, trahsform'd by this prolifick power^ 

Falls from the clouds an animated fhower. 

He fung (the embryo's growtii within the womb, 

And how Ae parts iheif various (hapes aflfumc; 

With what race art the wondrous Arnfture's wrouglit. 

From one cmic mafs to fuch perifeAion brought ; 

That no patt ufelefs, none mifplac'd we lee^ 

N«ne are forgot, and more woiUd monfirous be.'' 


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d ;i94 ] 

■ % t .. 

F E N T O N. 

TH E brevity with which I am to write the ac- 
count of JELIJAH FENTON is not the ef- 
feft of indifference or negligence. I have fought in- 
telligence am<Mig his relations in his native country, 
but have not obtained it. 

He was bom near Newcaftle in StafFordfhire, of an 
ancient family, whofe eftate was very confiderable; 
but he Vv'as the youngeft of twelve children, and being 
therefore neceflarily deftined to fome lucrative employ- 
ment, was fent firit to fchool, and afterwards to Cam- 
bridge ^ ; but, with many other wife and virtuous men, 
who at that time of difcord and debate confulted con- 
fcience, whether well or ill informed, more tlian ' in- 
tereft, he doubted the legality of the government, and, 
refuling to qualify himfelf for publick employment by 
the oaths required, left the univerfity without a de- 
gree ; but I never heard that the enthufiafin of oppo* 
fition impelled him to feparation from the church* 

By this perverfenefs of integrity he was driven out 

* He was entered of Jefus College, apd took a Bachelor's dc'* 
grcc in 1704. 

'..;:.; ' .' a corn- 

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t- fi N t d i^. 195 

* commoner of Nature, excluded from the regular 
modes of profit and profperity, and reduced to pick 
up a livelihood uncertain and fortuitous; but it muft 
,be remembered that he kept his name unfuUied, and 
never fuffered himfelf to be reduced, like too ma- 
ny of the fame fe6t, to mean arts and dilhonourable 
fliifts. Whoever mentioned Fenton, mentioned him 
with honour. 

The life that pafles in penury, muft necelTirily pafe 
in obfcurity. It is impoffible to trace Fenton from 
year to year, or to dlfcover what means he ufed for his 
iupport. He was a while fecretary to Charles earl df 
Orrery in Flanders, and tutor to his young fon^ who 
afterwards mentioned him with great efteem and ten- 
dernefs. He was at one time affiftant in the fchool of 
Mr. Bonwicke in Surrey; and at another kept a fchool 
for himfelf at Sevenoaks in Kent, whigh he brought 
into reputation; but was perfuaded to leave it (1710) . 
by Mr. St. John, with promifes of a more honourable 

His opinions, fts* he was a Nonjuror, feem not to 
have been remarkably rigid. He wrote with great 
/iCal and affedtion the praifes of queen Anne, and very 
willingly and liberally extolled the duke of Marlbo- 
rough, when he was (1707) at the height of his glory* 

He expreffed ftill more attention to Marlborough 
dnd his family by an elegiac Paftoral on the marquis 
of Blandford, which could be prompted only by re- 
fpefl: or kindefs ; for neither the duke nor dutchefs dc- 
fired the praife, or liked the coft of patronage. 

The elegance of his poetry entitled him to the 
company of the wits of his time, and the amiablenefd 
of his manners made him loved wherever he was 

O 2 known. 

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,56 f fe N T O N. 

known. Of his friendfliip to Soothera and Pojje thcw 

are lafting monuments. 

He publiihcd in 1707 a coUcQiion of poems. 
By Pope he was once placed in a ftation that mighc 
have been ei great advantage. Craggs, when he was ad- 
vanced to be fecreury of ftate (about 1 720), feeling his 
pwn want of literature, dcfired Pope to procure him 
an inftruftor, by whofe help he might fupply the de- 
ficiencies of his education. Pope recommended Fen-;^ 
ton, in whom Craggs found all that he was feekmg. 
There was now a profpcdk of cafe and plenty ; for Fen- 
ton had merit, and Craggs had gcnerofity : but the finall- 
pox fuddenly put an end to the pleafing cxpeaation. 

When Pope, after the great fuccefs of his Bad, 
undertook the Odyffey, being, as it feems, weary of 
tranflating, he determined to engage auxiUaries. 
Twelve books he took to himfelf, and twelve he dif- * 
tributed between Broome and Fenton : the books al- 
loted to Fenton were the firft, the fourth, the nine- 
teenth, and the twentieth. It is obfervabk, that he did 
not take the eleventh, which he had before tranflatcd 
into blank verfe ; neither did Pope claim it, but com- 
mitted it to Broome. How the two affociates per- 
formed their parts is well known to the readers of po^ 
etry, who have never been able to diftinguilh their 
books from thofe of Pope. 

In 1723 was performed his tragedy of Marianme; 
to which Southern, at whofe houfe it was written, is 
-faid to have contributed fuch hints as his theatrical ex- 
perience fupplied. When it wds Ihewn to Cibber, 
• it was rejedted by him, with the additional infolcnce 
of advifing Fenton to engage himfelf in fome employ- 
jnent of honeft labour, by which he might obtain tjiat 


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F E N T O K X97 

fupport which he could never hope from his poetry. 
The play was afted at the other theatre; and the brutal 
petulance of Cibber. was confuted, though, perhaps^ 
^ not Ihamed, by general applaufe. Fenton's profits ar^ 
faid to have amounted to near a thoufand pounds, with 
which he difcharged a debt contrad:ed by his attend* 
ance at cpurt. 

FcQton feems to have had fome peculiar fyftem of 
-^ verfification. Mariamne is written in lines of ten fylla- 
T>les, with few of thofe redundant terminations whicli 
the drama not only admits but requires, as more nearly 
approaching to real dialogue* The tenor of his verfe 
is fb uniform that it cannot be thought cafual ; and 
yet upon what principle he fo conftrufted it, is diffi- 
cult to difcover. 

The mention of his play brings to my mind a very 
trifling occurrence. Fenton was one day in the com- 
pany of Broome his aflbciate, and Ford, a clergyman, 
at that time too well known, whofe abilities, inflead 
of fiamilhing convivial merriment to the voluptuous 
and diflblute, might have enabled him to excel among 
the virtuous and the wife. They determined all to fee 
the Merry Wives of fVind/or, which was adted that 
pight ; and Fenton, as a drama,tick poet, took them 
to the ftage-door; where the door-keeper enquiring who 
they were, was told that they were three very neceflary 
men. Ford, Broome, and Fenton. The name in ths 
play, which Pope reftored to Brooke was then Broome. 

It was perhaps after his play that he undertook to 
revife the punftuation of. Milton's Poems, which, as 
the author neither wrote the original copy nor corredted 
the prefs, was fuppofed capable of amendment. 1 o 
this edition he prefixed a ihort and elegant account of 

O 3 Milton's 

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tgi F E N T O N. 

Miltoft's life^ written at once with tendemefs and in^ 


H.e publilhed likewifc (1729) a very fplendidedir 
tion of Waller, wifh notes often ufeful^, often enter- 
taining, but tQO much extended by long quotations 
from Clarendon. lUuftrations, drawn froip a bpok fo 
cafily confulted, fliould be made by reference rathef 
than tranf^ription. 

. ThQ latter part of his life was calm and pleafant^ 
The relid of Sir William Trumbull invited him, by 
Pope's recommendation, to educate her fon; whom he 
firft inltruded at home, and then attended to Cam- 
bridge, The lady afterwards dets^ined him with he^ 
^s the auditor of her accpunts. He often wandered to 
London, and amufed himfelf with the conyeffation of 
his frjends. 

. He 4ied in 173O1 at E^fthampftead in Berkfhire, the 
feat of the lady Trumbull; and Pope, wlio had been 
^ways his friend, honoured him with an epitaph, of 
"which he borrowed the two firft lines from Cralhaw. 

Fenton was tall and bulky, inclined to corpulence, 
which he did not leflen by much exercife; for he 
was very fluggilh and fedentary, rqfe late, and when he 
had rifen fap down to his book or paper?. A woman 
that once waited on him in a lodging, told him, as Ihe 
faid, that he would lie a-bed, and be fed with a Jpoon. 
This,. however, was not the worft that raigh^ have been 
prognofticated; for Popp fays, in his Letters, that be 
died of indolence; but his immediate diftemper was the 

Of his morals and his converfation the account is 
pniform: he was never named but with praife and 
fondnefs as a man in the higheft degree amiable an(| 
p:jccellent» Such was the charadter given him by the 

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F E N T O N. 199 

tarl of Orrery, his pupil; fuch is the teftimony of 
Pope * ; and fuch were the foifrages of all who could 
boaft of his aoquaintance. • 

By e former writer of his Life a ftory is told, which 
ought not tp be forgotten. He ufed, in the latter part 
of his tijTie, to pay his relations in the country an 
yparly vifit. At an entertainment made for the family 
by his elder brother, he obferved, that one of his fillers, 
who had married unfortunately, was abfent; and 
fpundy upon enquiry, that diftrefs had made her 
thought unworthy of invitation. As flie was at no 
great diilance, he refund to fit at the table till ihe was 
caUed, and^ when (he had taken her place, was careful 
to Ihew her particular atention. 

His colleS:ion of poems is now to be confidered* 
The ode to the Sun is written upon a common plan, 
without uncommon fentiments; but its gre^teft fault 
is its length. No poem ihould be long of which the 
purpofe is only to ftrike the fancy, without enlighten- 
ipg the underftanding by precept, ratiocination, or 
narrative. A blaze firft pleafos, and then tires the 

Of FloreUo it is fufficient to fay that it is an occafional 
paitQral, which implies fomething neither natural nor 
artificial, neither comick nor ferious. 

The next ode is irregular, and therefore de&dive. 
As the fentiments are pious, they cannot eafily be new; 
for what can be added to topicks on which fucceflivc 
figes have been employed ! 

Of the Parapbrafi m IJaiah nothing very favourable 

can be faid. Sublime and folemn profe gains little by 

a change to blank verfe; and the paraphraft has de- 

ierted his original, by admitting images not Afiatick, 

»tle^ Qotjud^ical: 

^ SpeHoe* 

O 4 —Re- 

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ao9 F E N T O N. 

Dove-eyed, and lob'd in wfaite'^. 

Of his petty poems fome af e very trifliflg, without 
any thing to be praifed either in the thought or expreC- 
fion. He is unlucky in his competitions; he tells the 
ftihe idle cafe with Congreve, and doe^ not tell it fo 
well. He tranllates from Ovid the fame epiftle as 
Pope ; but I am afraid not with equal happinefs. 

To examine his performances one by one would be 
tedious. His tranflation from Homer into blank verfe 
will find few readers while another can bb had in 
ihyme^ The piece addrtffed to Lambarfe is no dif» 
agreeable Q)ecimenof epiftokry poetry; and his ode 
to the lord Gower was pronounced by Pope the next 
ode in the EftglHh language to Dryden^s Cecilia; Fen- 
ton may bejuftly ftyled an excellent verfifycr and & 
good poet. 

WHATEVER I havt faid of Fenton h Cbnfirmed 
by Pope in a Letter, by which he communicated to 
Broome an account of his death; 


The Rev^ Mr. BROOME 

At FujLHAM) near Hahlkstok^ 



By Beccles Bag# 

I intended to Write to you <«i this melaifchdly fob* 
jeft, the death of Mr. Fentbn, before y** •came; 
but flayed to have informed myfelf & j^ou of y* cir* 


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F E N T O N. aox 

ctimftances of it. All I hear is, that he felt a Gra- 
dual Decay, tho fo early in Life, and was declining 
for 5 or 6 months. It was not, as I apprehended, the 
Gout in his Stomach, but I believe rather a Compli- 
cation firft of Grofs Humours, as he was naturally cor- 
pulent^ not difcharging themfelves, as he ufed no fort 
of Exercife. No man better bore y* approaches of his 
Diflblution (as I am told) or \(^ith lefs oftentation 
yielded up his Being. The great Modefty w^ you 
know was natural to him, and y' great Contempt he 
had for all Sorts of Vanity & Parade, never appeared 
more than in his laft moments : He had a confcioui 
Satisfadion (no doubt) in afking right, in feeling hha- 
felf hbneft, true, & un-pretending to more than was 
his own* So he dyed, as he lived, with that fecret, 
yet fufficient, Contaitment:. 

As to any Papers left behind him, I dare fay they 
can be but few; for this reafon, He never wrote out 
of Vanity, or thought mudi of the Applaufe of Men. 
I know an Inflrance where he did his utmoft to conceal 
his own merit that way; and if we Join to this his na^ 
tural Love df Eafe, I fancy we muft expedt little of 
this fort : at leaft I hear of none except fome few fur- 
ther remarks on Waller (w^** his cautious integrity 
made him leave an order to be given to Mr. Tonfon) 
and perhaps, tho tis many years fince I faw it, a 
Tranflation of y* firft Book of Oppian. He had be- 
gun a Tragedy of Dion, but n^de fmall progrefs 
in it* 

As to his other Affairs, he dyed poor, but honefl:^ 
leaving no Debts, gr Legacies; except of a few p*** to 
Mr. Trumbull and my Lady, in token of refptGt, 
GratefulndSy & mutual Efleem. 


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102. . F E N T O N. 

I Ihall with pjcafure take upon me to draw this 
amiable, quiet, deferving, unpretending Chriftian and 
^hilofophical chjirafter, in His Epitaph. There Truth 
may be fpok^n in a few words : as for Flourifliy & 
Oratory, & Poetry, I Ipjive them to younger and more 
lively Writers, fuch as love writing for writing fake, 
ti w** rather fliow their own Fine Parts, y" Report the 
valuable ones of ^ny other man. So the Elegy I re- 

I condole with you froin my hpart, on (he lofs of 
fo worthy a men, and ^ Friend to us both. Now he is 
gone, I muft tell yo\i he has done you many ^ good of^ 
fice, & fet your charafter in y* faireft light, to fome 
who either miftook you, or knew you not. I doubt; 
pot he has done the fame fpr me. 

Adieu : Let us love his Memory, and profit by his 
example. I ^jn very fingerely, 

P^ S I R 

Your affedtonatd 

& real Servant 


Ayqt >y* 1730, 


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t ««3 J 

G A Y, 

JOHN GAY, defcendcd from an old family that 
had been long in pofTeiSon of the manour of * Gold- 
worthy in Devonlhirc, was bom in 1688, at or near 
Barnftaple, where he was educated by Mr. Luck, whq 
taught the fchool of that towi with good reputation, 
and, a little before he retired from it^ publiihed a vo- 
lume of Latin and Englifh verfes. Under fuch a 
mafter he was likely to form ^tafte for poetry. Being 
born without profpedt of hereditary riches, he was 
fent to London in his youths and placed apprentice 
with a filk -mercer. 

How long he continued bekind the counter, or with 
what degree of foftnefs and dexterity he received and 
accommodated the Ladies, as he probably took no de'^ 
light in telling it, is not known. The report is, 
that he was fix>n weary of either the reftraint or fervi- 
lityof his occupation, and odily perfuaded his mafter 
fo difcharge him. 

* G<fldvf9rthj does not app^iu: in the KiUare. Oug. Edit* 

" The 

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M4 GAY. 

The dutchcfs of Monmouth, remarkable for inflex- 
ible perfeverance in her demand to be treated as a prin* 
cefs, in 171 2 took Gay into her fervice as iecretary : 
by quitting a fliop for fuch fervice, he might g^in lei* 
furc, but he certainly advanced little in the boaft of in- 
dependence. Of his leifure he made fo good ufe^ 
that he publiihed next year a poem on Rural Spirts, 
and infcribed it to Mr. Pope, who was then rifing faft 
into reputation. Pope was pleafed with the honour; 
and when he became acquainted with G^y, found 
fuch attractions in his manners and converfation, that 
he feems to have recdved him into his inmoft confi- 
dence; and a friendlhip was formed between them 
which lafted to their feparaiion by death, without any 
known abatement on either part. Gay was the general 
favourite oF the whole s^Xbciation of wits; but they re- 
garded him as a play-fe|low rather than a partner, and 
treated him with more inidn^ tluMi refpe£b. 

N«t year he publijbed The Shepbtrd^s IFeeky fix 
£ng]liih pailorals, in wbich the ima^^ are drawn from 
ical life, fuch ^ It aj^pears among the ruiticks in 
parts of England remote from London. Steele, in 
ibme papers of the Cup^diany had praifed Ambrofcf 
Philips, as the Paftoral writer that yie]4ed only to 
Tkaocritus, Virgil, wA Spenfer. .Pope> who had 
alib ptiUi&fd Paftorals, not pleafed to be overlooked, 
idrew up • comparifon of his own coropofitions with 
thofe dF Philips, in whitb he coycrtjy gave himfelf 
the preference, while he.feemed to diibwn it. Not 
ccmtent with this, he is fi^ppofe^ to have indted Gay 
to write the Shepherd* s H^ek, to £hcw, t^t if it h^ 
ncceflary to copy nature ivith minutencfs, rural life 
muft be exhibited fuch Is groflhefs and ignorance 


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GAY; ao$ 

liave made It. So fiar the plan was reafonable^ but the 
Paftorals are iatroduced by a Fr^emt^ writtea with 
fuch imitattoa as they could attain of obfoiete Ian* 
guage, and by omfequence in a ftyle that was ne* 
ver fpoken nor written in any age or in any place. 

But the efiedt of mlity and truth became confpi- 
CU0US9 even when the intesytion was to Ihcw them 
groveling and degraded. Thele Paftorals becao)/^ 
popuhr, and were read with delight, as juft repre- 
^ntations of rural manners and occupations, by thofc 
who had no intereft in the rivalry of the poets, nor 
knowledge of the critical difpute. 

In 1713 he brought a comedy called Tlx Wife of 
Bath upon the ftage, but it received no applaufe; he 
priiaed it, however; and feventeen years after, hav- 
ing altered it, and, as he thought, adapted it more to 
the publick tafte, he offered it again to the town; but 
though he was flufhcd with the fucccfs of the Beg-- 
gar^s Opera^ had the mortification to fee it again re- 

In the laft year of queen Anne's life. Gay was made 
fecretary to the earl of Clarendon, ambalTador to the 
court of Hanover. This was a ftation that naturally 
gave him hopes of kindnefs from every party; but the 
Queen's death put an end to her favours, and he had 
dedicated his Shepherd's Week to Bolingbroke, which 
Swift cohCdered as the crime x\izt obftrufted all kind- 
nefs from the houfe of Hanover. 

He did not, however, omit to improve the right 
which his office had given him to the notice of the royal 
family. On the arrival of the princefs of Wales, he 
wrote a poem, and obtained fo much favour, that both 
the Prince and Princefi went to fee his fVbat J^^e call 



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4o6 6 A Tf; 

//, a kind of mock-tragedy, in which the images ^ewi 
comick, and the aftion grave ; (b that, as Pope re-' 
lates, Mr. Cromwell, who could not hear what wa^ 
(aid, was at a lofs how to reconcile the laughter of tho 
audience with the folemnky of the fcene/ 

Of this performance the value certainly is but little ; 
but it was one of the lucky trifles that gir^ pleafurd 
by novelty, and was fo much favoured by the audi- 
ence, that envy appeared againft it in the form of cri* 
ticifin ; and Griffin a player, in conjunftion with Mr. 
Theobald, a man afterwards more remarkable, pro- 
duced a pamphlet called The Key to the What (F ye catl 
it ; which, fays ' Gay, calls me a blockhead^ and Mr. 
Fope a knave. 

But Fortune has always been incodflant* Not long 
afterwards (171 7) he endeavoured to entertain th^ 
town with Three Hours after Marriage ; a comedy Wfit-** 
ten, as there is fufficient reafon for believing, by th6 
Joint affiftance of Pope and Arbuthnot. One purpofe 
of it was to bring into contempt Dr, Woodward the * 
Foffilift, a man not really or juftly cont^emptible. It 
had the fate which fuch outrages deferve : the fcene in 
which Woodward was diredtly and apparently ridiculed,, 
by the introduction of a mummy and a crocodUe, dif^ 
gufted the audience, and the performance was driven 
off the ftage with general condemnation. 

Gay is reprefentcd as a man eafily incited to hope, 
and deeply depreffed when his hopes were difappointed. 
This is not the charaftccof a hero ; but it may naturally 
Ihiply fomething more generally welcome, a foft and 
civil companion. Whoever is apt to hope good from 
others is diligent to pieaf^ them ; bur he that believes 
his powers flrong enough to force their own way, com- 
monly tr^s only to pleafe himfelf« 


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GAY. adyr 

He had beem fimple enough to hnagilfe that thoie 
who laughed at the What d* ye call ii would i^aife the 
fortune of its author ; and, finding nothing done, funk 
imto deje&ion. His friends endeavoured to divert hm. 
The earl of Burlington fent him (1716) into Devon- 
,lhire; the year after, Mn Pulteney took him to Aix ; 
and in the following year lord Harcourt invited him 
to his feat, where, during his vifit, the two rural lo- 
vers were killed with lightning, as is particularly told 
in Popes'S Letters- 
Being now generally known, he publiflied (1720) 
his Poems by fobfcription with fuch fuccefs, that he 
railed a thoufand pounds ; and called his friends to a 
confultation, what ufe might be beft made of it* Lewis, 
die fteward of lord Oxford, advifed him to intruft it to 
the funds, and live upon the intereft ; Arbuthnot bade 
him intruft it to Providence, and Hve upon the prin- 
cipal ; Pope direfbed him, and was feconded by Swift, 
to purchafe an annuity. 

Gay in that difaftrous year * had a prefent from 
young Craggs of fome South- fea-ftock, and once fup- 
pofed himielf to be mafter of twenty thoufand pounds. 
His friends perfuaded him to fell his ihare ; but he 
dreamed of dignity and fplendour, and could not bear 
to obftrudk his own fortune. He was then importuned 
to fell as much as would purchafe an hundred a year 
for life, which ^ fays Fenton, will make you fur e of a 
clean fbirt and a fhoulder of mutton every day. This coun- 
fel was rejedked ; the profit and principal were loft, 
and Gay funk under the calamity fo low that his life 
became in danger. 

* Spcncc. 

7 By 

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toS GAY. 

B]r the care of his friends^ among whom P<^e a^ 
peaxs to have ihewa particular tendernefs^ his hOsiih 
wasreHored; and, returning to his fhidies^ faewmtc 
z tragedy called The Cap^hes, which he was iovittd cor 
read before the princefs of Wales* When the hour 
came^ he law the prmcefs and her ladies all in ezpec- 
tition> and advancing with reverence, too great for 
any other attention, (tumbled at a ^ool^ and falling 
forwards, threw down a weighty Japan {cncn. The 
princefs flarted, the ladies fcreamed, and poor Gay 
after all the dilturbance was ftill to read his play* 

The fate of Tbe Captives ^ which was afted at Drory- 
Lane in 1723, I know not ; but he now thought him- 
felf in favour, and undertook (1726) to write a vo* 
hame of Fables for the improvement of Ae young 
duke of Cumberland. For this he is faid to have been 
promifed a reward^ which he had doubtlefs magnified 
with all the wild expe&ations of indigence axxi vanity. 

Next year the Prince and Princefs became King and 
Queen, and Gay was to be great and happy; but upon 
tibie fettlement of the houfehold he found himfelf ap<9 
pointed gentleman uilier to the prioc^ Louida. By 
this offer he thought himfelf infulted, and fcnt a mef- 
iage to the Queen, th^t he was too old for the place. 
There fecm to have been many machinations employed 
afterwards in his favour ; and diligent court was paid 
to Mrs. Howard, afterwards countefs of Suffolk^ who 
was much beloved by the King and Queen, to engage 
her imercft for his promotion ; but iblicitations^ verfes, 
and flatteries, were thrown away ; the lady heard them, 
.and did nothing. 

All the pain which he fuffered from the negled:, orj 

as he perhaps termed it, the ingratitude of the courts 

6 may 

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O A Y. 209 

naf ht ^ppoi^d to kave Ifisexk dri ve» $vi2tf by thb ttt* 
cxamplcd fuccefi of the Beggar's Opera^ This ptof ^ 
nvrkuti In vi^icuk o£the mullcal italiM Dtamat, was 
fyit oftfed to Cibbev aad his bretlwM at Drory-Laae^ 
and t^^fA i it being then carried to Rkh^ had tke 
efibA:, a« was ludicroufly faid^ ofMakwg Gay ra/l, aad 

Of idki® liicky piece^ as the reader cannot but wilh 
to know the oariginal and progjrefs, I have infeited the 
nlatioa which Spence has given sn Pope^ words* 

^' Dr. Swift had bee|i obferving once to Mn Oay^ 
^ what an odd pretty jott of a thing a Newgate P^o- 
^ lal jtug^t fhake. Oay was ^drned to try at £u^ a 
^^ thing for fome time ; hut afterwards thought it 
^.' would be better to write a comedy on the fame p)an« 
** This was what gave rife to the Beggar^s Opera. He 
^^ bejg^ii o^H;; and when firft he mentioned it to Swift^ 
*^ the Doftor did not mwch Hl^e the project. A« h* 
" carried it on, he ihewed what he wrote to both of 
*^ us, and we n^w-and then gave a corredion, or a 
*^ word pr two of adviqe ; but it was wholly qi hia 
^^ own wricing.'r-When it w^s done, peither rf us 
*' thought it w$\il4 foqceed. — ^We Ih^wed ^t to Cpn-* 

* This IB afltrrted by ali who have taken occafieii to fpeak of th« 
Seggar*8 Op«ni« but I tUok without foundation^ The fobg^As of 
ridicuie in the ttaliaa opera ^'ere and are, iird, the dialogue, .which 
being in recitative i» not only (irefome but ^bfurd ; fecondly» th^ 
difparity in the atrs between the fentiment of the poetry and th# 
fliufic, the one being generally (Imple, and oftentimes mean, th« 
other elaborate and protra^d by long diviiions on infignificant 
vords. The Beggar's Op^ra has notching of this in it ; the Dialogue 
is oomiQon fpeech, and the airs old ballad-tunes, fome of them 
compofed by Purcell, and others feleded with great judgment from 
Durtey'f Pills to piu'ge Melancholy. The trued burlefque of the 
Italian opera, that can be conceived of, is the Dragon of Wantlcy, 
written by Harry Carey, and compoied hf Lampe* 

Vol. III. P "greve; 

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4IO G A* Y.. 

^y greve ; who, after reading it over, (aid. It woyl<£ 
^^ either take greatly, or be damned confoundedly. — 
^\ We, were all, at the firft night of it, in great uncer* 
*f tainty ^f the event; till we were very much encou- 
^\ raged by overhearing the duke of Argyle, who (at 
'^ in the next box to U3> fay, ^ It will do-r-it muft do ! 
*^ I fee it in the eyes of them/ This was a good 
^^ while before the firft Aft was over, and io gave us 
^t eafe foon; for that duke (befides his own good tafte) 
^' has .a particular knack, as any one now living, ii^ 
^* difcovering the tafte of the publiclu He was quite 
^^ right in this, as ufual ; the good-nature of the au-^ 
^f dience appear^ ftronger and ftronger every aft, and 
^^ ended in a clamour of applauie/' 

Its reception is thus recorded in the notes to thr 

" This piece was- received with greater applaufe 
** than was ever known. Befides being afted in Lon- 
^^ -don fixty-three days without interruption, and re-' 
^^ newed the next feafon with equal applaufe, it fprcad 
^ into all the great towns of England ; was played in 
:'* many places to the thirtieth and fortieth time; at 
** Bath aVid Briftol fifty, &c. It made it« progrrfs into 
V Wales, Scotland, and Ireland, where it was per- 
*^ formed twenty-four days fucceflively. The ladies 
** carried about with them the favourite fongs -of it in: 
** fans, and ' houfes were furnilhed with it in fcreens. 
** The fame of it was not confined to the author only* 
** The perfon who afted Polly, till then obfcure, bc- 
** came all at once the favourite of the town ; her pic- 
^* tures were engraved, and fold in great numbers ; her 
" Life written, books of letters and verf?s to her pub- 
^Milhed, 4od pampUcts made even of her Ciyings and 
. . . • . , *\jefts. 

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G A Y. ^11 

^JeibL Furthermore, it drove out of England (for 
*^ tkat feaibn) the Italian Opera, which had carried aU 
^ before it for ten years." 

- Of this performance, when k was printed, the re- 
cet>tian was different, according co the different opi- 
nion of its readers. Swift commended it for the ex* 
oeilence of its morality, as a piece that placed all kinds 
if vice in theftrcngeji and mofi odious light ^ but others, 
and among them Dr. Herring, afterwards archbiihop 
^f Canterbury, cenfured it as giving encouragement 
not only to vice but to crimes, by making a highway- 
man the hero, -and difmifling him at lafl unpunifhed. 
It has been even faid, that after the exhibition of the 
Beggar's Opera the gangs of robbers were evidently 

Boththefe declfions are furely exaggerated. The 
play, like many others, was plainly written only to di- 
vert, withoutmny moral purpofe, and Is therefore not 
likely to do good ; nor can it be conceived, without 
more fpeculation than life requires or admits, to be 
produilive of much eviL Highwaymen and houfe- 
breakers feldom frequent the play-houfe, or mingle in 
any elegant diverCon ; nor is it pofEble for any one to 
imagine that he may rob with fafety, becaufe he fees 
Macheath reprieved upon the flage. 

This objection however, or foihe other rather poli- 
tical than moral, obtained fuch prevalenfce, that whea 
Gay produced a fecond part under the name of Polly ^ 
it was prohibited by the Lord Chamberlain ; and he 
was forced <o recompenfe his repulfei)j a fubfctiption, 
. which is faid to have been fo liberally l)d[tQ«ti42 ^^^C 
what he called oppref&on ended in profit* The^J^-. 


P 9^ lioitAoa 

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iziz GAY* 

licatlon vns fa much favoured^ that tliottgh the firft 
part gained him four hundred pouiida^ neqiF timee as 
much was the profit of the feceod^ 
. He received yet aaother r^eomptenfe for tl^s fiip- 
poied hardfihip^ in the affedionate a^iemioQ of thf duke 
and dutchefs of Queeniherry, i^to who& h^i^e ho was 
taken, and with whom he paffed the remaimng part of 
his ltfe« The ^ duke^ coi^fideriag his wjuit ^f cedo- 
;K>my^ xmdertook the management of his money^ aad 
gave it to him as he wanted it. But it is fuppo&d 
that the difcountenanceof the Court funk deep into his 
hearty and gave him more difcontent than the ap- 
plaufes or tendernefs of his friends could overpower. 
He foon-fell mto his old diftet^per^ an hatutus^l colicky 
and languilhed, though with many intervals of eafe 
and cheerfulnefs, till a violent fit at laft feized kim, 
and hurried him to the grave, as Arbuthnot reportoci^ 
with more precipitance than he had ever known. He 
died on the fourth of Dpcember 1732, and was bwidd 
in Welilminfter Abbey. The letter which brought aa 
account of his death to Swift was laid by for fome days 
unopened, becaufe when he received it he was impreft 
with the preconception of fome misfortune. 

After his death, was publifhed a fecoivl volumi! of 
Fables more political than the former. His opera of 
JchHles was aftedj and the profits were giVien to two 
widow lifters, who inherited what he left, as his few- 
ful heirs ; for he died without a will, thou^ he had 
gathered * three thoufand pounds. There have ap- 
peared likewife under his name a comedy called the 
Dijirejl Wife^ and the Bxhearfal at Gotham^ a piece of 
humour^-- 1 ' 

* Spencg 


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GAY* ^xj 

Tke thtaA&tpvuk klm by fope * is thb^ chdt 6t 
lUkU^ natural many without d^figny v^bnffeke i»hat ki 
ih&U^t^ andjujt as be ibwghi it ; add that he w^s ^fd 
tkaid femfery and fearful (f giving 4ff^ce u tbegyeait 
which cautioa however^ fays Pope^ was of no ^vail. 

As a poet, he caiuioc be rated very high. He was, 
as I once heard a female critick remark, 9f a lower e/r-* 
der. He had not in any great degree the mens divlniery 
the dignity of genius. Much however muft be allowed' 
to th^ author of a new fpecies of compofition, though 
it be not of the higheft kind. We owe to Gay die 
Ballad Opera ; a mode of comedy which at firft was 
iuppefed to delight only by its novelty, but has now 
by the eKperience of half a century been found fo well 
aeodmmodated to the difpofition <^ a popular audience^ 
that it is likely to keep long pofleffion of the ftage. 
Whedier this new drama was the produft of judge- 
ment or of luck, the praife of it muft be given to the 
mveator ; and there are many writers read with more 
reverence, to whom fuch merit of originality cannot be 

His firft performance, the Raral Sports^ is fuch as 
was eafily planne^l and executed ; it is never contemp- 
tfWe, nor ever excellent. The Fan is one of thofe 
n^ythok^ical fi&ions which antiquity delivers ready to 
the band ; but which, like other things that He open 
CO every one*s ufe, are of little value. The attention 
Aatprally retires from a new tale of Venus, Diana, and 

His FaWcs feem to have been a favourite work ; for, 
having publifhed one volume, he left another behind 
bim. Of this kind oi Fables, the authors do not ap- 
pear to have formed any diftinft or fettled notion.- 

* Spcnce. 
P 3 ' Phadxw 

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«i4 C5 AY. 

Phxdrus evidently confounds them with Taks^zxid Qay* 
both with Tales smd Allegorical Profopopaias. A Fabie^ 
or Apologue^ fuch as is now under coniideration^ feems 
to be, in its genuine ftate> a narrative in which beings 
irrational^ and fometimes inanimate, arbores loquuntur^ 
non tantumferay are, for the purpdfe of moral inftruc- 
tion, feigned to a& and fpeak with human interefts 
stnd paffions. To this defcription the compofitions of 
Gay do not always conform. For a Fable he gives 
now and then a Tale, or an abflraded Allegory ; and 
from fome, by whatever name they may be called, it 
will be difficult to extraft any moral principle. They 
are, however, told with livelinefs ; the verfificatioh is 
imooth ; and the di&ion, though now-and-then a little 
conftrained by the meafure or the rhyme, is generally 

To Trivia may be allowed all that it claims ; it v$ 
fpritely, various, and pleafantr The fubjed is of that 
kind which Gay was by nature qualified to adom; yet 
fome of his decorations may be juftly wifhed away. An 
honeft blackfmith might have done for Patty what is 
performed by Vulcan. The appearance of Cloacina is 
naufeous and fuperfluous ; a ihoeboy could have been 
produced by the cafual cohabitation of mere mortals. 
Horace's rule is broken in both cafes ; there is no dig'- 
nils vindice nodus, no difficulty that required any fupcr- 
natural interpofition. A patten may be made by the 
hammer of a mortal, and a baflard may be dropped 
by a human ilrumpet. On great occafions, and on 
fmall, the mind is' repelled by ufelefs and apparent 

Of his little Poems the publick judgement feems to 

be right ; they are neither much efleemcd, nor totally 

6 defpifed« 

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G A Y. 215 

«ie{pt&d. The ftory of the Apparition is borrowed 
from one of the tales of Poggio. Thofe that pleafe 
leafl: are the pieces to which Gullher gave occaiion; 
for wKo can*mucl^ delight in the echo of an Unnatural 
£&ion ? 

Diom is a counterpart to Jn^nta, and Pq/iar Futo, 
and other trifles of die fame kind^ eafily imitated, and 
unworthy of imitaticm. What the Italians call come- 
dies frorn^a happy cpnduiion. Gay calls a tragedy from 
a mournful event ; but the ftyle of the Italians and of 
Gay is equally tragical; There? is fbmething in the 
poetical Arcadia fo remote from known reality and fpe- ; 
culative poffibility, that we can never fuppcMt its re- 
prefratation through a long work. A Paftoral of an 
4iwidred lioes may be tadured ; but who will hear of ^ 
iheep and goats, .and myrtle bowers and purling rivu- ' 
iets, through five a&s ? Such fcenes pleafe Barbarians : 
in die dawn of literature, and children in the dawn of | 
life J but w)ll be for the moft part thrown away, as \ 
iQCii grow wife, and nadms grow learned. ^ 


^ *l* 

/* ' 


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t *i6 } 

{ af^iisrr 


OF 6£i)&6£ ORANVILLC;^ as MiM 
^mte O«09m«9, tor efm«jWr, «lteiVi'Mis lor4 

Is kiiown t^ hte naM^ mM mhk Mig^t -gr^ii^sdbn to 
^xp^d:. ¥k **nis bom alKlUt {46^, tk^ fiin c^^Beinffri 
Greenville^ • Wli^ wi^ ettfi^M %y lifenk witk tk» IH^ 
private tranfa^fcions of the lUftoration, and the grand- 
fon of Sir Bevil Greenville, who died in the King^s 
caufe, at the battle of Landfdowne. 

His early education was fuperintcnded by Sir Wil- 
liam Ellis; and his progrefs was fuch that before the 
age of twelve he was fent to Cambridge *, where he 
pronoionced a copy of his own verfes to the princefs 
Mary d'Efte of Modena, then dy tchefs of York, when 
flie vifited the univerfity. 

♦ To Trinity College. By the tinivcrfity regifter» it appeaiY, 
that he was aidmitted to his Matter's Degree in 2679 : we UM&9 
theicforei fet the year of hi< birth (bme years baclu 


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At the acceffion of king James, being now at eigh* 
teen^ he again exerted liis poetical powers^ and ad- 
Vhre^ the ftew mott»dh 4h rittet ftort pieces, oF 
which the firft is profane^ ttA the ttiTo otliers fudi as 
a boy might be expefte4 to produoe; but ht Wtt torn* 
mended by old WaUer, who peihaps was pleafed to 
find himielf iaxitated, in fix lines^ which^ chov^ 
they begin with nonfenie and end with dulne&, exmed 
in the young author a rapture of acknowledgement^ m 
numbers Jiuh as "Wz&sfsjelf might ufe. 

It was probably about this time that he wrote the 
poem to the cftrl of Peterborough^ upon his accom^* 
fUJbment of the duke of York's nuurriage with the 
princefs of Modena, whofe chasms appear to have 
gained a ftrong prevalence over his imagination and 
qpon whom nothing ever has been charged but impru* 
dent pietyi an intemperate and jnifguided zeal for the 
propsigation of papery. 

However faithful GranvtUe might have been to the 
King, or however enamoured of the Queen^ he has left 
no realTon for fuppoiing that he improved either the 
artifices or the violence with which the King's religion 
was infinuated or obtruded, irlc endeavoured to be 
true at once to the King and to the Church. 

Of this regulated loyalty he has tranfinitted to. pof- 
terity a (ufficient proof, in the letter which he wrote 
to his father about a month before the prince of Orange 

^* Mar, 

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' • " Mar, near Dbncafter, Oa:*^; 1688, '. 

•^ To the honourable Mr. Barnard GranyUkt at^thy, .,. 
" e^rl of Bathe's, St. James's. . ^ 

« SIR, • -^ 

** Yonr having no profpc^ of obtaining a commtf- r 
"fionfof me, can no' way alter or coo! my defire at 
•* this important jtinfture to venture my life, in 
•* fome mtoner or other, &r my Kbg and ibj Coua- 
•* try. 

" I cannot bear livmg under the reproach of lyin^ 
•* obfcure and idle in a country retirement, when 
** every'man who has thfe-leaft fetife oF honour fhould 
** be preparing for the field. n- !* 

♦* You may remember. Sir, with what reluftance I 
** fubmittcd to ybur commands Upon Monmouth^ re- 
•* bellion, when no impc«unity could prevail with you 
^ to permit me to leave the Academy: ' I was too 
•* young to be hazarded; but, give me leave to fay, it 
** is glorious at any age to die for one's country, and 
•• the fooner the ncfiler the facrlfice. 

" I am now older by thrccf years. .My uncle Bathe 
^^ was not (b old when he was left among the ilain at 
•' the battle iof Newbury ; nor you your{clf,«Sir, when , 
*^ you made your efcape from your tutor^s,^ to join 
^ your brother at the defence of Sdlly. 

^^ The fame cauie is now ccune round about again. 
** The kix^ has been milled ; let thofe who have mif- 
•' led him be anfwerable for it. Nobody can deny but 
'^ he is facred in his own perfiND^ and it is every honeft 
" man's duty to defend it. 

^ You are pleaied to fky, it is yet doubtful if the 
^< HoSanders are rafh enough to nsake fuch an attempt; 


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G R A N V 1 L L K ntf 

^ hXKtf be that as It will^ I beg leave to infift upon It, 
^^ that I may be prefented to his majefty, as one whofe 
^' utmoft ambition it is to devote his life to his ler- 
** vice, and my country's, after die example of all 
** my anceftors. 

" The gentry aflembled at York, to agree upon the 
" choice of xeprefentatives for the county^ have pre-. 
*^ pared an addrefs, to aflura his majefty they are ready 
^^ to (acrifice their lives and fortunes for him vpoa 
'< this and all other occalions; but at the fame time 
** they humbly befeech him to give them fuch magif- 
**^ trates as may be agreeable to the laws of the land; 
" for, at prcfent, there is no authority to which they . 
*^ can legally fubmit. 

" They hive been beating up for volunteers at York, 
*' and the towns adjacent, to fupply the regiments at 
*^ Hull; but nobody will lift. 

** By what I can hear, every body wilhcs well to ibc 
** King; but they would be glad his minifters were 
^* hanged. 

** The winds continue (b contrary, that no landing 
** can be fo foon as was apprehended; therefore I may 
** hope, with your leave and affifiance, to h^ in rea- 
^' dinefs before any action can begin. I bel^ech you, 
^^ Sir, moft humbly and moft eameflly, to add this one 
^* zBta( indulgence more to fo many other teftimonies 
^f which I have conftantly received of your goodnefs; 
** and be pleafed to believe me always with the iitmoft 
'* duty and fubmiflion. Sir, 

/' Your moft dutiful fon, 

f ' and moft obedient fervant^ 

<^ Ceo. Gaanvijli.e.'* . 


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•to GRASrVILL£» 

Thmugh tiie whcd* reign of king Willkm ht is £ip- 
pi &d to liave lived in Ikerafy letinemeDt^ and indeed 
had. fiilr fome tknt ^m other pleafiaies bite diofe of 
iliidy in Ifb pow^* Ht iv^t^ w thd biogfmphers ob- 
fcrve, the younger fon of a younger brother ; a dono- 
silQ«tion by which our ancelboFB pror^irbitflly exprefled 
the loweft ftace of penury and dependaqpe. He «s {aid, 
however^ to have poreferved Ikiinielf at this time fipm 
di%raoe atid difficukie^ by asconotny, whioli he forgot 
ernt^g^afted tn ViSt jdnore advanced, and in better (br^^ 

About thjis time he became enamoured of the ooun* 
tefs of Newburghy whom he has celebrated with fo 
much ardour by the name of Mira. He wrote veries 
to her before he was three and twenty^ and, may be ibr- 
|giv£n if he rc^rded the face more than th^ ioind« 
Poets are fometimes in too much halle to prai(e« 

In the time of his retirement it is prohaUi^ that he 
eoinpofed his drafnatick piccesi the SJb^^aUmU (a&ed 
1696)^ which he revifed, and called Once a Imftr and 
dbu^Ojis a Lwsr ; Thi Jew of Venkef altered from 
Shakefpeare*s iW^r<?A<itt/ rf Venice (1^93); Unpick IwBf 
a tragedy (1701); ?t^ ErUiJb Uncbuntert {1706)^ a 
dramatrick poom; ahd f^kui md Tbesk^ a maiqw, 
wtit^n to accompany T^f Jew^cf Venice. 

Tl)e comedies^ which he has not pmtsd in his own 
edkion4>f his works, I never £iw; Once n Lover and 
eJxi^e a Lgvct^ is faid to be in a gr^at decree indecent 
and grofs. Granville could not admire with^ui 
bigotry; he copied the wrong as weU^ as the right 
from his mailers^ and may be fuppofed to have learned 
obfcenity ftt>m WyChefley, as ht learned mythology 
frona Wolkr. 


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§f ^igifick lA fiffadd oamieky ayiA we aro fdrompmi to 
Iwg^f r miki4 of drteAadoa 

{t i$ evidepie that Hermch turn was wdttcn^ md pi^ 
felted Oft the ftagp^ bdbre the dcfltk of Drydm. it is 
% mythc^Qgical tragedy^ upon the lonreof AgmaeiiiiiQii 
and Chryfel$» and thdr^bre eafily .funk into Begte&y 
tbcHiigh f raifed la verfe by DeydcD^ and in profe by 

it 4s eoQcIwled by tke wiO^Uiyfiea wkh this ^)8eeki 

Fate holds tl» ftrings, and men Hkc children move 
Bmt as they're ltd \ feccefs is from abovo» 

At ^% acceflSon of qu^en Anne^ having hb fortunip 
improved by bequefts from his father, aiid his uncle the 
carl of Bathe^ he was chofen into parliament for Fowcy. 
H<? fpon after engaged in a joint tranflation of t^/e 
Inv€ttiv€,s agoing Phihpj yrith 2^ d,efign, furely weak and 
puerile, of turning the thunder of Demofthcnes upon 
the head of Lewis. 

He afterwards (in 1706) had his eftate again aug« 
ine&ted by an infaerhance from his elder brother. Sir 
Bevil Qranville, who, as he returned from the govem- 
teeot ct Barbados, died at fea. He continued to ferv^ 
m patlfermenr; and in the ninth year of queen Anne 
was chofen knight of the fliire for Cornwall. 

At fche memorable change of the miniftry (1710), he^ 
Was made fecretary at war, in the place of Mr. Robert 

Next year, when the violence of party made twelve 
J>eers in a day, Mr. Granville became Lord Lanfdowu 
igiaron Biddrford, by a promotion juftly rcmjtrked to be 
not invidious, beoaufe he was the heir of a family in 


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which two peerages, that of the earl of Bath and loxd 
Granville of Potheridge, had lately become extinCh 
Being now high in the Queen's favour, he (1712) was 
tppointed comptroller of the houfehold, and a privy 
cx>un{elIor; and to his other honours was added the 
dectication of Pope's Windf^r Forefi. He was advanced 
next year to be treafurer of the houfehold. 

Of thefe favours he foon loft all but bis title; 
for at the accefiion of king George his place was givea 
to the earl Cholmondeley,. and he was perfecuted with 
the reft of his [^rty. Having protefted againft the bill 
.fer attainting Ormond and Bolingbroke, he was, after 
the infurreftion in Scotland, feized Sept 26, 1 715, as a 
fufpeifted mai\, and confined in the Tower till Feb, 8, 
1717, when he was at laft releafed, and reftored to his 
feat in parliament; where (17 19) he made a very ar- 
dent aoil animated fpeech againft the repeal of the bill 
to prevent Occafional Conformity^, which, however, 
though it was then printed, He has not inferted. into, his 
,. , Some time afterwards (about . 1 7212),. being, perhaps 
cmbarraffed by his profufion, . he went . info foreign 
countries, with the ufuaL pretence, of recovering^, his 
health* J[nthisftate of leifure and retirement,^ 
ceived the ^rft volume of Burnet's Hiftory, . of which 
he cannot be fuppofed to have approved the general 
t e nd e n cy, and wh^re he thought himfelf able to deteft 
ibove particular faHehoods. He therefore undertook 
the vindication of general Monk from foqie calumnies 
of Dr. Burnet, and feme mifreprefcntations of Mr. 
Echard. This was anfwered civilly by Mr;. Thomas 
Burnet and Oldmixon, and more roughly by Dr» Col- 


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(£s other hiftorical performance is a defience of his 
relatioa Sir Richard Greenville^ whom lord Clareodooi 
kas (hewn in a form very uniamiable. So much, is 
urged in this apology, to juftify Qiany adtions that 
have been repreiented as culpable, and to palliate the 
reft, that the reader is reconciled for the greater part; 
and it is made very probable that Clarendon was by per- 
fi>nal enmity difpofed to think the worft of Greenville, 
as Greenville was alfo very willing to think the worft • 
of Clarendon. Thefe pieces were publiftied at his re- 
turn to England. 

Being now defirous to conclude his labours, and en- 
Joy his reputation, he publiftied (1732) a very beau* 
ciful and fplendid edition of his works, in which he 
omitted what he diiapproved, and enlarged what 
leemed deficient* 

He now went to Court, and was kindly received by 
queen Caroline; to whom and to the princefs Anne he 
prefented his works, with verfes on the blank leaves, 
with which he concluded his poetical labours. 

He died in Hanover-fquare, Jan. 30, 1735, haying a 
few days before buried his wife, the lady Anne Villers, 
widow to Mr. Thynne, by whom he had four daugh- 
ters, but no foru 

Writers commonly derive their reputation from 
their works; but there are works which owe their re- 
putation to the charader of the writer. The publiek 
fometimes has its favourites, whom it rewards for one 
fpecies of ejtcellence with the honours due to another. 
From him whom we reverence for his beneficence wc 
do not willingly withhold the praife of genius; a man 
of exalted merit becomes at oncp an accompliftied wri* 


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ti4 O R A K V I L L £. 

Hf, t§t bestity dixb n& great difficulty in paffiag lor 

Oranrilfe was a man H^uftrbut by His bhth^ and 
Aptcfbre attrafted notice s flnce he is By Pope ftyled 
gtefaUte, ke muft be fuppofed elegant in his manners^ 
and geiKTaBy loved : he was in times of conteft and 
tnrbi^ence fteady to his party, and obtained that 
efteem which is always conferred upon firmnefs and con- 
fiftency. With thoie ad^anfages^ having learned the 
art of verftfying, lie declared himfelf a poet; and his 
datm to the laurel was allowed. 

But by a critick of a later generation who takes up 
his book without any favourable prejudices, the praife 
alresDdy received will be thought mfficicnt; for his 
works do not fhew him to hav« had much comprdien- 
fion from nature, or illumination from learning. He 
feems to have had no ambition above the imitation of 
Waller, of whom he has copied the faults, jmd very 
little more. He is for ever amufi^ig himfelf with the 
puerilities of mythology; his Kmg is Jupiter, who, 
if the Queen brings no children, has a barren Juno. 
The Qjjeen is compounded of Juno, Venus, and 
Minerva, His poem on the durchefs of Grafton's law- 
fuit, after having rattled a while with Juno and Pallas, 
Man and Alcides, Cafliope, Niobe, and the Propetides, 
Hercules, Minos, and Rhadamanthus, at laft concludes 
its folly with profeuenefs. 

His verfes to Mira, which are moft frequently men- 
tioned, have little in them of either art or nature, of 
the fcntiments of a lover, or the language of a poet : 
there may be found, now-and-then, a happier effort; 
but diey are commonly feeble and unaffeding or forced 
and extravagant. 

3 Hi» 

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(J R A ^ V I L . L k iis 

His little pieces are feldom either fpritely or elegant^ 
either keen or weighty. They are trifles written by 
idlenefsy and publiihed by vanity. But his Prologues 
and Epilogues have a»jvift claim to praife. 

The Progre/s of Beauty feems one of his mod elabo- 
rate pieces^ and is not deficient in fplendor and gaiety; 
but the merit of origiml thought is wanting. It^ 
higheft praife is the fpirit with which he celebrates 
king James's confbrt^ When ihe was a queen no longer. 

The Ejffiy on unnatural Flights in Poetry is not inele- 
gant nor injudicious, and has fomething of vigour be- 
yond moil of his other performances : his precepts are 
juft, and his cautions proper; they are indeed not new, 
but in a didadtick poem, novelty is. tq be expefted 
Qcly in iht ornaments and illuftrations. His poetical 
precepts are accompanied with agreeable and inflruc* 
tif c hdtiA. 

. The Mafque of Peleus and l%etis has here and there 
a pretty line; bift it is riot always melodious, and the 
cbnclufioh is wretched. 

In his Britijh Enchanters he has bidden defiance td 
aA chroholog^, by confounding the inconfiftent man- 
ners of different ages ; but the dialogue has often the 
air of Drydcn*s rhyming plays; and the fongs are lively^ 
ttfoillgh not very cbrreft. This is, I think, far the beft 
of his works ; for if it has many faults, it has likewife 
pafTages which are at leaft pretty, though they do nut 
rife to any high degree of excellence. 


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( %z6 ) 

D E K 

THOMAS YALDEN, the fixth fon of Mr-. 
John Yalden of Suffex, was born in the city of 
Exeter in 1671. Having been educated in the gram- 
mar- fchool belonging to Magdalen College in Oxford, 
he was in 1690, at the age of nineteen, adftiitted com- 
moner of Magdalen Hdl, under the tuition of Jqfiab 
Pulletiy a man whofe name is ftill remembered in the 
univerfity. He became next year one of the fcholars 
of Magdalen College, where he was difllnguilhed by a 
lucky accident. 

It was his turn, one day, to pronounce a declamation ; 
and Dr. Hough, the prefident, happening to attfeAd, 
thought the compofition too good to be the fpeaker's. 
Some time after, the dodtor finding him a little irre- 
gularly bufy in the library, fet him an exercife for 
punilhment ; and, that he might not be deceived by 
any artifice, locked the door. Yalden, as it happened, 
had been lately reading on the fubjeft given, and pro- 
duced with little difficulty a compofition which (b 


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V A L D E N. 227 

^leafed the prefident, that he told him his former fuf- 
■]()icions, and promifed to favour him. 

Among his contemporaries in the college were Ad- 
difon and Sachevetell, men who were in thofe times 
friends, and who both adopted Yalden to their inti- 
macy. Yalden continued, throughout his life, to think 
as probably he thought at firft, yet did not lofc the 
friendfliip of Addifon. 

When Namur was taken by king William, Yalden 
made an ode. There was never any reign more cele- 
brated by the poets than that of William, who had very 
little regard for fong himfelf, but happened to em- 
J)loy minifters who pleafed themfelves with the praife 
of patronage. 

Of this ode mention is made in an humorous poem 
of that time, called I'he Oxford Laureat; in which, 
after many claims had been made iand reje&cd, Yalden 
is reprefented as demanding the laurel, and as being 
balled to his trial, inftead of receiving a reward* 

His crime was for being a felon in verfe^ 

And prefenting his theft to the king ; 
The firft was a trick not uncommon or fcarcc> 

But the laft was an impudent thing : 
Yet what he had ftoFn was fo little worth fteallng» 

They forgave him the damage and coft : 
Had he ta'en the whole ode, as he took it plectf-mealing» 

They hid fin'd him but ten -pence at moft. 

The poet whom he was charged wirh robbing was 

He wrote another poem on the death of the duke 
of Gloucefter. 

In 1 7 10 he became fellow of the college ; and next 
year, entering into orders^ was prefcnted by the fo- 

Q^a dety 

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228 Y A L D E N. 

ciety with a living in Warwickfliire, confiftent with 
his fellowfliip, and chofen le<3xirer of moral phik)^ 
fophy, a very honourable office. 

On the acceffion of queen Anne he wrote another 
poem ; and is faid, by the author of the Biqgrapbia, 
to have declared himfelf of the party who had the ho- 
nourable diftinftion of High-churchmen. 

In 1 706 he was received into the family of the dufcc 
of Beaufort. Next year he became doAor in divinity, 
and foon after refigned his fellowfliip and lefture ; and, 
as a token of his gratitude, gave the college a pi&ure 
of their founder. 

He was made redor of Chalton and Cleanvilhy two 
adjoining towns and benefices in Hertfordftiire ; and 
had the prebends, or finecures, of Deanfy Hains^ and 
Pendles in Devonfliire. He had befofe been chofen^ in 
1698, preacher of Bridewell Hofpital, upon the re- 
fignation of Dr. Atterbury. 

From this time he feems to have led a quiet and in* 
ofFenfivc life, till the clamour was raifed about Atter* 
bury's plot. Every loyal eye was on the watch for 
abettors or partakers of the horrid confpiracy; and 
Dr. Yalden, having fome acquaintance with the 
bilhop, and being familiarly convcrfant with Kelly 
his fecretrary, fell under fufpicion, and was taken 
into cuftody. 

Upon his examination he was charged with a dan- 
gerous correfpondence with Kelly. The corrclpon- 
dence he acknowledged ; but maintained, that it had 
no treafonable tendency. His papers were feized ; but 
nothing was found that could fix a crime upoo hinj, 
except two words in his pocket-book, tborough-paced 
doclrine. This expreflion the imagination of his ex-* 


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Y A L D E N. 429 

amlners had impregnated with treafon, and the doftor 
was enjoined to explain them. Thus preffed, he told 
them that the words had lain unheeded in his pocket- 
book from the time of queen Anne, and that he was 
afhamed to give an account of them ; but the truth 
was, that he had gratified his curiofity one day, by 
hearing Daniel Burgefs in the pulpit, and thofe words 
was a memorial hint of a remarkable fentence by 
which he warned his congregation to beware of 
thorough-paced do£trine, that do^rine which coming in 
at one ear^ paces through the head, and goes out at the 

-Nothing worfe than this appearing in his papers, 
and no evidence arifing againft him, he was fet at li- 

It will not be fuppoied that a man of this charadfcer 
attained high dignities in the church ; but he ftill re- 
tained the friendfliip, and frequented the converfation, 
of a very numerous and fplendid fet of acquaintance. 
He died July i6, 1736, in tho 66th year of his age. 

Of his poems, many are of that irregular kind, 
which, when he formed his poetical charadter, was 
fuppofed to be Pindarick. Having fixed his attention 
on Cowley as a model, he has attempted in fome fort 
to rival him, and has written a Hymn to Darkne/s, evi- 
dently as a counter-part to Cowley's Hymn to Light. 

This hymn feems to be his beft perfonnance, and is, 
for the moft part, imagined with great vigour, and 
€Xpreffed with great propriety. I will not tranfcribe 
it. The feven firft ftanzas are good ; but the third, 
fourth, and feventh, are the beft : the eighth feems 
to involve a contradiction; the tenth is exquiiitcly 
beautiful ; the thirteenth, fourteenth, and fifteenth. 

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t^o Y A L D E N, 

are parly mythological, and partly religious, and ther©* 
fore not fuitable to each other ; he might better have 
made the whole merely philofophical. 

There arc two ftanzas in this poem where Yalden 
may be fufpefted, though hardly convifted, of hav- 
ing confulted the Hyrnnus ad Utnbram of Wozverus, in 
the fixth ftanza, which anfwers in fotn,e fort to thefe 
lines ; 

Ilia fuo praeeft nofturnis numine facris-^ 
Perque vias errare nov/s dat fpeftra figuris, 
Maiiefque excitos medics ululare per agros 
Sub noctem, et queftu notes complere penatesi. 

And again at the conclufion : 

Ilia fuo fenium fecludit corporc toto 
Haud numerans jugi fugieniia fecula lapfu. 
Ergo ubi poftromum mundi compage foluti 
Hanc rerum molem fuprema abfumpferit hora 
Ipfa leves cineres nube ampleftctur opaca, 
Et prifco impcrio rurfus dominabitur umbra. 

His H mn to Ugbt is not equal to the other, Hq 
fcems to think that there is an Eaft abfolute and pofi-. 
tive where the Morning rifes. 

In the laft ftanza, having* mentioned the fuddecv 
eruption of new created Light, he fays. 

Awhile tli'Almighty wondering flood. 
He ought to have remembered that Infinite Knowledge 
can never wonder. All wonder is the eifedt of novelty 
upon Ignorance, 

Of his other poems it is fufficient to fay that they 
deferve perufal, though they are not always exadly 
polilhed, though the rhymes are fometimes very ill 
forced, and though his faults feem rather the omif-^ 
fions of idlenefs than the negligences of enthufiafm. 


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C ^3« 3 

T I C K EL L. 

THOMAS TICKELL, the fon of the reverend 
Ricl^ard Tickell, was born in 1686 at Bridekirk 
iij Cumberland ; and in April 1 701 became a member 
of Queer's Cgllege in Oxford; in 1708 he was made 
Mailer of Arts, arid two years afterwards was chofen 
Fellow ; for which, as he did not comply with the fta- 
tntes by taking orders, he obtained a difpenfation 
from the Crown. He held his Fellowlhip till 1726, 
and then vacated it, by marrying, in that year, at 

Tickell was not one of thofe fcholars who wear away 
their lives in clofets ; he entered early into the world, 
and was long bufy in publick affairs ; in which he was 
initiated under the patronage of Addifon, whofe notice 
hp is fajd to have gained by his verfes in praife of 

To thofe verfes it would not have been juft to deny 
regard ; for they contain fome of the moft elegant en- 
comiaftick ftrains ; and, among the innumerable poems 
of the fame kind, it will be hard to find one with which 
they need to fear a comparifon. It may deferve obfer- 

*C^4 vation. 

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13 J T I C K E L L, 

yation, that when Pope wrote long afterwards in praifc 
of Addifon^^ he has copied, at leaft has refembledj^ 

Let joy falutc fair Rofamonda*s fliadg,, 
And wreaths of myrtle crown the lovely maid- 
"While now perhaps with Dido's ghoft Ihe rpves, 
And hears and tells the ftory of their loves, 
Alike they mourn, alike they blcfs their fate, 
Since Love, which mkade then^^ wretched^ made them gt^t« 
Kor longer that relentlefs doom bemoan, 
Which gainM a Virgil and an Addifon. 


Then future ages with delight fhall fee 
How Plato's, Bacon's, Newton's, IooJli ajg^ep ; 
Ox in fair fcries laurd'd bards be Ihowny 
A Virgil there, and here an Addifon. ' Popb. 

He produced another piece of the fan^e kind at th? 
appearance of Cato, with equal ikill^ but npt equal. 

When the minifters of queen Anne were negotiating 
with France, Tickell publiflied Tbe ProJ^eS of Peace j 
^a poem, of which the tendency was to reclaim the na- 
tion from the pride of conqueft to the pleafures of 
tranquillity. How far Tickell, whom Swift afterwards 
mentioned as Whi^%ijfimus^ had then cpnne^ed hipftlf 
with any party, I know not; this poem certainly did 
not flatter the praiftices, or promote the opinions, of 
the men by whom he was aifterwafds befriended. 

Mr. Addifon, however he hated the men then in 
power, fuffered his friendlhip to prevail over his pub- 
lick fpirit, and gave in the ^peSlator luch praifes of 
Tickell's poem, that when, after having lohg wifhed 
to pcrufe it, I laid hold on it at laft, I thought it im- 

equal to the honours which it had receivedi and found 

. * .. . . . .%.»'.. .• 


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T I C K E L L. 235 

it a piece to be approved rather than a(knired. ^Bat the 
hope excited by a work of genius, being general and 
indefinite, is rarely gratified* It was read at that time 
witl;i fo much favour, that fix editions were fold. 

At the arrival of king George he fung The Royal 
Prc^efs I which being inserted in the Spetlator is well 
known, 3jid oi which it is juft to fay, that i; is neither 
^high nor low. 

The poetical incident of moft importance in Tic* 
keU's lifei was his publication of the firft book of the 
Jliady as tranflated by himfelf, an apparent oppofition to 
Pope^s Homer J of which the firft part made its entrance 
into the ^orld at the fame time. 

Addifbn declared that the rival verfions were both 
good; but that Tickell's was the beft that ever was 
made ; and with Addifon the wits, his adherents and 
followers, were certain to concur. Pope does not appear 
to have been.much difmayed ; /c?r, fays he, / have the 
towjiy that isy the mob on myjide. But he remarks, that 
it is common for the finaller party to make up in diligenc$ 
what they want in numbers ; he appeals to the people as 
bis proper judges ; and if they are not inclined to condemit 
pirn, he is in little care about the high-flyers at Button* s. 
Pope did not long think Addifon an impartial judge ; 
for he confidered him as the writer of Tickell's verfion* 
The reafons for his (ufpicion I will literally tranfcribe 
from Mr. Spence's Colleftion. 

** There had been ar coldnefs (faid Mr. Pope) bc- 
f* twecn Mr. Addifon and me for fome time ; and we 
** had not been in company together, for a good while, 
f * any where but at Button's coffee-houfe, where I ufed 
f ^ to fee him almoft every day. — On his meeting me 
f f there, one day in particular, he took me-afide, and 
^' "faid 

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,34 T I C K E L ' L* 

V faid he fliould be glad to dine with me, at fuch a ta^ 
*^ vera, if I ftaid till thofe people were gone (Budgell 
*^ and Philips). We went accordingly ; and after 
" dinner Mr. Addifon laid, * That he had wanted for 
** fome time to talk with me ; that his friend TickeU- 
" had formerly, whilft at Oxford, tranflated the firft 
** book of the I Had I that he defigned to print it, and 
" had delired him to look it over ; that he muft therc- 
** fore beg that I would not defire him to look over 
** my firft book, becaufe, if he did, it would have the 
** air of double-dealing.' I afTured him that I did no^; 
*< at all take it ill of Mr. Tickell that he was going tq 
*^ pubiifn his tranflation ; th^t he certainly had as much 
*• right to tranflate any author as myfelf ; apd that 
*' publilhing both was entering on a fair ftage. \ theA 
** added, that I would not defire him to look oyer my 
^^ firft book of the Iliad , becaufe he had looked over 
" Mr. Tickell's ; but could wilh to have the benefit of 
** his obfervations on my fecond, which I had then 
'* finiihed, and which Mr. Tickell had not touche4 
^' upon. Accordingly I fent him the fecond boot the 
*^ next morning ; and Mr. Addifon a few days after 
*' returned it, with very high commendations,-7TSppn 
*♦ after it was generally known that Mr. TickelJ wa^ 
** publilhing the firft book of the Iliad^ I met Dr. 
" Young in the ftreet ; and, upon our falling into that 
** fubjeft, the Doftor expreffed a great deal of fur- 
*^ prize at Tickell's having had fuch a tranflation fo 
** long by him. He faid, that it was inconceivable to 
*^ him, and that there muft be fome miftake in the 
** matter'; that each ufed to communicate to the other 
*^ whatever verfes they wrote, even to the leaft things ; 
^* that Tickell could not have been bufied in fo long a 

^^ work 

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T I C K E L L. 235 

•* work there without his knowing fomcthing of the 
.** matter ; and that he had never heard a fingle word 
^^ of it till on this occafion. This furprife of Dr. 
** Young, together with what Steele has faid againit 
** Tickell in relation to this affair, make it highly pro- 
** bable that there was fome underhand dealing in that 
^^ bufinefs ; and indeed Tickell himfelf, who is a very 
** fair worthy man, has fince, in a manner, as good as 
^^ owned it to me. [When it was introduced into a 
^^ converfation between Mr. Tickell and Mr. Pope by 
'^ a third perfon, Tickell did not deny It ; which, con- 
^^ fidering his honour and zeal for his departed friend, 
^* W49 the fame as owning it."] 

Upon thefe fufpicions, with which Dr. Warburton 
hints that other circumftances concurred. Pope always 
in his Art of Sinking quotes this book ^ the work of 

To compare th^ two tranflations would be tedious ; 
the palm is now given univerfally to Pope ; but I think 
the firft lines of TickeU's were rather to be preferred, 
and Pope feems to have fince borrowed fomething from 
them in the.corredtion of his own. . 

When the Hanoyer fycceflion was difputed, Tickell 
gave what afliftance his pen would fupply. His Letter 
to Avignon ftancjs high among party-poems; it ex- 
preffes contempt without coarfenefs, and fuperiority 
without infolence. It had the fuccefs which it deferved, 
teing five times printed. 

He was now intimately united to Mr. Addifon, who, 
when he went into Ireland as fecretary to the lord Sun- 
derland, took him thither, and employed him in pub** 
lick bufinefs; and when (171 7) afterwards he rofe to 
\ft fecretary of ftate, made him under-fecretary* Their 


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236 T I C K E L L- 

friendlhip feems to have continued 'without abatement ; 
for when Addifon died, he left him the charge of pub- 
lilhing his works, with a folemn recommendation to 
the patronage of Craggs. 

To thefe works he prefixed an elegy on the author, 
which could owe none of its beatuies to the affiftance 
which might be fufpefted to have ftrengthencd or em- 
bcUifhed his earlier compofitions ; but neither he nor 
Addifon ever produced nobler lines than are contained 
in the third and fourth paragraphs, nor is a more ftib- 
lune or more elegant funeral poem to be found in the 
whole compafs of Englifh literature. . 

He was afterwards (about 1725) made fecretary to 
the Lords juftices of Ireland, a place of great honour ; 
in which he continued till 1740, when he died on the 
twenty-third of April at Bath. 

Of the poems yet unmentioned the longeft is Kenfing- 
ton Hardens, of which the verfification is fmooth and 
elegant, but the fidtion unfkilfuUy compounded of 
Grecian Deities and Gothick Fairies. Neither fpecies 
of thofe exploded Beings could have done much ; and 
when they are brought together, they only make each 
other contemptible. To Tickell, however, cannot be 
refufed a high place among the minor poets ; nor fhould 
it be forgotten that he was one of the contributors to 
the SftStator. With refpeft to his perfonal charafter, 
he is faid to have been a man of gay conver(ation, at 
lead a temperate lover of wine and company, and in 
his domeilick relations vsithout cenfure* 


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C «37 3 


GF Mr. HAMMOND, though he be well re^ 
membered as a man efteemed and carefled by the 
elegant and great, I was at firft able to obtain no other 
memorials than foch as are Supplied by a book called 
Gibber's Lives of the Poets; of which I take this oppor- 
tunity to teftify that it was not written, nor, I believe, 
ever feen, by either of the Gibbers ; but was the work 
of Robert Shiels, a native of Scotland, a man of very ^ 
acute underftanding, though with little fcholaftick 
education, who, not long after the publication of his • 
work, died in London of a confumptictp. His life 
was virtuous, and his end was pious. Theophilus 
Gibber, then a prifoner for debt, imparted, as I was 
told, his name for ten guineas. The manufcript of 
Shiels is now in my pofleflion, 

I have fince found that Mr. Shiels, though he was no 
negligent -enquirer, has been mifled by falfe accounts; 
for he relates that James Hammond, the author of 
the following Elegies, was the fon of a Turkey mer- 
chant, and had fome office at the prince of Wales's 
2 court. 

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courts till love of a lady, whofe name was Dalhwoo^i 
for a time difordered his underftanding. He was un- 
cxtinguilhably amorous, and his miftrefs inexorably 

Of this narrative, part is true, and part falfe. I4e 
was the fecond fon of Anthony Hammond, a man of 
note among the wits, pqpts, and parliamentary orators, 
in the beginning of this century, who was allied to Sir 
Robert Walpole by marrying bis filler. He was b^m 
about 1 7 10, and educated at Weftminfter-fchool ; but 
it does not appear that he was of any univerfity. He 
Was equerry to the prince of Wales, and feems to have 
come very early into publick notice, and to have been 
diftinguilhcd by thofe whofe friendfhip prejudiced 
mankind at that time in favour of the man on whoni 
they were bellowed; for he was the companion of Cob- 
ham, Lyttelton, and Chellerfield. He is faid to have 
divided his life between pleafure and books; in his re- 
tirement forgetting the town, arid in his gaiety lofing 
the lludent. Of his literary hours all the effedts are 
here exhibited, of which the Elegies were written 
very early, and the Prologue not long before his 

In 1 741, he was chofen into parliament for Truro 
in Cornwall, probably one of thofe who were elefted 
by the Prince's influence; and died next year in June 
at Stowe, the famous feat of the lord Cobham. His 
miftrefs long outlived him, and in 1779 died un- 
married. The charafter which her lover bequeathed 
her was, indeed, not likely to attradl courtlhip. 

The Elegies were publilhed after his death; and 

while the writer^s name was remembered with fond- 

liefs, they were read with a rcfol^ition to admire them* 

6 The 

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M A M M d N IJ. 23^ 

'The recommendatory preface of the editor, who was 
then believed, and is now affirmed by Dr, Maty, to be., 
the earl of Chefterfield, raifed ftrong prejudices ia 
their favour. 

But of the prefacer, whoever he was, it may be rea- 
fonably fiifpefted that he never read the poems; for he 
profefles to value them for a very high fpecies of ex- 
cellence, and recommends them as the genuine effufions 
of the mind, which expreffes a real paffion in the lan- 
guage of nature. But the truth is, thefe elegies have 
neither paffion, ilature, nor manners. Where there is 
fifbion, there is no paffion; he that defcribes himfelf as 
a fliepherd, and his Neaera or Delia as a Ihepherdefs, 
and talks of goats and lambs, feels no paffion. He 
that courts his miftrefs with Roman imagery deferves 
to lofe her; for Ihe may with good reafon fufpedt his 
fincerity.- Hammond has few fentiments drawn from 
nature, and few images from modern life. He pro- 
duces nothing but frigid pedantry. It would be 
hard to find in all his productions three flanzas that 
deferve to be remembered. 

Like other lovers, he threatens the lady with dying; 
and what then lliall follow ? 

Wilt thou in tears thy lover's corfe attend ; 

With eyes averted light the folemn pyre. 
Till all around the doleful flames ^fcend. 

Then, flowly finking, by degrees expire? 

To footli the hovering foul be thine the care, 
With plaintive cries to lead the mournful band. 

Ill fable weeds the golden vafe to bear. 

And cull my aflies with thy trembling hand: 

Panchaia's odours be their coftly feaft, 
And all the pride of Afia's fragraat yejir. 

Give them the treafures *of the fartheft Eaft, 
And, what is ftiii more prGcious, give thy tear* 


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Surely no blitne can fall upon the nympli who ft* 
jefted a fwain of fi> little meaning. 
, His verfes are not rugged, but Asy have no iweet* 
nefs; they never glide in a ftream of melody. Why 
Hanunoikl or other writers have thought die quatniin 
of ten fyllables elegiac, it is difficult to tell. The cha- 
rader of the Elegy is gentlenefs and tenuity ; but this 
fianza has been pronounced by Dryden, whofe know- 
lege of En^ifh metre was not inconfiderable, to be the 
moft magnificent of all the meafuies which our hm- 
guage affi>rdi. 


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C a4i j 


OF Mr. SOM£RVlLE^s life I im notable to 
fay any thing that can fatisfy curiofity. 

He was a gentleman whofc eftat^ was in Wamick- 
fhird; his houfe^ where he was bom In 1692, is called 
Edfton^ si feat inherited from a long line of ancefiors; 
for he was faid to be of the firft family in his county. 
He tells of hinifelf, that he was born near the Avon's 
banks. He was bred at Wincheftcr-fchool, and was 
clefted fellow of New College. Jt docs Hot appear 
that in the places of his education, he exhibited any 
uncommon proofs of genius or literature. His powers 
were firft difplayed in the country, wher^ he was dif- 
tinguiihed as a poet^ a gentleman, and a ikilful and 
ufcful Juftice of the Peace. 

Of the clofe of his life, thofe whom hi% poeois hare 
delighted will read with piin the following account, 
copied from the Letters of his frietid Shenftone, by 
whom he Was too much rcfembled. 

« -*Our old friend Somervile is dead ! I did n6t 
•* imagine I could have been fo forry as I find myfelf 

Vol- hi. R " on 

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1^1 S O M E R V I L E. 

^' on this occafion. — Sublatum quarimus. I can noir 
** excufc all his foibles ; impute them to age, and to 
*' diftrefs of circumftances : the laft of thefe confidera- 
*^ tions wrings my very foul to think on. For a man 
** of high fpirit, confcious of having (at leaft in one 
** produftion) generally pleafed the world, to be 
*^ plagued and threatened by wretches that are low in 
•* every fenfe; to be forced to drink himfelf into pains 
^* of the body, in order to get rid of the pains of the 
" mind, is a mifery."— He die J July 19, 1741, and yvas 
buried at Wotton, near Henley on Arden. 

His diftreffes need not be much pitied : his eftate is 
faid to be fifteen hundred a year, which by his deatk 
has devolved to lord Somervile of Scotland, His mo- 
ther indeed, who lived till ninety, had a jointure of fix, 

• It is with regfet that I find myfelf not better enabled 
to exhibit memorials of a writer, who af leaft muft be 
allowed to have fet a good example to men of his own 
clafs, by devoting part of his time to elegant know- 
lege; and who has Ihewn, by the fubjefts which his 
poetry has adorned, that it is pra&icable to be at once 
a fkilfol fportfman and a man of letters. 

Somervile has tried many modes of poetry; and 
tliough perhaps he has not in any reached fuch excel- 
lence as to raife much envy, it may commonly be faid 
at leaft that he wrttes very well for a gentleman^ His 
ferious pieces are fometimes elevated, and his triflea 
jire fometimes elegant. In his verfes to Addiipn^ the 
couplet which mentions Clio is written with the moft 
exqiwfite delicacy of prsufe; it exhibits oneofthofc 
happy ftrokes that are feldom attained. In his Odes t« 
Marlborough there are beautiful lines i but in th? fecpnd 
5 Od« 

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S O M E R V I L E. 143 

Ode he fliews that he knew little of his hero, when he 
talks of his private virtues. His fubje&s are com- 
monly fuch as require no gre?it depth of thought pt. 
energy of expreffion. His Fables are generally dale, 
and therefore excite no curiofity. Of His favourite^ 
The Two Springs, the fiction is unnatural, and the 
moral inconlequential. In his Tales there is too much 
coarfenefs, with too little care of language^ and xiot 
fufficient rapidity of narration. 

His great work is his Cbace, which he undertook in 
his maturer age, when his ear was improved to the 
approbation of blank verfe, of which however his two 
firft lines give a bad fpecimen. To this poem praife. 
cannot be totally denied. He is allowed by fportfmea 
to write with great intelligence of his fubjeft, which is 
the firft requifite to excellence; and though it is im- 
poffible to intereft the common readers of verfe in the 
dangers or pleafures of the chace, he has done all that 
tranfition and variety could eafily effeft; and has with 
great propriety, .ediarged his plan by the modes of 
hunting ufed in other countries. 

With ftill lefs judgement did he chufe blank verfe 
as the vehicle of Rural Sports. If blank verfe be not 
tumid and gorgeous, it is crippled profe; and familiar 
images in laboured language have nothing to recom* 
mend them but abfurd novelty, which, wanting the at- 
tractions of Nature, cannot pleafe long. One excel- 
lence of the Splendid Shilling is, that it is Ihort. Pi{^ 
guife can gratify no longer th^an it deceives* 


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C a44 ] 

S A V A G E. 

IT has been obfcrvcd in all agesj that the advan- 
tages of nature or of fortune have contributed very 
little to the promotion of happinefs ; and that thofe 
whom the fplendour of their rank, or the extent of 
their capacity, have placed upon the fummits of hu- 
man life, have noToften given any juft occalion to envy 
id thofe who look up to them from a lower ftation : 
whether it be that apparent fupcriority incites gy-eat 
deiigns, and great defigns are naturally liable to fatal 
mifcarriages ; or diat the general lot of mankind is 
mifery, and the misfortunes of thofe, whofc eminence 
drew upon them an univerfal attention, have been 
more carefully recorded, becaufe they were more ge- 
nerally obferved, and have in reality been only more 
confpicuous than thofe of others, not more frequent^ 
or more fevere. 

That affluence and power, advantages extrinfic and 
adventitious, and therefore eafily leparable from thofe 
by whom tliey are poflefled^ ihould very often flatter 


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S A V A G £• 445 

the mind with expeAations of felicity which they cannot 
gtve^ raifes no aftonifhaient ; but it feems rational to 
hope, that intelledual greatnefs ihould produce better 
effedts ; that minds qualiiiedfor great attainments ihould 
firft endeavour their own benefit ; and that they, who 
are moft able to teach others the way to happinefs^ 
ihould with moft certainty follow it themfelves. 

But this expeftaiion, however plaufible, has been 
very frequently difappointed. The heroes of literary 
as well as civil hiftory have been very ofcea no lefs re- 
markable for what they have atchieved ; and volumes 
have been written only to enumerate the miferies of 
the learned, and relate their unhappy lives, and un- 
timely deaths. 

To thefe mournful narratives, I am about to add 
the Life of Richard Savage, a man whofe writings en* 
title him to an eminent rank in the cla&s of learning, 
and whofe misfortunes claim a degree of compaifion, not 
always due to the unhappy, as they were often the con- 
fequences of the crimes of others, rather than his own* 

In the year 1697, Anne Countefs of Macclesfield, 
having lived for feme time upon very uneafy terms 
with her hulband, thought a public confeflion of adul- 
tery the moft obvious and expeditious method of ob- 
taining her liberty ; and therefore declared, that the 
child, with which ihe was then great, was begotten 
by the Ear! Rivers, This, as may be imagined, made 
her huft>and no lefs defirous of a feparation than herfelf, 
and he profecuted his defign in the moft effectual man- 
ner ; for he applied not to the ecclefiaftical courts for 
. a divorce, but to tht parliament for an aQ:, by which 
Lb marriage might be diflblved, the nuptial contradi: 

R 3 annulled. 

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446 SAVAGE. 

annulled^ and the children of his wife illegitimated. 
This z6ty after the ufual deliberation, he obtained^ 
though without the approbation of fome, who con- 
fidered marriage as an affair only cognizable by eccle- 
fiaftical judges ^j and on March 3d was (eparated from 
his wife, whofe fortune, which was very great, was 
repaid her, and who having, as well as her hufband, 
the liberty of making another choice. Was in a ihort 
time married to Colonel Brett. 

While the earl of Macclesfield was profecuting this 
affair, his wife was, on the loth of January 1697-8,^ 
delivered of a (on, and the Earl Rivers, by appearing; 
to confider him as his own, left none any rea(bn to 
doubt of the iincerity of her declaration ; for he ws^ 
his godfather, and gave him his own name, which was 
by his direftion inferted in the regifter of St. Andrew's 
parifh in Ho)born, but t^nfortunately left him to the 
care of his mother, whom, as Ihe was now fet free 
from her hufband, he probably imagined likely to treat 
with great tendernefs the child that had contributed 
to fo pleafing an event. It is not indeed eafy to dif- 
coyer what motives could be found to over-balance 
that natural afFedtion of a parent, or what intereft 
could be promoted by negleft or cruelty. The dread 

^ This year was made remarkable by the diflblution of a marriage 
f^lemnized in the face of the church. Salmon's Retibw. 

The following proteft is r^gifler^d in the books of tl^e Houfe of 

Becaufe we conceive that this is the firft bill of that natnre that 
bath paffedy where there was not a divorce firfl obtained in the Spi- 
ritual Court; which we look upon as an ill precedent, and may be 
of dangerous conference in the future^ 

Halifax. Rochbstei^. 


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SAVAGE. 247 

♦f ihame or of poverty, by which fome wretches have 
been incited to abandori or to murder their children, 
cannot be fuppofed to have affefted a woman who had 
proclaimed her crimes and fblicited reproach, and on 
whom the clemency of the legiilature had undefervedly 
bellowed a fortune, which would have been very little 
diminiflied by the expences which the diirc of her 
child could have brought upon hen It was therefore 
not likely that ihe would be wicked without tempta- 
tion ; that flie would look upon her fon from his birth 
with a kind of refentment and abhorrence ; and, in- 
ftead of fupporting, aififting, and defending him, de- 
light to fee him ftruggling with mifery, or that ihe 
would take every opportunity of aggravating his mif- 
fortunes, and obftrufting his relburces, and with an 
implacable and reftlefs cruelty continue her perfecution 
from the firft hour o( his life to the laft. 

But whatever were her motives, no fooner was her 
ion born, than Ihe difcovered a reiblution of difowning 
him ; and in a very (hort time removed him from her 
fight, by committing him to the care of a poor woman, 
whom Ihe direfted to educate htm as her own, and in- 
joined never to inform him of his true parents. 

Such was the beginning of the life of Richard Sa- 
vage. Born with a legal claim to honour and to af- 
fluence, he was in two months illegitimated by the 
parliament^ and difowned by his mother, doomed to 
poverty and obfcurity, and launched upon the ocean 
of life, only that he might be fwallowed by its quick- 
fands, or dafhed upon its rocks. 

His mother could not indeed infeft others with the 
feme cruelty. As it was impoflible to avoid the in- 
quiries which the curiofity or tendep^cft of her rela- 

R 4 tions 

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i48 S A V A G 1 

tions made after her chUd^ ihe was obliged to give 
fome account pf the meafures ihe had taken ; and ker 
mother^ the Lady Mafon, whether in approbation of 
her defign, or trf prevent n^ore criminal contrivances, 
engaged to tranfa£k with th^ nurfe, to pay her for her 
care, and to fuperintend th^ education of the child. 

In this charitable ofEce ihe was aflifted by his god- 
mother Mrs. Lloyd, who, while Ihe lived, always 
looked upon him with that tendernefs which the bar» 
barity pf his nK)ther mjide peculiarly neceffary ; but 
her death, which happened in his tenth year, was an- 
other of the misfortunes of bis childhood ; for thougl^ 
Ihe kindly endeavoured to alleviate his lofs by a legacy 
of three hundred poynds ; yet, as he had none to pro. 
fecute his claim, to Ihelter him from oppreffion, or 
call-in law to the afliftance of juflice, ho: will was 
eluded by the executors, and no part pf the money was 
ever paid. 

He was, however, not yet wholly abandoned. The 
Lady Mafon ftill continued her care, and direded hi.u 
to bf, placed at a fmall grammar-fchool near Sr, Al- 
ban's, where he was called by the name of his nurfe, 
without the leaft intimation that he had a claim to any 

Here h? was initiated in literature, and paffe^ 
through feveral of the clafl'es, with wh^t rapidity or 
whas applaufe cannot now be known. As he always 
fpoke with refpedt of his mafter, it/is probable that 
the mean nuok, in which he then appeared, did not 
hinder his genius from b^ing diAinguiihed, or his in«* 
duftry from heing rewarded ; and if in fo low a ftate 
he obtained diftinftion and rewards, it is not likel; 
that they were gained but by genius aqd y^iyi^ry. 


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SAVAGE, 249 

It is very reafonable to conjeAure^ that his applica- 
tion was equal to his abilities^ becaufe his improve* 
ment was more than proportioned to the opportun ttie 
which he enjoyed ; nor can it be doubted, that if his 
earlieft produ(£tions had been preierved^ like thofe of 
happier ftudents, we might in fome have found vigo« 
rous failles of that fprightly humour which difttn^ 
guiihes The Author to be let^ and in others ftrong touches 
of that ardent imagination which painted the folemti 
fcenes of The Wanderer. 

While he was thus cultivating his genius, his father 
the Earl of Rivers was feized with a diftemper, which 
in a (hort-time put an end to his life. He had fre<* 
quently inquired after his fon, and had always beea 
amufcd with fallacious and evafive anfwers ; but, be- 
ing 'now in his own opinion on his death-bed, he 
thou^t it his duty to provide for him among his other 
natural children, and therefore demanded a poiitive 
account of him, with an importunity not to be diverted 
or denied. His mother, who could no longer refufe 
an anfwer, determined at Icaft to give fuch as ihould 
cut him off for ever from that happinefs which pom- 
petence affords, and therefore declared that he was 
dead ; which is perhaps the iirft inftance of a lye in- 
vented by a mother to deprive her fon of a provifion 
which was defigned him by another, and which ihe 
could not expcdt herfelf, though he ihould lofe it. 

This was therefore an aA of wickednefs which could* 
not be defeated, becaufe it could not be fufpeif^d ; the 
Earl did not imagine there could exift in a human 
form a mother that would ruin her fon without enrich-' 
ing herfelf, and therefore bcftowed upon fome other 
perfon fix thoufand pounds, w^ich he had in his will 
Isequeathed to Savage. 


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. The iamc craelty which incited his mother to inter- 
cept this provifion which had been intended him, 
prompted her in a ihort time to another projeft^ a pro* 
jeGt worthy of fuch a difpoiition. She endeavoured to 
rid herielf from the danger of bemg at any time made 
known to him, by fending him (ecretly to the Ameri- 
can plantations *. 

By whole kindnefs this fcheme was counteraAed, or 
by what interpofition fhe was induced to lay afide her 
defign^ I know not ; it is not improbable that the Lady 
Mafon might perfuade or compel her to defift, or per- 
haps Ihe could not eaiily find accomplices wicked 
enough to concur in fb cruel an a&ion ; for it may be 
conceived^ that thofe who had by a long gradation of 
guilt hardened their hearts againfl the fenfe of com* 
mon wickednefs^ would yet be fhocked at the defign 
of a mother to expofe her fbn to flavery and want, to 
expofe him without intereft^ and without provocation; 
and Savage might on this occcafion find protestors and 
advocates among thofe who had long traded in crimes, 
and whom compai&on had never touched before. 

Being hindered, by whatever means, from banifhing 
him into another country, fhe formed fbon after a 
fcheme for burying him in poverty and obfcurity in 
his own ; and that his flation of life, if not the place 
of his reiidence, might keep him for ever at a diftance 
from her, fhe ordered him to be placed with a fhoe-. 
maker in Holborn, that, after the ufual time of trial, 
he might become his apprentice ^. 

It is generally reported, that this projedt was for 
fome time fuccefsful, and that Savage was employed 

* Savage*8 Pitfatc to biiMifccllany. 
tlkW* • 

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SAVAGE, rra5i 

at the awl longer than he was willing to confefs ; nor 
was it perhaps any great advantage to him, that a|> 
unezpe&ed difcovery determined him to quit his 

About this time his nurfe, who had always treated 
him as her own fon, died ; and it was natural for Kin^ 
to take care of thofe efTefts which by her death were^ 
as he imagined, become his own : he therefore went to 
her houfe, opened her boxes, and examined her pa* 
pers, among which he found (bme letters written to 
her by the Lady Mafon, which informed him >of his 
birth, and the reafons for which it was concealed. 

He was no longer fatisfied with the employment 
which had been allotted him, but thought he had a 
right to ihare the affluence of his mother ; and there- 
forq without fcruple applied to her as her fon, and 
made ufe of every art to awaken her tendemefs, and 
attract her regard. But neither his letters, nor the 
interpofition of thofe friends which his merit or his 
diftrefs procured him, made any impreifion upon her 
mind. She (till refolved to neglefty though ihe could 
|io longer difown him. 

It was to no purpofe that he frequently folicited her 
to admit him to fee her ; Ihe avoided him with the 
fnoft vigilant precaution, and ordered him to be ex* 
duded ftom her houfe, by whomfoever he might be 
introduced^ and what reafon foever he might give for 
entering it. 

Savage was at the fame time fo touched with the dif- 
covery of his real mother, that it was his frequent 
pra£Uce to walk in the dark evenings* for feveral 
^ours before her door, in hopes of feemg her as ihe 

!^ See the Flaia Dealer. 


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fist SAVAGE. 

might come by accident to the window, or crofe her 
apartment with a cahdle in her hand. 

But all his affiduity and tendernefs were without cf- 
fc&, for he could neither foften her heart, nor open 
tier handy and was reduced to the utmoft miferies of 
¥rtait, while he was endeavouring to awaken the affec*-* 
tton of a mother : He was therefore obliged to feck 
Ibme other means of fupport ; and, having no pro- 
feffion, became by neceffity an author. 

At this time the attention of all the literary world 
WW cngroflcd by the Bangorian controverfy, which 
tiled the prefs with pamphlets, and the coffee-ho'ufes 
with difputants. Of this fubjeft, as moft popular, he 
made choice for his firft attempt, and, without any 
other knowledge of the queftion than he had cufually 
colledied from converfation, publiihed a poem againft 
the Biibop. 

What was the fuccefs or merit of this performance, 
I know not ; it was probably loft among the innume- 
rable pamphlets to which that difpute gave occaAon. 
Mr. Savage was himfelf in a little time alhamed of it, 
and endeavoured to fupprefs it, by deftroying all the 
•copies tliat he could colle£t. 

He then attempted a more gainful kind of writing *, 
and in his eighteenth year offered to the ftage a comedy 
bonro^^ from a Spanilh plot, which was rfefufed by 
the players, and was therefore given by him to Mr. 
Bullock, who. having more intereft, made; (bme flight 
alterations, and brought it upon the ftage, under the 
title of ^ WoMAN*s A Riddle, but allowed the un- 
happy author no part of the profit. 

- ♦ Jacob's Lives of Dramatic Poets, 

+ This play was printed firft in 8vo ; and afterwards b lamo, 
the fifth edition. 


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SAVAGE- %si 

Not difcoiaraged howevei: at his repulfe, he wrotjqr 
two years afterwards Love in a Veil^ aaotb(r co« 
medy, borrowed likewife from the Sj>anUh^ byt wklji 
little better fuccefs than before ; for though • it Was ter 
ceived and a&ed^ yet it appeared fo late in the yeam^ 
that the author obtained no other advantage from it^ 
than the acquaintance of Sir Richard Steele^ and, 
Mr. Wilks, by whonfi he was pitied, careiled, and: 

Sir Richard Steele, having^ declared in his favour 
with all the ardour of benevolence which cooftituteS^ 
his character, promoted his intereft with the utmoft; 
zeal, related his misfortunes, applauded his merits 
took all the opportunities of recommending lum, and^ 
afferted, that * '* the inhumanity of his mother had 
*^ given him a right to find every good man his £a- 
« ther.** 

Nor was Mr. Savage admitted to his acquaintance 
only, but to his confidence, of which he fometimes re- . 
lated an inftance 190 extraordinary to be omitted, as 
it affords a very juft idea of his patron's charafter. 

He was once defired by Sir Richard, with an air of 
the utmofl importance, to come very early to his 
houfe the next morning. Mr. Savage came as he had 
promifed, found the chariot at the door, and Sic 
Richard waiting for him, and ready to go out. What 
was intended, and whither they were to go. Savage 
could not conjecture, and was not willing to enquire; 
but immediately feated himfelf with Sir Richard; the. 
coachman was ordered to drive, and they harried with, 
the utmoft expedition to Hyde-Park Corner, where 
they ftopped at a petty tavern^ and retired to a prir 

* Haiti Deafen 


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4<;4 y A V A (} kl 

trate room* Sir Richard then informed him, that he 
intended to publilh a pamphlet, and that he had defired 
him to come thither that he might write for him. 
They foon fat down to the work. Sir Richard die- 
fated, and Savage wrote, till the dinner that had been 
ordered was put upon the table. Savs^e was fur- 
prized ac the meanhefs of the entertainment, and after 
ibme hefitation ventured to alk for wine, which Sir 
Richard, not without reluctance, ordered to be 
brought. They then finifhed their dinner, and pro* 
oeeded in their pamphlet, which they concluded in 
the afternoon. 

Mr. Savage then imagined his taik over, and ex- 
peAed that Sir Richard would call for the reckoning, 
and return home; but his expe£Utions deceived him, 
for Sir Richard told him, that he was without money, 
and that the pamphlet muft be fold before the dinner 
could be paid for ; and Savage was therefore obliged 
to go and offer their new production to fale for two 
guineas, which with fome difficulty he obtained. Sir 
Richard then returned home, having retired that day 
only to avoid his creditors, and compofed the pam- 
phlet only to difcharge his reckoning. 

Mr. Savage related another fadfc equally uncommon, 
which, though it has no relation to his life, ought to 
be preferved. Sir Richard Steele having one day in- 
vited to his houfe a great number of peribns of the 
firft quality, they were furprifed at the number of li- 
veries which furrounded the table ; and after dinner, 
when wine . and mirth had fet them free from the ob- 
fervation of rigid ceremony, one of them enquired of 
Sir Richard, how fuch an expenlive train of domeftics 
could be coniiftent with hi$ fojtune. Sir Richard very 


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S A V AG E. «5j 

fninkly confefled, that they were fellows of whom he 
would very willingly be rid. And being then aiked^' 
why he did not difcharge them, declared that they 
were bailiffs, who had introduced themfelvest with aii 
execution, and whom, fince h^ could not fend them 
away, he had thought it omvenient to embelliih witU 
liveries, that they might do him credit while they 

His friends were diverted with the expedient, and 
by paying the debt difcharged their attendance, hav- 
ing obliged Sir Richard to promife that they ihould 
sever again find him. graced with a retinue of the 
fame kind. 

Under fuch a tutor, Mr. Savage was not likely W 
leam prudence or frugality ; and perhaps many of the 
misfortunes, which the want of thofe virtues brought 
upon him in the following parts of his life, might be 
juftly imputed to fo unimproving an example* 

Nor did the kindnefs of Sir Richard end in common 
favours. He propofed to have eflabliihed him in (bme 
fettled fcheme of life, and to have contrafted a kind 
of alliance with him, by marrying him to a n^itural 
daughter, on whom he intended to beftow a thoufand 
pounds. But though he was always laviih of future 
bounties, he conducted his affairs in (lich a manner, 
that he was very feldom able to keep his promifes, or 
execute his own intentions : and, as he was never able 
to raife the fum which he had offered, the marriage 
was delayed. In the mean time he was officioufly in« 
formed, that Mr. Savage had ridiculed hun ; by which 
he was fb much exafperated, that he withdrew the 
allowance which he had paid him, and never after* 
' wards admitted him to his houfe. 


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Iz Is not indeed unliiDely that Savage might hj hts 
ynprudfioce cxpofe hrnifelf ta the malice of a tale- 
bearer;, for his patron had many follies, which, as his 
4Uberlwim eafily difcovered^ his imagination might 
{JMoetifnes incite him to mention too ludicroully. A 
little knowledge of the world is (ufiicient to^ difbover 
dm^fuch weaknefs is very comimon, and that there are 
few who do not fometimes, in the wantonnefs of 
tfiQ^^htlefs mirth, or the heat of tranfient refenrment, 
ipeak o£ their friends and benefa£b)rs with levity and 
jOomempt^ though in their cooler moments they want 
jieithex fenie of their kindnefs, nor reverence for their 
virtue. The fault therefore of Mr. Savage was rather 
negligence than ingratitude; but Sir Richard muft 
Ukcwife be acquitted of feverity, for who is there that 
can patiently bear contempt from one whom he has re- 
lieved and fupported, whofe eftabliihment he has la- 
boured, and whoie intereft he has promoted ? 

He was how again abandoned to fortune, without 
any other friend than Mr. Wilks; a man, who^ what- 
ever were his abilities or ikill as an a£tor, deferves ac 
leaft to be remembered for his virtues '*, which are not 


* As it 18 a lofs>to mankind when any good a£tion is forgoCteo, I 
(hall infert another inftance of Mr, Wilks^s generofity, very little 
known. Mr. Smttb, a gentleman educated at DuUin, being hin« 
dcred by an imfcdinaent in his pronunckitbn from engaging ia or* 
ders» for which his friend^ defig^ed hisD, left his- own country, and 
came to Loadoo in queft of employment^ but found hb folicitatioo^ 
fruitlefs, and his neceffities every day more preffing. In this difireft 
be wrote a trag^, and oftred it to the players, by whom it was 
rqed^ed. Thus were his laft hopes defeated, and he had no other 
pzoijpeSt than of the moft deploraUe poverty. But Mr* Wilka 
thought his performance, though not perfcfi:, at leaft worthy of ibaic 
leward, and therefore offered him a benefit* This iavour he im^ 
3 proved . 

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SAVAGE- 2^7 

often to be foimd id the world, and perhaps Icfs often 
in his profeifion than in others. To be humane, gene- 
rous, and candid, is a very high degree of merit in 
any cafe; but thofe qualities deferve ftill greater praife^ 
when they are found in that condition, which makes 
almoft every other man, for whatever reafon, con- 
temptuous, infolent, petulant, felfifli, and brutal. 

As Mr, Wilks was one of thofe to whom calamity 
feldom complained without relief, he naturally took an 
unfortunate wit into his protedtion, and not only af- 
fifted him in any cafual diftrefles, but continued an 
equal and fteady kindnefs to the time of his death. 

By his interpofition Mr. Savage once obtained from 
his mother -f- fifty pounds, and a promife of one hun- 
dred and fifty more; but it was the fate of this un- 
happy man, that few promifes of any advantage to him 
were performed. His mother was infefted among 
others with the general madnefs of the South Sea traf- 
fic; and, having been difappointed in her expeftations, 
refufed to pay what perhaps nothing -but the profpedt 
of fudden affluence prompted her to promife. 

Being thus obliged :o depend upon the friendihip 
of Mr. Wilks, he was confequently an affiduous fre- 
quenter of the theatres; and in a Ihort time the amufe- 

^▼ed withib much diligence, that thehoufe offered hiha a confider* 
able fum, with which he went to Leyden, applied himfelf to the 
ftudy of phytic, and profecuted his defign with fo much diligence 
and fuccefs, that Dr. Boerhaave was defired by the Czarina to re- 
eomnnend proper perfons to introduce into Ru^a the pradice and 
iludy of phytic. Dr. Smith was one of thofe whom he fe!edled. He 
had a contiderable pention fettled on him at his arrival, aad wm one 
«f the chief phytidans at the Rutiian court. Orig, Edit. 

f This I write upon the credit of the author of his life, which was 
. piblifhed 17117. 

V#L. III. S mitm 

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258 $ A V A G E. 

meats of the ftage took fuch polTeflioft of his ttiityS, 
that he never was abfent from a play in fcveral years. 

This conftant attendance naturally procured him the^ 
acquaintance of the players, and, among others, of 
Mrs. Oldfield, who was fo much pleafed with his con- 
verfation, and touched with his misfortunes, that flie* 
allowed him a* fettled penfion of fifty poinds a year, • 
which was during her life regularly paid. 

That this aft of genetofity may receive its due praife, 
and that the good aftions of Mrs. Oldfield may not be 
fullied by her general charafter, it is proper to men- 
tion what Mr. Savage often declared in the ftrongeft 
terms, that he never faw her alone, or in any other 
place than behind the fcones. 

At her death he endeavoured to fliew his gratitude* 
irt the moft decent manner, by wearing mourning as 
for a mother; but did not celebrate her in elegies, be-, 
caufe he knew that too great profufion of praife would 
only have revived thofe faults which his natural equity 
did not allow him to think lefs, becaufe they were com- 
mitted by one who favoured him; but of which, though 
his virtue would not endeavour to palliate them, his 
gratitude would not fufier him to prolong the memory 
or diffufe the cenfure. 

In his Wanderer he has indeed taken an opportunity 
of mentioning her, but celebrates her not for her vir-» 
tue, but her beauty, an excellence which none ever 
flanied her: this is the only encomium with which 
he has rewarded her liberality, and perhaps he 
has even in this been too laviih of his praifei • He 
feems to have thought, that never to mention his bene-i 
faftrefs would have an appearance of ingratitude, 
"though to liavc dedicated any particular performance 


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§ A V A G E: isg 

io her memory would have only betrayed an officious 
partiality, that, without exalting her chatafter, would 
have depreffed his own* 

He had fometimesi by the kindnefs of Mr. Wilks^ 
the advantage of a benefit, ott which oecafions he oftea 
received uncommon marks of regard and compriffion; 
and was once told by the Duke of Dorfet, that it waj 
juft to confider him as an injured nobleman, and %h^t 
in his opinion the nobility ought to think thcmfelves 
bbliged, without folicitation, to take every opportunity 
of fuppdrtirig him by their countenance and patronage* 
But he had generally the mortification to hear that the 
whole ihtereft of his mothef was employed to fruftrate ' 
his applications,' and that Ihe never left any expe- 
dient untried, by which he might be cut off from the 
poffibility of fupporting life. The fame difpofition 
ihe endeavoured to diflfufe among all thofe over whom 
nature of fortiine gave her any influence,* ahd indeed 
fucceeded too well in her defign; but could not al- 
Ways propagate her effrontery with her cruelty, for 
ibme of thdfe, whom Ihe incited* againil him, were 
aihamed of their own condufib, and boafted of that re^ 
lief which they never gave him, 
; In this cenfure I do riot indifcriminately involve all 
his, relations; for he has mentioned with gratitude the 
humanity of oile Lady, whofe name I am now unable 
io rftcoUedt, and to i/^hcfm therefore I cannot pay the 
praifes which Ihe deferves for having aAed well in op- 
pofition to influence, precept, and example. 

The punifliment which our laws inflift upon thofe 
|)arents who murder their infants is well known, nor 
has its juftice ever been contefted; but if they deferve 
flfoith who deftroy a child in its birth, what pains caa 

S 2 be 

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i6o SAVAGE, 

tc levere enough^ for hcf Who forbears to deftroy htM 
only to infli& Iharper miferies upon him; who prolong9i^ 
his life only to make him miferable; and who expofe» 
him, withovit care and without pity, to the malice or 
cpprefiionr, the caprices of chance, and the temptations 
of poverty; who rejoices to fee him overwhelmed with 
calamities; and, when his own induftry, or the charity 
of others, has enabled him to riie fop a ihort time 
above his miferies, plunges him again into his former 

The kindnefs of his friends not affording him any 
conftant fupply,i and the profpcft of improving his 
fortune by enlarging his acquaintance neceffarily lead- 
ing him to places of experice, he found it neceflary to- 
* endeavour oUce more at dramatick poetry, for which 
he was now better qualified by a more extenfive know- 
ledge, and longer obfervation. But having been un- . 
fuccefsful in comedy, though rather for want of oppor- 
tunities than genius, he refolved now to try whether he 
ihould not be more fortunate in exhibiting a tragedy. 

The ftory which he chofe for the fulgcft, was that 
of Sir Thomas Overbury, a ftory well adapted to the 
ftage, though perhaps not far enough removed from 
the prefent age, to admit ptoperiy the fictions Decef- 
farily to complete the plan : for the mind, which na- 
turally loves truth, is always moft offended with the 
violation of thofe truths of which we a*e moft certain ;; 
and we of courfe conceive thofe fads moft %rtain, 
which approach neareft to our own time. 

Out of this ftory he formed a tragedy, which> if the 
circumftances in which he wrote it be coniidered, will 
afTord at once an uncommon proof of llrength of genius, 



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SAVAGE. 261 

and exrennefs of mind, of a fercnity not to be ruffled, 
and an imaginatton not to be fupprefled. 

During a confiderable part of the time in which he 
was employed upon this performance, he was without 
lodging and often without meat ; nor had he any other 
conveniences for .ftudy than the fields or the ftreet al- 
lowed him; there he ufed to walk and form his 
fpeeches, and afterwards ftep into a ihop, beg for a 
few moments the ufe of the pen and ink, and write 
down what he had compofed, upon paper which he 
had j>icked up by accident* 

If the performance of a writer thus diftrefTed is not 
perfed, its faults ought furely to be imputed to a 
caufevery different from want of genius, and mufl: 
rather excite pity than provoke cenfure. 

But when under thefe difcouragements the tragedy 
was finiihed, there yet remained the labour of intro- 
ducing it on the ftage, an undertaking, which, to an 
ingenuous mind, was in a very high degree vexatious 
and difgufling ; for, having little intereft or reputa- 
tioUy he was obliged to fubmit himfelf wholly to the 
players, and admit, with whatever reluftance, the 
emendations of Mr. Gibber, which he always confider- 
ed as the difgrace of his performance. 

He had indeed in Mr. Hill another critick of a very 
different clafs, from whofe friendfhip he received great 
affiftance on many occafions, and whom he never men- 
tioned but with the utmoft tendernefs and regard. He 
had been for fome time diftinguilhed by him with very 
particular kindnefs, and on this occaiion it was na- 
tural to apply to him as an author of an eftaMiihed 
eharafter. He therefore fent this tragedy to iiim, 
with a ihort copy of * verfes, in which he delired 

* Printed in the late collection of bis poems. 

S 3 his 

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a62 S A V A G E. 

Jiis corredion. Mr. Hill, whofe humanity and pot 
litenefs are generaHy known, readily complied witl^ 
his requeft ; but ^s he is remarkable for finguiarity 
of fentiment, and bold experiments in language, 
Mr. lavage did not think his play much improved by 
his innovation, and had even at that time the courage 
%o rejeft feveral paflages which he could not approve ; 
and, what is ftill more laudable, Mr. Hill had thq 
generofity not to relent the negledt of his alterations, 
but wrote the prologue and epilogue, in which he 
touches on the circumftances of the author with great 
tcndernefs. _ ^ , 

After aU thefe obftrufikions and compliances, he was 
only able to bxipg his play upon the ftage in thje fum- 
mer, when the chief aftors had retired, and the reft 
were in poffeffion of the houfe for their own advantage. 
Among thefe^ Mr. Savage was adniitted to play the 
part of Sir Thomas Overbury, by which he gained no 
great reputation j the theatre being a province for which 
nature feemed not to have deligned him ; for neither 
his vkxice, look, nor gefture, were fuch as were ex- 
pected on the ftage ; aiid he was fo much afliamed of 
having been reduced to appear as a player, that he 
always blotted out his name from the lift, when a 
K. copy of his tragedy was to be ihown to his friends. 

In the publication of his performance he was more 
fuccefsful, for the rays of genius ths^t glimmered in 
It, that glimmered through all the mifts which pover- 
ty and Clbber had been able to fpread over it, pro- 
cured him the notice and efteem of many perions 
eminent for their rank, their virtue^ and their 'wit. 
\ Of this play, afted, printed, and dedicated, the acou- 
mulatcd profits arofe to an hundred pounds, whidi he 


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SAVAGE, a63 

tliottght at that time ^ very large ^fm, having been 
. jicver niafter of fo much before,. 

In the dedication *, for which he received ten gui- 
jieas, there is nothing remarkable. The Preface con* 
tains a very liberal encomium on the blooming excelr 
lences of Mr. Theophilus Cibber, which Mr. Savage 
could not in the latter part of his life fee his friends 
about to read without (hatching the play out of their 
hand^. The generofity of Mr. Hill did not end on 
this occaCon ; for afterwards, when Mr. Savage's ne^ 
ceffities returned, he encouraged a fubfcription to z 
Mifcellany of Poems in a very extraordinary manner, by 
publilhing his ftory in the Plain DeaUr -f, with fomc 
afiefting lines, which he afferts to have been written 
by Mr. Savage upon the treatment received by him 
from his mother, but of which he was himfelf the 
author, as Mr. Savage afterwards declared. Thefe 
lines, and the paper in which they were inferted, had 
a very powerful effefl: upon all but his mother, whom, 
by making her cruelty more public, they only har^- 
dened in her averfion. 

Mr. Hill not only promoted the fubfcription to the 
Mifcellany, but furnifhed likewife the greateft part of 
the Poems of which it is compofed, and particularly 
^be Happy Ji^an, which he publiihed as a Ipecimen. 

The fubfcriptions of thofe whom thefe papers Ihould 
influence to patronize merit in diftrefs, without any 
©ther folicitation, were dircd:cd to be left at Button's 

* To Herbert Tryft, Efq. of Herefordfhire. 

+ The Plaift DeaUr was a periodical paper, written by Mr. Hill 
apd Mr. Bond, whom Mr. Savage called the two contending powers 
of light and darknefs. They wrote by turns each fix Eflays; and 
the character of the work was obferved regularly to riic in i\jr. \ 'iil'f 
weeks, and &11 in Mrt Bond's, O/^. Edit, 

S 4 coffee* 

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i64 SAVAGE. 

coffee-houfe; and Mr. Savage going thither a few 
days afterwards, without expeftacion of any eSedt 
from his propofal, found to his furprife feventy gui- 
neas *, which had been fent him in confequence of the 
compaffion excited by Mr. Hill's pathetic reprefen- 

To this Mifcellany he wrote a Preface, in which he 
gives an account of his mother's cruelty in a very un- 
common ftrain of humour, and with a gaiety of imagi- 
nation, which the fuccefs of his fubfcription probably 

The Dedication is addrefled to the Lady Mary 
Wortley Montague, whom he flatters without referve, 
and, to confefs the truth, with very little -f- art. The 
fame obfervation may be extended to all his Dedica- 

* The names of thofc who fo generoufly contributed to hit relief, 
having been mentioned in a former account, ought Dot to be 
omitted here. They were the Dnchefs of Cleveland, Lady Che}-ne7, 
Lady Cadiemain, Lady Gower, Lady Lechmere, the Duchefe Dow- 
ager and Duchefa of Rutland, Lady Strafford, the Countefs Dowa- 
ger of Warwick, Mrs, Mary Floyer, Mrs. Sofuel Noel, Duke of 
Rutland, Lord Gainlborough, Lord Milfington, Mr. John Savage. 
Orig, FJt. 

•f- This the following extraft from it will. prove : 
— *• Since our country has been honoured with the glory of your 
<^ wit, as elevated and immortal as your foul, it no lonaer remains 
*• a doubt whether your fex have ftrcngth of mind in proportion to 
•* their fwectnefs. There is fomething in your verfes as dlilinguifhed 
■* as your air. — They are as iJrong as truth, as deep asreafon, as clear 
*' as innocence, and as fmooth as beauty.— They contain a hamelefs 
** and peculiar mixture of force and grace, which is at once fo mov- 
** ingly ferene, and io majeflically lovely, that it is too amiable to 
** appear any where but in your eyes and in your writings. 

*« As fortune is not more my enemy than I am the enemy of flat- 
** teiy, I know not how I can forbear this application to your Lady- 
*^ (hip, becaufe there is fcarce a poflibility that I fhould fay more 
'* than i believei when I am fpeaking of your Excellence.'* Orig, Ed. 


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SAVAGE. 26j; 

tions : his compliments arc conftrained and violent, 
heaped together without the grace of order, or the 
decency of introduftion : he feems to have written his 
panegyrics for the perufal only of his patrons, and to 
imagine that he had no other talk than to pamper 
them whh praifes however • grofs, and that flattery 
would make its way to the heart, without the affiftancc 
of elegance or invention. 

Soon afterwards, the death of the king fumifhed a 
general fubjeft for a poetical conteft, in which Mr. Sa- 
vage engaged, and is allowed to have carried the prize 
of honour from his competitors; but I know not whe- 
ther he gained by his performance any other advantage 
than the increafe of his reputation; though it muft 
certainly have been with farther views that he prevailed 
upon himfelf to attempt a fpecies of writing, of which 
all the topics had been long before exhaufted, and 
which was made at once difficult by the multitudes 
that had failed in it, and thofe that had fiicceeded. 

He was now advancing in reputation, and though 
frequently involved in very diftrefsful perplexities, ap- 
peared however to be gaining upon mankind, when 
both his fame and his life were endangered by an 
event, of which it is not yet determined, whether it 
ought to be mentioned as a crime or a calamity. 

On the aoth of November 1727, Mr. Savage came 
from Richmond, where he then lodged, that he might 
purlue his ftudies with lefs interruption, with an in- 
tent to difcharge another lodging which he had in 
Weftminfter; and accidentally meeting two gentle- 
men his acquaintances, whofe names were Merchant 
and Gregory, he went in with them to a neighbouring 
cofiee^houfe^ and (at drinking till it was late, it being 


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^66 SAVAGE. 

in no time of Mr. Savage's life any part of his cha* 
rafter to be the firft of the company that defircd to 
feparate. He would willingly have gone to bed in the 
feme houfe ; but there was not room for the whole 
company, and therefore they agreed to ramble about 
the ftreets, and divert themfelves with fuch amufe- 
ments as ihould offer themfelves till morning. 

In this walk they happened unluckily to difcover a 
light in Rjobinfon^s coffee-houfe, near Charing-crofs, 
and therefore went in. Merchant, with fome rudenefs, 
demanded a room, and was told that there was a good 
fire in the next parlour, which the company were about 
to leave, bein^ then paying their reckoning. Mer- 
chant, not fatisfied with this anfwer, rufhed into the 
room, and was followed by his companions. He then 
petulantly placed himfelf between the^ company and 
the fire, and foon after kicked down the table. This 
produced a quarrel, fwords were drawn on both fides, 
and one Mr. James Sinclair was killed. Savage, havi 
ing wounded likewife a maid that held him, forced 
his way with Merchant out of the houfe ; but bein^ 
intimidated and confufed, without refolution either to 
fly or ftay, they were taken in a back-court by one of 
the company and fome foldiers, whom he htud called 
to his afiiftance. 

Being fecured and guarded that night, they were in 
the morning carried before three juflices, who com^ 
mitted them to the Gatehoufe, from whence, upon the 
death of Mr. Sinclair, which happened the feme day, 
they were removed in the night to Newgate, where 
they were however treated with fome diftinftion, ex- 
empted from the ignominy #f chains, and confined,, not 
9imong the common criminals, but in the Frcfs-yard« 



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S A V A G E. 167 

When the day of trial came, the court was crowdied 
in a very unufual manner, and the public appeared to 
intcre^ itfelf as in a caufe of general concern. The 
witneffes againft Mn Savage and his friends were, the 
woman who kept the houfe, which was a houfe of ill 
jEsime, and her ;naid, the men who were in the room 
yrixh Mr. Sii^clair, and a woman of the town, who had 
been drinking with them, and with whom one of them 
had been feen in bed. They fwore in geneittl, that 
Merchant g^ve the provocation, which Savage and 
pregory drew their fwords to juftify; that Savage drew 
firft, and that he dabbed Sinclair when he was not in 
a poftvjre pf defence, or while Gregory commanded 
his fwerd ; that after he had given the thruft he turned 
pale, and wpyld have retired, but that the maid clung 
round hun, and one of the company endeavoured to 
detain him, from whom he broke, by cutting the maid 
pn the head, but was afterwards taken in a court. 

There was fome difference in their depofitions ; one 
did not fee Savage give the wound, another faw it given 
when Sinclair held his point towards the ground ; and 
die woman of the town afferted, that flie did not fee 
Sinclair's fword at all : this difference however was 
very far from amounting to inconfiftency ; but it was 
fufficient to Ihew, that the hurry of the difpute was 
fuch, that it was not eafy to difcover the truth with 
relation to ^particular circumftances, and that therefore 
fome dedudions were to be made from the credibility 
pf the teftimonies. 

Sinclair had declared feveral times before his death, 
that he received his wound from Savage ; nor did Sa- 
vage at his trial iSiCny the faft, but endeavoured partly 


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%6i SAVAGE. 

to extenuate it, by urging the fuddennefs of the whole 
aftion, and the impoffibility of any ill defign, or, pre- 
meditated malice, and partly tojuftify it by the necef^ 
fity of felf-defence, and the hazard of his own life, if 
ht had loft that opportunity of giving the thruft : he 
cbierved, that neither reafoa nor law obliged a man to 
wait for the blow which was threatened, and which, if 
he fhould fuffer it, he might never be able to return ; 
that it was always allowable to prevent an aiTault, and 
to prefcrve life by taking away that of the adverfaiy^ 
by whom it was endangered. 

With regard to the violence with which he endea- 
voured to efcape, he declared, that it was not his de- 
fign to fly from juftice, or decline a trial, but to avoid 
the expences and feverities of a prifon ; and that he 
intended to have appeared at the bar without compul-- 

This defence, which took up more than an hour, was 
beard by the multitude that thronged the court with 
the nioft attentive and refpeftful filence : thofe who 
thought he ought not to be acquitted, owned that 
applaufe could not be refufed him; and thofe who 
before pitied his misfortunes, now reverenced his abi- 

The witnefles which appeared againft him were 
proved to be perfons of characters which did not en- 
title them to much credit; a common ftnimpet, a wo- 
man by whom ftrumpets were entertained, and a man 
by whom they were fupported ; and the character of Sa* 
vage was by feveral perfons of diftindtton aflerted to 
be that of a modeft inoffenfive man, not inclined to 
WoiU,, or to infolence, and who had, to that time, 


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SAVAGE. £69 

|>efcn odly known for his misfortunes and his 


Had his audience been his judges, he had undoubt- 
edly been acquitted; but Mr, Page, who was thea 
upon the bench, treated him with his ufual infolence 
and feverity, and when he had fummed up the 
evidence, endeavoured to exafperate the jury, as 
Mr. Savage ufed to relate it, with this eloquent ha* 

* Gentlemen of the jury, you arc to confidcr that 
^ Mr. Savage is a very great man, a much greater 
man than you or I, gentlemen of the jury; that he 
wea^s very fine clothes, much finer clothes than you 
or I, gentlemen of the jury; that he has abundance 

* of money in his pocket, much more money than 
' you or I, gentlemen of the jury; but, gentlemen 
^ of the jury, is it not a very hard cafe, gentlemen 

* of the jury, that Mr. Savage ihould therefore kill 

* you or me, gentlemen of the jury ?' 

Mr. Savage, hearing his defence thus mifrepre- 
fented, and the men who were to decide his fate in- 
cited againft him by invidious comparifons, refolutely 
aflerted^ that his caufe was not candidly explained, 
and began to recapitulate what he had before faid with 
regard to his condition, and the neoeffity of endeavour^ 
ix^ to efcape the expences of imprifooment; but the 
judge having ordered him to be lilent, and repeated his 
orders without cffcSt, commanded that he ihould be 
taken from the bar by force. 

The jury then heard the opinion of the judge, that 
good charaifters were of no weight againft poficive evi- 
dence, though they might turn the fcale where it was 
doubtful ; and that though, when two pien attack each 
6 ' other. 

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470 S A V A G li 

•ther^ the death of either is only manilaughter; biH 
where one is the aggreffor, as in the cafe before thein^ 
and, in purfuance of his firft attack, kills the* other, 
the law fuppofes the affcion, however fudden, to bd 
malicious. They then deliberated npon their verdidk, 
and determined that Mr. Savage and Mr. Gregory 
were guilty of murder ; and Mr. Merchant, who had n^ 
fword, only of manflaughter. 

Thus ended this memorable trial, which lafted eight 
hours. Mr. Savage and Mr. Gregory were condud:ed 
back to prifon, wliere they were more clofcly con6ned^ 
and loaded with irons of fifty pounds Weight : four days 
afterwards they were feijt back to the couft to receive 
fentencc; on which occafion Mr. Savage made, as 
far as it could be retained in memory, the foUowmgi 
fpeech : 

" It is now, ray Lord, too late to offer any thing 
** by way of defence or vindication; nor can we ex- 
** pedt from your Lordfhips, in this court, but the 
*' fentence which the law requirs you, as judges, td 
" pronounce againft men of our calamitous condition; 
" — But we are alfo peffuaded, that as mere men, and 
** out of this feat of rigorous juftice, you ire fufcep- 
" tive pf the tender paflions, and too humane not td 
•* commiferate the unhappy fituatioa of thofe, whom 
•* the law fometimes perhaps — exadfcs— from you to 
*' pronounce upon. No' doubt you diftinguifli be- 
** tween offences which arife out of preniedrtaticto, 
'^ and a dlfpofirion habituated to Vice or ftnmotality, 
*' and tranfgreffions, which are the unhappy and un- 
** forefeen elFedts of cafual abfence of reafon, and 
** fudden impulfe of paflion: we therefore hope you 
^* will contribute all you ca» to ah extehfion of thit? 

^* ihercy. 

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*' mercy, which the gentlemen of the jury have been 
•* pleafed to Ihew Mr, Merchant, who (allowing fafts 
** as fworn againft us by the evidence) has led us into 
** this our calamity. I hope this will not be conftrued, 
** as if we meant to refleft upon that gentleman, or re- 
** move any thing from us upon him, or that we re- 
** pine the more at our fate, becaufe he has no partici- 
•* pation of it : No, my Lord ! For my part, I de- 
** clare nothing could more foften my grief, than 
** to be without any companion in fo great a misfor- 
" tune •*•" 

Mr. Savage had now no hopes of life, but from the- 
mercy of the crown, which was very eameftly folicited 
by his friends, and which, with whatever difficulty the 
ftory may obtain belief, was obflrudked only by his 

To prejudice the Queen againfl him, fhe made ufe 
of an incident, which was omitted in the order of time, 
that it might be mentioned together witK the purpofe 
which it was made to ferve. Mr. Savage, when he 
had difcovered his birth, had an inccffant dcfire to 
fpeak to his mother, who always avoided him in pub- 
lick, and refiifed him admiflion into her houfe. One 
evening walking, as it was his cuftom, in the flreet 
that fhe inhabited, he faw the door of her houfe by 
accident open ; he entered it, and, finding no perfon iii 
the paf&ge to hinder him, went up flairs to falute her. 
She difcovered him before he could enter her chamber, 
Alarmed the family with the mofl diflrefsful outcries, 
and when fhe had by her fcrcams gathered them about 
tier, ordered them to drive out of the houfe that vil- 
lain, who had forced himfelf in upon her, and endea- 

* Mr. Saragc'a Lifo. 


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a7» SAVAGE. 

voured to murder her. Savage, who had attempted 
with the moft fubmiffive tendemefs to foften her rage, 
hearing her utter fo deteftable an.accufation, thought 
it prudent to retire ; and, I believe, never attempted 
afterwards to fpeak to her. 

But, fhocked as he was with her falfehood and her 
cruelty, he imagined that Ihe intended no other ufe of 
her lye, than to fet herfelf free from his embraces and 
folicitations, and was very far from fufpefting that Ihc 
would treafure it in her memory, as an inftrumcnt of 
future wickednefs, or that Ihe would endeavour for 
this fidiitious aflault to deprive him of his life. 

But when the Queen was folicited for his pardon, 
and informed of the fevere treatment which he had 
fuffered from his judge, Ihe anfwered, tliat, however 
unjuftifiable might be the manner of his trial, or what- 
ever extenuation the aftion for which he was con- 
demned might admit, Ihe could not think that man a 
p-oper objeft of the King^s mercy, who had been ca- 
pable of entering his mother's houfe in the night, with 
an intent to murder her. 

By whom this atrocious calumny had been tranfmit- 
ted to the Queen ; whether ihe that invented had the 
front to relate it ; whether Ihe found any one weak 
enough to credit it, or corrupt enough to concur with 
her in her hateful defign, I know not : but methods 
had been taken to perfuade the Queen fo ftrongly of 
the truth of it, that ihe for a long time refufed to hear 
any of thofe who petitioned for his life. 

Thus had Savage pcriflied by the evidence of a bawd, 
a ftrumpet, and his mother, had not juftice and com- 
paflion procured him an advocate of rank too great to 
be rejeded unheard, and of virtue too eminent to be 


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S A V A (J £• ty^ 

keard without being believed. His merit and bis cfl^ 
kmities faappeoed to reach the ear of the Ceumefi €i 
Hertford, who Engaged in hk fnpport with all th^ 
cendemefi that is excited by pity^ and all the zedl 
Which is kindled by getierofityj and^ demanding aa 
ioidience of the Qgeen^ laid bdFore her the whole ierieis 
of his mother^s cruelty^ expofed the imp«>bability of 
kn accu&tion by which he ijtras charged with an intent 
to commit a murder tha^t could produce no ^Vantage> 
ioA {boh convinced her how little his formed condud: 
fcouM deferve to be mentioned as a reAibn for extraor« 
diiuoy feverityi 

tThe intdrpofition of this Lady was fo fuccdfsftil, ihit 
he was foon after ^tdmitted to bail, and, on the -gth o£ 
March i^28> pleaded the King's pardon* 

it is natural to enquire upon what motived his mo* 
tiser could profecute him in d manner fo outrageoui 
tad implacable ; for what rea{bn ihe could employ all 
the arts of malice, -and all the fnares ef calumny, td 
take away t^e life of her own fon, of a fon vfhb never 
ii)|ured her, who Was nevdr fupported by her expence^ 
nor obftrufted any profpedt of pleafure or advant^ ; 
trfxy Ihe fliould endeavqur to deftroy him by a lyfe— a 
lye which could not gain credit. But muft vanifli o£ 
ikfelf at the £rft moment of examination, ahd of Whicb 
only this <:an be faid to make it {>robable, that it maf 
be obferved from her condudt, that the mod exec*abk 
crimes are fom^times codimitted without appareitfi 

This mother ts-ftill alive*, and msty perhaps even 

ftt, though her malice was'fb often defeated, Qt0oy ihe 

jpleafure of reflefting, that the life, which ihe ofcen 

-* This i«48 true in the year 1744, when J^hnfoo^t life of Say»|^ 
wa« firfb publifhed, but ii not fo now. 

Vol. IIL T tnde»» 

Digitizec^ by VjOOQ IC 

274 S A V A G E. 

endeavoured to deftroy, was at leaft Ihortened by her 
maternal ofhces ; that though ihe could not tranfport 
her fon to the plantations, bury him in the ihop of ^ ^ 
mechanic, or baften the haaid of the public executi-* 
oner, ihe has^ yet had the fatisfaftion of imbittering all 
his hours^, and forcing him into exigences that hurried 
on his death. 

It is by no means neceflary to aggravate the enormity 
of this woman's conduft, by placing it in oppofition 
to that of the Countefs of Hertford ; no one can fail 
to obfcrve how much more amiable it is to relieve, than 
to opprefo/ and to refcue innocence from deftruftion^ 
than Co deftroy v^ithout an injury. 

Mr. Savage, during his imprifonment, his trial, and 
the time in which he lay uftder fentence of death, be- 
haved with great firmnefs and equality of mind, and 
ponfirmed by his fortitude the efteem of thofe who be* 
fore admired him for his abilities. The peculiar cir- 
cuniftanoes of his life were made more generally known 
by a fhort account *y which was then publiflied, and 
of which feveral thoufands were in a few weeks dif- 
perfed over the nation : and the compaflion of mankind 
operated fo powerfully in hb favour, that he was en- 
abled, bj' frequent prefents, not only to fupport him- 
fclf, but to aflift Mr. Gregory in prifon ; and, when 
he was pardoned and rekafed,^ he found the number of 
his friends not Icffened. 

The nature of the a£k for which he had been tried 
was in itfelf doubtful; of the evidences which ap- 
peared againft hrm, the charadtdr of the man was not 
unexceptionable, that of the women notorioufly infar* 
mous > fhe, whofe tefthnony chiefly influenced the jury 
^to•Gonder^nhim^.aftenya^ds retraced her aflertions. He 

* Written by Mr. Beckin^^iamaad another gentleman. Orig. Edie. 
- - . • always 

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SAVAGE: 475 

iilways himfelf denied that he was drunk^ as had beei^ 
generally reported. Mr. Gregory, who is now (1744) 
Colleftor of Antigua, is faid to declare him far left 
criminal than he Was imagined, even by fome who fa- 
voured him : and Page himfelf afterwards confeffed^ 
that he had treated him with uncommon rigour. When 
dl thele particulars are rated together, perhaps the me- 
.fliory of Savage may not be much fullied by his trial; 

Some time after he obtained his liberty, he m'et in 
the ftreet the Woman that had fworn with fo much ma- 
lignity againft him. She informed him, that ihe was 
in diftrefs, and, with a degree of confidence riot eafily 
attainable, defired him to relieve her. He, inAead of 
infulting her mifery, and taking pleafure in the cal^st- 
mities of one who had brought his life into danger, re- 
proved her gently for her perjury ; and changing the, 
only guinea that he had, divided it equally betv^^en 
her and himfdf. 

This is aji aftion Which in fome ages would huve 
made a faint, and perhaps in others a hero, and which, : 
without any hyperbolical encomiilms, mufl ht allowed .. 
to be an inftance of uncommon generofity,' an a£t of . 
complicated Virtue; by which he at once relieved the • 
J)oor, cdirefted the vicious, and forgave an* enemy ; f 
by which he at once remitted the ftrongefl provoca- j 
tions, and exercifed the mofl ardent charity; * 

Compaffion was indeed the difUnguifhing O^uality of 
Savage ; he never appeared inclined to takft' advantage 
<>f Weaknefs, to attack the defencelefs, or to prefs upon 
the falling : ^Vhoevet was diflrefTed was certain at leaft 
of his good wifhes ; and when he could give no afli£t- 
«nce to extricate them from misfortunes, he endea- 
voured to footh them by fympathy and tendcrnefs. 

T z But 

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276 S A V A G K 

But when his heart was not foftened by the fight of 
mifery, he was fometimes obflinate in his rcfentmcnt,- 
and did not quickly lofe the remembranoe of an injury* 
He always continued to fpes^k with anger of the infb^ . 
lence and partiajity of Page, and a fliort time befoxe 
his death revenged it by a fatire*. 

It is natural to enquire in' What terms Mr. Savage 
fpoke of this fatal a&ion^ when the danger was ovdt, ^ 
and he was under no neceffity of ufing any art to fet 
his conduft in the faireft light. He was not willing 
to dwell upon it ; and, if he tranfiently mentioned it^ 
appeared neither to confider himfelf as a murderer, 
nor as a man wholly free from the guilt of blood -|-. 
How much and how long he regretted it, appeared in 
a poem which he publilhed many year s^ afterwards. On 
occafion of a copy of verfes, in* which the fellings of 
good men were recounted;, and in whioh the author 
had endeavoured to illuftrate his pofition, that ^* the 
** beft may fometimes deviate from virtue,'* by an m* 
ftance of murder committed by Savage in the hpat of 
wine. Savage remarked, that it was no very juft xepre* 
fcntation of a good man, to fuppofe him liable to 
drunkennefs, and difpofed ih his riots to cut throats. . 

He ^as now indeed at liberty, but was, as brfore, 
without any other fupport than accidental favours and 
uncertain . patronage afforded him; fources by which 
he was fometimes very liberally fupplied, and which 
at other times were fuddenly flopped ; fo that he fpent 
his life between want and plenty ; or, what was yet 
worfe, between beggary and extravagance; for as what- 

* Printed in the late collcdlion. 

f In one of his letters he ftj'les it *• a fatal quarrel, but too-wdl 
known." Ori£, Edit, 


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SAVAGE- 277 

.ever he received was the^ifc of chance, which might 
as well favour him. at one time as another, he was 
.tempted to fquander what he had, becaufe he always 
hoped to be immediately fupplied- 

Another caufe of his profufion was the abfurd kind- 
nefi of his friends, who at once rewarded and enjoyed 
his abilities, by treating him at taverns,, and habituating 
him to pleafures which he could not afford to c^joy, 
and which he was not able to deny himfelf, though he 
purchafed the luxury of a iingle night by the ahguifh 
of cold and hunger for a week. 

The experience of thefe inconveniences determined 
him to endeavour after ibme fettled income, which, 
having long found fubmiffion and intreaties fruitlefs, 
he attempted to extort from his mother by rougher 
methods. He had tiow, as he acknowledged, loft that 
tendemefs for her, which the whole feries of her cru- 
elty had not been able wholly to reprefs, till he fpund, 
by the efforts which flie made for his deftrudtion, that 
jEhe was not content with refufing to affift him, and 
being neutral in his ftrugglcs with poverty, but was as 
ready to fnatch: every opportunity of adding to his 
misfortunes, anU that fhe was to be confidered as an 
enemy implacably malicious, whom nothing byt his 
blood could latisfy. He therefore threatened to ^larafs 
her with lampoons, and to publiih a copious narrative 
of her conduct, unlefs Ihe confented to purchafe an 
exemption from infamy, by allowing him a penfion. 

This expedient proved fuccefiful. Whether Ihame 
ftill furvived, though virtue was extinft, or whether 
her relations had more delicacy than herfelf, and 
imagined that fome of the darts which fatire might 
point at her would glance upon them; Lord Tyrcon- 

T 3 nel. 

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e.75 RAVAGE. 

nd, whatever were his motives, upon his promife t^ 
l^y afide his deiign of expofing the cruelty of his moj 
i^er, received him into his family, treated him as hi? 
equal, and engaged to allow him a penfion of two 
hundred pound^ a yean 

This was the golden part of Mf. S^v^ge*s life ; an4 
for fome time he Ijad no reafon to complain of fortune ; 
his appearance was fplendid, his expejjces large, and 
His acquaiijtance extenfive* He w^s courted* by alj 
who endeavoured to be thought men of genius, and 
careil^ by, all who valued themfelves upon a refined 
t^fte. To admire Mr. Savage, was a proof of dif- 
cernm§nt; and to be acquainted with him, was a title 
tp poetical reputation. His prefence was fufficient to 
make any plac^ of publick entertainment popular; and 
his approbation and example coni]:icuted the faihion* 
§o powerful is genius, v/hf n it is inyefted with the 
glitter of affluence ! Men willingly pay to fortune that 
regard which they ojve to merit, and are pleafed 
when they have an opportunity at once of gratifying 
dieir vanity, and praftifing their duty. 

This interval of profperity fumilhed hiip wjth op- 
j^ortunities of enlarging his knoAvledgp pf human na< 
ture, by conteniplating life from its highefl; gradations 
to its loweft; and, had he afterwards applied to drar- 
inatick poetry, he would perhaps not have had many 
fpperiors ; for as he neyer fufFered any fcene to pafs 
before his eyes withovit notice, he had treafured in his 
ipind all the differeiit combinations of paffions, and 
• t;he innumerable mixtures of vice and virtue, which 
diftinguifli one charadter from another; and, as his 
fjonception was ftrong, his expreflions were clear, he 
j^afily received impreffions from objeds, and yery for- 
cibly tranfhutted them to others, 
■' '' -■"- ^' — • — • Of. 

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SAVAGE. 279 

Of his cxaft obfervations on human life he has 
left a proof, which would do honour to the greatefl: 
names, in a fmall pamphlet, called. The Author to be 
lei *, where he introduces Ifcarioc Hackney, a prof- 
titute fcribbler, giving an account of his birth, his 
education, his difpofition and morals, habits of life 
and maxims of conduft. In the introduction are re- 
lated many fecret hiftories of the petty writers of that 
time, but fometimes mixed with ungenerous reflec- 
tions on their birth^ their circumftances, or thofe of 
their relations; nor can it be denied, that fome paf- 
feges are fuch as Ifcariot Hackney might himfelf 
have produced. 

He was accufed likewife of living in an appearance 
of friendftiip with fome whom he fatirifed^ and of 
making ufe of the confidence which he gained by a 
feeming kindnefs to difcover failings and expofe them : 
it muft be confeffed, that Mr* Savage's efteem was no 
very certain poflTeflion, and that he would lampoon at 
one time thofe whom he had praifcd at another. 

It may be alleged, that the fame man may change 
his principles, and that he, who was once defervedly 
commended, may be afterwards fatirifed with equal 
juftice, or that the poet was dazzled with the appear- 
ance of virtue, and found the man whom he had cele- 
brated, when he had an opportunity of examining him 
more narrowly, unworthy of the panegyrick which he 
Jiad too haftily beftowed ; and that, as a falfe fatire 
ought to be recanted, for the fake of him' whofe repu- 
tation may be injured, falfe praife ought likewife to be 
obviated, left tHe diftinftion between vice and virtue 
ihould be loft, left a bad man Ihould be trufted upon 

* Printtd in hii Works, vol. II. p. aju 

T 4 the 

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fSo $ A V A G E. 

the credit of his encomiaft^ or led others (bould endc^ 
*vour to obtain the like praifes by the iame means. 

Qut thou^ thefe excufesmaybe oft^ipIau£iblej,an4 
(bmetimes juft^ thpy are very feUom &tis£Ei&ory to 
Hiankind i and the writer^ who is not conftant to hia 
fubje^9 qyickjy fi^ks into contempt^ his fatire lofe^ 
its force, and his panegyrick its value^ and he is osljf. 
confidered at ope tin^e as a flatterer, and as a calunmia-<! 
tor at another. 

To avoid thefe imputations, itt b only neceflary to 
follow the rules qf virtue, and tp preferve an unvaried, 
regard to truth* For though it is undoubt^iy pofiible 
that a man, however cautious, may be fometimes de- 
ceived by an a^rtful appearance of virtue, ox by falfe 
evidences of guilty fi^ch errors will not be frequent; 
and it will be allowed, that (he name of an author 
would never have be^n n^ade contemptible,, had nQ 
itian ever faid what he did not thinly, or mifled other$ 
but when he was himfelf deceived^ 

^he Author to be let was firfl pv(bliihed in a iingle 
inamphlet, and afterwards inferted in « cpUeAion of 
pieces relating to the Ih^iqiad, which were addrefled 
by Mr. Savage to the Ear^^ of Middjefen, in a * dedi- 
cation which he was prevailed upon to fign, though ho 
did not write it, and in which there are lome pofitionsji 
that the true author would perhapi not have publiihed 
under hi$ own name, and on which Mr^ Savage after-, 
wards reflefted with no great fatisfad:ioA; the enume-f 
ration of the bad eSefts of the uncontroled freedom of 
the prefs, and the aflertion that the ^^ liberties takeq 
^^ by*l;he writers of JovjrnaU with their fuperiors werQ 
^^ exorbitant and unjuftifiable,^' very ill became mjpn^ 

f ^ hi0 Wofks, V9I. I?, p. ;^33« 

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«.A V A G E^ ifia 

wbot Iwre themiHves not alwa^^s ih^wi> ^ Vfl^^ f^ 
g^d to the laws of fubordinatioo ia tbiaiM»ii^i)gs,^a04 
who have o^tea fatirifed tbofe th^C a| Ijeaft ^liy>ng)lj< 
themieLves their fuperbrs, aa they wec^ en^io^nc £1^ 
their hereditary rankj and emyil^yed ^ t}fP kJ9^^ 
off ces of the kUigdom. But this is oj^y m iaft^o^^ 
of that partiality which ahnoft fver)} ifisgi ii^MS^ 
with r^ard to hin^felf : the libeity ^f tl^ pr^j^ p a 
bleffing. when we are inclined to writa agayi^l ot^vtcs^ 
fuid a calamity when we find oiijcielves avorl^nc i^f 
the multitude of our ziMhpx^i as ^; pq^Vf qi^^ 
prown is always thov^ht too great by t|hoi^ wM^^#sr 
by its' influence^ and too little by thoii^ in 19^^ ^^FOur 
tf is e:icned j and a ftandipg an»y ui g^ofm^y is^mml^l 
veceflary by thofe who command^ a«A 4&99«r9U« wA 
9ppreflive by thofe who iuppoft it. 

Mr. Savage w^s Ukewife very far frong^lipliovVp^^ |]^ 
the letters annexed to each fpecies of bad poMlft m ^h» 
Bathos were^ as he was direAed to aflert^ ^^ fet dp^Q 
f ^ at random;'' for when he was charged b/ cm pf his 
friends with putting his name to fucb «0 iBfiprob»biltl]p» 
he had no other anfwer to make> dian tb« ^^ he dA(| 
^^ not think of it;'' and his friend had foo nnadt ten? 
demefs to reply^ that next to the crime of writing con* 
trary to what h^ thpughtj was that of writing withoolf 

After having remarked what is fklie in this dedtca« 
tion^ it is proper that I obferve the impaxtiality which 
I recommend^ by declaring wh^t 9avag^ aGt^rted, that 
the account of the circunpLftances which attended the 
publication of the Dunciad^ however ftf ange and iiu«< 
probable^ was exactly true. 


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t8k S A V A G ^. 

The publication of this piece at this time raifed Mr» 
Savage a great number of enemies among thofe that 
were attacked by Mr, Pope, with whom he was con-? 
fidered as a kmd of confederate, and whom he was fuf- 
pedted of fupplying with private intelligence and fecret 
incidents : fo that the ignominy of an informer was ad- 
ded to the terror of a fatirift. 

That he was not altogether free from literary hypo- 
ffrify, and that he fbmetimes fpoke one thing, and 
wrote another, cannot be denied; becaufe he himfelf 
ronfefled, that, when he lived in great familiarity with 
Dennis, he wrote an epigran^ * againft him. 

Mn Savage however fet all the malice of all the 
pigmy writers at defiance, and thought the friendfliip 
of Mr. Pope cheaply purchafed by being cxpofed to 
their cenfure and their hatred; nor had he any reafon 
to repent of the preference, for he found Mr. Pope a 
fteady and unalienable friend almoft to the end of his 

About this time, notwithftanding his avowed neutra- 
lity with regard to party, he publilhed a paqegyrick 
on Sir Robert Walpole, for which he was rewarded by 
liim with twenty guineas, a fum not very large, if 
cither the excellence of the performance, or the afflu- 
ence of the patroikbc confidered; but greater than bQ 

* This epigram was, I believe, never publifhed. 

Should Dennis publi(h you had ftabbM your brother, 

LampoonM your monarch, or debauch'd your mother ; 

Say, what revenge on Dennis can be had, 

Too dull for laughter, for reply too mad ? 

Pn one §o poor you cannot take the law. 

On one fo old your fword you fcorn to ^raw« 

Uncag'd, then let the harmlcfs monftcr rage. 

Secure in dulneisy madncfs, want, and age, Ori^. Edit. 

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S;A V A G E. aSj 

•ftcrwards obtained from a perfbn t)f yet higher rank, 
and more defirous in appearance of being diflinguiihed 
as a patron of literature. 

As he was very far from approving the conduft of 
Sir Robert W?lpole, and in converfation mentioned 
him fomet^mes with acrimony, and generally with con^ 
tempt; as ixe was one of thofe who were always zea- 
lous in their aflertions pf the juftice of the late oppo- 
iition, jealous of the rights of the people, an4 
alarmed by the long:Contini;ed triumph of the court ; 
it was natural to aik him what could in^ifce him to 
employ his poetry in praife of that man who was, in 
his opinion, an enemy to liberty, and an oppreflbr of 
bis coui^tfy ? He alleged, that he was then dependent 
upon the Lord Tyrconnel, who was an implicit fol- 
lower of the miniftry ; and that being enjoined by him, 
liot without menaces, to write ii^ praife of his leader, 
he had not rcfolutipn fufEcient to facrifice the plei- 
fure of affluence to that of integrity. 

On this, and on many other occafioiis, hv was ready 
to lament the mifery of living at the tables of othpr 
men, which was his fate from the beginning to the 
end of his life; for I know not whether he ever 
had, for three months together, a fettled habitation, 
in which hQ could claim a right of refidence. 

To this unhappy ftate it is juft to impute much of 
the inconflancy of his condudt; for though a readinefs- • 
to comply with the Inclination of others was no part 
of his natural charader, yet be was fometimes obliged 
to relax his obftinacy, and fubmit his own judge- 
ment, and even his virtue, to the government of thofe 
lly whom he was fupported : fo that, if his miferies 
were fometimes |hp co^fcqueoces of his faults, he 


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cpght not' yet to be wholly excluded fronpi compaflioo^ 
becauiib bis fau]lts were very often the eflfedb of his ouC- 

In this gay period ^ of his Itfe^ while he was furs- 
rounded by afiuence and pleafwe^ he publiihed> 7^ 
Wanderer y a moral poem, of which the defign is cooif> 
priied in thefe lines ; 

1 fiy all public care, all venal Ariiby 
To try the ftill comparM with adive life ; 
To prove, by thcfc the fons of men may owe 
The fruits of blifs to burfting clouds of woe; 
That ev*n cakmity by thoi|ght refia'd, 
Infpirits and adorn; the thinking mind* 

And n)pre diftindUy in the fbUowiAS P^s$^: 

Bjr woe, the foul to daring a^ion fwells ; 

By woe, in pl^ntlcl3 patience it excels ; 

From patience prudent, clear experience iprings. 

And traces knowledge through the courfe of things f 

Thence hope is form'd, thence fortitude^ fuqcefs, 

Kenovvn ; — whate'er men covet and carefs. 

This fierformance was always cxmfidered by bimfelf 
«s lus mafler-piece ; and Mr. Pope^ when he aiked his 
o]^on of ity told him, that he read it once over, and 
ms not difpleafed with it, that it ^ve him more plea- 
Iwe at the fecond perufaU wd delig;hted him ftill 
iv^pe at the third. 

It has been generally objefted to ?>^ Wanderer y that 
the difpoiition of the parts is irreguls^^j that the de- 
figa is obfcure^ and the plan perplexed; that the 
knages, however beautiful, fucoeed each other with- 
i|iut order; and that the whole performance is not 



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g A V A G fi. fcfij 

ib rftuch 1 regular febridfc, ts a heap tff 'ikin]figi!a&« 
terials t1tr6wii together by 'acctdeflt, iVhiSh ftrikes tk* 
ther with the foleftm mttgntificcncc of -a ftupeadocfs 
turn, than the ddgant graxuietir of a finiftted pik* 

This criticiftn is univejfa}, and thercfo<« it is rea- 
(enable to believe it at leih in a gfeat'degree juft; 'bxit 
Mr, Sa;va^ was always of a contrary opinion, tmd 
thought his drift could ©nly be tmflJd by negtigemJD 
or ftupidity, and that the whole plan was tegular, and 
the parts diftihft. 

It Was liever denied to afcouiid with ftrong rtptefen* 
cations of nature, and juft obfervUtions upon life; and 
it may cafily be obferyedi thit moft of his pi&upcs 
have an evident tendency to iHuftratc his firft great 
pofitton, ** that jgood is the confeqnencc 'of evil-** 
The fun that boms tip the mountains, fTiiftifies the 
Vates; the deluge that nilheis ddWn the broken rocks 
with dreadful impetuofity, is feparated into purling 
brooks ; and the rage of the hurricane purifies the 

Even in this poem he has ndt bdtfn able to forbcif 
one touch upfen the cruelty rf his nlOtfher, which^ 
though rcniarkably delicate and tender, is a pfioof ho«r 
deep an impreffion it had upon his mittd. 

This Unuft be at l^ft adkhc^Iedged, which <y6ght 
to be fh(n}ght equivalent to matfy /i^her excellenGe^y 
that this poem dift |>fomote ho odier porpofes thaii 
^ofe of virtue, aitdthat it is Writteii with a very itrang. 
lenfe of the efficacy of religion; 

♦But my ^ovince is rather to .give the hifloiy <rf^ 
'Mr. Savage*S'pcrformanccs, thantodifplay their beau* 
tics, or to obvittce the ciiticifitts which they h^ve occa- 
^ fio oed; and therefore I fhall not dwell upon the parti* 


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ft86 S A V A O B. 

cular paflages ivhich defeve applaufe : I ihall nekW 
fiiew the excellence of his defcriptions^ nor expatiate 
on the terrifick portrait of fuicide^ nor point out the 
artful touches^ by which he has diflinguilhed thf 
intelle&ual features of the rebels^ who fuffer death 
in his laft canto. It is, however, proper to obferv^i 
that Mr. Savage always declared the charadters wholly 
fi&itious, and without the leaft allufion to any real per- 
ibns or aftions. 

From a poem fo diligently laboured, and fo fucce{s-' 
fully finiihed, it might be reafonably expedted that 
he ihould have gained confiderable advantage; nor 
can it> without fome degree of indignation and con- 
cern, be told, that he ^Id the copy for ten guineas, 
of which he afterwards returned two, that the two 
laft ftieets of the work might be reprinted,, of which 
he had in his abfence intrufted the correction to a 
friend, who was too indolent to perform it with ac- 

A fuperftitious regard to the corre&ion of his Iheets 
was* one of Mr. Savage's peculiarities : he often altered, 
revifed, recurred to his firft reading or punftuation, 
and again adopted the alteration ; he was dubious and 
irrefolute without end, as on a queftion of the laft im- 
portance, and at laft was feldonx. fatisfied : the intru- 
fion or omiffion of a comma was fufficient to difconv* 
pofe him> and he would lament an error of a iinglf 
letter as a heavy calamity. In one of his letters re* 
lating to an impreffion of fome verfes-,- he remarks^, 
that he had, with regard to the corrcftion of the 
proof, " a fpell upon him;" and indeed the anxiety 
%ith which he dwelt upon the minweft and moft tri- 


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S A V A O fi- 48/ 

iiitig liiceties^ deferred no other name than that of 

' That he fold fo valuable a performance for fo fmall 
a price^ was not to be imputed either to neceffity, by 
which the learned and ingenio¥ts are often obliged to 
fubmit to very hard conditions; or to avarice^ by 
which the bookfellers are frequently incited to oppredr 
that genius by which they are Supported ; but to thai! 
intemperate defire of pkafiire, and habitual flavery to 
his pailions^ which involved hitn in many perplexities. 
He happened at that time to be engaged in the purfuit 
of fome trifling gratification^ and^ being without mo^ 
ney for the prefent occafion, fold his poete to tfherfirft 
bidder, and perhaps for the firft price that was pro»^ 
pofed, and would probably have been content with 
kfs, if lefs had been offered him. 

This poem was addreffed to the Lord Tyrconncl, 
hot ofdy in the firft lines, but in a formal dedication 
filled with the higheft ftrains of panegyrick, and the 
warmeft profefitons of gratitude, but by no means re«» 
markable for delicacy of connexion or elegance of ftyle* 

Thefe praifes in a fhort time he found himfelf in- 
clined to retra^, being difcarded by the man on whom 
he had beftowed them, and whom he then immediately 
difcovered not to have defervcd them. Of this quar- 
rel^ which every day made more bitter, Lord Tyr* 
connel and Mr. Savage afiigned very different reafons. 
Which might perhaps all in reality concur, though 
they were not all convenient to be alleged by either 
party. Lord Tyrconnel affirmed, that it was the con- 
Aanc praftice of Mr. Savage to enter a tavern with any 
company that propofed it^ drink the moft expenfive 


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Wines ^\tik great ptofufion^ and when the rtAcm&g 
was demanded, to be without money : If, as it dfteil 
litppeiied) 4u8 eompfmy ivere Willing to defray his part^ 
tfa^ afflw -eoA^ ^«h6ttC any iU confluences ; but^ 
iE Acf wefe YefraAofy, and expedlied that the wind 
fliOuld be rpaid for by him that drank it^ his oiethod 
df con^ofiKkm nvits, to take them with him to his own 
apartm^t, s^iiune the government of the hdufe, -and 
order die butldr in sin in^rious manner to iet the heft 
iRnae in the <:elku: before his company, who often drank 
tni they forgot the refpedb due to the houfe in whicli 
they weie entertained, indulged themfelves in the ut- 
tMSt eixtravagance of merriment^ pradifed the moft 
lieentious fibUcks^ and committed all the outrages d 

' Nor was this the opiy charge which Lord Tyrconnel 
brought Qgdiaft him : luring .giv^n him a coUeddon 
of valuable books, ftainped with his own arms, he had 
^e ^mortifioatmm to fee t|iem in a ihort timt expofel 
to £de Kipon the (klls, it being ufual with Mr. Savage^ 
Wfa^^he wanted a fmall fum, to take his -books to tfaa 

Whoever was /ae^uaimed with Mr. Savi^ eafily 
cre^ced bctfh tbefe accAifatloas^; fof, having besn ob^ 
ligcd, from^is firft entrance into the workl, to (uMft 
Upon ea^ediems, ^iffluencewas not able to'exak bin 
above th^m ; amd fo much 1«^s he deli^ed with wine 
4k&i eonverfiktion^ ^nd-To long had he been accuftomed 
^iolive by chaoo^ that he Wo^dd at any time goto i^ 
ttvem without ffimiple, and truft for the reckoning to 
ithe liberalityof his company, ^md frequently of eom^ 
.f^^ to whom *he was ^ery litl^ knownt This coor 
4tt& indeed very iicldom drew upon him thofe incoiH 
6 Veniences 

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S A V A G fi* 189 

"^enieiKitf^ that might be feared by any other perfon J 
fot his converfatioh was fo entertaining, ^d his ad^^ 
drefs fo pleafing, that few thought the pleafure which 
thty received from hitti dearly ptirchiafed, by paying 
for his wine; It Was his peculiar happinefs, that he 
fcarcely ever found a ftranger, whom he did not leave 
^ friend ; but it muft likewife be added> that he had 
not often a friend long> without obliging hint to ht^ 
come a (Irangen 

Mr. Savage^ on the other hand> declared^ that Lord 
Tyrconnel * quarrelled With him, becaufe he would 
not fubftraft from his own luxury and extravagance 
What he had promifed to allow him, and that his re- 
fentment was only a plea for the violation of his pro* 
inife X He afierted, that he had done nothing that 
ought to exclude him from that fubfiftence which he 
thought not fo much a favour, as a debt, fince it was 
offered him upon conditions which he had never, 
broken ; and that his only fault was, that he could 
not be fupported'with nothing. 

He acknowledged, that Lord Tyreonnel often ex* 
horted him to regulate his method of life, and not to 
fpend all his nights Ih taverns, and that he appeared 
very defirous, that he would pafs thofe hours with 
him, which he fo finely bellowed upoh others* This 
demand Mr. Savage confidered as a cenfure of hi^ 
conduft, which he could never patiently bear ; and 
which, in the latter and Cooler part of his life, was 
fo offenfive to him, that he declared it ds his refolu* 
tion, " to fpufn that friend who fliould prefume to 

♦ Hit ekprcffioft in ofac of his letters Was, ** tbatLofd Tyrconnel 
'* had involved his eftate, and therefore poorly fotight an occafioti to 
•* quarrel with him/' On^. E^tit. 

Vol. IIL U 1* di£UM 

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zgm 9 A V A G E. 

" diftate to him;" and it is' not likely/ that m'hh 
earlier years he received admonitioDs with more calm* 


He was like^vife inclined to rcfent fuch exptAations, 
as tending to infringe his liberty, of which he was 
very jealous, when it was ncceffary to the gratification 
of his paffions ; and declared, that the requeft was ftill 
more unreafonabte, as the company to which he was 
to have been confined was infupportaWy difagreeable. 
This aflertidn affords 'another' inftance of that incon- 
fiftency of his writings with his converfatibn, which 
was fo often fo be obfcrved. He forgot how lavifhly 
he had, in his Dedication to The fVanderer, extbUed 
the delicacy and penetration, the humanity and gene* 
tofity, the candour and politenefs of the man, whom/ 
when he no longer loved him, he declared to be a 
wretch without underfranding, without good-nature, 
and without juftice ; of whofe name he thought him* 
felf obliged to leave no trace in any future edition of 
his writings ; and accordingly blotted it out of that 
copy of The Wanderer which was in his hands. 

During his continuance with the Lord Tyrconhel, 
he wrote Tte Triumph of Health and Mirtb^ On the re- 
covery of Lady Tyrconliel from a lariguifhing illnefs. 
This performance is remarkable, not only for the 
gaiety of the ideas, and the melody of the numbers, 
but for the agreeable fidtion upon which it is formed* 
Mirth, overwhelmed with forrow for the (icknefs of 
her favourite, takes a flight in queft of her filler Health, 
.whom ihe finds reclined upon the brow of a lofty 
mountain, amidl! the fragrance of perpetual fpring, 
with the breezes of the morning fporiiag about her. Be- 
- • ingTolicited by her fitter Mirth, ihe readily promifes her 
4 affiftance, 

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SAVAGE. i9i 

•B&ftance, flies away in a cloud, and impregnates the ^ 
waters of Bath with new virtues, by which the iicknefs 
of Belinda is relieved. 

. As the reputation of his abilities, the particular cir« 
cumftances of his birth and life, the fplendour of his ap- 
pearance, and the diftin£tion which was. for fome time 
paid him by Lord Tyrconnel, intitled him to famili- 
arity with perfbns of higher rank than thole to whole 
converfation he had been before admitted ; he did not 
fail to gratify that curiofity, which induced him to 
take a nearer view of thoie whom their birth, their 
employments, or their fortunes, neceflarily place at a 
diftance from the greateft part of mankind, and to ex- 
amine whether their merit was magnified or diminiihed 
by the medium through which it was contemplated ; 
whether the fplendour with which they dazzled their 
admirers was inherent in themfelves, or only refl^ded 
on them by the obje^s that furrounded them ; and 
whether great men were feleffced for high fiations, or 
high ftations made great men. 

for this pwpofc he took all opportunities of con- 
:irerfing familiarly with thofe who were moft confpicu-. 
ous at that time for their power or their influence ; 
he watched their loofer moments, and examined their 
domeflick behaviour, with that acutenefs which na- 
ture had given him, and which the uncommon variety 
of his life had contributed to increafe, and that inqui- 
fitivenefs which muft always be produced in a vigorous 
mind, by an abfolute freedom from all preffing or do- 
meftick engagements. His difcemment was quick, 
aad therefore he foon found in every perfon, and in 
every affair, fomething that defcrvcd attention; he 

U 2 was 

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29^ S A V A G Ei 

was fupported by others^ without any care for himfeBf^ 

and was therefore atkifure to purfue his obfervations. 

More clrcumflances to conflitute a critick on human 
life could not eafily concur ; nor indeed could any man, 
who aifumed from accidental advantages more praife 
than he could juftly claim from his real merit, admit 
an acquaintance more dangerous than that ef Savage; 
of whom likewife it muft be confelTed, that abilities 
really exalted above the conunon level, or virtue re- 
fined from pafiion, or proof againft corruptioa^ could 
not eafily find an abler jud^^ or a warmer advocate^ 

What was the refult of Mr. Savage's enquiry, thougk 
he was not much accuflomed to conceal his difcove- 
ries, it may not be entirely fafe to relate, becauf^ the 
perfons whofe characters he criticifed are powerful; 
and power and refentment are feldom Grangers ; nor 
would it perhaps be wholly jufl, becaufe what he af- 
ferted in converfation might, though true in general, 
be heightened by fome momentary ardour of imagina- 
tion, and, as it can be delivered only from memory, 
may be imperfedly reprefented ; fo that Ae pi£ture at 
firft aggravated, and then unikilfuUy copied, may be 
juftly fufpe&ed to retain no great refemblance of the 

It may however be obferved, that he did not appear 
to have formed very elevated ideas of thofe to whom 
th^ adminiftration of affairs, or the condu6k of parties,* 
has been intrufted ; who have been conlidered as the 
advocates of the crown, or the guardians of the peo- 
ple ; and who have obtained the moft implicit confix 
dence, and the loudeft applaufes. Of one particular 
perfon, who lias been at one time fi> popular as to be 
generally efteemed, and at another fo formidable us to 


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S A y A G £. 293 

be univerfally detefted, he obferved, that his acquifi- 
tions had been finally or that his capacity was narrow, 
and that the whole range of his mind was from obfce- 
nity topoliticks, and from politicks to obfcenity. 

But 4:he opportunity of indulging his fpeculations 
on gpeat characters was now at an end. He was ba- 
nilhed from the table of Lord Tyrconnel, and turned 
again adrift upon the world, without profpe£t of find- 
ing quickly any other harbour. As prudence was not 
one of the virtues by which he was diftinguilhed, he 
had made no provifion againfl a misfortune like this. 
And though it is not to be imagined but that the fe- 
parat^on muft for fome time have been preceded by 
coldnefs, peeviihnefs, or negleft, though it was un- 
doubtedly the confequence of accumulated provoca- 
tions on both fides; yet every one that knew Savage 
will readily believe, that to him it was fudden as a 
ilroke of thunder ; that, though he might have tran- 
fiently fufpefted it, he had never fuffered any thought 
fo unpleafing to fink into his mind, but that he had 
4lriven it away by amufements, or dreams of future 
felicity and affluence, and had never taken any mea- 
fures by which he might prevent a precipitation from 
plenty to indigence. 

This 'quarrel and feparation,,and the difficulties to 
which Mr. Savage was expofed by them, were ibon 
known both to his friends and enemies ; nor was it 
long before he perceived, from the behaviour of both, 
how much is added to the luftre of genius by the orna<> 
ments of wealth. 

His condition did not appear to excite much com- 
paffion ; for he had not always been careful to ufe the 
advantageswhichhe enjoyed with that moderation which 

U 3 ought 

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S94 Z A y A G t^ 

ou^t to have been with more timx ufuai cmtion pn^ 
ierved by him^ who knei^, if he had xe&e&ed, that 
he was okly a dependlmt on the boUDty of another, 
whom he could exped to fupport him no longer than 
he endeavoured to pieibrve his favour by Complying 
with his inclinatioiis^ aad whom he neverthelefs &t at 
deiancei and was continually irritating by negligenoe 
CNT encroachments. 

Examples need not be feught at any gpeat diftanoe 
to provcj that fuperiority of fortune has a natural ten-> 
dency to kindle pr^de^ and that pride feldom fails to 
exert itfelf ]s^ contempt and infuk ; and if this is often 
the effed of hereditary wealth, and of hpnours enjoyed 
pnly by the nof rit of others, it is fome extenuation of 
any indecent triumphs to which this unhappy mitn may 
have been betrayed, that his profperity was heightened 
by the force of novelty, and made more intoxicating 
by a ienfe of the mifery in which he h^d fo long lan^ 
guiihedji and perh;ips of the infulcs which he had for- 
merly borne, and which he might now think Utmf^ 
entitled to revenge. It is too com^ion for thofe who 
have unjuftly fuffered pain, to inflift it likewife in their 
fum with the fame injuftice, and to imagine that they 
have a right to treat others as they h^ve th^mfelvcs 
^>een treated. 

That Mr. Selvage was too much elevated by any 
good fortune, is gcheraUy known ; and fome pajSages, 
of his Introdudkion to The Author to be kt fufficiently 
:|hew, that he did not wholly refrain from fuch fatire 
as he afterwards thought very unjuft, when he was ex- 
pcrfed to it himfelf ; for, when he was afterwards ridi- 
culed in the charafter of a diftreflcd poet, he very eafily. 
di(cpy?red, that diftrcfs wais not a proper fubjed: fbt 
. ; * ' • • ^ ■ ^ t^^rri^^ 

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8 A V A G E* %9S 

merrimefit^ or topick of invedive. He was ithen able 
to difcern^ that^ if mifery be the efied: of virtue, it 
ought to be reverenced ; if of ill* fortune^ to be pitied ; 
and if of vice, not to be infulted, becaufe it is perhaps 
itfelf a punifhment adequate to the crime by which it 
was produced. And the humanity of that man can de* 
i^e no panegyricky who is capable of reproaching a 
criminal in the hands of the executioner. 

But thefe refledlions, though they readily occurred 
to him in the firft and laft parts of his life, were, I am 
afraid, for a long time forgotten ; at leaft they were, 
like many other maxims, treafured up in his mind, ra- 
ther for ihew than ufe, and operated very little upon 
kis condufty however elegantly he might fometimes 
explain, or however forcibly he might inculcate, them. 

His degradation therefore from the condition which 
he had enjoyed with fuch wanton thoughtleflhefs, 
was confidered by many as an occafion of triumph. 
Thofe who had before paid their court to him without 
luccefs, foon returned the contempt which they ^had 
iuffered~; and they who had received favours from him, 
for of fuch favours as he could bellow he was very li- 
beral, did not always remember them. So much more 
certain are the efk&s of refentment than of gratitude : 
it is not only to many more pleaHng to recoUeft thofe 
faults which place others below them, than thofe vir- 
tues by which they are themfelves comparatively de- 
preffed ; but it is likewife more eafy to negledt, than 
to recoropenfe; and though there are few who will 
pra&ife a laborious y^i^ue, there will never be wanting 
multitudes that will indulge an eafy vice. 

Savage, however, was very little difturbed at the 
iliarks of contempt which his ill-fortune brought upon 

U 4 him. 

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a96 SAVAGE. 

him, from thofe whom he never efteemed, and witH 
vrhomhenever confidered himfelf as levelled by any cala<» 
mities : and though it was not without fome upeafineft 
that he faw fome, whofe friendfliip he valued, change 
their behaviolir ; he yet obferved their coldne{$ without 
much emotion, conlidered them as the ilaves of fortune 
and the worlhipers of profperity, and was more in- 
clined to defpife them, than to lament himfelf* 

It does not appear that, after this return of his 
wants, l\t found mankind equally favourable to him, 
9s at bis firft appearance in the world. His ftory, 
though in reality not lefs melancholy, was lefs afieft* 
ing, b^caufe it was no longer new ; it therefore pro* 
cured him no new friends ; and thofe that had formerly 
relieved him, thought they might now coniign him cq 
Others. He was now likewife conlidered by many rap 
ther as criminal, than as unhappy ; for the friends of 
Lord Tyrconnel, and of his mother, were fufficiently 
induftrious to publiih bis weaknefles, which were in- 
deed very numerous ; and nothing w$^s forgotten, that 
might make him either hateful or ridiculous* 

It cannot but be imagined, that fuch reprefentations 
of his faults muft make great Qupiber; lefs fenfible of 
his diftrefs ; many, who had only an opportunity to 
hear one part, made no fcruple tQ propagate the ac* 
count which they received ; many affifled their circular 
tion from malice or revenge ; a|id perhaps many prc-^ 
fended to credit them, that they might with a bet-^ 
ter grace withdraw their regard^ or withhold their 

Savage however was not one of thofe, whp fufFcred 
Jiimfelf to be injured without refiftance, nor was lefs 
diligent in expofmg the fkults of J-ord Tyrconnel, over 

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SAVAGE. spy 

'VDliom lie obtained at leaft this advantage, that he 
drove him firft to the praftice of outrage and violence ; 
for he was fb much provoked by the wit and virulence 
of Savage, that he came with a number of attendants, 
that did no honour to his courage^ to beat him at « 
coffee-houfe. But it happened that he had left the 
place a few minutes^; and his lordlhip had, withotK 
danger, the pleafure t)f boafling how he would have 
treated him. Mr. Savage went next day to repay his 
viiit at his own houfe ; but was prevailed on, by his 
domefticks, to retire without iniifting upon feeing him. 

Lord Tyrconnel was accufed by Mr. Savage of fome 
adions, which fcarcely any provocations will be thought 
fufficient to juftify i fuch as feizmg what he had in his 
lodgings, and other inftances of wanton cruelty, by 
which he incr^fed the diftrefs of Savage, without any 
advantage to himfelf, 

Thefe mutual accufations were retorted on both fides, 
for many years, with the utmoft degree of virulence 
and rage ; and time feemed rather to augment than 
diminiih their refentment* That the anger of Mr. Sa- 
vage ihould be kept alive, is not ftrange, becaufe he 
felt every day the confequences of the quarrel ; but it 
might reafonably have been hoped, that Lord Tyr- 
connel might have relented, and at length have forgot 
thofe provocations, which, however they might have 
once inflamed him, had not in reality much hurt hinu 

The fpirit of Mr. Savage indeed never fuifered him 
jto folicit a reconcUiation ; he returned reproach foe 
reproach, and infult for infult ; his fuperiority of wit 
fupplied the difadvantages of his fortime, and enabled 
him to form a party, and pr^dice great numbers in 
})i$ favour. 


Digitized by VjOOQIC _ 

298 S A V A G fi. 

But though thi» might be (bme gnitification of htf^ 
vanity y it afforded very little relief to his ne€dBtic»$ 
and he was very frequently reduced to uocoixmioa 
hardfliipsy of which, however, he never made any 
mean or importunate complaints, being formed radier 
ta bear mifery with ifbrtitssde, than enjoy profperity 
with moderation. 

He now thou^t himfelf again at liberty to expoft 
the cruelty of his mother, and therefore, I believe, 
about this time, publiflied The Baftard, a poem re- 
markable for thei vivacious (alKes of thought in the 
beginnii^, where he makes a pompous enumeration of 
the imaginary advantages of bale birth ; and the pa- 
thetick fentiments at the end, where he recounts the 
real calamities which he Aiffisred by the crime of fail 
parents. ' 

The vigour and fpirit of the verfes, the peculiar cir- 
cumftances of the author, the novelty of the Ibbjed, 
and the notoriety of the ftory to which the aUufions are 
made, procured this performance a very favourable ft- 
ception; great numbers were immediately difperfed, 
and editions were multiplied with unufual rapidity. 

One circumftance attended the publication, which 
Savage ufed to relate with great fatisfadicm. His mou- 
ther, to whom the poem was with ^< due reverence** 
infcribed, happened then to be at Bath, where flic 
eould not conveniently retire from cenfure, or conceal 
herfelf from obfervation ; and no fooner did the repu- 
tation of the poem begin to fpread, than flie heard it 
repeated in all places of concourfe, nor could ihe enter 
the affembly-rooms or crofs the walks^ without being 
laluted with fome lines from Th Bafiavd. 


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S A V A G B. 299 

This wa$ perhaps the firft time that ever fliedifco- 
vered a ienfe of fluune, and on this oceafion the power 
dp wtt was very coafpicuous ; the wretch who had^ 
without (cruple, proclaimed herfelf an adulterefs, and 
who had firft endeavoured to ftarvc her fon^ then to 
tranfpoirt him> and afterwards to hang him^ was not 
able to bear the reprefentation of her own condud ; 
but fled from reproach, though ihe felt no pain from 
guilt, and left Bath with the utmoft hafte, to ihelter 
herielf among the crowds of London. 

Thus Savage had the (atisfaAion of finding, thar, 
though he could not reform his mother, he could pu- 
nifli her, and that he did not always fufier alone. 

The pleafure which he received from this increafe of 
his poetical reputation, was fufficieat for fbme time 
teo overbalance the miieries of want, which this per«- 
formancedid not much alleviate; for it was fold. for 
a very trivial fum to a bookieller, who, though the 
fuccefs was ib uncommon that five impreflions were 
ibid, of which many were undoubtedly very numerous^ 
had not generofity iufficient to admit the udhappy wri- 
ter to any part of the profit. 

The falc of thi^ poem was always mentioned by Mn 
Savage with the utmoft elevation of heart, and referred 
(o by him as an inconteftable proof of a general ac«- 
knowledgemont of his abilities. It was indeed the 
only produftipn of which he could juftly boaft a gene- 
ral reception. 

But though he, did not lofe the opportunity which 
fuccefs gave him, of letting a high rate on his abilities, 
but paid due deference to the fuftrages of mankind 
when they were given in his favour, he did not fuffer 
Ibis efteem of himfelf to depend upon others, nor found 


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30D S A V A G R 

any tbmg facred in the voice of the people when they 
were inclined to cenfure him ; he then readily ihewed 
the folly of expe£ting that the publick Ihould judge 
rights obferved how flowly poetical merit had often 
forced its way into the world ; he contented himfelf 
with the applaufe of men of judgement, and was fome^ 
what difpofed to exclude all thofe from the character 
cf men of judgement who did not applaud him. 

But be was at other times more favourable taman- 
lind than to think them blind to the beauties of his 
works^ and imputed the flownefe of their fale to other 
caufes; either they were publifhed at a time when the 
town was empty, or when the attention of the publick 
was engrofied by fome ftruggle in the parliament, or 
feme other objeft of general concern ; or they were by 
the negledk of the publifher not diligently difperfed, 
ttr by his avarice not advertifed With fufficient fre- 
ipieijcy. Addrefs, or induftry, or liberality, was always 
wanting ; and the blame was laid rather oaaay perfoi^ 
than the author. 

By arts like thefe, arts which every man pra&iiet 
in fome degree, and to which too much of the little 
tranquillity of life is to be afcribed. Savage was always 
ableta live at peace with himfelf. Had he indeed 
eniy. made ufe of thefe expedients to alleviate the ]o& 
cnr want of fortune or reputation, or aay other advan- 
tages^ which it is not in man's power to beftow upon 
kimfelf, they might have been juftly mentioned as in- 
fiances of a philofophical mind, and very properly 
pcopofed to the imitation of multitudes, who, for want 
€tf divening their imaginations with the fame dexte* 
rtty» la]:\giulh under affli£kions which might be a£ty 


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It were doubtlefs to be ^iihed, that truth and rea- 
fen were univerfally prevalent ; that every thing were 
cfieemed according to its real value; and that men 
would fecure themfelves from being difappointed in 
their endeavours after happinefs, by placing it only ia 
virtue, which i^ always to be obtained ; but if adven*- 
titious and foreign pkafures muft be purfued, it would 
be perhaps of fomc benefit, fince that purfuit mu& fre- 
quently be fruitlefs, if the pradice of Savage could 
be taught^ that folly might be an antidote to JFoUy^ 
and one fallacy be obviate4 by another* 

But the danger of this pleaiing imoxication mull: 
not be concealed ; nor indeed can any one, after hav- 
ing obferved the life of Savage, need to be camioned 
againft it. By imputing none of his miferies to him- 
ielf, he continued to ad upon the fame principles^ aod 
to follow the fame path ; was never made wiier by his 
fiifferings, nor preferved by one misfortune from fal- 
ling into another. He proceeded throughout his life 
to tread the fame fteps on the fame circle ; always ap- 
plauding his pafi condud, or at lead forgetting it, to 
amufe himielf with phantoms of happinefs, which 
were dancing before him ; and willingly turned his eyes 
from the light of reafon, when it would have difco- 
vered the iUuiion, and ihewn him, what he never 
wiihed tp fee, his real fiate. 

He is «ven accufed, after having lulled his imagl- 
Bation with thofe ideal opiates, of having tried the 
fame experiment upon his confcience ; and^ having ac- 
cuftomed liimfelf to impute all deviations from the 
right to foreign caufes, it is certain that he was upon 
every occafion too cafily reconciled to liimfelf, and that 
Jbe appeared very little to regret thofe practices whicli 

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3oa S A V A G £• 

had impaired his reputation. The reigning error of 
his life was^ chat he miftook the love for the praAice 
cf virtue, and was indeed not fo much a good man^ 
as the friend of goodnefs. 

This at leaft muft be allowed him, that he always 
preferved a ftrong fenfe of the dignity, the beauty, 
and the neceffity of virtue, and that he never contri- 
buted deliberately to fpread corruption amongft man- 
kind. His aftions, which were generally precipitate, 
were often blameable ; but his writings, being the pro- 
ductions of ftudy, uniformly tended to the exaltation 
of the mind, and the propagation of morality and 

Thefe writings may improve mankind, whe;)^ his 
failings ihall be forgotten ; and therdFore he muft be 
confidered, upon the whole, as a benefactor to the 
world; nor can his perfonal example do any hurt, 
fince, whoever hears of his faults, will hear of the 
miferies which they, brought npon him, and which 
would deferve lefs pity, had not his condition been 
fuch as made his faults pardonable. He may be cm- 
iidered as a child expofed to all the temptations of in- 
digence, at an age when refolution was not yet ftrength- 
ened by convidtion, nor virtue confirmed by habit ; a 
circumftance which, in his Baftardy he laments in a 
very affe&ing manner : 

No Mother's care 

Shielded my infant innocence with prayer ; 

No Father's guardian-hand my youth maintain'd, 

Caird forth my virtues, or from vice reftrain'd; 

^^ Baftardy however it might provoke or mortify 
his mother, could not be expefited to melt her to com- 
paifion, fo that he was flill under the fame want of the 


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5 A V A G E. S03 

aeoeflaries of life ; and he therefore exerted all the ia- 
tereft which his wit^ or his birth^ or his misfortunes^ 
could procure, to obtain, upon the death o( Eufden, 
»the place of Poet Laureat, and profecuted hi$ appli- 
cation with (b much diligence, that the King pub- 
lickly declared it his intention to beflow it upon him; 
but fuch was the fate of Savage, that even the King, 
when he intended his advantage, was difappointed in 
his fchemes; for the Lord Chamberlain, who has the 
difpo(al of thei laurel, as one of the appendages of his 
office, either di^ not know the King's defign, or did 
not approve it, or thought the nomination of the Lau- 
reat an encroachment upon his rights, and therefore 
beflowed the laurel upon CoUey Gibber. 

Mr. Savage, thus difappointed, took a refolution of 
applying to the queen, that, having once given him 
life, ihe wcHild enable him to fupport it, and therefore 
publiihed a ihort poem on her birth-day, to which he 
gave the odd title of Volunteer Laureaf. The event of 
this eflay he has himfelf related in the following letter, 
which he prefixed to the poem, when he afterwards 
reprinted it in The Gentlematifs Magazine^ from whence 
I have copied it intire, as this was one of the few 
attempts in which Mr. Savage fucceeded. 

** Mr. Urban, 

** In your Magazine for February you publifhed the 
** laft Volunteer Lour eat written on a very melancholy oc- 
** cafion, the death of the royal patronefs of arts and 
^^ literature in general, and of the author of that poem 
^* in particular; I now fend your the firft that Mr. 
*^ Savage wrote under that title. — This gentleman, 
^* notwithftkndtng a very confiderable intereft, being, 
*' on the death <jf Mr. Eufden, difappointed of the 

** I.aureat's 

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5^4 S A V A G E* 

•* Laureates place, wrote the following verfes i wkicfi 
•* were no fooner publiffied but the late Queen fent 
•^ to a bookfeller for them* The author had not at 
*^ that time a friend titYi^t to get him introduced, or' 
** his poem prefented at Court ; yet fuch was the un- 
^^ fpeakable goodnefs of that Princefs, that, notwith- 
*' {landing this aft of ceretriony was wanting, in a few 
*' days after publication Mr. Savage received a Bank-^ 
•^ bill of fifty pounds, and 4 gracious meffage from 
•* her Majefty, by the Lord North and Guilford, to 
" this efFeft; ^ That her Majefty was highly pleafed 
•* with the verfes; that ihe took particularly kind 
*' his lines there relating to the King; that he hid 
•^ permiflion to write annually on the ftme fubjefti 
*^ and that he Ihould yearly receive the like prefent, 
" till fomething better (which Was her Miyefty's in* 
^ tention) could be done for him/ After this, he was 
** permitted to prefent one of his annual ppcitiS to hef 
*' Majefty, had the honour of kifling her hand, and 
^ met with the moft gracious reception* 

" Yours, &c/* 

The Volunteer LAureat. 

A Poem: Oixxht ^ue^n's Bhth-Day. Humbly addrcflcd 
to her Majesty. 

Twice twenty tedious moons have rolPd away* 
fince Hope, kind flatterer! tun'd my penfive lay^ 
Whifpering, that you, who rais'd me from defpair^ 
Jtfcant, by your faiiles, to make life worth my care i 
With pitying liand an Orphan's tears to fcreen» 
And o'er the Alotherkfs cxteiKl the Queen* 
* Twill be — the prophet guides the poet's ftrain ! 
Grief never touch'd a heart like yours in vain: 
Heaven gave you power, becaufc you love to bleft^ 
And pity^ when you feel it, is rcJrefs, 


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S A V A G El ^05 

^wo fadiers join'd to rob my claim of one I 
lHy mother too thought fit to have no fon ! 
The fenate next» whofe aid the helplefs own, 
Forgot my infant wrongs^ and mine alone 1 
Yet parents pitilefs, nor peers unkind^ 
Nor titles loft, nor woes myfterious join'd^ 
Strip me of hope — ^by heaven thus lowly laid, 
Te find a Pharaoh's daughter in the fhade. 

You cannot hear unmov'd when wrongs implore^ 
Your heart is woman, though your mind be more a 
Kind, like the power who gave you to our prayers> 
You would not lengthen life to fharpen cares 2 
They who a barren leave to live beftow. 
Snatch but from death to facrifice to woe. 
Hated by her, from whom my life I drew^ 
Whence Ibould I hope, if not from Heaven and You ? 
Nor dare I groan beneath afBi Aion's rod, 
My Queen, my mother ; and my father, God* • • 

The pitying Mufes fkw nie wit purfae, 
A Baftard Son^ ahs ! on that fide too. 
Did not your eyes exalt the poet's fire. 
And what the Mufe denies, the Queen infpire ; 
While rifing thus your heavenly foul to view, . 
I learn, how Angels think, by copying You. 

Great Princefs ! 'tis decreed— once every year 
I march uncall'd your Laureat Volunteer ; 
Thus Ihall your poet his low genius raife. 
And charm the world with truths too vaft for praife. 
Nor need I dwell oti glories all your own. 
Since furer means to tempt your fmiies are known ; 
Your poet fhall allot your Lord his part, 
And paint him in bis nobleft throne, your heart. 

Is there a greatnefs that adorns him beft, 
A rifing wilh that ripens in his breaft ? 
Has he fore-meant fome difiant age to blefs, 
Difarm oppreffion, or expel diftrefs ? 
- Vol. II^ X Plans 

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itJff. SAVAGE. 

Plans hi fome fcheme to reconcile mankin<!^ 
People the Teas, and bufy erery wind ? 
Would he, by pwty, the decciv'4 reclaim, 
And fmile contending faftions into ihame ? 
Would his exam|>le lend his laws a weight. 
And bFeathe his own loft morals o*cr his ftate ? 
The Mufe (hatt find it all, ihall make it (eth. 
And teach the world his praife, ^to charm his Q^ecft» 

Siith be the annual truths my verfe imparts^ 
Nor frown, &ir Favourite of a people^s hearts ! 
Happy if plac'd perchance, beneath your eye» 
My Mu{^ titlpeitfion'd might her pinions try, 
Fearlefs to fail^ while you indulge her flame. 
And bid me proudly boaft your Laureates name; 
Renobled fhns by wreaths my Queen beftows^ 
I lofe all meitiory of wrongs asid woes. 

Such was the performa^nce, and fuch its reception } 
a reception which, though by no means unkind, wa^ 
yet not in the highcft degree generous t to chain dowtt 
the genius of a writet to an amual panegyrie fliewed 
in the Queeii f 66 hitfch defirc rf hearing her owtt 
praifes, add a greater ifegard to hferftff tbah to him o» 
whom her bounty was conferred. It Was a kind of 
avaricicMAS gencrofity, t>y Which flattity was father pur* 
chafed than genius rewarded^ 

M«. OWfieW had formerly ghren him the fame 
allowance with much more heroic intention} flie had 
no dther view than to enable him to profecute his 
ftudies, and to fet himfelf above the want rf afliftance, 
and was contented wkh doing good wiihotrt ftipulatins 
for encomiums* 

Mr.' Savage however was not at liberty ta mafe ex- 
ceptions, but was raviflied with the favours which he 
had received, and probably yet more with thofe «iicb 


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i! A V A G E. 307 

hb Was ^fomifed; he conlidered himfelf now as a &- 
Vouriie of the Qgeen> and did not doubt but a few an- 
nual poems would eftablilh hini %i fome profitable em- 

He therefore alTumed the title of Volunteer Laureate 
not without fome repreheniions from Cibber, who in- 
formed him^ that the title of Laureat was a mark of 
honour conferred by the King, from whom all honour 
is derived, and which therefore no man has a right to 
beftow upon himfelf; and added, that he might, with 
equal propriety, ftyle himfelf a Volunteer Lord, or 
Volunteer Baronet. It cannot be denied that the re- 
mark was juft; but Savage did not think any title, 
which was conferred upon Mr* Gibber, fo honourable 
)is that the ufurpation of it could be imputed to him 
OS an inilance of very exorbitant vanity, and therefore 
Continued to write under the fame title, and received 
every year the fame reward. 

He did not appear to confider thefe encomiums as 
tefts of his abilities, or as any thing more than an- 
nual hints to the Queen of her promife, or adts of 
ceiem6ny, by the performance o£ which he was intitled 
to his penfion, and therefore did not labour them with 
great diligence, or print more than fifty each year, er« 
cept that for fome of the lail years he regulaHy inferred 
them in The GenfUman^s Magazine, by which thej^ 
were difperled over the kingdom. 

Of fome of them he had himfelf fo low an opinion, 
that he intended to omit them m the coUedtion of 
poems, for which he printed propofals, and (bGcited 
fubfcriptions; nor baa it feem ftrange, that being coo- 
fined to the fame fulgeft, he ihould be at fome tim^ 
iodoleat, and at others unfuccefsful; that he ihould 

X 1 fome- ^ 

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5^8 SAVAGE. 

fbmecimes delay a difagreeablc tafk, till it was tod late 
to perform it well; or that he Ihould fometimes repeat 
the fame fcntiment t)n the fame occafion, or at others 
be milled by an attempt after novelty to forced conccp- 
tbns and far-fetched images. 

He wrote indeed with a double intention, which 
fupplied him with fome variety; for his bufineis was 
to prsdfe the Queen for the favours which he had re- 
ceived, and to complain to her of the delay of thofe 
which flie had promifed : in fome of his pieces, there- 
fore, gratitude is predominant, and in fome difcontent;. 
in fome he r^prefents himfelf as happy in her patro- 
n^e, and in others ais di£:oQiblate to find himfelf neg- 

Her promife,, like other promiles made to this un- 
fortunate, man, was never performed, though he took 
fufficient care that it ftiould not be forgotten. The 
publication of hisi Volunteer Laureat procured him. 
no other reward than a regular remittance of fifty 

He was not fo depreffed, by his difappointments as 
to neglect any oppoptimity that was offered of advanc- 
ing his intereft. When the Princefs Anne was mar- 
ried, he wrote a poem * upon her departure, only,, as 
he declared, " becaufc it was expefted from him," and 
he was not willing to bar his own profpefits by any ap* 
pearance of negleft. . r 

He never mentioned any advantage gained by this 
poem, or any regard that was paid to it; and thcre- 
.fore it is likely that it was confidered at court as an 
aft of duty to which he was obliged by his dependence, 
•and which it was therefore not necefifary to reward by 

* Printed in the late collcdtion, 


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SAVAGE. 309 

tiny new favour : or perhaps the Queen really intended 
his advancement, and therefore thought it fuperfluous 
to lavifh prefents upon a man whom Ihe intended to 
£llablifli for life. 

About this time not only his hopes were in danger of 
telng fxuttratcd, but his penfion likewifc of being ob- 
ftruAed, by an accidental calumny. The* writer of 
Th Daily Couranty a paper then publilhed under the 
direfkion of the minlftry, charged him with a crime, 
which, though not very great in itfelf, would have 
been remarkably invidious in him, and might very 
juftly have incenfed the Queen againft him. He was 
aocufed by name of influencing cle&ions againft the 
court, by appearing at the head of a tory mob; nor 
did the accufer fail to aggravate his crime, by repre- 
fentipg it as the effeft'of the moft atrocious ingratitude 
and a kind of rebellion againft the Queen, who had 
firft preferved him from an infamous death, and after- 
wards diftinguiflied him by her favour, and fupported 
him by h^r charity. The charge, as it was open and 
<:6nfident:, was likewife by good fortune very particular. 
The place of the tranfadtion was mentioned, and the 
rwhgle fcries of the rioter's conduft related. This ex- 
aftnefs made Mr. Savage's vindication eafy; for he 
never had in his life feen the place which was declared 
to be the fcene of his wickednefs, nor ever had beeu 
prcfcnt in any town when its reprefentatives were 
chofen. This anfwer he therefore made hafte to pub- 
lifli, with all the circuniftances neceflary to make it 
credible; and very reafonably den^anded, that the ac- 
cufatioD fliouid be retraced in the fame paper, that he 
iliight no longer fuffer the imputation of fedition and 
jjigratitudct This demand was likewife preflcd by 

X 3 him 

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310 S A V A G E. 

him in a private letter to the author pf the paper, whfli 
cither trufting to the protcftion of thofe whofc de^^ 
fence he had undertaken, or having entertained foraa 
perfonal malice againft Mr. Savage, or fearing, left, 
by retrafting fo confident an affertion, he ihould inir 
pair the credit of his papef , ref ufed to give him that 

Mr. Savage therefore thought it neceflary, to his 
own vindication, to profecute him in the King's Bench; 
but as he did not find any ill efifefts from the accufa- 
tion, having fufficiently cleared liis innocence, he 
thought any farther procedure would have the 
appearance of revenge; and therefore willingly drop- 
ped It. 

He faw foon afterguards a proceft coipnaenced in the 
lame court againft himfelf, on an informatipn in whicl^ 
he was accufed of writing and publifliing; vx obfccne 

It was always Mr. Savage's defire to be diftipguilhed; 
and, when any controverfy became popular, he never 
\yanted fome reafon for engaging in it with great ardour, 
and appearing at the head of the party which he ha4 
cholcn. As he was never celebrated for his prudence, 
he had no fooner taken his fide, and informed himfelf of 
fhc chief topicks of thedifpute, than he took all oppor^ 
tunities ofafferting and propa^jatiug his priociplcSj^ 
without much regard to his own intereft, or any other 
vifible defign than that of drawing upon himfelf the 
attention of mankind. 

The difpute between the bilhop of London and the 
chancellor is well known to have been for (bme time 
the chief topick of political converlation; and there* 
fcre Mr. Savage, in purfuance of his charafljer, endea* 


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s A V A G je; in 

vottred to become confpicuous ampAg th^ oqattotypfj 
tifts with lyhich every cofFee-houfc w^ fllle4 on that 
occafion. He was an indefatigable oppofer of all the 
claims of eccleiiaftical power, though he did not know 
on what they were founded; and was thensfom no 
friend to the Biihop of Londoa, But ht had anothef 
i^ibn for appearing as a warm advocate for Dr. Run- 
die; for he was the friend of Mr, Foftey and'j^* 
Thomibn, who were the friends of Mr. Savage. 

Thus remote was his intereft in the queftion, which 
however, as he imagined, concerned him fo nearly, that 
it was not fufficie^t to harangue and ^jfpu^^a hut ne^ef- 
fary likewife to write uponit* 

He therefore engaged with gr^ ardqur ip a. new 
poem, called hf him, The Pnjgre/i of a Divine ; in 
which he condufts a profligate prfeft by aU the gra- 
dations of wickednefs from a poor curacy in the coun- 
ftry, to th^ highefl prefern^ents of the church, a^d de- 
fcribes with that humour which was iiatur^l to him^ 
and that knowledgii; which was extended to all the di- 
veriities of human life, his behaviour in every ^ti,^ ; 
and infmuates, that this prieft, thus accompliikicd^ 
foimd at laft a patron in th^ Biihop of London* 

When he was aiked by one of his friends, on what 
pretence he could charge the bilhoflp w;t^ fuch an ac- 
tion } he had no more to fay, than that he had Qnly 
inverted the accufation, and that he thought it rea- 
fonable to believe, that he, who obftrudted the rife of 
a good man without reafon, wqxjld for bad reafons 
promote the exaltation of a vfll^. 

The clergy were univerfally provoke^ by this (atir* ; 
and Savage, who, as was his conftant praftke, had 
ict his name to his p^cfornjancc, was oehfured in Tbp 

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yt S A V A G R 

We^kfy Mfcellany * with feverity, which he did not 
feeiQ inclined to forget. 


* A fhoit &tire 1MW Ukewiie publifhed in the iame psiper^ ia whicti 
irpi^ the foUowing linei : 

For cruel murder doomM to hempen death* 

{Savage^ by royal grace, prolongM his breath, 

Well might you think he fpent his future years 

In prayer^ and fading, and repentant tears. ' 
' «— But, O vain hope !— the tnily Savage cries, 

f f Prieils, and their flavifh dp^nes, I defpife, 

«« Shall I 

** Who, by free-thinking to free aftion fi|-'d, 

<* In midnight brawls a deathlefs name acquir*d, 

♦* Now ftoop to learn of eccleliailic men ?«— 

^* — No, arm'd with rhyme, at priefts I'll f^dce my aim. 
. '^* Though pnfdenp^ bid< pw murder l^ut their feme," 

Weekly Miscellah'^p, 

(in anfwer vm$ pijblUh^ in 7!^/ Ggntjem^^s M^gaziney written bj^ai) 
unknown hand, from which the following lines are Telexed : 

llrapsform'd by thoughtlefs rage, and midnight wine^ 
From malice free, and pufli*d without defign ; 
In equal brawl if Savage lung'd a thruft, 
And brought the youth a victim to the duft ; 
So flrong the hand of accidi^nt appears, 
7he royal hand froip guilt and vengeance clears. 

Inflead of wafting ** all thy future years, 
** Savage, in prayer and vain repentant tears ;" ^ 
Exert thy pen to mend a vicious age. 
To curb the prieit, apd fink hh hi^^rchi^rch rage | 
To (how what frauds the holy yeflnaents hide, 
The nefls of avarice, luil, and pedant pride : 
Then change' the fcene, let merit brightly ihine^ 
And round the patriot twifl the wreath divine i * 
The heavenly guide deliver down to fame ; 
. }n weli-tun'd lays tranfznit a Foiler^s nanoc { 
Touch every paffion with harmonious art, 
]f3^1t the ^eniuS| and correfttt^e heart, 

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SAVAGE, 313 

^ut a return of inveftive was not thought a fufficiT 
tnt puniihment. The Court of King-s Bench wa^ 
therefore moved againft him, and he was obliged to 
return an anlwer to a charge of o^fcenity . It was urged, 
in his defence^ that obfcenity was criminal when it 
was intended tq promote the p^dtice of vice ; but that 
Mr. Savage had only introduced obfcene ideas with 
the view of expofing them to^deteftation, and of amend- 
ing the age,' by ihewing the deformity of wickednefs. 
This plea was admitted ; and Sir Philip Yprke, who 
then prefided in that court, difmifTed the information 
with encomiums upo9 the purity and excellence of 
Mr. Savage's writings. 

' The profecution, however, anfwered in fome mea- 
fore the purpofe of thofe by whom it was fet on foot ; 
for Mr. Savage was {o far intimidated by it, that, 
when the edipionof his poem was fold^ he did liot vcn?i 
ture to reprmt it ; (o that it was in a ihort time for- 
gotten, or forgotten by all but thofe whoni it of- 

It is faid, that fome endeavours were ufed to in^ 
cenfe the Queen againft him ; but he found advocates 
CO obviate at leaft part of their effeft ; for though he 
was nev^r advanced, he ftill continued to receive hi$ 

Thuf fatuj» timet ihall royal grace extol ; 
Thus poliihM Uiies thyprefeat fame enrql. 
■But grant 
Malicioufly that Savage plungM the ftccl. 
And made the youth Its ihining vengeance feel : 
My Ibul abhors the a6t, the man deteils, 
^tif more the bigotry in prieftly hreails. 

pfntleman*s Alngazine, May 1735, 

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314 LAVAGE. 

This poem drew more in£uny upon him than any 
incident of his life ; and, as his condud cannot ho 
yindicatedy it is proper to fecure hisi memory from 
reproach, by informing thofe whom he m^ his ene- 
rniesj that he never intended to repeat the provoca^ 
tion ; and th^t, thpugh, whenever he thought he ha4 
any reafon to complain of the clergy, he ufed to 
threaten them with a new edition of Jhe Frogrep qf 
a Diviney it was hii^ caim and fettled refolutipn to fupT 
p?els u for per, 

He once intended to have n^ade a bett^ reparation 
jbr the folly or injuftice with which h( migb( h? 
charged, by writing another poem, called tttf Proffr<fi 
cf a Free-thinker^ whom he intended to lead through 
nU the ftages'of vice and folly, to convert him from 
Yirtue to wickednefs, and from religion to infidelity, 
hy all the modifh fophiftry ufed for that puspofe ; and 
at laft ta difmifs him by his own haad into the other 

That he did not execute this defign. Is a real k>(s ta 
mankind, for he was too well acquainted with all the 
fcenes of debauchery to have failed in his reprefenu* 
iions of them, and too zealous for virtue no£ to ha¥0 
jrepcefented tliem in fuch a maimer as ^BfiM^ expofe 
^em either to ridicule or deteftation. 

But this plan was, like others, forn^ed and laid 
afide, till the vigour of his imagination was fpent, and 
the effervefcence of invention had fubfidcd ; but foon 
gave way to forqe ochep defign, ^yhich pl^caigd by its 
novelty for a ivhile> and then w^9 i«glB(SW(i ltk4 the 

He was ftill in his ufual exigences, having no cer* 
tatn fuppor^ but the peqiion a^owed^ hiim by the Quetnt 


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S A V A G £• 31 J 

wUe1|> though it mi^ht have kept an exaft oeconomift 
jfrom want, was very far from being fofficicnt for Mr* 
j^vage, who bad never been accuftomed to dt{ms6 
imy of. his appetites witbc^t tb^ gratification whidi 
they folicked, and whom nothing but want of money 
withheld from partaking of every ple^iyre that fell' 
within his view. 

His conduft with regard to his penfion was very par* 
licular. No fooner had he changed the ^^U, d)^ he 
yanifhed ftom the fight of all his acquaintance^ and 
lay for jbme time out of the reach of all the enquiries 
tluit friendlhip or curiofity could make after him; at 
length be appeared again p^pi^y^^ff ^ beiore^ but ne- 
ver informed even thpfs wbQ(n he fpeipfsd to rcg^d ipo&f 
where he had been, nor was hi$ retseat ever diicovered. 
This W2^ his conftant praftice during th^^ whole 
time th^t he received the penfioiji from tbc Q^een: he 
re^arly ^ifappeaied and retymcd. J^ ijndeed afn 
frxned that he retired to ftudy, a,nd that the aoney 
iupported him in fplttude for many mond^^ but his 
friends declared, that the ihort time in which k wa$ 
fpent fufficiently confuted bis own account of b^ oon<» 


His poKtenefs and bis wit iUll laifed him iriends^ 
who were d^firous of letting him Ht length free from 
that indigence by which he had been hitherto op* 
prefled ; and therefore fqUcited Sir Robert Wal^ole in 
his favour with fo much eameitnefs, that they <^uined 
a pGoqiiie of the next place that fbould become vacaijit, 
pot excee4ing two hundred pounds a year. This pto^ 
mife waij ^^^ with an uncommon dadaration, ** that 
" It was not the prooiife of a minifter ^o 9 petitioner^ 
^' but of a friend tp^ hi? friw^.*' 

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3x6 SAVAGE. 

Mr. Savage now concluded himfelf fet at eafe for 
ever, and, as he obferyep in a poem * written on that in-^ 

* ** The Poet's Depencknee on a Statefman ;** whidi was piib« 
jiilhcd m theGentlemap's Magazioe ^VpU V), p. zi^^t 9ii4pon(avie4 
aipopg oth(cn the Mowing pgiflagcs ; 

Some feem to hiflt, and others proof will bring. 
That, from negledt, my numerous hardfliips ipring. 
. •♦ Seek the great Man," thty x:r^-— r— 'tis then decreed, 
in him if I court Fonune, I fuccced. 
What friends to fecond ? Who for me (hould fue. 
Have interefls partial to themfelves, in view. 
They dwn my matchlefs fate compailion draws. 
They all wilh well, lament, but 4rop my caufc. 
.^.—Say, ihall I turn wheie Lucre p9ints my views | 
^t firfk defert my friends, at length abufe. 

. But, on lefs terms, in promife he complies ; 
Years bury yeari, and hopei on hopes arife j 
J truft, am trufted on my fairy gain : 
And woes on wbes attend an endleis train. 
' Be pofls difpos'd at will !— «— I have, for thefe, 
' No gold to plead, no impudence to teaze. 
' AU fecret feryice from my foul I hate ; 
AU dark intrigues pf p|eafure, or of ft^te. 

<!-—— Where the^iP are not, what ^laim tp m? belongs; 
Though mine the Mufe and Virtue, Birth and Wrongs ? 
Where lives the Statefman, fo in Honour clear. 
To give where he has nought to hope, nor fear ? 
No I^there to feek, is but to £nd frefh pain : 
The promife brqke-, renew'd, and broke again ; 
To be, as humour deigns, receivM, refus*d i 
By turns affronted, and by turns amus'd ; 
To lofc that time, which worthier thoughts require j 
To lofe that heahh, which fliould thofe thoughts infpirt i 
To ftarve ea hqpei or, like camelions, fiu'e 
.On miniAerial Faith, which means but air. 

—A fcene will fliew— (all-righteous vifion hafte) 
^ The meek exalted, and the proud debasM! 

Ph ! to be there !»to tread that friendly fhore ; 
* - Yihere f alfehood, Pridci and Statefinen are na more I 

Orii. Edit. 

7 Digitized by OCTO^te 

savage!. jTf 

cidetit ofhislife, trufted and was trufted; but fbon 
found that his confidence was ill-grounded, and this 
friendly promiie was not inviolable. He fpent a long 
time in fblicitacions, and at laid defpaired and defifted. 

He did not indeed deny that he had given the minif- . 
terfomereafonto believe that he fliould not llrengthen 
his own intereft by advancing him, for he had taken 
care to diilinguiih himfelf in cofiee-houfes as an advo- 
cate for the miniftry of the laft years of Queen Anne^ 
and was always ready to juftify the condudt, and exalt 
the charafter of Lord Bolingbroke, whom he mentions 
with great regard in an Epiftle upon Authors, which 
he wrote about that time, but was too wife to publiih, 
and of which only fome fragments have appeared *, 


* From thefe the following lines arefelefted as an inflance rather 
ei hit impartiality than genius : 

Materials which belief in Gazettes claino, 
Loofe llruDg, run gingling into Hiftory's name* 
Thick as Egyptian clouds of raining flies ; 
Ab thick as worms where man comipting lies ; 
As pefls obfcene that haimt the ruined pile ; 
As monfte^-s floundering in the mUddy Nile ; 
Minutes, Memoirs, Views, and Reviews appearf 
Whefe Slander darkens each recorded year. 
In a pad rei^ is fam*d fome amorous league; 
Some ring, or letter, now reveals th' intrigue ; 
Queens with their minions work unfcemly things. 
And boys grow dukes, when catamites to kings : 
Does a prince die ? what poifons they furmife ! 
No royal mortal furc by nature dies. 
Is a prince born ? what birth more bafe believM ? 
Or, what's more ilrange, his mother ne'er conceiv'd f 
Thus Slander popular o*er Truth prevails, 
And eafy minds imbibe romantic tales. 

Some ufurp names— -an Englifti Garreteer, 
From Minutes forg*d, is Moniicur Mefnager. 
V • #— -Where 

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ji§ SAVAGE. 

inlertfed by kirn in the Magazine after \kx% retlf£^ 


.iS..-LWhei-e hcar^fey Knowledge fits on public namct, 
^nd bold Conjc^uFc or extols^ or blames, ^ 

Spring ^Kvij Libels ; from whbft aQies dead^ 
A Mbliftcl-i liiifnamM Hiftory, lifts its hfcad. 
Cbdtending fadioas ct-oud to hear its roar ! 
Bat when once heard» it dies to ndie no more^ 
From thefe no anfwery no applalife from tbofe» 
O'er half they (imper, and o'er half they doze« 
So when in fenate, with egregious pate^ 
Perks iip^ Sh--- *- in fome deep debate ; 
He hems, looks wife, tune^ then his labouring thrdat^ 
To prove black white, podpone ot palm the vote ; 
In (ly contempt, fome, •* Hear him ! hear him !'^ cry j 
Some yawn, fome fnecr ; none fecofid, none reply. 

fiut daie fuch mifcreants now ni(h abroad, 
By blanket, cane, pump^ pillory, unaw*d i 
bare they imp FalAiood thus, and plunge her widgl^ 
From prcfent chara£)ers, and recent things ? 
Yes, what untruths ! or truths in tthat difguife ! 
What Boyers, and what Oldmixons arife 1 
What fadts from all but them and Slander fcreeaM ! 
Here meets a Council^ no vvhefe elie conten'd« 
There, from Originals, come, thick a^ fpawn, 
Letters ne'er wrote, IVJemorials never drawn | 
Tb fecret Conference, tiever held^ they yoke 
Treaties ne'er plann'd, and Speeches never lpoke« 
From^ Oldmixoci^ thy brow, too well we khow^ 
Like Sin from ^atan't far and wide they go. 

In vain may St. John fafe in confcicnce fit, 
In vain with truth confute, contemn with wit s 
Confute, contemn, aiiiid lele<5\ed friends ; 
There finks the juAice, there the iatire ends^ 
Here through a century icarce fuch leaves unctofe^ 
From mold and duft the (Idnder facred grows* 
No^ none reply where all defpife the page f 
But WUI dumb Scorn deceive no future age ? 

Centlcilian's Magaasine, Se{>t« 1741* 
Orii* Edit. 

X To 

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S A V A G *£• 319 

^4 defpiir t^as not, however, the charadef of Sa- 
tagc^ whSn oiie patronage failed, he had recowife to 
another. The prince was nOw extremely popular, and 
had Vfcry liberally rewarded the merit of fome writers 
whom Mr. Savage did not think fuperior to him-» 
felf, and therefore he refolved to addrefs a poem to 

For this purpofe he made choice of a fubjeft, which 
could, regard only perfons of the higheft rank and greateft 
affluence, and which was therefore proper for a poem 
intended to procure the patronage of a prince ; and haV-' 
ing retired for fome time to Richmond, that he might 
profecute his dedgn in full tranquillity, without the 
temptations of pleafure, or the folicitations of creditors, 
by which his meditations were in equal danger of being 
difconcerted, he produced a poem, On Public Spirit^ 
ivitb regard to Publick fToris. 

The plan of this poem is very extenfive, and ctom- 
prifes a multitude of top^cks, each of which might 
furnifh matter fufficient for a long performaitoe, ate! ' 
ef which fome havt already employed more eminent 
writers; btit as he Vri^ perhaps not fully acquainted 
witTi the whole feiteilt of his own defign, and was writ- . 
ing to obtain a fuppl^ of watlts too prefling to admit 
of long dr accurate fehqulri^d, he pafies negligently 
over many publick wdrki, which, even in his own 
Opinion, defervcd to be rflore daborsttely treated. 

But thbtigh hfc may fometlthes difappoittt his reader 
by trjlilfient touches up6ri thefe fubje^s, which have 
bfteh been confidercd, ahd th^rrfoYei nittiraMy raife cx- 
^ftations. He mull be allbWdd amply tb compenfate 
his ttitiiffioib, by ixpatiitliig, ill the W>liclufioft of his 
<cork, ttpttti k kind of Benefi^ehce not yet celebrated by 


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^2d § A V A G Ei 

any eminent poet, though it now appears more fu^' 
ceptible 5f embellifliments, more adapted to exalt the 
ideas, and affeft the paifions, than many of thofe which 
have hitherto been thought moft worthy of the ora^*' 
ments of verfe. The fettlemcnt of colonies in unin- 
habited countries, the ^ftablifhment of thofe in fecu-» 
rity, whofe misfortunes have made their own country . 
no longer pleafirig 6t (afe, the ac^iiifitton of property 
without injury to any, the appropriation of the wafte 
and luxuriant bounties of nature, and the ei^oyment of 
thofe gifts which heaven has fcattered upon regions 
uncultivated and unoccupied, cannot bo. confidered. 
without giving rife to a great number of pleafing ideas^ 
and bewildering the imagination in delightful pro^ 
pefts; and, therefore, whatever fpeculations they m^y 
produce in thofe who have confined themfelves to poll- 
tical fludies, naturally fixed the attention, and excited 
the applaufe, of a poet. The politician, when he con- 
fiders men driven into other countries for Ihelter, and 
obliged to retire to forefts and deferts, and pafs their 
lives and fix their pofterity in the remoteft corners of 
the world, to avoid thofe hardships which they fuffer 
or fear in their native place, may very properly en- 
quire, why the legiilature does not provide a remedy 
for thefe miferies, rather than encourage an efcape from 
them. He may conclude, that the flight of every 
honeft man is a lofs to the community; that thofe who 
are unhappy without guilt ought to be relieved; and 
the life, which is overburthened by-fffccidental calami- 
ties, fet at eafe by the care of the publick ; and that 
thofe, who have by mifcondudt forfeited their claim to 
favour, ought rather to be made ufeful to the fociety 
which they have injujed^ than be driven from it. But the 


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^ I 

S A V A G E. 321 

fteet S c*{>layed Jft a mote pteafing undertaking than 
Ihit of ptopiclfing laws which^ however jaft or expe- 
flknt, t*?H never be marfe, 6f eiideavoiiring to reduce 
to *jetto*al fchefAcs of government (bcieties which 
Irttt fbnhed by chance, and are condtifted by the pri- 
vate paffions of thofe who prefide in then;i. ^e guided 
Vke Vinbapiyy fugKive from want and persecution', to 
^Qfty, cfuiety tod jfecuiity, BsaA feat ^ htm in fcenes 6f 
|>eiEicisJ[uI folitude, and uiM^fturbed repofe. 

Savige hsts not forgotten, amidft the pleafing (enti- 
iftems whkll this pfofpeS: of retiremeift fuggefted to 
fainr, 10 eenifore thofe crimes which kaVe been gehe- 
iNilly cbmtmtted by the difcovierers of hew regions, and 
fO expb^ the ehormous^ wiekednefi of makmg war 
ift^ttH tttiftdirous liatibhs beeiufe they cannot reltft, and 
^ invariiAg countries becaufe they are fruitful ; of ex* 
ttndnig naVagation on(y to propagate vice, and of 
Tifting diftanc lands ot^ to lay them' wafte. He has 
«£kfted the natural equality of mankind, and endea- 
voured to fupprefi that piride which inclined men to 
imagine that right is the confequence of po\frer *. 


* Learn, future natives of this pronntsM land. 
What your fore-fathers ow'd ray faving hand ! 
Leariii when DeTpalr fuch fudden Wifs Ihall fee. 
Such blifs muft fhine from Ogletho&pb or Mb f ! 
Do you the neighbouring, blanielefs Indian aid» ^ 

Culture what he negleds, not his invade ; 
Dare not, oh ! dare not, ttrith ambitious view. 
Force or demand fubjedion, never due. 
Let by ray fpecious name no Tyrants rife. 
And cry, while they eiiilave, they civilize ! 
Why rauft I Afiic's fable childrtin fee 
Ven&d for flavei| though forih'd by Naturi trtt^ 

, f Pablick Spirit* 

VoL.n. Y Th# 

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32Z S A. y. A, G & 

His defcription of the various miferies which force 
men to feek for refuge in diftant countries^ affords 
another inflance of his proficiency in the important and 
extenfive ftudy of human life; and the tendemefs with 
which he recounts them^ another proof of his humanity 
and benevolence. 

It is obfervable, that the clofeofthis poem difco- 
vers a change which experience had made in Mr* Sa- 
vage's opinions. In a poem writteh by him in his 
youthy. and publiihed in his Mifcellanies^ he declares 
his contempt of the contrafted views and narrow prof- 
pc£ts of the middle ftate of life^ and declares hts re(b- 
lution either to tower like the c^dar, or be trampled 
like the fhrub; but in this poem^ though addrel]^ to 
a prince^ he mentions this ftate of MU as comprifing 
th<3^fe who ought moft to attrad reward, tliofe who 
merit moft the confidence of power and the famili- 
arity of greatncfs; and, accidentally mentioning this 
paflkge to one of his friends, declared, that in his 
opinion all the virtue of mankind was comprehended 
in that ftate. 

In defcribing villas and gardens, he did not omit 
to condemn that abfurd cuftom which prevails 
among the Englilh, of permitting fervants to receive 
moDcy from ftrangers for the entertainment that 

The namclefs tortiires cniel minds invent, 
Thofe to fuhje<5l, whom Nature equal meant? " 
If thefe you dare, albeit unjud fuccefs 
Empowers you now unpunifli'd <p opprcfs, 
Revolving Empire you and yours may doom ; 
Rome all fubdued, yet Vandals vanquifh'd Rome : 
Yes, Empire may revolve^ give them the day, ' 
And yvkc may yoke, and blood may blood repay. 

Orig, Eifff. 


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i A V A' G E; ^2 J 

l1iey receive, and therdfote inferted in his poem thefe 

But what the flowering, pride of gardens rare^ -^j 

However royal, or however fair, . i^oj 

If gates, which to acccfs fhould ftill give way. 

Ope htit, like Petfer^s paridife, for pay ? 

If perquifited varlets frdqilent Rand, 

And each new walk muft a hew tax demand f 

What foreign eye but with contempt furvcys ? 

What Mufe fliall from oblivion fnatch theic praife? 

But before the publication of his performance he re^ 
coUeftdid^ that the Queen allowed her garden and cave at 
Richmond to be fliewn for money, and that Ihe fo openly 
countenanced the praftice, that Ihe had beftowed the. 
privilege of (hewing them as a place of profit on a man, 
whofe merit Ihe valued herfelf upon rewarding, though 
ihe gave him only the liberty of difgracing hh country. 

Hrf therefore thought, with more prudence than was 
often exerted by him, that the publication of thefe 
lines might be officioufly reprefented as an infult upon 
the Qjjeen, to whom he owed his life and his fubfiftence ; 
and that the propriety of his obfervation would be n<t 
fccurity againft the cenfures which the unfcafonablenefs 
of it might draw upon him; he therefore fupprefTed 
the paffage in the firft edition, but after the Queen's 
death thought the fame caution no longer neceflary, 
and refto^ed it to the proper place. 

The poem was therefore publifhed without any • 
political faults, and infcribed ro the Prinze; but Mr. 
Savage, having no friend upon whom he could prevail 
to prefent it to him, had no other method of tjttrafting 
his obfervation than the publication of frequent adver- 
tifements, and therefore received no reward from his 
patron, however generous on other occafions, 

Y 2 ^ TlHS 

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3*4 S A V A q B, 

TIjis jUl^i^iiitiwsW; he jj»r^j; ^i^oni^ ^^Mjft 
indignation, being by fome means or other con64(^ 
that the prince was not ignorant of his Kim; 
and iniinuatedy that, if any advances in popiilarity 
could have been madp by. dif^Qguiihipff i^iin, 1|$( had 
not written withQut npt^c^. <V. wiim^X^T^^ 

He was once inciiiu?4 t<^l)^/(&piqQjt^^^W.pttm in 
perfon, and %)» «^t^ pcitttv ^ 4<MP)l^wkkdl8frde- 
fign; but eiiM(^ ofdoiiMi chafigK^ or.bta ncitthatioa 
deferted him, and he coiitimied t» reftnt Mglteft* with« 
out attempting to ibrqc hinjjitlf into Feg;^ 

Nor vfzs thq pub)iGk^nu)Qh.mM^favf{yfal^,^^a(hii^ 
I»tron, fyx onjy fev,^yrljR;^ wer«.fi^Wi t^^»gJ^'til? P«r* 
fprmwcc vx^ mic\\, qc^mmeii^Rdj tfjr §90^. ^wi^9^.' 
judgen^ that i;ind of working- is^gfig^liy s^Uom^ 
But. Savage eafily reooociltd Umfelf to^awUcinf) wisi^ 
out imputing any.drfc^ to hi? wwk, Ijy ^(^^ii% 
that his poem was unluckily p^ifhe<\ twq days afcer 
tl>e prorogation of the parliansen^ a|id.% cQBfqi|uyipc. 
at a tiii^ when aU thofc. whocoul^. be exge^kd to-ro* were in the hurry, o^ preparing, fiw their dfipsa:^ 
tyre, of engaged in taking leavcx of others ugoa th^i^ 
difmiffion from publick. affairs* 

It muft be however allowed,, in juftificatkw of th^. 
publick, that this performance is not;tl;ie moftex(:el.-f. 
lent of Mr. Savage's works ; and that^ though it can-', 
not be denied to contain many flriking fenfiiments, n»^ 
j^ic lines, and juft obfervations, it. is inrgeneraJ not 
fufficiently polished in the language,. or.cfiUvefusi ia, 
the imagery, or digjsfkd in the plan. 

Thus his poem contributed nothir^ to the allevia'^ 
tion of his poverty, which was fuph,as very fev.eould 
have fupported with equal patience i but to. which> it 


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6 A V A G k 315 

tHAtt ttlfiiWijre be confeflfed, that few Would liave been 
te^lbd wiio received ptinftu^lly fifty poiiiids k ybar ; 
« fftlary which, though by no means equal to th6 de- 
mands of vanity and luxury, is yet found fufficient to 
ifttpport families abotewant, and was undoubtedly \ 
mott than the ^ceflHie^ df life require. j 

But no feonef had he received his penfion, than he 
^ithdi^ew to his darling privicy, from which he re- * 
turned in a ihbrt time to his former diftrefs, and for 
Ibme part of thie year generally lived by chance, eating 
only when he was invited to the tables of his acquaint- 
ances^ from which the meannefs 6f hii drefs often ex- 
cluded him, whed the politenefs and variety of his 
converfatioh would have been thougKt a fufficient re- 
<:ompence for hi^ entertaintment* 

He lodged as much by accident a^ he diried, and 
fHf^ the mght fometimes in mean houfes^ which are 
let Often ai night to ^y cafual wandeters, fometimes 
In cellats, among the riot and ^ith of the meaneft and 
ffioft profligate c(f the rabble ; and fbmecimes, when 
he hid not motn^y to fupport even the estpences of thefe 
f eceptactes, walked ibo\xt the ftrects till he was weary, 
«fid Uy d<ywn in the fummer upon a bulk, jot in the 
winter, with his a^ibciatrs^ in poverty, among the aihes 
c£ a glafs^hpufe. 

in this mamver were palfed thoile days and thofe 
flights which natui^ had enabled him to have employed 
in ekvated fpeculations, ufeful ffudilds, or pleafing 
4K>nver&tioo^ O9 a bulk, in a cellar, of in a glafs* 
honi&f^ ammg thieves and beggars^ was to be found the 
^xkbbf of the The Wanderer, tlk man of exiited fen* 
fimfcUMf cKtenfive viewr, and curious obfervations t 
Ar tlMr rM& remnks qa life t»lgh)r hs^fe ^;^ed the 

Y 3 &At^hmp 

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326 S A V A G IE. 

ftatefman, whofe ideas of virtue might have ^nliglit^ 
ened the moralift, whofe eloquence might have infly- 
enced fenatcs^ and whof^ delicacy might haye poliflxc^ 

It canpot but be imagined that (uch neceffities might 
ibmetimes force him uppn difreputable pra&ices ; aqd 
[ it is probable that thcfe lines in The Wanderer were oc-* 
(:aiioned by his reflexions gn his own con^uA :. 

Though mifery leads to happincfs, and truth, 

Unequal to the load, this languid youth, 

(O, let none cenfurc, if, untried by grief, 

If, amidft wop, untemptcd by relief,) 

He ftoop'd reluftant to low arts of fhame, 

"VVhich then, ?v'n then he fcorn'd* and blulhM to nam^. 

Whoever was acquaint<?d with him was certain to Ifi 
folicited for fmall fums, which the frequency of the 
requeft made in time confiderable, and he was there- 
fore quickly Ihunnfd by thof<; who were become fami- 
liar enough to be trufted with hi? neceflities ; but his 
rambling manner pf life, and qonftant appearance at 
houfes of public rcfort, always procured him a new 
fucccffion of friends, whoft kindnefs had not been ex- 
hauftcd by repeated requefts ; fo that he was feldom 
abfolutcly without rcfources, but had in his utmoft 
exigences this comfort, that he always imagined him- 
fclf fure of fpeedy relief. 

It was obferved, that he always afked favours of thx^ 
kind without the leaft fubmiflion or apparent confci- 
^ufneft of dependence, and that he did not fcem to 
look upon a compliance with his requeft as an obliga* 
tion that dcferved any extraordinary acknowledge^' 
ments ; but a tefufal was refented by him as an affront, 
pr complained of as an injury ; nor did he readily re- 


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S A V A G E. 327 

toncile himfelf to thofe who either denied to lend, or 
gave him afterwards any intinjation that they expedted 
to be repaid. 

He was fometimes' fo fair compaffionated by thofe 
who kn^ both his merit and diftreffes, that they re- 
ceived him into tlieir families, but they foon difcovered 
feim tp b<? ^ very incommodious inmate ; for, being 
always accuftomed tp an irregular manner of life, he 
could not confine himfelf to any ftated hours, or pay 
gny regard to the rules of a family, but would prolong 
his converfation tijl midnight, without confidering 
that bufinefs might require his friend's application in 
the morning ; and, when he had perfuadcd himfelf to 
retire to bed, was i]iot, without equal difficulty, called 
up to dinner ; it was therefore impoffible to pay him 
any diftinftion without the entire fubverfion of all 
ceconomy, a kind of eftablifhment which, wherever he 
^¥ent, he always appeared ambitious to overthrow. 

It muft therefore be acknowledged, injuftification 
of mankind, that it was not always by the negligence 
or coldncfs of his friends that Savage was diftrefled, 
but becaufe ir was in reality very difficult to preferve 
him long in a ftate of eafe. To fupply him with mo- 
ney, was a hopelefs attempt ; for no fooner did he fee 
himfelf mafter of a fum fufficient to fet him free from 
bare for a day, than he became profufe and luxurious. 
When once he had entered a tavern, or engaged in a 
fcheme of pleafure, he never retired till want of money 
obliged him to fome new expedient; If he was enter- 
tained in a family, nothing was any longer to be re- 
garded there but amufements and jollity ; wherever 
Savage entered, he immediately expedted that order 
and bufinefs ihouW fly before him, that all fliould 
• ' Y 4 thence^ 

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}2$ SAVAGE. 

thencefor\var4 be left to baztrd^ a&d that fip d|iU fUOm 
ciple of donieftic manage^nent fiiould be pppof^ l» 
his inclination, or intrude upon his gaiety^ 

His diftreffes, however alji^tiyc, never dejj:&ed 
him ; 'm his |oweft ftate he wanted not fpirit to afler( tb^ 
natural dignity of wit, and was always ready to rep):ie& 
that infplencc which fuperiority of fortune iacitpd, aa4 
to trample on that reputation which rofe ypon ^nj 
other bafis than that of merit : he never g4naitted any 
grofs familiarities, or fubmttted to be tres^ted Qther-s 
wife than as an equal. Once, whep hp WJ^s without 
lodging, meat, pr clothes, one of his fri^iwJs, a m^Q 
tiot Indeed remarkable for moderation in his profperityj^ 
iefra meflage, tjigt he defired to fee him about ninp iq 
the morning. Savage knew that his intention was tQ 
^(Tifl him ; but was yery, much difgufled that h? ihovil4 
prefume to prefcribe the hour of his attendance, apd, 
- I belipve, refufe4 to viQt hin?| and rejedcjd his kin^- 

The fame invincible temper, whether firmne& or 
obftinacy, appeared in his conduft to thp Lord f y?* 
conpel, from whom he very frequently demanded, t]\^ 
the allowance which was once paid him flipuld be re- 
ftored ; but with whom he never appeared to enter- 
tain for a moment the thought of foligiting a reconci- 
liation, and whqm he treated at once with ^i\ the; 
haughtinefs of fuperiority, and a»li the bjtterneis of re^ 
fentnienr. He wrote to himj not in a ftyle of fuppl^ 
cation or refpeft, but of reproach^ menace, and con- 
tempt ; and appeared determined, if he cyer regained 
his allowance, to hold it only by the right ojf conqyeft. 
As many more can difcover, that a ma|i is richer 
Chan thaf he is wifer than themfelves^ fuperiority of 

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JSI A V A O E. - 5«9 

underitaAdiDig is pot fb readily acknowledged as tb« 
pf fortune; wr is that haughtineis^ which thecoA- 
fcioufiwrs of gr^at abilities incites, borne with the fame 
fpbiDiffioii as the tyranny of affluence; tpl thtrt&n 
SaVagie, by ail^rttng; bis claiin to deferenee aod regaid^ 
und by treariog thpfe with cpmenipt whom better fior- 
fune i^iniated to reb^l againft him, did not fail to raile 
ft great n^n^ber of enemies in the diflfereat clafl^ of 
iliaal^nd. Thofe who thought themfelves raifed abp¥i; 
J^im by tl^e advantages pf riches, hated him becanfe 
|])ey fouii4 no protection fron) the petulance of his witr 
Thofe who were efteen^ for their writings feared hini 
gs a critic, and maligned l^ini as a rival, and alrpoft 
gll the fmaller wits were his profeffed enemies, 

An^ong thefe Mo Miller fo far indulged his fe^ 
feptment as to introduce him in a farce, and direft 
him tp be perfonated on th^ ftage, in a drefs like that 
which he then wore ; a mean infult, which only infi^ 
nifated that Savage had b^t one coat, and which waa 
therefore defpifed by him rather than refented ; fov 
though he wrote a lampoon againfi: Miller, he neyef 
printed it : and as no other perfon ought tQ profecutq 
ths^t revenge from which the perfon who was injui;e4 
dpfiftedji I fhall npt preferve what Mr. Savage fup^ 
prefled ; of which the publication would indeed hav^ 
^ecn a pyniihment too fevere for fo impotent an aflault, 

Tk^ great hardihips of poverty were to Savage not 
the want qf lodging or of food, but the negleft an4 
contempt which it drew upon him^ He con^plained^ 
that as his aflairs grew defperate, he found his re«; 
putation for capacity vifibly decline; that his opi^ 
nion in queftions of criticifin was no longer regarded^i 
when his coat was out of faih^io^ ;, an4 that thofe whcig^ 

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330 , S A. V A G E. 

in the interval of his profperity, were always encou^ 
raging him to great undertakings by encomiums on his 
genius and aflurances of fuccefs, now received any 
mention of his defigns with coldnefs, thought that the 
fubjedls on which he propofed to write were, very diffi- 
x:ult, and were ready to inform him, that the event of 
-a poem was uncertain, that an author ought to employ 
much time in the confideration of his plan, and not 
prefume to fit down to write in confidence of a few 
xurfory ideas,^ and a fuperficial knowledge ; diflficulties 
were Parted on all fides, and he was no longer qualified 
for any performance but 7be Volunteer Laureat. 

Yet even this kind of contempt never depreflfed him; 
for he always preferved a fteady confidence in his own 
capacity, and believed nothing above his reach which 
he Ihould at any time cameftly endeavour to attain, 
He formed fchemes of the fame kind with regard to 
knowledge and to fortune, and flattered himfclf with ; 
advances to be made in fcience, as with ridhes, to be 
enjoyed in fome diftant period of his'life.^ "For'tlie'acT 
quifition of knowledge he was indeed far better quali- 
fied than for that of riches ; for he* was naturally in- 
quifitive and delirous of the converfation of thofe from 
whom any information was to be obtained, but by no 
means felicitous to improve thofe opportunities that 
were fometimes offered of raifing his fortune ; and he 
was remarkably retentive of his ideas, which, when 
once he was in poffeflion of them, rarely fotfook him ; 
a quality which could never be communicated to his 
While he was thus wearing out his life in expefta- 
tion that the Queen would fome time recoUeft her pro- 
mife, he had recourfe to the ufual praftice of writers, 


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18 A y A G E. S3J 

Md publiflied prbpofals for printing his Works by fob- 
fcription, to which he was encouraged by the fuccefe 
of many who had not a better right to the favour of 
the publick; but, whatever was the reafon, he did 
not find the world ecjually inclined to favour him ; and 
he obferved with fome diicontent, that, though he of- 
fered his works at half a guinea, he was able to pro- 
cure but a finall number in comparifon with thofe who 
fubfcribed twice as much to Duck. 

Nor was it without indignation that he faw his pro^ 
pofals neglefted by the Queen, who patronifed Mr* 
Duck'3 with unconmion ardour, and Incited a coibj^e^ 
tition among thofe who artended the court, who Ihould 
moft promote his intereft, and who ihould firft offer a 
-fubfcription. This was a diftinftion to which Mr. 
Savage made no fcruplc of afferting that his birth, his 
misfortunes, and his genius, gave him a fairer title, than 
could be pleaded by him on whom it was conferred. 

Savage's applications were however not univerfally 
unfuccefsful ; for fome of the nobility countenanced 
his defign, encouraged his propofal%: and fubfcribed' 
with great liberality. He related of the Duke of 
Chandos particularly, that, upon receiving his propo- 
sals, he (ent him ten guineas. 

But the mpney which his fubfcriptions afforded him 
was not lefs volatile than that which he received from 
his other fchemes ; whenever a fubfcription was paid 
him, he went to a tavern ; and, as money fo colleded 
is neceffarily received in fmall fums, he never was able 
to fend his : poems to the prefs, but for many years 
continued his folicitation, and fquandered whatever he 

. This 

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f$f, S Jk V A d E^ 

wa^ prkMd v^kh ivefSk^ ^le^ To form fehiiWtti f^ 
the pttbll<:Mi%b9 Mis Mc iof his ^vc^rtt^ tmuftWem^ ; 

fM vm ht t>m mwpt %t e&& t&stn wteA^ with iM^r 

^oa wlM> nidiiy fell Ift Wkh hi* fch«AM6^ hB HUM ilU 
joftiiig ibi pfifit, forniUig thd ^vertifemMts> aad til* 
gufetbg Oie difpcrflcm Df hii MW diUion^ #hieh b^ 
feally intended fome t|nto t^ pitbUfli, ftfi4 ikrhkh^ is 
)Mg |A pstporience haA Smmi him cfaf itt^)iiffibUity of 
^finibAg tb0 Yolumc togethar^ he a€ luft dttmnined cd 
^dhdik iAOd iMflkly lor fsmnUy mimbyrs, that thr pt^ 
:^ti of «ht firft jooighfi fiipply tfai exp^noas of tht ttzt^ 

Thps hd fpent hk timo in iti^an eJipe4ients atld 
tomientsng fiif^nib^ living for the grelit^ft part iii 
^r^ 0$ ptG&ctitions ftmh his creditors^ and COV&- ' 
ipaantljr fkulking ift obfeur^ ^^& ^ the town^ of 
whiok lie tmi xio ^r^gef to |:he tcts^mk oeiners* Buit 
vAn^iewpt hs gzmt^ }m tddrcfft (tetited him f^ieftds, 
«Atpm bi«. apc«fitid9 foon tMepnted j (p that hb ht4 
p4Hi{» a more momno^s aoquaint^nci^ thgii tHy iMi| 
pvet bft&re attaonddy therd being (bafcely afry perfoft 
«3iiient pi> 9ny account to whom h« was Biot kaown^ 
or whoie chara&er k^ wP9 n»t 'm f^e <l€^9 flblp tt> 

T?o tfa» Mqnifitkot of chb extenfi^^ aoqutiauneQ 
oMfy ckoumfttnce oi his H& ccmtrifauted. He etxtdt' 
led i# the ave« e§ cQftVjsrfacion, ao^ tkttrafim wiUil^ly 
{Mdkv&d them* Hektdi feidom anybom^y prevail' 4 
Jodgiitg m whidst hp coidd te {i^i^ate; cm^ th«Mfblfk 
Mf«i9 drtvtn iliieo j^vbliohtaMifef £^^ this UttomiA ooiM^ 
Ifiiences of life and fupports of nature. He w af dlW ays 
ready to comply with every iavitatipn, having no em- 
i ploynient 

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' $ A V A (5 & i^ 

j^Ymokt ta ivkUiiQUli Um,^ and o^&m m mMi^ ta 
jitQwiA^ fiat hiwfflf;, aad bjr dUik>s wiift^ om corH 
P^3r» 1)P nev^r i^ijbedi tif obtaoung aa mtr^u&ion iBta 

Xhi;^4ii6p<sMd T9» his IH^ mA ^^ C4^ his ilidb^ 
(Aea^; yet. did n^l^ th^ d^a^Uon of bia yiev^ihia^ 
him from ref|c€biQii) imr thtf itaaertaiaiy of hfa cK^ndi^ 
tJM.desroialH^.gakK^p^ When, ke bad w^dered-alMJut 
wjitb#i|tt ajsy £ortuoacc adventure* hy which he wHaMt 
ip«> a.miK^, he fhiwume^ retired into the fields^ andb 
wasaMe to omploy his- mind in ftudy^ to amuTe itwfthr 
ftlfgifr^ JBWUpn^riqfts J and feldom appearsd^M) hsf ai^ 
laacHc]^y^ bvK^^W^ feme fudden misfbmme had jtift; 
f4}flfi:UpoD^^ Uov acid; even theft is a.fMr olDtBenis hr 
wmM: diftnMig^. hhnfolf AmiL his perfdexky, aido^ 
the fuljoft of Q9avcrfi$ks)> andi^ply ht»iiulid.who)}y 
totheobjedb that'OtlwtSfpr^eiMd.ta it« ^ - 

Th^ilii«^« vidMppyas it maybe idhsaaj^ ku^inxf ^ 
iM5 yet ifnbltceredi in i:;^^^' with. Atw cafanMiak. 
The:^deajth of the Qmen d^tvedihcmiof isdl dm pnN' 
fpo^of preferment wttb-whtck^ he fe.lteg^ cbertainA: 
1^ ifl^i^iiMCiaii ; and^ aa Sir Sobtttt WaipolehdhbeM 
fere |^Y€q hittveafoo itet:beHeve; tfaaa he nerer: i a tewd e dc 
the performance of his psoniiiib^ he :0R».BDnr' abandoiydf. 
agMtfc to fortune. 

Ha was however^ at that timey &ppoited bf a fHend ; 
aMl as it was sot his cuft^m to look oat fot di^m ca^ 
lamities^ or to fed anyoiber paw thaa that whicb- 
foceed ic^ upon his i<rn&s^,he was npc nMobafflvfted) 
at hie lo^i and perhapa comfbrcod hlmfdf that his* 
po^oB . woidd: be noor . contiqiMdisdtfaoutthe- auMpI' 
tribute of apaaegf ric 


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334 S A V A G t\ 

Another expeftation contributed likcwife to fupporf 
him : he had taken a refolution to write a fecond tra-^ 
gcdy upon the flory of Sir Thomas Overbury, in 
which he preferved a few lines of his former play, buC 
made a total alteration of the plan, added new inci- 
dents, and introduced new charafters ; fo that it was 1 
ncvf tiagedy, not a revival of the former. 

ifidny of his friends blamed him for not making 
ch(i^ce of another fubjeft ; but, in vindication of him* 
&\{^ he afferted, that it was not eafy to find a better ; 
and that he thought it his intereft to extinguiih the 
memory of the firft tragedy, which he could wily do 
by writing one lefs defeftive upon the fame ftory ; by 
which he fhould entirely defeat the artifice of the book- 
fellers, who, after the death of any author of reputa- 
tion, are always induftrious^to fwell his works, by unit- 
ing his worft produdions with his beft. 

In the execution of this fchone, however, he pro- 
ceeded but flowly, and probably only employed himfelf 
upon it when he could find no other amufbment ; but he 
pleafed himielf with counting the profits, and perhaps 
imagined, that the theatrical reputation which he was 
about to acquire, would be equivalent^to all that he 
had loft by the death of his patrohefs. 

He did not, in confidence of his approaching riches, 
negledk the meafures proper to fecure the continuance 
of his penfion, though fome of his favourers thought 
him culpable for omitting to write on her death ; but 
on her birth-day next year,, he gave a proof of the fo- 
lidity.of his judgement, and the power of his genius. 
He knew that the track of elegy had been fo long bea- 
ten, that it was impoffible to travel in it without tread- 
ing in the footfteps of tliofe who had gone before him ; 
2 and 

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S A V A G E; 335 

and that therefore it was neceflary, that he might dif- 
tinguifii himfelf from the herd of encomiafis^ to find 
out forile new walk of funeral panegyrick. 

This dif&cult taik he performed in fuch a manner^ 
that his poem may be juftly ranked among the belt 
pieces that the death of princes has produced. By 
traroferring the mentipn of her death to her birth-day, 
he has formed a happy combination of topicks, which 
any other man would have thought it very difficult to 
connedt in one view, but which he has united in Aich 
a manner, that the relation between them appears na-* 
turaU and it may be juftly faid, that^hat no other 
man would have thought 00, it now appears fcarcely 
poifible for any man to mik '^. 


♦ To exhibit a fpecimen of the beauties of this poem, the fol- 
lowing paiTages are feleaed : 

Oft has the Mufe, on this di(linguiih*d day, 

Tun'd to giad harmony the vernal lay ; 

But, O lamented change i the lay muft flow 

From grateful rapture now, to grateful woe. 

She, to this day who joyous luftre gave, . 

Defcends 'for ever to the filent grave ; 

She, born at once to charm us and to mend. 

Of human race the pattern and the friend ! 

—And thou, bright Princefs ! feared now on high, 
* Next one» the faireiil Daughter of the iky, 

Whofe warm-felt love is to all beings known* 
r ■ Thy fifter Charity ! next her thy throne ; 

.Se." at thy tomb the Virtues wec;)ing lie ! 

There in dumb forrow feem the arts to die. 

So were the fun o*er other oi bs to blaze. 

And from our world, like Thee, v^ithdraw his rayi, ' 

No more to vifit where he wann*d before. 

All life mud ccafe, and Nature be no moi?. 

Yet (hall the Muse a heavenly height eflay, 

I3eyond the w^akjjcfs mix'd with mortal cUy j "^ 


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Ill ^ A V A a lii 

tehfure; and thdr^it^ it h not ftecdRif tb ittemfctt 
IriMtny othrfr <SeKcate touches ilirhicb itiay be ifemxrf tit it| 
liiftl «&ic]| WMld dtefcrvedly be aiMtria ftif sttff otfitr 

Vte &hi£ ]^6m^ stff kiflldBce of his pnicfetic^^ th tiitS^ 
Ifeticb fer wliieh he w^ not foofkndinSngiiiftdr; h6 
ibeft* Holt forget* to retniild t!h^ Itihg, ih ffhe nloft fli^ 
cfte jdid anj^flfl maiiMr^ ^ <idntinuing Ki^ peiifioft^ 

WiiSsL T^rA to the j^ed^fs of thtst aiitdb, be WiS 
ferfifttte time in fofp^cey btit if^ai ill M gfMdegi«9 
iblicitous abdut h ; atid oontimieid hb lafbiofur ti|IM hH 
nM tragedy with great tranquillity^ till the fHead 
who hid for a confiderable toime fupported htai> ve- 
moving hi$ family to another plaoe> took ocicafioB ^ 

Beyond the toft^ which^ Aough flie bleeds tb (te^ 

Thovgh ne'er to be nedeemM th& Idft-tff tbe^ ; 

Beyond ev^n thls^ ftiehailt wkh jOyMt^lsiy 

Thy betterbhtb) thy fitA true nttal diiy f 

Aday^ that leer tbtebom^ beyond the t(tob| 

1*0 endlefs healthi to ydiitti*^ (Vernal btoom. 

Born to the^ittl|[lity dead,* the (biih lbb)irti% 

Of ereiy faoKitia age, s^nA tftrf dhtHH 

Td gdodhoft fijftd^t^ TrdtK^ unv&rytug laW^ r 

To biifs that knows no p^od^ knot<ri*ho pevA«^tt«^ 

Save when, tbtee eye, frdm yohdel- pniie feltbe, 

Sheds a foft ray on this oUr g\o6my fttnt* 0^« £kfir« 

% ..^.^ I)feigd one Ic^bk nfiore ! Ah! fee thy Cbufort dearl 
Wifliing all beSirts^ except h\s own^ to cheer. 
I^ ! ffiU he bids thy Wonted bounties flow 
T6 v^]fing families of worth Atid' woe* 
He flops all tears. However faft they rife. 
Save thofei thai uilt tnuA fall from grateful eyes: 
And fpite of griefSi that fo ufurp his mind, 
Si^L watd!)^ 6'er the welfiire of i»aakiad« Orijj;. EMt; 


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SAVAGE. 337 

difmifs him. It then became neceffary to enquire more 
diligently what was determined in his affair^ having 
reafon to fufpedt that no great favour was intended 
him, becaufe be had not received his penfion at the 
tiiual tinie, . 

It is faid, that he did not take thofc methods of re- 
trieving his intereft, which were moft likely to fuc- 
ireed ; and fome of thofe who were employed in the 
Exchequer cautioned him ^gainft too much violence 
m his proceedings : but Mr. Savage, who feldoni re- 
gulated His condiia by the advice of others, gave way 
to his paflion, and demanded of Sir Robert Wdpole, 
at his levee, the reafon of the diftinaion that was made -^ 
between him arid the other penfioners of the Queen, 
*ith a degree of roughnefs which perhaps determined 
him to withdraw What had been only delayed.' 
^ Whatever was the crime of which he was accufed or 
iufpedked, arid whatever influence was employed againft 
him, he received foon after an account that toolL from 
him all hopes of regaining his penfion ; and he had 
now no profpedt of fubfiftence but from his play, and 
he knew no way of living for the time required to! 
finilh it. 

So peculiar were the misfortunes of this rixari, de- 
prived of an eftate and title by a particular law, ex- 
pofed arid abandoned by a mother, defrauded by a mo- 
ther of a fortune which his father had allotted him, 
he entered the wotld withbut a friend ; and though his 
Sbilitles forced themfelves into eftee'm and reputation, 
he was never able to obtain any real advantage, and 
Whatever profpefts arofe were always intercepted as he 
began to approach theni. The king's intentions in 
his favour were fruftrated ; his dedication to the Prince, 

t(rt-. III. Ta whofc 

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338 S A V A G E> 

whofe gcnerofity on every other occafion vtzs cmJilctfr; 
procured him no reward ; Sir Robert Walpole, who 
valued himfelf upon keeping his promife to others, 
broke it to him without regret ; and the bounty of the 
Queen was, after her death, withdrawn from him, and 
from him only* 

Such were his misfortunes, which yet he bore, not 
only with deceacy, but with cheerfulnefs ; nor was his 
gaiety clouded even by his laft difappointmcnts, though 
he was in a fliort time reduced to the loweft degree of 
diftrefs, and often wanted both lodging and food. At 
this time he gave another inflance of the infurmount* 
able obftinacy of his fpirit : his cloaths were worn out ; 
and he received notice, that at a coffee-houfe fome 
cloaths and linen were left for him : the perfon who 
ient them did iiot, I believe, inform him to whom he 
"was to be obliged, that lie might fpare the perplexity 
of acknowledging: the benefit ; but though the offer 
•was fo far gpnerous, it was made with fome neglaS: of 
ceremonies, wjiich Mr. Savage fo much relented, that 
he refufed the prefent, and declined to enter the houfe 
till the cloaths that had been defigned for him were 
taken away. 

His diftrefs was now publickly known, and his 
friends, therefore, thought it proper to concert fome 
meafures for his relief; and one of them wrote a letter 
10 him, in which he expreffed his concern " for the 
*/ miferable withdrawing of his penfion;" and ^ve 
him hopes, that in a Ihort time he Ihould find himfelf 
fupplied with a competence, " without any depen- 
** dence on thofe little creatures which we arc pleafed 
" to call the Great." 


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The fcheme propofed for this happy and indepen- 
dent fubfiftence was, that he fhould retire into Wales, 
and receive an allowance of fifty pounds a year, to be 
raifed by a fubfcription, on which he was to live pri- 
vately in a cheap place, without afpiring any more to 
affluence, or having any farther care of reputation. 

This offer Mr. Savage gladly accepted, though with 
intentions very different from thofe of his friends ; for 
they propofed that he Ihould continue an exile from 
London for ever, and fpend all the remaining part of 
his life at Swanfea ; but he defigned only to take the 
opportunity, which their fcheme offered him, of re- 
treating for a Ihort time, that he might prepare his 
play for the ftage, and his other works for the prefs, 
and then to return, to London to exhibit his tragedy j 
and live upon the profits of his own labour. 

With regard to his works, he propofed very great 
improvements, which would have required much time, 
or great application ; and when he had finifhed them, 
he defigned tq do juftice to his fubfcribers, by publifli- 
ing them according to his propofals. 

As he was ready to entertain himfelf with future 
pleafures, he had planned out a fcheme of life for the 
country, of which he had no knowledge but from pa- 
ftorals and fongs. He imagined that he ihould be 
tranfported to fccnes of flowery felicity, like thofe 
which one poet has reflefted to another ; and had pro- 
jedled a perpetual round of innocent pleafures, of 
which he fufpedkdd no interruption from pride, or ig- 
norance, or brutality. 

With thcfe expedkations he was fo enchanted, thdt 
when he was once gently reproached by a friend for 
fubmitting to live upon a fubfcription, and advifed ra« 

Z 2 ih^r 

Digitized by 

Google — 

34a SAVAGE- 

ther hy a refolute exertion of his abilities to {oppoft 
himfelf, he could not bear to debar himfelf from the 
happmefs which was to be found in the cakn pf a cot« 
tage, or lofe the opportunity. of liftening, without in-' 
termiflion^ to the melody of the nightingale, which 
he believed was Jo be heard from every bramble, and 
which be did hot fail tor mention as a very kiiiportant 
part of Che happinefs of a country life* 

While this fcherae was ripenings his friends dircftcd 
him to take a lodging in the liberties of the Fleet, that 
he might be fecure from his creditors, and fent him 
every Monday a guinea, which he commonly fpent be- 
fore the next mornkigy andtrufted after his ufual manner 
the remaining part of the week to the bounty o£ fortune. 

He now began very fenfibly to feel the miferies of 
depcndtnce* Thofe by whom he was to be fupported. 
began to prefcribe to him with an air of authority, 
which he knew not how decently to refent, nor pati- 
ently-to bear ; and -he foon difcovered, from the con- 
duit of moft of his fubfcribers, that he was yet in the 
hands of " little creatures." 

Of the infolence that he was obliged to fuffer, he 
gave many ihftances, of which none appeared to raifc 
his indignation to a. greater height, than the method 
which was taken of furnilhing him with cloaths. In- 
ftead of confulting him, and allowing htm* to fend z 
taylor his orders for what they thought proper to al- 
low him, they propofed to fend for a taylor to take his 
meafure, and then to confult how they ikouht equip 

• This treatment was not very ddicate, nor was it 
fiich as Savage's humanity would have fuggefted to 
him on a like occaiion; but it had fcarcely deferved 


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^ « A V i^ Q E, 341 

caeotioa, jiiad ic not, by affeding him in an uncom- 
mon degree, fhewn the peculiarity of his charader. 
Upon hearing the defign that was formed^ he came to 
the lodging of a friend with the moft viojlejjt agonies 
of rage ; and, being aiked what it coyld be that gave 
him fuch difturb^ince, he replied lyith the utmoft vehe- 
mence of indignation, " Tl?^f ^^7 ^^d fent for a tay- 
^^ lor to meafure h^m." 

How the affair ended w^ meyer enquired, for fear 
of renewing his uneafmefs. It is probable, that, upon 
recoUefltion, he fubmitted with a good grace to what 
be could not avoid, and that he discovered no refent- 
ment where he had nQ power. 

He was, however, not humbled to implicit and uni- 
yerfal compliance ; for when the gentleman, who had 
j&rft informed him of the delign to fupport him by a 
fubfcription, att<empted to pfocpre a reconciliation 
with the Lord Tyrconnel, he could by no means be 
prevaile4 upoQ to comply with the meafures that were 

A letter was written for him * to Sir William Le- 
mon, to prev^ii upon him to interpofe his good offices 
Vith Lord Tyrconnel, in which he folicited Sir Wil- 
liam's affiftance " for a man who really needed it as 
^* much as any maa could well do ;" and informed 
him, that he was retiring " for ever to a place where 
*^ he ftiould no more trouble his relations, friends, or 
*^ enemies ;" he confeffed, that his paflion had be- 
trayed him to fome conduft with regard to Lord 1 yr- 
cgnnel, for which he could not but heartily aik his 
pardon ; and as he imagined Lord TyrconneUs paffion 
might be yet fo high, that he would not ^* receive a 

* By Mtp Pop? . Orig. Ediu 

Z 3 ^' letter 

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34* SAVAGE. 

** letter from him," begged that Sir William would 
endeavour to foften him ; and expreffed his hopes that 
he would comply with his rcqueft, and that " fo fmall 
*^ a relation would not harden his heart againft him/* 

That any man Ihould prefume to dictate a letter to 
him, was not very agreeable to Mr. Savage ; and there- 
fore he was, before he had opened it, not much in- 
clined to approve it. But when he read it, he found 
it contained fentiments entirely oppofite to his own, 
ind, as he afferted, to the truth ; and therefore, in- 
ftead of copying it, wrote his friend a letter fiiU of 
mafculine refentment and warm expoftulations. He 
. very juftly obferved, that the ftyle was too fupplica- 
tory, and the reprefcntation too abjefl:, and that he 
ought at leaft to have made him complain with *^ the 
^* dignity of a gentleman in diftrefs/' He declared 
that he would not write the paragraph in which he was 
to afk Lord TyrconnePs pardon ; for, ^* he defpifed 
** his pardon, and therefore could not heartily, and 
*' would not hypocritically, afk it." He remarked, 
that his friend made a very unreafonable diftin&ion 
between himfelf and him ; for, fays he, when you 
mention men of high rank " in your own charaftcr," 
they are '^ thofe little creatures whom we are pleafed 
*' to call the great ;" but when you addrefs them ^* in 
" mine," no fervility is fufficiently humble. He then 
with great propriety explained the ill confequences 
which might be expedted from fuch a letter, which 
his relations would print in their own defence, and 
which would for ever be produced as a full anfwer to 
all that he Ihould alledge againft them ; for he always 
intended to publiih a minute account of the treatment 
which he had received. It is to be remembered, to 


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SAVAGE. 343 

the honour of the gentleman by whom this letter was 
drawn up, that he yielded to Mr. Savage's reafons, and 
agreed that it ought to be fupprcfled. 

After many alterations and delays, a (ubfcription 
was at length raifed, which did not amount to fifty 
pounds a year,* though twenty were paid by one gen- 
tleman^ fuch was the generofity of mankind, that 
what had been done by a player without folicitation, 
could not now be effected by application and intereft ; 
and Savage had a great number to court and - to obey 
for a penfion lefs than that' which Mrs, OMfield paid 
him without exacting any fervilities, 

Mn Savage however was fattsfi^d, and willing to re- 
tire, and was convinced that the allowance, though 
fcanty, would be more than fufEcient for him, being 
now determined to commence a rigid oeconomift, and 
to live according to the exa&eft rules of frugality ; for 
nothing was in his opinion more contemptible than 2 
man, who, when he knew his income, exceeded it ; 
and yet he confefled, that inflances of fuch folly were 
too common, and lamented that fome men were not to 
be trufted with their own money. 

Full of thefe falutary refolutions, he left London in 
July i739j having taken leave with great tendernefs of 
his friends, and parted from the author of this narra- 
tive with tears in his eyes. He was iFurniihtd with 
fifteen guineas, and informed, that they would be fuf- 
ficient, not only for the expence of his journey, but 
for his fupport in Wales for fome time; and that 
there remained but little more of the firft colle£tion. 
He promifed a ftrift adherence to his maxims of par- 
fimony, and went away in the ftage-coach ; nor did 
his friends exped: to hear from him, till he informed 
them of his arrival at Swanfea. 

Z 4 But 

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344 S A -y A Q E. 

' But when they Icaft ezpeftedj arrived a letter dated 
the fourteenth day after his departure, in which h^ 
fent them word, that he was yet upon the road, and 
without money ; and that he therefore could not pro-' 
ceed without a remittance* They then fent him the 
money that was ip their hands, with which he was en-* 
abled to reach Briftol, from whence he was to go to 
Swanfea hy water. 

At Briftol he found an embargo laid upon the fhip- 
ping, Co that he could' not immediately obtain a paf- 
fage; ^d being therefore obliged to *ftay there fomc 
time, he with his ufual felicity ingratiated himfelf 
with many of the principal inhabitants, was invited tp 
their houfes, diftinguiihed at their publick feafts, an4 
treated with a regard that gratified his vanity, and 
therefore eafily engaged his aife£fcion. 

He began very early after his retirement to complain 
of the condudt of his friends in London, and irritated 
many -of thein fo much by his letters, that they with- 
drew, however honourably, their contribiitions ; and 
it is believed, that little more was paid him than the 
twenty pounds a year, which were allowed him by the 
gentleman'who jpropofed the fubfcliption. 

After fome ftay at Briftol h^ retired to Swanfea, the 
place originally prbpofcd for his refidence, where he 
lived about a year, veiy much diflatisfied with the di- 
minution of his falaryj but contrafted, as in other 
places, acquaintance with thofe who were moft diftin- 
guiihed in that country, among whom* he has cele;- 
brated Mr! Powel apd Mrs. Jones, by fome verfes 
which hf ipferted in Ti5< Gentleman^s Magazine*. 

* Reprinted ia the late eoUe^u. 


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SAVAGE. 345 

Here he completed his tragedy, of which two z&% 
were wanting when he left London^ and was defirous 
of coming to town to bring it upon the ftage. This 
4e(ign was very warmly oppofed, and he was advifed 
by his chief benefaftor to put it into the hands of 
Mr. Thomfon and Mr. Mallet, that it might be fitted 
for theftage, and to allow his friends to receive the 
profits^ out of which an amiual penfion fliould be paid 

This propofal he rge&ed with the utmofl contempt. 
He was by no means convinced that the judgement of 
thofe, to whom he was required to fubmit, was fu- 
perior to his own. He was now determined, as he 
exprelTed it, to be ^' no longer kept in leading-ftrings,** 
and had no elevated idea of ^^ his bounty, who pro- 
f^ pofed to penfion hjm out of the profits of his owa 

He attempted in Wales to promote a fubfcriptton 
for his works, and had once hopes of fuccefs ; but in 
a ihort tiniie afterwards formed a refolution of leaving 
that part of the country, to which he thought it not 
reafonable to be confined for the gratification of thofe, 
who, having promifed him a liberal income, had no 
fooner banifhed him to a remote corner, than they re- 
duced his allow^ce to a falary fcarcely equal to the 
neceffities of life. 

His refentment of this treatment, which, in his 
own opinion at leaft, he had PQt deferved, was fuch, 
that he broke off all correfpondence with moft of his 
contributors, and appeared to confider them as perfe- 
cutors and oppreffors ; and in the latter part of his life 
declared, that their condudk toward him, fince his de- 
parture from London, '^ h^d been perfidioufiiefs im- 

•' proving 

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346 SAVAGE. 

<^ proving on pcrfidioufhefs, and inhumanity on inhu- 

'* manity/' 

It is not to be fuppofed, that the neceffities of Mr. 
Savage did not fometimes incite him to fatirical exag- 
gerations of the behaviour of thofe by whom he thought 
himfelf reduced to them. But it muft be granted, 
that the diminution of his allowance was a great hard- 
ihip, and that thofe who withdrew their fubfcription 
from a man, who, upon the faith of their promife, ' 
had gone into a kind of banifhment, and abandoned 
all thofe by whom he had been before relieved in his 
diftrcffes, will find it no eafy tafk to vindicate their 

It may be alledged, and perhaps juftly, that he was 
petulant and contemptuous ; that he more frequently 
reproached his fubfcribers for not giving him more, 
than thanked thenv folr what he received ; but it is to 
be remembered, that his conduct, and this is the worft 
charge that can He drawn up againft him, did them no 
real injury ; and that it therefore ought rather to have 
been pitied than refentcd ; at lead, the refentment it 
might provoke ougnt to have been generous and manly; 
epithets which his condudt will hardly deferve that 
ftarves the man whom he has perfuaded to put himfelf 
into his power. 

It might have been reafonably demanded by Savage, 
that they ihould, before they had taken away what 
they promifed, have replaced him. in bis former ftatc, 
that they fhould have taken no advantages from the 
fituationto which the appearance of their kindnefs had 
reduced him, and that he Ihould have been recalled to 
London before he was abandoned. He might juftly 
roprefent, that he ought to have been confidered as a 


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SAVAGE. 347 

lion in the toils, and demand to be releafed before the 
dogs Ihould be loofed upon him. 

He endeavoured, indeed, to releafe himfelf, and^ 
with an intent to return to London, went to Bri- 
ftol, where a repetition of the kindnefs which h« had 
formerly found invited him to (lay. He was not only 
careffed and treated, but had a colleftion made for him 
of about thirty pounds, with which it had been happy 
if he had immediately departed for London ; but his 
negligence did nut fuffer him to confider, that fuch 
proofs of kindnefs were not often to be expefted, and 
that this ardour of benevolence was in a great degree 
the efFeft of novelty, and might, probably, be every 
day lefs ; and therefore he took no care to improve the 
happy time, but was encouraged by one favour to hopc^ 
for another, till at length generofity was exhaufied, 
and ofiiciou&efs wearied. 

Another part of his mifconduft was the pra&Ice of 
prolonging his vifits to unfeafonable hours, and dif- 
concerting all the families into which he was admitted. 
This was an error in a place of commerce which all 
the charms of his converfation could not compenfate ; 
for what trader would purchafe fuch airy fatisfa^ioa 
by the lofs of folid gain, which muft be the confc- 
quence of midnight merriment, as thofe hours which 
were gained at night were generally loft in the mom-* 


Thus Mr. Savage, after the curiofity of the inhabi- 
tants was gratified, found the number of his friends 
daily decreafing, perhaps without fufpcQiing for what 
reafon their condufl: was altered ; for he ftill continued 
to harafs, with his nodturnal intrufions, thofe that yet 
countenanced him^ and admitted him to their houfes« 


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348 SAVAGE. 

But he did not fpend all the time of his rcfidencc at 
Briftol in vifits or at taverns, for he fometin>es returned 
to his ftudies, and began fcveral cdnfiderable defigns. 
When he felt an inclination to write, he always retired 
from the knowledge of his friends, and lay hid in to 
obfcure part of the fuburbs, till he found himfelf again 
^cfirous of company, to which it is likely that intervals 
of abfence made him more welcome. 

He was always full of his defign of returning to 
London, to bring his tragedy upon the ftege; but, 
having negledted to depart with the money that was 
raifed for him, he could not afterward? procure a fum 
fufficient to defray the expences^of his journey; nor 
perhaps would a frefli fupply have had any other effefit 
than, by putting immediate pleafures in his power, 
to have driven the thoughts of his journe^y out of his 

While he was thus fpcnding the day in contriving a 
' fcheme for the morrow, diftrefs ftole upon him by 
imperceptible degrees. His conduct had already 
wearied fome of thofe who were at firft enamoured of 
his converfation; but he might, perhaps, ftill have de- 
volved to others, whom he might have entertained 
with equal fuccefs, had not the decay of his cloaths 
made it no longer cpnfiftent with their vanity to admit 
him to their tables, or to aflbciate with him in publick 
places. He now began to find every man from home 
at whofe houfe he called ; and was therefore no longer 
able to procure the neceffaries of life, but wandered 
about the town, flighted and neglected, in queft of a 
dinner, which he did not always obtain. 

To complete his mifery, he was purfued by the of- 
ficers for fmall debts which he had contradted; and 


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SAVAGE. 349 

l¥as therefcMre obliged to Withdraw from the fmall num^ 
ber of friends from whom he had fUU reafon to hope' 
for favours. His cuftom was to lie in bed the greateft 
part of the day> and to go out in the dark with the ut^ 
moft privacy, and after having paid his vifit returii 
again before morning to his lodging, which was in the 
garret of an obfcure inn* 

Bjeing thus excluded on one hand, and confined on 
the other, he fuffered the utmoft extremities of poverty, 
and often fafted fo long that he was feized with faint- 
nefs, and had loft his appetite, not being able to bear 
the fmell of meat, till the s^ion of bis fiomach was^ 
reftored by a cordi^L 

In this diftrefs, he received a remittance of five 
pounds from London, with which he provided him- 
felf a decent coat, and determined to go to London, 
but unhappily fpent bis money at a favourite tavern. 
Thus was he again confined to Briftol, where he was 
every day hunted by bailiffs. In this exigence he once 
more found a friend, who flickered him in his 'hou{e> 
though at the ufual inconveniences with which his com- 
pany was attended; for he could neither be per- 
fuaded to go to bed in the night, riot to rife iff 
the day. 

It is obfervable, that in thefe various fcenes of 
mifery, he was always difengaged and chcarful : he, at 
fcmetimes purfucd his ftudies, and at others continued 
or enlarged his epiftolary correfpondcnce; nor was he' 
ever fo far dejcfted as to endeavour to procure an in- 
creafe of his allowance by any other methods than accu- 
fations and reproaches. 

He had now no longer any hopes of affiftance fromi 
bis friends zx, Briftol, who as merchants^ and by confe- 


Digitized by VjOOQIC 


quencc fufficiently fiudious of profit, cannot be flip* 
pofed to have looked with much compafiion upon neg- 
ligence and extravagance, or to think any excellence 
equivalent to a fault of (uch coniequence as negleft of 
oeconomy. It is natural to imagine, that many of 
thoie, who would have relieved his real wants, were 
difcouraged from the exertion of their benevolence by 
ob(ervation of the ufe which was made of their favours, 
and convidtion that relief would only be momen- 
tary, and' that the fame neceflity would quickly re- 

• At laft he quitted the houfe of his friend, and re- 
turned to his lodging at the inn, ftill intending to (et 
out in a few days for London; but on the loth of 
January 1742-3, having been at fupper with two of 
his friends, hewas at his return to his lodgings arretted 
for a debt of about eight pounds, which he owed at a 
coffee-hotriTe, and condufted to the houfe of a IheriflTs 
officer. The account which. he gives of this misfor- 
tune, in a letter to one of the gentlemen with whom 
he had fupped, is too remarkable to be omitted. 

" It was not a little unfortunate for me, that I fpent 
^ yefterday*s evening with you; becaufe the hour 
•* hindered me from entering on my new lodging; 
" however, I have now got one, but fuch an one as I 
** believe nobody would chule. 

*^ I was arretted, at the fuit of Mrs. Read, jutt as I 
** was going up flairs to bed, at Mr. Bowyer's; but 
" taken in fo private a manner,, that I believe nobody 
•* at the White J.ion is apprifed of it. Though I let 
** the officers know the ftrength (or rather weaknefs) 
** of my pocket, yet they treated me with the utmoft 
*^ civility; and even when they conduced me to con- 

. •* finemcat. 

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RAVAGE. 351 

'^ finemcnti it was m fuch a manner, that I verily be- 
** lieve I could have efcaped, which I would rather 
*^ be ruined than have done, notwithftanding the 
** whole amount of my finances was but three penc^ 
*^ halfpenny. ' 

" In the firft place I muft infift, that you will in- 
** duftrioufly conceal this from Mrs. S s, becaufc 
^* I would not have her good-nature fuffer that pain, 
*^ which, I know, Ihe would be apt to feel on this 
*' occafion. 

" Next, I conjure you, dear Sir, by all the tics of 
^' friendfliip, by no means to have one uneafy thought 
*' on my account; but to have the fame pleafantry 
*' of countenance, and unruffled ferenity of mind, 
^' which (God be praifed !) I have in this, and have 
** had in a much feverer calamity. Furthermore, I 
** charge you, if you value my friendfliip as truly as I 
** do yours, not to utter, or even harbour, the leaft 
** refentment againft Mrs. Read. I believe flie has 
^^ ruined me, but I freely forgive her; and (though I 
^* will never more have any intimacy with her) I 
** would, at a due diftance, rather do her an zGt of 
** good, than ill will. Laftly (pardon the expreffion) 
** I abfolutely command you not to offer me any pe-. 
^^ cuniary affiftance, nor to attempt getting me any 
** from any one of your friends. At another time, or 
" on any other occafion, you may, dear friend, be 
** well alTured, I would rather write to you in the fub- 
** miffive liyle of a req^ueft, than that of a peremptory. 
** command. 

** 'However, that my truly valuable friend may not. 

** think I am too proud to alk a favour, let me entreat 

^* you to let me have your boy to attend me for this 

6 ' '' day, 

Digitized by VjOOQ IC 

352 S A V A G £. 

*• day, not only for the fake of faving me the expencc 
*^ of porters, but for the delivery of fome letters to 
** people whofe names I would not have known to 
** ftrangers. 

^^ The civil treatment I have thus far ttiet from 
** thofe whofe prilbner I am, makes me thankful td 
'* the Almighty^ that, though he has thought fit td 
** vifit me (on my birth-night') with affliftibn, yet 
*^ (fuch is his grealt goodnefs!) my afflifkion is not 
** without alleviating circumftarices. I murmur not ; 
** but am all refignation to the divine will. ' As to the 
** world, I hope that I Ihall be endued by Heaven with 
•* that prefehce of mind, thslt ferene dignity in misfor- 
*^ tune, that tonftitutes the charafter of a true noble- 
*^ man; a dignity far beyond that of coronets; z^ 
** nobility arifing from the juft principles of philofo-, 
" phy, refined and exalted by thofe of chriftianity/* 

He continued five days at the ofiicef's; in hopes that 
he fhould be able to procure bail, and avoid the necef- 
fity of going to prifon. The (late in which he paiTed 
his time, and the treatment which he received, are very 
juftly exprefled by him in a letter which he ^ote to a 
friend : " The whole day,'* fays he, *' has been em- 
*' ployed in various people's filling my head with 
'* their foolifli chimerical fyftems, which has obliged 
'* me coolly (as far as nature will admit) td digcft, 
^* and accommodate myfelf to, every different perf6nV 
^* way of thinking ; harried from one wild fyftem to^ 
'^ another, till it has quite made a chaos of my 
*' imagination, and nothing done— promifed — difap-* 
^* pointed— ordered to fend, every hour, from on€ part 
'* of the town to the other/* 


Digitized by VjOOQiC 

S A V A 6 fi: J53 

^Vlien his fritods, who had hitherto careflTed and ap- 
plauded, found that to give bail and pay the debt was 
the lame, they all tefufed to preferve him from 1 
prifon at the expense of eight pounds ; and tlierefore, 
after having been for fome time at the officer^s houfe, 
** at an immenfe expcnce/* aS he obferVes in his letter, 
he was at length removed to Newgate. 

This cxpence he was enabled to fuppdrt by (he gene- 
rofity of'Mn Nalh at Bath, who, upon receiving from 
Tiim an account of his condition, immediately fent 
liim five guineas, and promifed to promote his fub- 
Icription at Bath with all his interefl. 

By his removal to Newgate, he obtained dt Icafl: a 
freedom from fjifpenfe, and reft from the difturbing 
viciffitudes of hope and difappointment; he now found 
that his friends were only companions, who were will- 
ing to Ihare his gaiety, but not to partjike of his mif-* 
fortune; and therefore he no longer expected any af- 
fiftance from them. 

It muft however be obfefved of one gentleman, that 
he offered to releafe him by paying the debt ; but 
that Mr. Savage would not confent, I fuppofe becaufe 
he thought he had before been too butthenfome to 

He was oflered by fome of his friends, that a col* 
leftion fliould be made for his enlargement ; but he 
*^ treated the propofal," and declared * " he ihould 
'* again treat it, with difdain. As to writing any men- 
*• dicant letters, he had too high a fpirit, and de- 
** termined only to write to fome minifters of ftate, to 
'^ try to regain his penfion." 

* In alettejr after his confinement. Orii, Edit. 
Vol. in. A a He 

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354 SAVAGE. 

He continued to complain ^ of thofe that had ieac 
him into the country, and objefted to them, chat 
he had '^ loft the profits of his play, which had been 
" finiflied three years ;" and in another letter declares 
his refolution to publifh a pamphlet^ that the world 
might know how " he had been ufed." 

This pamphlet was never written ; for he in a very 
ihort time recovered his ufual tranquillity, and cheerful- 
ly applied himfelf to more inoffcnfive ftudies. He in- 
deed fteadily declared, that he was promifed a yearly al- 
lowance of fifty pounds, and never received half the 
fum ; but he feemed to refign himfelf to that as well as 
to other misfortunes, and lofe the remembrance of it in 
his amufements and employments. 

The cheerfulnefs with which he bore his confine- 
ment appears from the following letter, which he 
wrote, January the 30th, to one of his friends in 
London : 

" I now write to you from my confinement in Ncw- 
'^ g^.te, where I have been ever fince Monday lall was 
" le'nnight, and where I enjoy myfelf with much 
'^ more tranquillity than I have known for upwards of 
" a twelvemonth paft ; having a room entirely to my- 
" felf, and purfuing the amufement of my poetical 
** ftudies, uninterrupted, and agreeable to my mind, 
^* I thank the Almighty, I am now all colledted in 
** myfelf; and, though my perfon is in confinement, 
*' my mind can expatiate on ample and ufeful fubje&s 
*' with all the freedom imaginable. I am now more 
*^ converi'anr with the Nine than ever ; and if, inflead 
** ot a Newgate-bird, I may be allowed to be a bird 

Letter, Jan. ij. 

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5 A V A G fe. ^^5 

*' bf the Muies, I aflure you. Sir, I fing very freely in 
*€ iQy i^g^ I fdihetlmes indeed in the plaintive notfe^i 
*' of the nightingale; but^ at others^ in the cheerful 

In another letter he dbfirved, that he ranges from one 
fulgeft to another, without confining himfelf to any 
particular tdik ; and that he was employed one week 
upon one attempt, and the next upon another; 

Surely the fortitude of this man deferves, at leafl:^ 
to be mentioned with appkufe ; and^ whatever faults 
may be imputed to him> the virtue of fufTering well 
cannot be denied him; The two powers which, in the 
opinion of EpiAetus, conftituted a wife man^ are thofe 
of bearing and forbearing^ which it cannot indeed be af-> 
firmed to have been equally poflefled by Savage ; and 
indeed the want of one obliged him very frequently to 
pradtife the other. 

He was treated by Mr. Dagg, the keeper of the 
priibn, with great humanity ; was fupported by him 
at his own table without any certainty of recompence ; 
had a room to hitiifelf, to which he could it any time 
retiite from all difturbance ; was allowed to ftand at the 
door of the prifdtl^ arid fometimes taken out into the 
fields ; fd that he fuffered fewer hardlhips in prifon 
than he had been accuftoihed to undergo in the greateft 
part of his life. 

I'he keeper did hot confine his benevolence to a gen- 
tle execution of his office, but made fomc overtures to 
the creditor for his releafe, though without efTedt; 
and continued, during the vvhob thne of hi<5 imprifon- 
ment, to treat him with the uimoil tenderne£% and ci- 

A a z Virtue 

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356 S A V A Q «. 

Virtite is undoubt^41y nioft kiadabld in that fytc 
which makes it moft diffiduk ; ftiid therefore the hu- 
manity of a gaokr eert^o^y 4eferVes this public •tteC' 
tation ; and the man, whofe heart has not been har- 
dened by fuch an employncuetd:^ may be ji^y propofed 
as a pattern of benevoicnce. If an infcriptioa ww ctoCc 
engraved " to the honeft tol^gatherer/' kfs hooows 
ought not be paid " to the tender gaoler.** 

Mr. Savage very frequently received viiits, and feme- 
times prefents from his acquaintances^; but they ^idiK>t 
amount to a fubfiftence, for tine greater part of which 
he was indebted to the generofity of this keeper ; but 
thefe favourer, however they might endear to him the 
particular perfons from whom he received them, were 
very far from imprefling upon his mind any advan- 
tageous ideas of the people of Briftol^ and tlieiefbre 
he thought he could not more properly anpk>y him- 
felf in prifon, than in writing the fbUowing poem : 

LONDON and BRISTOL delineated ♦v 

Two fea-port cities mark, Britannia's fame. 
And thcfe from Commerce different honours cbisK 
What different honours (hall the Mufes pay, 
While one iiifpires, and one untunes the lay ? 

Now filver Ifis brightening flows along. 
Echoing from Oxford's fliore each claflic fpng ; 
Then weds with Tame : and thefe, O London, fee 
Swelling with naval pride, the pride of thee ! 
Wide deep unfallied Thames meandering glides. 
And bears thy wealth on mild majeflic tides. 
Thy Ihips, with gilded palaces that vie. 
In glittering pomp, ftrike wondering China^s eye ; 

* The Author preferred this title to that of "London and BriRol 
«* compared ;" which, when he began the piece, he intended to 
prefix to it. Orig. EtiU^ 


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S A V A G £• 357 

And thencf vetumiiig bear, in fplendid ftate» 
To Britain's merchants, India's Eaftern freight. 
India^ her tres^ures from her Weftem Ihores, 
Due at thy feet, a willing tribute pours .; 
Thy Warring navies diftant nations awc^ 
And bid the world obey thy righteous law. 
Thus (hiQfi thy mmly fons of liberal mind ; 
Thy Change de^bofied, yet as courts refia'd ; 
Councils, like fenatea thai enforce debate 
With fluent eloquence and r«afo»'« weight; 
Whofe patriot virtue lawlefs power controuis { 
Their Brttiib emulating Roman fouls. 
Of tliefe the w«trthieft ftill feleded ftand. 
Still le^d th^ fenate, and ftill iave the land. 
Social, not ielfiih, here, O Learning, trace 
Thy friends, the lovers of all human race J 

In a dark bottom funk, O Briftol, now, 
With native malice, lift thy lowering brow ! 
Then as fome Hell-born fprite, in mortal guife. 
Borrows the fhape of goodnefs and belies, 
All fair, all fmug to yon proud hall invite. 
To feaft all ftrangers ape an air polite ! 
From Cambria drain'd, or England's Weftprn coaft. 
Not elegant yet* coftly banquets boaft I 
Revere, or fecm the ftranger to revere ; 
Praife, fawn, profcfs, be all things but fincere ; 
Iniidious now, our bofom fecrets ftcal. 
And thefe with fly farcaftic fncer reveal. 
Prefcnt we meet thy fneaking treacherous fmiles : 
The harmlefs abfent ftill thy fnecr reviles ; 
Such as in thee all parts fuperior find ; 
The fncer that marks the fool and knave combin'd. 
When melting pity would aflFord relief. 
The ruthlefs fneer that infult adds to grief. 
What friendfhip canft thou boaft ? what honours claim ? 
To thee each ftranger owes an injuiM name, 

A a 3 What 

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35? SAVAGE. 

What fmiles thy fons muft in their fees excitei ^ 

Thy fons to whom all difcord is delight; 
From whom eternal mutual railing flows ; 
Who in each other's crimes their own expoie ; 
Thy fons, though crafty, deaf to Wifdom*s call j 
J3efpiiing all men, and defpis'd by all ; 
Sons, while thy cliffs a ditch-like river lavet» 
Rude as thy rocks, and mpddy as thy waTes<; 
Of thoughts as nsurow as of words tmmenie ; 
As full of turbulence as void of ienfe ; 
Thee, Thee what fenatorial fouls adorn f 
Thy natives fune would prove a fenate*s fcom. 
Do ftrangers deign to ferve Thee ? what th^ir praife } 
Their generous ferviccs thy murmurs raiie. 
What fiend malignt that o*er thy air prefides» 
Around from breaft to breaft inherent glides^ 
And, as he glides, there fcatters in a tricj 
The lurking feeds of every r^nl^ device ? 
Let foreign youths to thy indentures run ( 
Each, each will prove, in thy adopted fon, 
Proud, pert, and dull*— though brilliant once fromiclipobi 
. Will fcorn all Learning's^ as all Virtue's ful^ ; 
And, though by nature friei^dly, boneft, brave. 
Turn a fly, felfifh, fimpering, iharping knave ; 
Boaft petty-courts, where '{lea4 of fluent eafe i 
Of cited precedents and learned pleas ; 
'Stead of iage council in the 4ubiou3 caufe, 
Attornics chattering wild, burlefque the laws. 
So fhaipelefs quacks, who do&ors* rights ^v^e. 
Of jargon and of poifon form a trade. 
So canting coblers, while from tubs tl^ey teach^ 
Bu^oon the Gofpel they pretend to preach i 
Boafl petty-courts, whence rules pew rigour dra^i 
Unknown to Nature's and to ftatute law ; 
Quirks that explain all favjng rights away, 
jo give th' Attorney and the Catch-poll prey. 

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SAVAGE. 359 

Is there where Law too pgorous may defcend ? 

Or Charity her kindly hand extend ? 

Thy courts, that Ihut when pity would redrds. 

Spontaneous opeQ to infli£t diftrefs. 

Try mifdemeanors ! all thy wiles employ^ 

Not to chaftife th* offender, but deftroy ; 

Bid the large lawlefs fine his fate foretell ; 

Bid it beyond his crime and fortune fwelL 
C^H off from fervice due to kindred bloo4, 
To private wel£ire and to public good, 
Pity'd by all but thee, he fentenc'd lies, 
Impriibn'd languilhes^ imprifon'd dies ; 

Boafl fwarming veflels, whofe plebeian ftare 
Owes not to merchants but mechanics freight. 
Boaft nought but pedlar fleets^o war's alarms. 
Unknown to glory, as unknown (o arms. 
Boaft thy bafe Tolfey *, and thy turn-fpit dogs ; 
Thy hallicr?' f horfri, ap<J thy huiftan hogs ^ 
Upftarts and mofhrooms, proud, reientUlb hearts ; 
Thpu bl^nk of fcicnces ! th6,u dearth of arts I 
Such foes as Learning once wasdoomM to fee ; 
Hvins^ Gothi, and Vafidals, were but types of thee. 

Proceed, great Btjiftol, in ail righteous ways, 
And let one jufticc heighten yet thy praife ; 
^til! fparc the Catamite and fwinge the whore, 
And be whate'er Gomorrah was before. 

* A place where the merchants ufed to meet to tranfaifl their at- 
fair« before the Exchange was erected. See Gentleman's Magazine, 
vol. XIII. p. 496. Ong. Edit. 

t Hallien are the perions yrho drive or owo the fledges, which 
are here ufed inllcad of carts • Ong. Edtu 

A a 4 * Wlien 

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360 SAVAGE. 

When he had brought this poem to its prefent ftate, 
which, without confidering the chafm, is not perfect, he 
wrote to London an account of his defign, and informed 
his friend, that he was dctermi|ied to print it with his 
name : but enjoined him not to communicate his in- 
tention to his Briftol acquaintanc^t The gentleman, 
furprifed at his refolution, endeavoured to <iifiuade 
him from publilhing it, at leaft frpm prefixing his 
name ; and declared, that he could not reconcile the 
injunction of fecrecy with his refolution to own it at its 
firft appearance. To this Mr. Savage returned an an- 
fwer agreeable to his charafter, in the following terms : 
" I received yours this morning ; and not without 
" a little furprize ^t the contents. To anfwer a quef- 
^^ tion with a queftion, you afk me concerning Lon- 
** don and Briftol, Why will I add delineated? Why 
*^ did Mr. Woolafton add the fame word to his Reli- 
** GioN OF Nature ? I fuppofe that it was his will and 
*^ pleafure to add it in his cafe ; and it is mine to do 
^^ fo in my own. You are pleafed to tell me, that you 
*^ ynderftand not why fecrecy is enjoined, and yet 
*^ I intend to fet my name to it. My anfwer is — I 
*^ have my private reafons, which I am not obliged to 

** explain to any one. You doubt my friend Mr. S 

" would not approve of it. — And what is it to me 
" whether he does or not ! Do you imagine that Mr. 

" S is to didtate to me ? If any man wto calls 

" himfelf my friend ihould aflume fuch an air^ I 
** would fpurn at his friendlhip with contempt. You 
" fay, I feem to think fo by not letting him know it— 
" And fuppofe I do, what then ? Perhaps I can give 
" reafons for that difapprobation,. very foreiga from 
". what, you would imagine. You go on ia-iaying, 

^* Suppofc 


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SAVAGE. 361 

«f Suppoie I Ihould not put my naine to it— My an- 
^^ fwer is, that I will not fuppofe any fuch thing, 
** being detemiined to the contrary ; neither. Sir, 
^^ would I have you fuppofe, that I applied to you 
" for want of another prefs ; nor would I have you 

** imagine, that I owe Mr. S obligations which 

" I do not.'' 

Such was his imprudence, and fuch his obftinate 
adherence to his own refolutions, however abfurd, A 
prifoner ! fupported by charity ! and, whatever infults 
he might have received during the latter part of his 
flay in Briftol, once carefled, efteemed, and prefented 
with a liberal coUeAion, he could forget on a fuddea 
his danger and his obligations, to gratify the petulance 
of his wit, or the eagernefs of his refentment, and 
publifh a fatire, by which he might reafonably expeA 
that he ihould alienate thofe who then fupported him, 
and provoke thofe whom he could neither refiA nor 

This refolution, from the execution of which it is 
probable that only his death could have hindered him, 
is fufficient to fliew, how much he difregarded all con- 
fiderations that oppofed his prefent paflions, and how 
readily he hazarded all future advantages for any im- 
mediate gratifications. Whatever was his predomi-- 
nant inclination, neither hope nor fear hindered him 
from complying with it; nor had oppofition any 
other efFedk than to heighten his ardour, and irritate 
his vehemence. 

This performance was however laid afide, while he 
was employed in foliciting affiftance from feveral great 
perlbns ; and one interruption fucceeding another, hin- 
dered him from fupplying the chafm, and perhaps 


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362 SAVAGE. 

from retouching the other parts^ which he can hardly 
be imagined to have finiihed in his own opinion ; for 
it is very unequal, and (bme of the lines are rather in- 
ferted to rhyme ro others, than to fuppbrt or improve 
the fenfe; but the firft and lad parts are worked up 
with great fpirit and elegance. 

His time was fpent in the prt(bn for the mQll part 
in fiudy, or in receiving vifits ; but fometimes he de- 
fcended to tower amufements^ and diverted himfelf in 
the kitchen with the converfation of the criminals; for 
it was not pleafing to him to be much without com* 
pany ; and though he was very capable of a judicious 
choice, he was often contented with the firft that of- 
fered ; for this he was fometimes reproved by his 
friends, who found him furrounded with felons : but 
the reproof was on that, as on other occafions, thrown 
away ; he continued to gratify himfelf, and to fet very 
little value on the opinion of others. 

But here, as in every other fcene of his life, he 
made ufeof fuch opportunies as occurred of benefiting 
thofe who were more miferable than himfelf, and was 
always ready to perform any office of humanity to his 

He had now ceafed from correfponding with any of 
his fubfcribers except one, who yet continued to remit 
him the twenty pounds a year which he had promifed 
him, and by whom it was expefted that he would 
have been in a very Ihort time enlarged, becaufe he 
had diredcd the keeper to enquire after the ftate of 
his debts. 

However, he took care to enter his name accord- 
ing to the forms of the court, that the creditor might 
be obliged to make him forae allpwance,. if he was 


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SAVAGE. 363 

^ntinued aprifoner^ and^ when on that Occafion he ap« 
peared in the hall; was treated with very unufual re* 

But the rcfentment of the city was afterwards raifed 
by fome accounts that had been fpread of the fatire; and 
he was informed that fome of the merchants intended to 
pay the allowance which the law required^ and to de- 
tain hiii> a prifoner at their own cxpence. This he 
treated as an empty menace ; and perhaps might have 
haftened the publication, only to fliew how much he 
was fuperior to their infults^ had not all his fchemes 
lateen fuddenly deflroyed. 

When he had been fix months in prifon, he re- 
ceived from one of his friends *, in whofe kindnefs he 
had the greateft confidence^ and on whofe aflifi:ance 
he chiefly depended, a letter, that contained a charge 
of very atrocious ingratitude, drawn up in fuch terms 
as fiidden refentment diftated. Henley, in one of his 
advertifcments, had mentioned fope^s trealment ofSa^ 
^age. This was fuppofcd by Pope to be the confe- 
quence of a complaint made by Savage to Henley, 
and was therefore mentioned by him with much re- 
fentment. Mr. Savage returned a very folemn pro- 
teftation of his innocence, but however appeared much 
difturbed at the accufation. Some days afterwards he 
was (eized with a pain in his back and fide, which, as 
it was not violent, was not fufpedtcd to be dangerous ; 
but growing daily more languid and dejected, on the 
Z5th of July he confined himfelf to his room, and a 
fever feized his fpirits* The fymptoms grew every day 
fnore formidable^ but his condition did not enable him 

.♦ Mr. Pope. 


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364 S A V A G £• 

to procure any affiilance« The laft dme t^ the 
keeper faw him was oq July the 31ft, 1743 ; when 
Savage, feeing him at his bed-fide, faid, with an \ua^ 
common earoeftnefs, '' I have Tomethii^ to fay to you, 
*^ Sir ;" but, after a paufe, moved his hand in a me* 
lancholy manner; and, finding himfelf unaUeto re*- 
coUedt what he was goio^ to communicate, faid, *^ Tis 
gone V The keeper foon after left him ; and the next 
morning he died. He was buried in the church-yard 
of St* Peter, at the expence of the keeper. 

Such were the life and death of Richard Savage, a 
man equally diftinguiihed by his virtues and vices ; and 
at once remarkable for his weaknefles and abilities. 

He was of a middle flature, of a thin habit of body, 
a long vifage, coarfe features, and melancholy afpe& ; 
of a grave and manly deportment, a folemn dignity of 
mten> but which, upon a nearer acquaintance, foftened. 
into an engaging eafinefs of manners. His walk was 
ilow, and his voice tremulous and mournful. He was 
eafily excited to fmiles, but very feldom provoked to 

He mind was in an uncommon degree vigorous and 
adtive. His judgement was accurate, his apprehenfion 
quick, and his memory fo tenacious, that he was fre- 
quently obferved to know what he had learned from 
others in a Ihort time, better than thofe by whom he 
was informed ; and could frequently recoUefl: incidents, 
with all their combination of circumftances, which few 
would have regarded at the prefent time, but which 
the quicknefs of his apprehenfion impreffed upon him. 
He had the peculiar felicity^ tliit his attention nevet- 
deferred Wm ; he was prefent to every objeft, and re- 
gardful of the mofl trifling occurrences. He had the 


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.S A V A G £• 365 

art \ of efcaping from his own refie^kioDis^ tad accoin^ 
oaodati^g hinxfclf to every new fcene. 

To this quality ig to be imputed the extent of his 
knowledge^ compared with the fmall time which he 
ipent in villble endeavours to acquire it* He mingled 
in curfory converfation with the fame fteadinefs of at- 
tention as others apply to a lecture ; and, amidfi the 
appearance of thoughtlefs gaiety^ loft no new idea that 
was ftarted, nor any hint that could be improved. He 
had therefore made in coffee-houfes the fame profici- 
ency as others in their clo&ts : and it b remarkable, 
that the writings of a man of little education and little 
reading have an air of learning fcarcely to be found in 
any other performances, but which perhaps as offien 
obfcures as embelliihes them. 

His judgement was eminently exaft both with re- 
gard to writings and to men. The knowledge of life 
was indeed his chief attainment ; and it is not without 
Ibme fatisfadion, that I can produce tlie fuffrage of 
Savage in favour of human nature, of which he never 
appeared to entertain fucJi odious ideas as fbme, who 
perhaps had^ neither his judgement nor experience, 
have publiihed, either in oftentation of their fagacity, 
vindication of their crimes, or gratification of their 

His method of life particularly qualified him for 
converfation, of which he knew how to pra£tife all the 
graces. He was never vehement or loud, but at once 
modcft and eafy, open and refpediful ; his language 
was vivacious and elegant, and equally . happy upon 
grave or humourous fubjedts. Ke was generally cea- 
fured for not knowing when to retire ; but that was 
pot the defeft of his judgement, but of his fortune : 


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366 S A tr A 6 fe. 

when he left his company^ he was frequently to f^ifi^ 
the remaining part of the night in the ftreet, or at leaft 
was abandoned to gloomy refledions, which it is not 
firange that he delayed as long as he could; and 
ibmetimes forgot that he gave othtil pain to avoid 
it himfelf. 

It cannot be faid, that he made ufe of hh albilitifes 
for the direction of his own conduA : an irregular and 
diiCpated manner of life had made him the ihve o^ 
every paffion that happened to be excited by the pre- 
fence of its objeft, ami that ilavery to his paffions red* 
procally produced a life irregular and diffipated. He 
was not mailer of his own motions^ nor could promiie 
any thing for the next day. 

With regard to his oeconomy, nothing can be added 
to the relation of his life. He appeared to think him- 
felf born to be fupported by others, and difpenfed 
from all neceflity of providing for htmfelf ; he there- 
fore never profecuted any fcheme of advantage, nor en- 
deavoured even to fecure the profits which his writings 
might have afforded him- His temper was, in confe- 
quence of the dominion of his paffions, uncertain and 
capricious; he was eafily engaged, and eafily dilgufted; 
but he is accufed of retaining his hatred more tenaci*' 
oufly than his benevolence. 

He was compaffionate both by nature and principle^ 
and always ready to perform offices of humanity; but 
when he was provoked (and very fmall offences wete 
fufficient to provoke him), he would profecute his re- 
venge with the utmoft acrimony till his paffiori had 

His friendlhip was therefore of little value; for 

though he was zealous in the fnpport or vindication 

a 4)f 

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SAVAGE. 367 

of thofe whom he loved^ yet it was always dangerous 
to truft him^ becaufe he confidered himfelf as dif- 
charged by the firft quarrel from all ties of honour or 
gratitude; and would betray thofe fecrets which in the 
warmth of confidence had been impaned to him. 
This pradkice drew upon him an univerfal accufation 
of ingratitude : nor can it be denied that he was very 
ready to fet himfelf free from the lo^d of an obliga* 
tion; for he could not bear to conceive himfelf in a 
ilate of dependence, his pride being equally powerful 
with his other paiTions^ and appearing in the form of in* 
folence at one time, and of vanity at another. Vanity, 
the moft innocent fpecies of pride, was moft frequently 
predominant : he could not eaftly leave off, when he 
had once begun to mention himfelf or his works; nor 
ever read his verfes without ftealing his eyes from the 
page to difcover, in the faces of his audience, how 
they were affeftcd with any favourite p^age. 

A kinder name than that of vanity ought to be given 
to the delicacy with which he was always careful to 
feparate his own merit from every other man's, and to 
rejedk that praife to which he had no claim. He did 
not forget, in mentioning his performances, to mark 
every line that had been fuggefted or amended; and 
was fo accurate, as to relate that he owed three ivords 
in The fVandtrer to the advice of his friends. 

His veracity was queftioned, but with little reafbn; 
his accounts, though not indeed always the fame, were 
generally confiftent. When he loved any man, he fup- 
prelfed all his faults; and when he had been offended 
by him, concealed all his virtues: but his charafters 
v/cre generally true, fo far as he proceeded; though 
:: c:.i:not be denied, that his partiality might have 
i..::ic::iucs the effeft of faifehood. 


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368 SAVAGE. 

In cafes indifferent, he was zealous for virtue, trtith^ 
and juftice: he knew very well the neceffity of good- 
nefs to the prefent and future happinefs of mankuid; 
nor is there perhaps any writer, who has lefs endea- 
voured to pleafe by flattering the appetites or pervert- 
ing the judgement. 

As an author, therefore, and he now ceafes to in- 
fl\xencc mankind in any other charafter, if one piece 
which he had refolved to fupprefs be excepted, he has 
very little to fear from the ftridteft moral or religious 
cenfure. And though he may not be altogether fecure 
againft the objedtions of the critic, it muft however 
be acknowledged, that his works are the produdions of 
a genius truly poetical; and, what many writers who 
have been more laviihly applauded cannot boaft, that 
they have an original air, which has no refemblance of 
any foregoing writer, that the verfification and fenti* 
ments have a caft peculiar to themfelves, which no 
man can imitate with fuccefs, bccaufe what was natune 
in Savage, would in another be affeftation. It muft 
be confeffed, that his dcfcriptions arc ftrlking, his 
images animated, his fictions juftly imagined, and his 
allegories artfully purfued; that his di&ion ift ele- 
vated, though fometiroes forced, and his numbers fo- 
norous and majeftic, though frequently iluggifh and 
encumbered. Of his ftyle, the general fault is harlh- 
nefs, and its general excellence is dignity; of his fen- 
timents, the prevailing beauty is fimplicity, and uni- 
formity the prevailing* defeft. 

For his life, or for his writings, none, who can- 
didly confider his fortune, will think an apology either 
neceffary or difficult. If he was not always fufficicntly 
inftrudted in his fubjcdt^ his knowledge was at leaft 
3 greater 

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gteatet tkan could haver been attained by others in the 
fame ftatc. If his works were fonietimcs unfiniflied^ 
accuracy cannot rcafonably be exaftcd from a man ^p- 
preffed with want, whteh he has no hope of relieving^ 
but by k fpeedy publication. The infolence and re- 
fentment of which he is accufed were not eafily to be 
avoided by a great mind irritated by perpetual hlrd- 
lliips, and conftrained hourly to return the fpurns of 
contempt, and reprefe the Infolence, of profpcrity; and 
vanity furely may be readily pardoned in him, to 
whom life afforded ho bthei* comfotts than barren 
praifcsj and tKe confcioufnefs of deferving thcni* 

Thofe are no proper judges of his oondud:, who 
have flumbered away their time 6n the down of plenty ; 
nor will any wife man eafily prefume to fay, "; Had I 
** been in Savage's condition, I Ihould have lived or 
** written bettei* than Savage/'^ . 
, This relation will not be wholly without its ufe, if 
thofe, who languilh under any part of his fufferings, 
ihall be enabled to fortify their patience, by reflcfting 
t\iat they feel only thofd afflidions from which the 
abilities of Savage did not exempt him; or thofe, whtt, 
in confidence of fuperior capacities or attainments, 
flifregard tlt6 common maxims of life, fllall be re- 
minded, that nothing will fupply the <vjlnt of pru- 
dence; and that negligence and irreguhfity, long con- 
tinued, will make knowledge ufeleft, wit ridiculous, 
and genius contemptible. 

Vol. III. B b SWIFT. 

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i S7<i 3 

V -,_ ■iA..»r-*^"*»ggggg l>li' , ! ■>. ^1. 

ipwi n wiji 

S W I F T, 

AJT Account of Dr. Swftt has teen already cot 
ledted, with great diligence and acutencfi, by 
Dr. Hawkefworth, according to a fchcme which I laid 
before him in the intimacy of out friendlhip. 1 can- 
not therefore be cxpe&ed to fay much of a life, con- 
cerning which I had long fince communicated my 
thoughts to a man capable of dignifying his narratioii 
with Co much elegance of language and force of fen-' 

JONATHAN SWIFT \tzs, according to atf 
account faid to be written by himfelf, th? fon of Jona- 
than Sivift, an attorn'ey, and was born at Dublin oxf^ 
St. Andrew's day, 1667 : according to his^ own report^ 
as delivered by Pope to Spence, he was torn at Lei- 
ccfter, the fon of a clergyman, who was minifter of af 
parifh in Herefordftiire *. During his life the place of 
his birth was undetermined. He was contented to be* 
called an Irilhman by the Irifh ; but would occafion- 

* Spence's Anecdotes, vol» II. p. if}. 

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S W 1 F f . 371 

fcliy call tiimfelf an EngHlhmati. The queftion may, 
Vrlthoiit much regret, be left m the obfcurity In which 
ht delighted tb involve it. 

Whatever was his birth, his educatiori was Irilh. 
He was fcht at the age of fix to the fchool at Kilkenny, 
tad ih His fiftfeenth yeai:,(i682) was admitted into the 
Univcrfity of Dublin. 

In his academical ftudies he ^as either not diligent 
6r iiot happy. It rtiuft difappobt every reader's ex- 
fieftatibn, that, \^hen it the ufual time he claimed the 
Bachebrihip of Arts, he was found by the examiners 
too confpicuodly deficient for regular admiflion, and 
obtained his degree at laft by fecial favour ; a term 
mfed in that univerfity to denote want of merit. 

Of this difgrace it may be eafily fuppofed that he 
%^as mudi aftamed, and Ihame had its pfOf)cr cffeft in 
j[yfodticing reformation. He refolved from that time to 
Rudy eight hours a-day, and continued his iiiduftry for 
ftvih years, with wiat improvement is fufficlcntly 
known. This part of his ftory well deferves to be re- 
membered ; it may afford ufeful admonition and power- 
ful encouragement to tneii, whofe abilities have been 
made for a time uffelefs by their pallions or pleafures, 
and who, having loft one part of life in idlenefs, are 
tempted to throw away the remainder in defpair. 

In this courfe of daily application he continued three 
years longer at Dublin ; and in this time^ if the ob- 
lervation and memory of an old companion may be 
trufted, he drew the firft fketch of his Tah of a Tub. 

When he was about one-and-twenty (16-88), being 
by the death of Godwin Swift his uncle, who had fup- 
ported him, left without fubfiftence, he went to con- 
fult his mothf^r, who theivlived at Lelcefter, about the 

B b 2 future 

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37* SWIFT. 

future courfe of his life, tnd by her direflion folicircd 
the advice tod patfoffiige of Sir William Temple, who 
had married one of Mrs* Swift's relations, and whofe 
father Sir John Temple, Mafter of the RpUs in Ire- 
land, had lived in great familiarity of friendihip with 
Godwin Swift, by whom Jonathan had beeii to that 
time maintained. 

Temple received with fufficient kindnefs the nephew 
of his father's friend, with whom he was, when they 
converfed together, fo much pleafed, that he detained 
him two years in his hou^e. Here he became knows 
to King William, who fometimes vifited Temple whe& 
ht was difabled by the gout,, and, being attended by 
Swift in the garden, fhewed hinihow to tut afpar^is 
in the Dut-ch way. 

Kinjg William's notions were .all military > and h«L 
exprelTed his kindne& to Sw>fc by ofieriligto make him 
a captain of korfe. 

When' Temple removed to ,Moor-parky- he took 
§wift with him ; and when he was confulted by ther 
Earl of Portland about the expedi^ice of complying 
with a bill then depending for ixiaking parliaments tri- 
ennial, againft which King William was ftrongly pre- 
judiced, after having in vain tried to Ihew the Earl 
that the propofal involved nothing dangerous to royal 
power, he fent Swift for the fame purpofe to the King. 
Swift, who probably Was proud of his employment, 
and went with all the confidence of a young nian, 
found his arguments, and his art of difplaying them, 
made totally ihefFeftual by the predetermination* of the 
King ; and uf<^ to mention this difappointmeat as his< 
^rft antidote againft vanity. 


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SWIFT. 373 

Before he left Ireland he contrafted a diforder, as he 
thought, by eating too much fruit. The original of 
diieafes is commonly obfcure. Almoft every boy eats 
as much fruit as he can get, without any great incon- 
-venience. The difeafe of Swift was giddinefs With 
tleafnefs, which attacked him from time to time, be- 
gan very early, purfued him through life, and at laft 
fent him to the grave, dq)riyed of reafon. 

Being myich oppreffed at Moor-park by this grievous 
malady, he was advifed to try his native air, and went 
to Ireland; but, finding no benefit, returned to Sif 
William, at whofe houfe he continued his ftudies, and 
>s known to have read, among other books, Cfpriai} 
*nd Irenaus. He thought exercife of great neceflity, 
and ufed to rvn half a mile up and down a hill every 
two hours. 

It is eafy to imagine that the mode in which his firft 
degree was conferred left hiua no great fondnefs for the 
Univerfity of Dublin, ^nd therefore he refolved to be- 
come a Mafter of Arts at Oxford. In the teftimonial 
which he produced, the words of difgrace were omit- 
ted; and he took his Mailer's degree (July 5, 1692) 
with fuch reception aad regard as fully contented 
him. • 

While he lived with Temple, he ufed to pay his 
mother at Leicefter an yearly vifit. He travelled on 
foot^i unlefs fome violence of weather drove him into 
^ waggon, and at night he would go to a penny lodg-* 
ing, where he purchafed clean ftieets for fixpence. 
This praftice Lord Orrery imputes to his innate love 
of groffnefs and vulgarity : fome may afcribe it to his 
defire of furveying human life through all its varieties ; 
and. others, perhaps with equal probability, to a paffion 
\ B b 3 which 

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374 S W I F ?. 

which feems to have been deep fijce4 in bur lic^a the 
love of a Ihilling. 

In time he began to think that kis ^tte^daace $t 
Moor-park deferved fome other recompence than th^ 
pleafure, however mingled with impi:ovement, qf 
Temple's converfation ; and grew fo tmpaticntj^ diac 
( 1 694) he went away in difcontent. 

Temple, confcious of having given reafon for com* 
plaint, is faid to have made him Deputy Mailer of the 
Rolls in Ireland ; which, according to his kin&ian's 
account, was an office which he knew him nojc able ta 
difcharge. Swift therefore relblv^d to e^ter into the 
Church, in which he had at firft no higher hopes thaa 
of the chaplainftiip to the Faftory at Liibon ; but being 
recommended to Lord Capelj he obtained the pre-. 
bend of Kilrcot in Connor, of about a hundreid poinds 
a year. 

But the infirmities of Temple made a companio^ 
like Swift fo neceffary, that he invited him back, with 
a promife to procure him Englifli preferment, in ex- 
change for the prebend which he deiired hin^ to rcfigo, 
With this requeft Swift complied,, having perhap$ 
equally repented their feparation, and they liyed on 
together with mutual fetisfaftion; and, in the four 
years that pafled between his return and Temple's 
■death, it is probable that he wrote the talf of a. Xufi 
and the Battle of the Books. 

"Swift began early to think, or to hope, that h^was 
% poet, and wroce Pindarick Odes to Temple, to the 
King^ and to the Athenian Society, a knot of obfcurc 
men,' who publifhed a periodical pamphlet of anfwer^ 
to qceftions, fent, or fuppofed to be ftnt, by Letters* 
I have been told that Dryden, having pcrufed thicfc 

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^ W t f T. 375 

f^rfes^ faid, *^ Coufin Swift, you will never be a poet;'* 
and that this denunciation was the motive of Swift's 
jperpetual malevolence to Dryden. 

In 1699 Temple died, and left a legacy with his 
manufcripts t0 Swift, for whom he bad obtained, from 
King William, a promife of the firft f>rebend, that 
^ould be vacant at Weftminftjey prCanterbury^ 

That this promife might not be forgotten, Swift 
idedicated to the King the pofthbmous works with 
^hich he was intruded ; but neither the dedication, 
jK>r tendcrnefs for the man whom he once had treated 
«rith confidence and fondnefs, revived in King William 
the remembrance of his promife* Swift awhile at- 
jtended the Cpurt; |>ut ibpp foi;n4 hU fojicitatjons^ 

He was then invited by the Earl of Berkeley to ac- 
ipompany l^m into Ireland, as his private fecjetary ; 
but after having done the bufinefs till their*arrival at 
Publm, he then found th?t one Bujh had perfuaded 
yhe Earl thac a Clergynjan was not a proper fecretary, 
0nd had obtained the office for himfel£ In a man like 
Swift, ftich circumvention and inconftjmcy mvft have 
<xcited violent mdignation. 

But he had yet more to fuffer. Lord Berkeley had 
jhe difpofal of the deanery of Derry, and Swift ex- 
pefted to obtain it j but by the fecretary's influence, 
^ppofed to have been fecurcd by a bribe, it was be* 
ilowed on fomebody elfc ; and Swift was difmiffed with 
the livii^S of Laracor and Ratbbeggin in the diocefe of 
Meath, which together did not equal h^lf the value of 
|ixc deanery. 

At Laracor he increaied the parochial duty by read^ 
iPg pwiy^r* ^^ Wedhefdays and Fridays, and perfonncd 

B b 4 aai 

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376 S W 1 E T, 

all the offices of his prpfeflipn with great decency and* 

Soon after his fettlemcnt at -JLaracor, he invited to 
Ireland ihc unfortunate ^tella, a young woman whofe 
name wqs Jphnfon, the daughter of the fteward of Sir 
W'illiam Temple, who, in confideration of her father's 
virtues, left her 4 thoufand pounds. With her came 
Mrg, Uingley, whole whole fortune w^s twnty-fevcrt 
pounds a y.ear for her life. With thefe Ladies he paile4 
his laoprs of* relaxation, and to them he opened his bo- 
{pm ; but they never relided in the fame houfe, nor 
4id he fee either without a vvitnefs. They lived at the 
?arfonage, when Swift was :iway; and when he re- 
turned, removed tp a lodging, or to the houfe of ^ 
neghbouring clergyman. 

Swift was npt: one of thofe minds which amaze the 
\yorld with early pregnancy : his firft work, ejccept hi^ 
few poetical Eflays, was the Dijfentions vi Athens and 
RomCy publifhed ( 1 70 1 ) in his thirty-fourth year. After 
its appearance, paying a vifit to fom? bilhop, he heard 
ipention made of the new pamphjeflhat Burnet ha4 
written, replete with political knowlcdgp. When he 
feemed to doubt Burnet's right t^ the work, he was 
told by the Bilhop, that he was^tt'^pan^ man ; and, ftill 
perfilling to doubt, that he-^i^ ^^a verjf fqfiiive joung^ 

Three years afterward (1704) was pul^^iflied The 
Tale of a Tub: of this book charity may be perfuaded to 
think that it might be written' by a man of a peculiar 
charafter, without ill intention; but it is certainly of 
dangerous example. That Swift was its authp^ 
though it be univerfally believed, was never owned bf 
himielf, nor very well proved by any evidence; but^ 


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s w IF r. t5 


to other claimant, can be produced, and he didiibt 
deny it when Archbifhop Sharpe and the Duchefs of. 
Somerfet, by fliewing it to the Qjjeen, debarred hitu 
from a bilhoprick. 

. When this wild work firfl: raifed the attention of thq 
publick, Sacheverell, meeting Smalridge, tried tQ 
flatter lijro, feeming to think him the author ; but 
Smajridge anfwered with indignation, ** Not all that 
^' you and I have in the world, nor all that ever wo 
^.^ Ihall have, fliould hire me to write the Taie of a Tub.** 
The digreflions relating to Wotton and Bentl^y muft 
be confeffed to difcover want of knowledge, or want 
of integrity ; he did not underftand the two contro^ 
verfies, or h^ ^yillingly mifreprefented them. But Wit 
can ftand its ground againft Truth qqly a lijtje ^hile. 
The honour sMue to Learning have been juftlydiftribu^ 
ted by the decifion of pofterity. 
* T/)e Battle of the Books is fo like the Combat des 
LivreSy which the fame queftion concerning the And*- 
jchts and Moderns had produced in France, that th© 
improbability of fuch a coincidence of thoughts with- 
out communication is not, in my opinion, balanced bj 
the anonymous proteftation prefixed, in which all 
knowledge of thq French book is peremptorily dif- 

For (bme time after Swift was probably employed in 
folitary ftudy, gaining the qualifications requifite for 
future eminence. How often he vifited England, and 
with what diligence he attended his parifhes, I know 
not. It was not till about four years afterwards that 
be became a profefled author, and then one year ( 1 708) 
produced The Sentitnents of a Chwrcb-of-England Man ; 
$hc ridicule of Aftrology, under tlie aame oi Bickerjiaffi 


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5?s s W.I F y; .. . 

MbftJrgumiHt againfi abcHJhirq CbriJHmtfi ttdtilcrdeS 
feice of the Sacramental Tefi. > . • ^ 

^e Sintimenu rf a Cburch-rf^England Man is written 
with great coolnefs, mpderatiop, eafe^ and perfpicuity. 
The Argument againfi abolijbing ObrijUanity is a very 
Jiappy and judicious irouy, pne paflage m jt 4eferv» 
^o be |E^e<5ted : • 

** If Chriftianity were once abo^iihed^ how cofAd ths 
^ free-thinkers, the ftrong reafoners and th? qaen of 
^* profound learning, be able to find pother (ubje£k fo 
^ cak^lated, in all points, vherec^ to difplay their 
*^ abilities ? What wonderful produftions of wit Ihonld 
^ we be deprived of from thofe, whofe genius^ by 
f^ continual praftice^ hath been whoUy turned iipoi| 
^ raillery and jnveftives againft religion, and would 
^ therefore never be able to fliine, or diilinguifli theqa-? 
f^ felves, upon apy pther fubjeft ? We are daily conx« 
^ plaining of the great decline of wit among us, and 
•* would take away the greateft, perhaps the only, to- 
^ pick we have left. Who would ever have fufpefked 
^ AfgiH for a wit, or Toland fcM* a philofopher, if tlxc 
" inexhauftible ftock of Chriftianity had not been afi 
f^ hand to provide them with materials? What ocfaa 
•* febjeft, through all- art or nature, copld have proK 
** duced Tindal for a profound author, or fumifiied 
*♦ him with readers ? It is the wife choice, of the fijb-r 
'^ je<^ that alone adorns and difiinguifiies the wrieeff. 
** For had a» hundred fuchpens as thefe been cm- 
^' ployed on the fide of religion, they would hayc im? 
'^ mediately funk into filence and oUivicipu" 

The reafianablenefs of a Te/i is not hard to be pfuved^ 
but perhaps it mud be allowed that ^he proper tdi has 
oot befn choioi* 


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« W I f t. 37^ 

' ♦The attention paid to the papers, publiftied undef 
the name of Bickerjtaff^ induced Steele, when he pro^ 
jedked the Tatkr, to aflume an appellation which h^ 
already gained pofleffion of the reader's notice. 

In the year following he wrote a FrojeH f^r the Adr 
^ancement of ReUgiwtj addreflcd to Lady Berkeley; by 
ivhofe kindnefs it is not unlikely that he was advancedl 
to his benefices. To this projefl:, which is formed 
with great purity of intention, and difplayed witli 
fpritelinefs and elegance, it can only be ©bjefted, that, 
Jike manyprcgedts, it is, if not generally imprafticablc^ 
yet evidently hopelefs, as it fuppofes more zeal, con- 
cord, and perfeverance, than a view of mankind give$ 
reafott for expefting. 

He wrote likewife this year a Vindication of Bickerjtaff^ 
and an explanation of an Ancient "Prophecy y part written 
lifter the fafts, and the reft never completed, but ^^ell 
planned to excite amazenient* 

Soon after began the bufy and important part of 
pwift^ life. He was employed ( 1 7 1 o) by the primate 
pf Irehnd to Iblicit the ^|ueen for a remiffion of the 
Flrft Fruits and Twentieth parts to the Irith Clergy. 
With this purpofe he had recourfe to Mr. Harljy^ 
to whom he was mentioned as a man neglefted and op- 
preifed by the laft miniftry, becaufe he had (efufed to 
co-operate with fome of their fchemes. What he ha(i 
lefufed, ha» never been told; what he had fufferect 
y^as, I fuppofe, the e^fcluffon from a biftioprick by the 
temonftr^nces of Sharpe, whom he defcribes as the 
harmleji tool cf others hate^ and whom he reprefents as 
zftctv/kxds/uingfor pardon. 

Harley*s defigns an<J lituation were fuch as made 
l^im glad of w auxiliary fo well qualified for bis fer-^ 


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^? « W I P T- 

Tice; he therefore foon admitted him to famUiarltfy 
whether ever to confidence feme have made a doubt ; 
kut it would have been difficult to excite his zeal withr 
<mt perfuading him that he was trufte.d> snd not very 
faiy to delude him by falfe perfuafions. 

He was certainly admitted to thofe meetings in whicl^ 
tiie firft hints and original plan of a&ion are fuppofed to 
liave been formed ; and w,a$ pnp of the fixteen Miniftets, 
«ir agents of the Miniftry, who met weekly at each 
tther's houfes, and were united by the name of Brother ^ 

Being not immediately coniidered as an pbdunite 
T.ory, he coaverfed indifcriminately with all the wits, 
and was yet the friend of Steele.; who, in the Tatler, 
which began in 1710, confeffes the advantage of his 
converiatioB, and mentions fomething contributed by 
liim to his paper* But he was now immerging into 
political controverfy; for the fame year produced the 
EiUiminer^ of which Swift wix>te. thirty-three papers^ 
In argument he may be allowed to have the advantage; 
for where a wide fyftem of conduft, and the whole of 
% publick charader, is laid open to enquiry, the ac-- 
cufer having the choice of fadts muft be very unfkil* 
ful if he does not prevail; but with regard to wit, ' I 
am afraid none of Swift's papers will be found equal 
to thofe by which Addifon oppofed him. 

Early in the next year he publilhed a Propofal for 
eorreBlng^ improving^ and afartalning the EngUfi> Tongue^ 
in a Letter to the Earl of Oxfojdi written without 
much knowledge of the general nature .of language, 
and without any accurate enquiry into the hiflory of 
other tongues. The certainty and {lability which, 
contrary to all experience, he thinks attainable, he 
j>ropofes to fecure by inftituting an academy j die de- 

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Ctics of which every man would have been willing^j 
and many would have been proud to difdbey, and 
which, being renewed by fucceflive eledions, would in 
a fliott time have differed from itfelf. 

He wrote the fame year a Letter to the Ofi^ber Ckk^ 
a number of Tory Gthtlehien fent firom the country 
to Parliament^ who formed themfdves into a ciub, to 
(he nunkber of about a hundred, and met to animate 
the zeai and raiie the expcdiations of each other. 
They thought, with great reafon, that the Minifters 
were lofing opportunitios; that fufficient ufe was not 
made of the ardour of the nation; they called loudly 
for more changes, and (Ironger efforts; and demanded 
the puniihment of part, and the diftiiiflion of the 
reft, of thx)fe whom they confidered as publkk robbers. 

Their eagemefs was not gratified by the Queen, or 
ty Harley, The Queen was probably flow becaufe 
ihe was afraid : and Harley was (low becaufe he was 
doubtful; he was a tory only by neceffity, or for con- 
venience; and, when he had power in his hands, bad 
no fettled purpofe for which he ihould employ it; 
forced to gratify to a certain degree the Tories who 
Supported him, but unwilling to make his reconcile- 
inent to the Whigs utterly defperate, he correfponded 
at once with the two expeftants of the Crown, and 
kept, as has been obferved, the fucceflion undeter- 
mined. Not knowing wh^t to do, he did nothing; 
and, with the fate of a double dealer, at laft he lofl his 
power, but kept his enemies. 

Swift feems to have concurred in opinion with the 
O^ober Club; but it was not in his power to quicken 
the tardinefs of Harley, whom he ftimulated as much^ 
as he could, but with little eSc&. He that knows not. 

' whither 

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fyhitheir to gd, is in no haile to move. tJzAsfi Tvii» 

wa» perhaps not quick by nature^ became yec mori 
flow by irrefolution} and was coatent to hear that 
dilatorinefs lamented as natorai^ whieh ke appkuddl 
lit himfelf as politicks 

Without the ToHes^ howererj riothing eoam hit 
ione; ftnd as tbey Were not to be gratified, they mid. 
W appealed; and the coddti£t of the Minifter^ if lA 
could not be vindicated^ was to be platiiibly ext!uiedi 

Swift novtr attained the zenith of hU piolkical im^ 
portance: he publijhed (1712) the Cbnduaofihe ABIeii 
ten days before the Parliament aflemblM. The pur- 
liofe was to plsrfuade the nsition to a pdice; and nevef 
had any writer more fuccefs^ Thi! p^Ie^ whd had 
been amuied with bonfires and triumphal proceffions^ 
kod looked with idolatry on the General and his fiierids^ 
who, as they thought, had made England thfe arbitreft 
of nations, were confounded between Ihame Hxti ftigfef^ 
when they found that min^s had biin exbdufied^ and miU 
Bons defircyed, to fecure the Dutch or aggrandize dt* 
•mperor, without any advantage to ourfelves; that \fre 
had been bribing our neighbours to fight their dwd 
quarrel; and that amongft oUr enemies we might n«m« 
ber our allies; 

That is nOTfr no longer doubted, of which the fia* 
tion was then firft informed, that tiie war was vnnecef-? 
fatily protracted to fill the pockets of Marlborough^ 
and that it would have been continued Without end, if 
he could have continued his annual plunder^ But 
Swift, I fuppofe, did not yet know what he has fined 
written, that a commiffion was drawn which would 
have appointed him General for life, had it not be<*' 

^ conic 

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f6me indfe£hsil by the refolution of Lorcl Cowper^- 
•vho refufqd the £etl. 

WbaUver is riceivtdy fay the fchools, is receivid m 
fraportim to the rttipiirU. The power of a potitica^ 
treatHe depeods much ^pon the difpofition of the peo-^ 
,^ I th^ nation was then combuftible^ and a fpafh itt 
it oniire* It is boafted, that between November and 
January eleven thoofand were fotd; a great number stt 
that time, when we were not yet a nation of readeri« 
To its propagation certainly 160 zgeticy of power or in- 
£uence was wanting. It fumiihed arguments ^ coi»« 
terfatton, fpeeches for dabate^ and materials fot partial 
tnentary refolutions. 

Yet, furely, whoever forveys this itonder-woriing 
|>amphlet widi cool penrfal, will confefa that its efficaoy' 
was fuppHed by the paffidis of its leaders; that it 
operates by the mere weight erf fads, with very littfe 
fffiftaace from the band th* produced them. 

This year (i^i^) he publHhed his HefleShns on the 
BurrUr Treaiyy which carries on the dcfiga of hi* Con- 
du£l of the AlUesi and fliews how little regard in that 
negotiation had been fliewn to the Jhtereft of England^ 
and how niueh of the conquered Country had l^cn de- 
manded % the Dutch. 

This was fallowed by Rmdrk on the Bijhop ofSa^ 
rum's InfroduSihn to his third Volume of the HiJIory of the 
Reformation; a pamphlet which Burnet publiihed a» 
kn alarm, to- warn the natbn of the approach of 
Popery. Swift, who feems to have dilliked the 
. Biihop with fomething more than political averfion, 
treats him like onje whom he is glad of an opportunity 
io infulCy 


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384 SWIFT. 

Swift being now the declared favourite and dippofe^ 
confidant of the Tory Miniftry^ was treated by aH 
that depended on the Court with the refpedt which 
dependents know how to pay. He foon began to feel 
.part df the mifery of greatnefs; he that could fay he 
knew him, confidered liimfelf as^ having fortune in hts 
power. Commiffions, folicltations, remonftraiK:e% 
crowded about him; he was expedked to do every 
man's bulinefs, to procure employment for one, and 
to retain it for another. In affifting thofe who ad- 
drefled him, he reprefents himfelf as fufficrently dili- 
gent ; and defires to have others. beKeve, what he pro^ 
bably believed himfelf, that by his interpofition many 
Wliigs of merit, aftd among them Addifon and Con- 
greve, were continued in their places.. But every man 
of known infli^encfe has fo many petitions which he 
cannot grant, that he muft neceflarily offend more than 
he gratifies, becaufe the preference given to one af- 
. fords all the reft a reafon for complaint. When I give 
away a place, faid Lewis XIV 4 / maie an hundred d^ 
eonteiUedy and one ungrateful. 

Much has been faid of the equality and ii^depen:- 
dence which he preferved in his convcrfation with the 
Minifters, of the franknefs of his' remonftrance^, and 
the familiarity of his friendlhip. In accounts of this 
kind a few fingle incidents are fet againft the general 
tcnour of behaviour. No man, however, can pay a 
more fervile tribute to the Great, than by fuffering his 
liberty in their prefcnce to aggrandize him in his own 
efteem* Between different ranks of the community 
there is neceflarily fome diftance : he who is called by* 
his fuperior to pafs the interval, may properly accept 
the invitatioti; but pettilanee and obtrufion are rarely 


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S^*W I F T. s^s 

^roauced.*by magnanipiity; nor have often any nobler 
caufe rhan the pride of importance, and the malice of 
inferiority. He who knows himfelf neceffary may fet. 
While that neceffity lafts, a high value tipoh himfelf; 
as, in a lower condition, a fervant eminently fkilftil' 
may be fkucy ; but he is faucy only becaufe he is'Ier- 
vile. Swift appears to have preferved the kindnefs of 
the great when they wanted him no longer; and there- 
fore it muft be allowed, that the childifli freedom, to 
which he feems enough intlined, was overpowered by 
his better qualities. 

His difintereftednefs has been likewife mentioned; a 
ftrain of heroifin, which would have been in his con- 
dition romantick and fuperfluous. Ecclefiaftical bene- 
fices, when they become vacant, muft be given away ; 
and the friends of Power may, if there be no inherent 
difqualification, reafonably expeft them. Swift ac- 
cepted (17 13) the deanery of St Patrick, the beft pre- 
ferment that his friends could venture to give him. 
That Miniftry was in a great degree fupported by the 
Clergy, who were not yet reconciled to the author of 
the Tale of a Tub, and would not without much difcon- 
tent and indignation have born to fee him inftalled in 
an Engliih Cathedral. 

He refufed, indeed, fifty pounds from Lord Oxford; 
but he accepted afterwards a draught of a thoufantt 
upon the Exchequer, which was intercepted by the 
Queen's death, and which he refigned, as he fays him- 
felf, muUa gemensy with many a groan. 

In the midft of his power and his politicks, he kept 

a journal of his vifits, his walks, his interviews wirh 

Miniftcrs, and quarrels' with his fervant, atid tranf- 

Voi.. III. C c mitt:d 

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386 . S W, t F T. 

mitted it to Mrs. Johnfon and Mrs. Dingley, to whoni 
he knew that whatever befel him was interefting, and 
. no accounts could be too minute. Whether thefc 
diurnal trifles were properly expofed to eyes which had 
never received any pleafure from the prefence of the 
Dean, may be feafMiably doubted : they have, however, 
Ibme odd attraftion; the reader^ finding frequent men- 
tion of names which he has been ufed to confider as im- 
portant, goes on in hope of information;, and, as there 
is nothing to fatigue attention, if he is difappointed he 
can hardly complain. It is eafy to perceive, from 
every page, that though ambition prefTed Swift into a 
life of buftle, the wifti for a life of eafe was always re- 

He went to take pofleflion of his deanery, as foott 
as he had obtained it; but; he was not fufFered to ftay 
in Ireland more than a fortnight before he was re- 
called to England, that he might reconcile Lord Ox- 
ford and Lord Bolingbroke, who began to look on one 
another with malevolence, which every day in- 
creafed, and which Bolingbroke appeared to reuin in 
his laft years. 

Swift contrived an interview, from which they both 
departed difcontented : he procured a fecond, which 
only convinced him that the feud was irreconcilable : 
he told them his ^opinion, that all was loft. This de- 
nunciation was contradided by Oxford ; but Boling- 
broke whifpered that he was right. 

Before this violent diflenfion had ftiattered the Mi- 

..niftry. Swift had publiihed, in the begirming of the 

year (17 14), "^^ fublick Spirit tf the Whigs ^ in anfwer 

to T^he Crijs, a pamphlet for which Steele was expelled 

from the Houfe of Commons. Swift was now fo far 


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SWIFT. 387 

aKcnate^ from Steele as to think him no longer entitled 
to decency, and therefore treats him fometimes with 
tontempt, and fometimes with abhorrence. 

In this pamplet the Scotch were mentioned in tenn$ 
fe provoking to that irritable nation, that, refolving not 
to be offended with impunity y the Scotch Lords in a body 
dj&ttianded an audience of the Queen, and folicited re- 
paratiofl. A proclamation was ifTued, in which three 
hundred pounds was offered for difcovery of the author, 
Ftr>m tTiis ftorm he was, as he rdattSyfecured iy ajleight ; 
of what kind, or by whofe prudence, is not known ; 
Wnd fiich was the increafe of his reputation, that the 
Sc<>ttifh Nation applied again that he would be their friend. 

He was become fb formidable to the Whigs, that 
Ills fafnilikrity with the Minifters was clamoured at in 
Parliafnent, pairticularly by two men, afterwards of great 
•note, Aijlabie and fFalpok. 

But, by the difunion of his great friends, his im- 
poirrunde and his defigns were now at an end ; and fee- 
ing his ferviCeS at laft ufclefs, he retired about June 
•(17 14) into Berkihtre, where, in the houfe of a friend, 
he wrote what was then fuppreffed, but has fince ap- 
peared under the title of Free Thoughts on the prejcnt 
State of Affairu 

While he was waiting in this retirement for events 
which time or chance might bring to pafs, the death 
of the Queen broke down at once the whole fyftem of 
Tory Politicks ; and nothing remained but to with- 
draw from the implacability of triumphant Whiggifm, 
and Ihelter himfelf in unenvied obfcurity. 

The accounts of his reception in Ireland, given by 
1 Lord Orrery and Dr. Delany, are fo different, that the 
credit of the writers, both undoubtedly veracious, can- 
not be faved, but by fuppofing, what I think is true, 

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y Google 

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388 SWIFT. 

that they fpeak of different times. When Delany iayj 
that he was received with refped:, he means for the.firft 
fortnight, when he came to take legal po(fie0ion ; and 
when Lord Orrery tells that he was pelted by the popu* 
lace, he is to be underftood rf the time when^ after th« 
Queen's death, he became a fettled refident. 

The Archbiihop of Dublin gave him atiirft ibme 
difturbance in the exercUe of his jurifdi&ion; but it wa^ 
foon difcovered, that between prudence and integrity 
he was feldom in the luiong ; and that, when he was 
right, his fpirit did not c^fily yield to oppofition. 

Having fo lately quitted thi( tumults of a party and 
the intrigues of a court, they ftill Jcept his thoughts in 
agitation, as the fea fluftuates a while when the ftorm 
has ceafed. He therefore filled his hours with fome 
hiftorical attempts, relating to the Change of the M- 
nijiers and the dnduff of tbe^ Mnijiry. He Ukewije » 
(aid to have written a Hf/iory $f the Fcur lafi Tears if 
S^ueen Anne, which he began in her lifetime, and after- 
wards laboured with great attention, but never pub- 
lilhed. It was after his death in the hands of Lord Or- 
rery and Dr. King. A bpok under that title was pub- 
liihed, with Swift's name, by Dr. Lucas ; of which I 
can only fay, that it feemed by no meaos to corjefponiA 
with the notions that I had formed of it, from a con- 
vcrfation which I once heard between the Earl of Or- 
rery and old Mr. Lewis. 

Swift now, much againft his will, commenced Irifh- 
man for life, and was to contrive how he might bp bcft 
accommodated in a country where he confidered hiio- 
felf as in a ftate of exile. It fcems that his firft recourfc 
was to piety. The thoughts of death ruflxed upon him, 
at this time, with fuch inceffant importunity, that they 
took pofleffion of his mind, when he firft waked, for 
many years together. 

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SWIFT, 38^ 

He opened his houfe by a publick table two d^ys a 
week^ and found his entertainments gradually frequent- 
ed by more and more vifitants of learning among the 
men^ and of elegance among the women. Mrs. John- 
Ibn had left the country, and lived in lodgings not far 
frcMn the deanery. On his publick days flie regulated 
the table, but appeared at it as a mere gueft, like other 

On other days he often dined, at a ftated price, with 
Mr. Worral, a clefgyman of his cathedral, whofe houfe 
was recommended by the peculiar neatnefs and plea- 
iantry of his wife. To this frugal mode of living, he 
was firft difpofed by care to pay fome debts which he 
had contrafted, and he continued it for the pleafure of 
accumulating money. His avarice, however, was not 
fuffered to obftrudt the claims of his dignity ; he was 
fcrved in plate, and ufed to fty that he was the pooreft 
gentleman in Ireland that eat upon plate, and the 
richeft that lived without a coach. 

How he fpent the reft of his time, and how he em- 
ployed his hours of ftudy, has been enquired with hope- 
lefs curiofity. For who can give an account of an- 
other's ftudies ? Swift was not likely to admit any to 
his privacies, or to impart a minute account of his 
buiinefs or his leifure. 

Soon after (1716), in his forty-ninth year, he was 
privately married to Mrs. Johnfon by Dr. Afhe, Biihop 
of Clogher, as Dr. Madden told me, in the garden. 
The marriage made no change in their mode of life ; 
they lived in different houfes, as before ; nor did ihe 
ever lodge in the deanery but when Swift was feized 
with a fit of glddinefs. " It would be difficult,*' fays 
Lord Orrery, ** to prove that they were ever afterwards' 
*' together without ^, third perfon/* 

C c 3 The 

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39# S W I F T^ 

The Dean of St. Patrick's lived in a private mannctj 
known and regarded only by his friends, till, about the. 
year 1720, he, by a pamphleSt, recpmniended to the, 
Irilh the ufe, and confequently the improyenient, of.- 
their manufafture. For a man to ufe the produj^ions. 
of his own labour is furely a najtutal rights and to like 
beft what he makes himfelf is a natural paffion. But 
to excite this paffion, and enforce this right, appeared 
• fo criminal to thofe who had an intereft in the Englifhi 
trade, that the printer was imprifoiied ; and^, 33 Hawkcf-^ 
worth juftly obfervcs, the attentipii of the publicly 
being by this outrageous refentqient turned vppn the 
propofal, the author was by confequence made popular. 

In 1 723 died Mrs, Van Hom.righ, a woman made un- 
happy by her admiration of wit, aqd ignominioufly dif- 
tinguiihed by the name of Vanejfay wljofe cojpwiufl; has 
been already fufficiently difcuffed, ^nd whofe hiftory is 
too well known to be minutely repeated. She was a 
young woman fond of literature, whom Decantts the 
Dearly called Cadenus by^ tranfpofition of the letters, took 
pleafure in dlrefting and inftrudting ; till, from being 
proud of his praife, flie grew fond of his perfon. Swifi: 
was then about forty-feven, at an age when yanity ig 
flrongly excited by the amorous attention of a youpg. 
woman. If it be faid that JSwift Ihould have checked a. 
paflion which he never meant to gratify, recourfe muft 
be had to that extenuation which he fo much defpifed^ 
men are hut men : perhaps however he did not at firfl: 
know' his own mind, and, as he reprefents himfelf, was 
undetermined. For his admiflion of her courtfliip, and 
his indulgence of her hopes after his marriage to Stella, 
no other honeft plea can be found, than that he delayei^ 
;a difagreeable difcovery from time to time, dreading 


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SWIFT. 391 

ttie immediate turfts of diftrefs, and watching for a 
favourable moment. She thought herfelf neglefted^ 
^md died of difappointment ; having ordered by her 
w'Al the poem to be publiflied^ in which Cadenus had 
Proclaimed her excellence, and confefled his love. 
The efFeft of the publication upon the Pean and Stella 
}s thus related by Delany : 

^^ I have good reafon to belieye, that they both were 
''greatly Ihocked and diftrefled (though it may be dif- 
^* ^rently) upon this occafion. The Dean made a tour 
^' to the South of Ireland, for about two months, at this 
^' time, to diffipatc his thoughts, and give place to ob- 
^' loquy, And Stella retired (upon the earned invita- 
'' tion of the owner) to the houfe of a cheerful, gener- 
^' ous, good-natured friend of the Dean's, whom Ihe alfo 
^' much loved and honoured. There my informer of- 
" ten faw her ; and, I have reafon to believe, ufed his 
^'utmoft endeavours to relieve, fupport, and amufe 
*' her, in this fad fituatioH, 

^' Qne little incident he told me of, on that occafion, 
^^ I think I (hall never forget. As her friend was an 
^' hofpitable, open-hearted man, well-beloved, and 
^' largely acquainted, it happened one day that fomc 
^' gentlemen dropt in to dinner, who were ftrangers to 
*^ Stella's fituation ; and as the poen; of Cadenus and 
♦* Vanejfa was then the general topic of converfation, 
^* one of them faid, * Surely that Vaneffa muft he an 
♦' extraordinary woman, that could infpire the Dean 
^' to write fo finely upon her.* Mrs. Johnfon fmilcd, 
^' and anfwered, ' that Ihe thought that point not quitft 
^* fo clear ; for it was well known the Dean coul<| 
<' write finely upon a broomftick." 

The great acquifition of efteem and influence wa* 
made by the Draficr's Letters in 1 724. One Wood of 

y Google 

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39* SWIFT, 

Wolverhampton in Staffbrdfhirey a man etterpriiSjie 
and rapcious^ had, as is faid^ by a preCeutto th,eJDtU7 
chefs of Mvmfter;^ obtained a patent^ empowering himr. 
tp.coin pne hundred and eighty thoufand pounds p£ 
halfpence and farthings for the kingdom of Ireland; in 
which there was a yery inconvenient and embarraiSng 
fcarcity of copper coin ; fo that it was pofliblc ta rua 
in debt upon the credit of a piece of moneyi. {or the 
cook or keeper of an alehoufe could, not i^efufe to fup.- 
ply a man that had fdver in his hand, and th^ hu3r(Br 
would not leave his money without change* 

The prpjed waj therefore, plaufible. The fcarcity,, 
which was^ already great, Wopd took care tp makjp 
greater, by agents who |;athered up the old half-pence ^ 
^nd was about to turn his brafs into gold, by pouring 
the treafures of his new mint upon Ireland, wh^n Swift, 
finding that fhe metal wa^ debafed tp an enormous de^ 
gree, wrote Letters, under the pamc of M* B, Dmpiex^ 
to Ihew the folly of receivings and the mifcl^ief that 
mull enfue, by. giving gold and filver for coin worth 
perhaps not a third part of its nomihal value. 

The nation was alarmed ; the new coin was univer- 
fally refufed : but the governoC3 of Ireland confidered 
refiftance to the King's patent as highly criminal ; and 
one Whitihed, then Chief Jufticp, who had tqed the 
printer of the former pamphlet, and fent out the Jury 
nine times, till by clamour and menacps they werq 
frighted into a (pecial yerdidk, now prefented the Dna^ 
fiery\ at could not prevail on the Gfand Jwy to fin4 
ifhebill. ' 

Lord Carteret and the Privy Council pubUlhed a pro* 
filamatipn, offering three hundred pounds for difcavering 
jhc author of the Fourth Letter. Sy^ift had. concealed 

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huxifdf.fircim his printecfir, and* tnrited oidjf^ )ias butler, 
who tianfcnbed the paper. The man, in[imediiitely;af«* 
tep tb& s^pearance of the proola:ma(ion^ ftroUed fkom 
Ithe houfe, and flaid out all ni^t,. and part of the oext^ 
day; There was reafon enough to fear that he had be* 
trayed*his mafterfor the reward; but he came home, 
and the Dean ordered him to put oiF his livery, an* 
Jeave the houfe ; *' for,*^ fays he, " I know that my 
*^ life is: in your power, and I will not bear, out of fear,. 
^^ either your infolenee or negligence.'' The man^ex- 
cufed his fauk with great fqbmiffion, and begged that 
he might be confined in the houfe while it was in hir 
power to endanger his matter ; but the Dean refolutely 
jturned him out^ without taking farther notice of him^ 
till the term of information had expired, and then re- 
ceived him again. Soon afterwards he ordered him 
and the reft of the fervant$ into his prefence, without 
telling his intentions, and bade them take notice that 
their fellow-fervanc was^no longer Robert the butler; 
but that )iis integrity had made him Mr« Bkkeney, 
verger of St. Patrick's ; an officer whofe income was 
between tliirty and forty pounds a year : yet he (bill 
continued for fome years to ferye his old niafier ^s his 

Swift was. kqown from this time by the appellation: 
of *Tbe Dean. He was liQnoured by the populace, as 
the.champ^n, patron, and inftru&pr of Ireland ; and 
gained fuch power as, confidered both in its extent and 
iiuration, fearcely any man has ever enjoyed without^ 
greater lyealth or higher fiation. 

He was froo^ this important year the oracle of the 
traders, and the idol of the rabble, and by confequence 
yizs feated-aqd counted by all to whom- the kindnefs of 


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S94 S W I P T, 

the traders or the populace was neceflary. The Dra^ 
phr was a fign ; the Drafter was a health ; and which 
way foever the eye or the e^r was turned, fome tokens 
were found of the nation's gratitude to the Drapier. 

• The benefit was indeed great ; he had refeued Ircrr 
Jand from a very oppreflive and predatory invafion ; 
and the popularity which he had gained he was diligent 
to keep, by appearing forward and zealous on every oc- 
pafion where the publick intereft was fuppofed to be 
involved. Nor did he much fcruple to boaft his in- 
fluence ; for when, upon fome attempts to regulate the 
coin, Archbilhop Boulter, then one of the Juftices, acr 
cufed him of exafperating the people, he exculpated 
bimfdf by faying, " If I had lifted up my finger, they 
■f* would have torn you to pieces*** 

But the plcafure of popularity was foon interrupted 
by domeftic mifeiy, Mrs. Johnfbn, whofe converfatioq 
was to him the great foftener of the ills of life, began 
in the year of the Drapjer^s triumph to decline ; and 
two years afterwards was Do wafted with ficknefs, that 
|ier recovery was coniidered as hopelefs, 

Swift was then in England, and had been invited by 
l^ord Bolingbroke to pafs the winter with him ii^ 
France ; but this call of Calamity haftened him tolre^. 
Jand, where perhaps his prefence contribute^ to reftorc 
her tp imperfect and tottering health. 

He wa9 now fo much at eafe, that ^1727) he return- 
ed to England ; where he colle£^d three vohimes of 
Mifcellanies in conjun£kion with Pope, who prefixed a 
querulous and apologetical Preface, 

This important year fetit likewife into the world 
Ctdlivcr^s Travels, a produftion fo new and ftrange^ 
that it filled the reader with a mingled emotion of mer** 


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SWIFT. 391 

fiment ^tid amazement. It was received with (lich 
?ividity, that the price of tie firft edition was railed 
Wore the fecond could be made ; it was read ty the 
J^igh and the low, the learned and illiterate. Q*iticifm 
was for a while loft in wondtr ; no rules of judgement 
yrere applied to a book written in open defiance of 
pruth and regularity. But vh^n diftin6tions came to be 
made, the part which g^ve leaft pleafure was that whic^ 
defcribes the Flying IJlandy md'that which gave moft 
difguft muft be the hiftory of the Houyhnbnms. 

While Swift was enjoying the reputation of his new 
Ayork, the news of the kill's death arrived ; and he 
kilSed the hands pf thp (jew King aqd Qu^en thf^e days 
after their acceflion. 

By the Queen, when flie was Princefs, he had been 
treated' with fome diftindkioi, and was well received by 
her in her exaltation; but whether Ihe gave hopes 
which flie never took care to fatisfy, or he formed ex- 
peftations which flie never meant to raife, the event 
ivas, that he always afterwards thought on her with 
malevolence, and particularly charged her with breaking 
ner promifc of fome medah which flie^engaged to fend 

I know not whether flic had not, in her turn, fome 
reafoh for complaint. A Letter was ferit her, not fo 
inucli entreating as requiring Jier patronage of Mrs. 
Barber, ap ingenious Irifl.woman, who was then beg- 
ging fubfcriptions for her Poems. To this Letter was 
ftibfcribed the name of Swift y and it has all the ap- 
pearances of his diction and fentiments ; but it was 
not written in his hand, and had fome little improprie- 
ties. When he was charged with this Letter, he laid 
hold of the inaccuracies, and urged the improbability 
9^' the accufation ; but never denied it : he fliuffles 


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396 SWIFT. 

between cbwardiee aadr vera:^ty9 and tsdks big whm he 

fays nockii^. 

He iceined defirous enougli of recommencmg oour- 
tier, and endeavoured to gain the kindneis cf Mrs. 
Howard^ remembering what Mrs. Maiham had per^ 
ft>m^ in former times; buthts flatteries were, liketfaofe 
of the other wits, unfoccefful; the Lady cither want* 
ed power, or had no ambitbn of poetical inunortality. 

He was feized not long afterwards by a fit of giddi- 
nefs, and again heard of theficknefs and danger of Mrs. . 
Johnfom He then left thehoufe o£ Pope, as it feems^ 
widi very little ceremony, fnding that twa^k friends 
eatmet live together ; and did not write to him till he 
fpund himfeliF at Chiefter. 

He returned to a home dT forrow : poor Stella was 
linking into the grave, andj after a lahguilhing decay 
of about two months, died b her forty-fourth year, on' 
January 28, 1728. How much he wiflied her life, his 
papers (hew; nor can it be doubted that he dreaded 
the death of her whom he Uved moft, aggravated by 
the confcioufiiefs that himfef had haftened it. 

Beauty and the power, of pleafing, the greateft ex- 
ternal advantages that womar. can defire or polTefs, were 
fatal to the unfortunate SeelUu The man whom ihe 
had the misfortune to love tvas, as Delany obferves^ 
fond of fingularity, and deirous to make a mode of 
happinefs for himfelf, different from the genisral courfe 
pf things and order of Providence, From the time of 
^ler arrival in Ireland he feems rpfplved to keep her in 
his power, and therefore hindered^a match fufficiently 
advantageous, by accumulating unreafoitable demands^^ 
and prefcribing conditions that could not be performed. 
\VhiIe flie w^3 at her own difpofal he did not confider* 

his . 

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SWIFT. 397 

his pofleflion as fecure ; rcfentmenty ambition^ or ca* 
price, might (eparate them ; he was therefore refolved 
to make affurance double furCy and to appropriate her by 
a private marriage, to which he had amiezed the ex« 
peAation of all the plcafures of perfeft friendship, with- 
out the uneafinefs of conjugal reftraint. But with this 
ilate poor Stella was not fatisfied ; flie never was treated 
as a wife, and to the world flie had the appearance of 
a miftrefs. She lived luUenly on, in hope that in time 
he wei!ftd own and receive her ; but the time did not 
come till the change of his manners and depravation of 
his mind made her tell him, when he offered to ac- 
knowledge her, that it was too late. She then gave up 
herfelf to forrowfiil refentment, and died under the 
tyranny of him, ^y whom flie was in the higheft degree 
loved and honoured. 

What were her claims to this cxcentrick tendemcfi, 
by which the laws of nature were violate to retain her, 
curiofity will enquire j but how fliall it be gratified? 
Swift was a lover; his teftimony may be fufpeded. 
Dclany and Ae Irifli faw with Swift's eyes, and there- 
fore add little confirmation. That flie was virtuous, 
beautiful, and elegant, in a very high degree, fuch ad- 
miration from fuch a lover makes it very probable; 
but flie had not much literature, for flie could not fpeil 
her own language ; and of her wit, fo loudly vaunted, 
the fmart fayings which Swift himfelf has coUefted 
niTord no fplendid fpecimen. 

The reader of &vift-s Letter to a Laiy en her mar* 
riage, may be allowed to doubt whether his opinion 
of female excellence ought implicitly to be admitted ; 
for if his general thoughts on women were fuch as he 
exhibits, a very little £enfe in a Lady would enrapture, 
4 and 

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ijj S W I F T< 

and i very little virtue would aftonMH hiiri. Stella** 
fupremacjr, therefore, was perhaps only local ; Ihe wa* 
great, becaufe her affociates were little. 

In fdrae Remarks lately piibliihed on the. Life ot 
Swift, this marriage is mentioned as fabulous, or 
doubtful; but, 2^as I poor Stella, as Dr. Madden 
told me> related her melancholy ftory to Dr; Sheridan^ 
when he attended her as a clergyman to prepare her 
for death ; and Delany mentions it not with doubt| 
but only with fcgreti Swift never mentioned her with-* 
but a figh. 

The reft of his life was {*pent in Ireland, iii a couii-^ 
try to which not even power alq;ioft defpotick, nor 
flattery almoft idolatrous, could Reconcile him. He 
fometimes wifhed to vifit England, but always found 
fome reafon of delay. He tells Pope, in the decline 
of life» that he hopes once more to fee him ; kui %f 
^t^ fays he> wc mujl party as all human beings bavi 

htttt the death of Stella, his benevolence was coii- 
traded, and his feverity exafperated ; he drove hi^ 
acquaintance from his table, and wondered why he 
was deferted. But he continued his attention to the 
publick, and wrote from time to time fuch direftions, 
admonitions, or cenfures^ as the exigency of affairs^ 
in his opinion, made proper ; and nothing fell front 
his pen in vain. 

In a ihort poem on the Prefbyterians, whooi he al« 
ways regarded with deteftation, he beftowed one ftric* 
ture upon Bettefworth, a lawyer eminent for his in- 
folence to the clergy ^ which, from very coniiderable 
reputation, brought him into immediate apd univerfal 
•^ntempt. Bettefworth, enraged at hi$ difgrace and 


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SWIFT. 3^^ 

Xbts, went to Swift, and demanded whetheY he wjis 
the author of that poem ? ** Mr. Bettefworth/' an* 
fWered he, *' I was in uny youth acquainted with great 
** lawyers, who, knowing mydifpofitionto fatire, ad- 
** vifcd me, that if any fcoxindrcl or blockhead whom 
** I had lampooned Ihould alk, Are you the author if 
^^ this paper? I Ihould tell him that I was not the au- 
^^ thot I and therefore I tell you, Mr. Bettefworth, 
*^ that I am not the author of thefe lines/* 

Bettefworth was fo little fatis6ed with this account, 
that he publickly profefled his refciution of a violent 
and corporal revenge ; but the Inhabitants <tf St. Pa- 
trick's diftridt embodied themfelves in the Dean's de- 
fence. Bettefworth declared in Parliament, that Swift 
had deprived him of twelve hundred pounds a year. 

Swift was popular awhile by another mode of be- 
neficence. He iet afide (bme hundreds to be lent in 
ftnall fijms to the poor, from five Ihillings, I think, 
to five pounds. He took no intereft, and only required 
that, at repayment, a fmall fee ihould be given to 
..the accomptant ; but he required that the day of pro- 
mifed payment fliould be exactly kept. A fevere and 
pondtilious temper is ill qualifiied for tranfaftions with 
the poor ; the day was often broken, and the loan was 
Tiot repaid. l*his might have been eafily forefeen; 
but for this Swift had made no provifion of pa- 
tience or pity. He ordered his debtors to be fued, 
A fevere creditor has no popular chara&er ; what then 
was likely to be faid of him who employs the catchpoll 
under the appearance of charity ? The clamour againft 
him w^s loud, and the refentment of the populace out- 
rsgeous ; he was therefore forced to drop his fcheme^ 
X and 

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400 S W IP T. 

and owu the folly of e^peftbg piiii&ifidityiromthe 
. poor. 

His afperity txMitinuUy increafing^ conflomed him 
tofolitude; ^uid his refentment of fiaiitiide iharpened 
his afperity. Htfwas not, however^ totally defertcd; 
ibme men cf learning, and. fome women of* degaoce, 
.often vifited him; and he wrote from tune to time 
either verfe or profe ; of his rerfes he triUingty gave 
copies, and is fuppofed to have felt dd discontent 
when he faw them printed. His ifavonrite maxim mis 
-vive jla bsgaieUe ; he thou^ triifles a neceflary part 
of life, and perhaps foimd them neceflary to hin^lf. 
It feems impoffible to htm to be idle, asuLhh difor* 
ders made it dtfiieult or dangerous to be long feriouily 
ftudious, or laboriouily diligent. The low «if cafe is 
^ways gaialng npon age, and he had one temptation 
CO petty amufetneots peculiar to himfelf ; whatever he 
did, \^ was fuie to hear applauded ; and fuch was his 
predominance over all that approached, that a)I their 
applaufes were probably fittcere. He that is much flat- 
temi, foon learns to flatter himfelf : we are commeoly 
taught our duty by fear or fhame, and how can they 
z& upon the man who hears nothing but his own 
praifes } 

As hk years increafed, his fits of giddinels and deaf^ 
nefs grew more frequent, and his deafnefs made con^ 
verfation difficult; they grew likewife more feverc, 
till in 1736, as he was writing a poem* caHed Ti'^ 
Legion Club, he was feized with a fit fo painful, and 
fo long continued, that he never after thought it pro- 
per to attempt any work of thought or labour^ 

He was always careful of his money, and was there- 
fore no liberal entertainer ; but was lefs frugal of his 


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• • • 

Wae than of his mcati When hh fifiendk of cithct 
tex came to him,' in expedtation of a dinner, his cuf- 
tom was to give every one a ftiilling, that they might 
pleafe themfelves with their provifion. At laft his 
avarice grew too powerful for his kindn^ ; he would 
Vefufe a bottle of wine, and in Ireland no man vifits 
where he cannot dtink* 

Having thus excluded convcri&tion, and defifted 
from ftudy, he had neither bufinefi nor amufement ; 
for having, by fome ridiculous refolution or mad vow, 
determined never to wear fpe^acles, he could make 
little u(e of books in his later years : his ideas there- 
ifore, being neither innovated by difcourfe, nor in- 
trtafed by reading, wore gradually away, and left his 
mind tacant to the vexations of the hour, till at laft 
his anger was heightened into madnefs. 

H* however permitted one book to be publiflied, 
Whi£h had been the produdlion of former years ; Po^ 
fiie Converfation^ which appeared in 1738. The D/- 
r^ons for Servants was printed foon after his death* 
Thefe two performances Ihew a mind inceflantly at- 
tentive> and, when it was not employed upon great 
things, bufy with minute occurrences. It is apparent 
that he itiuft have had the habit of noting whatever he 
^ferved ; for fuch a number of particulars could never 
have been aflembled by the power of recolledlion. 

He grew more violent ; and his mental powers de- 
clined till (1741) it was found neceffary that legal 
guardians fliould be appointed of liis perfon and for^ 
rune. He now loft diftinftion. His madnefs was 
compounded of rage and fatuity. The laft face that 
he knew was that of Mrs. Whitewav, and. her he ceafbd 

VouIII. ' Pd ' t# 

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to know in a little time. His meat was brought him 
cut into inouthfuls; but he would never touch it 
while the feivant ftaid, and at laft, after it had flood 
perhaps an hour, would eat it walking ; for he con- 
tinued his old habit^ and was on his feet ten hours 

Next year (1742) he had an inflammation in his 
left eye, i^ich fwelled it to the fize of an egg, with 
boils in other parts ; he was kept long waking with 
the pain, and was not eafily reftrained by five attend- 
ants from tearing out his eye. 

The tumour at laft fubfided ; and a Ihort interval of 
reafon enfuing, in which he knew his phyfician and 
his family, gave hopes of his recovery ; but in a few 
days he funk into lethargick ftupidity, motionlefs, 
heedlefs, and fpeechlefs. But it is faid, that, after a 
year of total lilence, when his boufekeeper, on the 
30th of November, told him that the ufual bonfires 
and illuminations were preparing to celebrate his birth- 
day, he answered, // is all folly ; they bad betfer Ut it 

It is remembered that he afterwards fpoke now and 
then, or gave fome intimation of a meaning ; but at 
lafi fuhk into perfect filence, which continued till 
about the end of Oftober 1744, when, in his fevcnty- 
cighth year, he expired without a ftruggle. 

WHEN Swift is dbnfidered as an author, it is juft 
to eftimate his powers by 4^ieir effedts. In the reign of 
Queen Anne he turned the ftream of popularity againit 
the Whigs, and muft be confeffed to have di<^ated for 
a time the pclitical opinions of the Engliih nation. 
In the fucceeding reign he delivered Ireland from 


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S. W 1 F T* 403 

plunder tod oppreffion; and ihetved that wit, confede- • 
rated with truth, had fuch force as authority was 
unable to refift. He faid truly of himfelf, that Ireland 
^as bis debtor. It was from the time when he firft be- 
gan to patronize the Irifli, that they may date their * 
riches and profpcrity. He taught them firft to know 
their own intereft, their weight, and their ftrength, and 
gave them fpirit to affet that equality with their fel- 
low*fubjefts to which they have ever fince been mak- 
ing vigorous advances, and to claim thofe rights which 
they have at laft eftabliflied. Nor can they be charged 
with ingratitude to their benefaAer; for they re- 
verenced him as a guardian, and obeyed him as a 

In his works, he has given very difierant fpeciniens 
both of fentiment and expreilion. His Tale of a tub 
has little refemblance to his other pieces. It exhibits 
a vehemence and rapidity of mind, a copioufnefs of 
images, and vivacity of didion, fuch as he after- 
wards never poffeffed, or nev«r exerted. It is of a 
mode fo diftin£t and peculiar, that it muft be confi- 
dered by itfelf ; what is true of that, is not true of any 
thing elfe which he has written. 

In his other works is found an equable tenour of eafy 
language, which rather trickles than flows. His de- 
light was in fimplicity. That he has in his works no 
metaphor, as has been faid, is not true; but his few 
metaphprs feemi to be received rather by neceflity than 
choice. He ftudied purity; and though perhaps all 
his ftri£tures are not exa£t, yet it is not often that 
folecifms can be found; and whoever depends on his 
authority may generally conclude himfelf fafe. His 
Sentences are pever too much dilated or contrasted; 

D d 2 aA4 

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aiid It win hoc be edfy to fidd any embarralifaent In ttte 
complication of his claufes, any uic(»ifeq}ience hr Im 
conneftions, or abmptnef^ m his tranfitions. 

His ftyle was well fuiced to his thoughts, which are 
never fubtilifed by nice difqUidtibns, decorated by 
fparkllng conceits, elevated by ambitious ientences, or 
variegated by fkr-foUght leal-ning* He p^s no court 
to the paiEons; he excit«s neither forprife nor adminf- 
tion; he always underftands him&lf : and his reader 
always underftamb hirti:. the perufer o£ Swift wants 
little previous knowledge ;^ it will be fuilkient that he 
is acquaint<^ with commoii words and common things ^ 
he is neither required to mount elevations^ nor to ex- 
plore profundities; his. paflag^ is always on a levels 
along folid groUhd, without afperities, without ob- 

This eafy and fafe conveyance of meanmg it way 
Swift's defire to attain, and for having attained he dc- 
fcrves praife, though perhaps not the higl^efl praife- 
For purpofes merely didadtick, when fomeching is to 
be told that was not known before, it is the bed mode,. 
but againft that inattention by which known truths 
are fufTered to lie neglected, it makes no provifion; it 
inftru&s, but does not perfuade. 

By hi« political education he was aflbciated with the 
\^^igs; but he deferted them when they deferted their 
principles, yet without running into the contrary ex- 
treme; he contiftucd throughout his life to retain dx^ 
difpofition which he affigns to the Cburch-cf-EHgland 
Matiy of thinking commonly with the Whigs of the 
State, and with the Tories of the Chureh. 

He was a churchman rationally zealous; he defired 
the profperity, and maintained the honour of the 


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S W 1 F T. 405 

Clergy; of the Difiemers he did not wiih to in- 
fringe the toleration, but he oppoied their encroach;- 

To his duty as Dean he was very attentive. H^ 
managed the revenues oi his church with exadt qecQ- 
aomy ; and it is faid by Ddany, that tpore money was^ 
under his direftion, laid put in repairs than had ever 
been in the fanie time liace its firfl eredion. Of his 
^hoir he was eminently careful ; and^ though he nei^ 
cher loved nor underftood mufick, took care that all the 
fingers were well qualified, admitting none without the 
teftimony of ikilful judges. 

In his church he reftor(ed the pradice of weekly 
communion, and diftributed the facramental .elements 
in the mo^.folemn and devout manner with his own 
hand. He came to church every morning, preached 
commonly in his turn, and attended the evening 
anthem, that it might not be negligently performed.* 

He read the fervice rather with ajlrong nervous VOU0 
than in a graceful manner ; his voice was Jbarf and high- 
toned J rather than harmonious^ 

He entered upon the clerical ftate with hope to ex- 
cel in preaching; but complained, that, from the time 
of his political controversies, be couid only preach pam^ 
phkts. This cenfure of himfelf, if judgement be madt 
from thofe fermons which have beea publiihed, was 
unreafonably fevere. 

The fufpicions of his irreligion proceeded in a great 
meafurc from his jlread of hjrpocrify ; inftead of wilh- 
ing to ieem better, he delighted in feeming worfe tham 
he was^ H^ went in London to early prayers, left he 
flxoujd be feen at church; he read prayers to his fer- 
vants every morning with fuch dexterous fecrecy, that 

D d 3 Dr. 

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40^ SWIFT, 

Dr. Dclany was fix months: in his houfe before he kne^ 
it. He was not only careful to hide the good which h? 
did, but willingly incurred the fufpicion of evil which 
he did not. He forgot what himfelf had formerly af- 
ferted, that hypocrify is lefs mifchievous than opea 
impiety. Dr. Delany, with all his zeal for his hor 
nour, has juftly condemned tliis part of his chara&er. 
The perfon of Swift had not many recommenda-r 
tions. He had a kind of muddy complexion, which* 
though he wafhed himfelf with oriental fcrupulofity, 
did not look clear. He had a countenance four and 
fevere, which he feldom foftened by any appearance 
of gaiety. He ftubbornly relifted any tendency to 

To his domefticks he was naturally rough; and a 
man of a rigorous temper, with that vigilance of minute 
attention which his works difcover, muft have been a 
matter that few could bear. That he was difpofed to 
do his fervants good, on important bccafions, is no 
great mitigation; benefadkion can be but rare, and 
tyrannick peeviihnefs is perpetual.. He did not. fparc 
the fervants of others. Once, when he dined alone 
with the Earl of Orrery, he faid, of one that waited in 
the room, That man bas^Jince we fat to the table ^ com^ 
mitted fifteen faults. What the faults were. Lord Or* 
rery, from whom I heard the ftory, had not been ati- 
tentive enough to difcover. My number may perhaps 
not be exaft. 

In his oeconomy he praftifed a peculiar and offen* 
five parfimony, without difguife or apology. The 
praftice of faving being once neceflary, became habi« 
tual, and grew firil ridiculous, and at laft deteflable. 
but his avarice, though it might exclude pleafure, was 
• ' never 

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SWIFT. 407 V 

fiever {ufTcred to encroach upon his virtue. He was . 
frugal by inclination, but liberal by principle ; and if ; f 

the purpofe to which he deftined his little accumufo- I { 

tions be remembered, with his diftribution of occa- 
(ional charity, it will perhaps appear that he only * 
liked one mode of expence better than another, atid 
faved m^ely that he might have {bmiething to give. 
He did not grow rich by injuring his fucceflbrs, 
but Jeft both Lanteor and the Deanery more valuable 
than he found th^m. — ^With all this talk of his cove- 
toufhefs and g«nerofity, it Ihould he remembered that 
he was never rich. The revenue of his Deanery wa$ 
XV)t much more than feven hundred a year. 

His beneficence was not graced with tendernefs or - 
civility; he relieved without pity, and affifted without 
kindnefs, fo that thofc who were fed by him could 
hardly love him. 

He made a rule to himfelf to give but one piece at a • 
time, and therefore always ftored his pocket with coins 
pf different value. 

Whatever he did, he feemed willing to do in a man- 
WT peculiar to hitnfelf, without fufEciently confidering 
that fingularity, as it implies a contempt of the general 
pradtice, is a kind of defiance which juftly provokes 
the hoftility of ridicule; he therefore who indulges 
peculiar habits is worfe than others, if he be not 

Of his humour, a ftpry told by Pope * may afford 
H {pecunen. 

" Dr. Swift has an odd, blunt way, thit is mif- 
f^ taken, by ftrangers, for ill-nature.- — 'Tis fo odd, that 
W jhfere's no dcfcribing it but by fafts. I'll tell you 
* Speoce. 

P d 4 '' one 

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4o« SWIFT, 

*^ &» that firft comes into nay hci^d, 0» erenia^ 
^^ Gay aad I went to fee him : you know how inli*. 
^^ mately we were all acquainted* On our coming in^ 
** * Heyday, gentlemen, (fays the Doftor) what's the 
<^ meaning of this vifit ? How came you to leave all 
'^ the great Lords, that you are fo lEpnd of, to come 
** hither to fee a poor Dean V—^ Becaufe we would ra- 
^^ ther fee you than any of them,' — ^ Ay, any one that 
^^ did not know {o weU as I do, might believe you« 
*^ But fince you are come, I mqft get ibme flipper for 
** you,I foppofc** f No, Dp6tor, we havefupped al? 
** ready** — ^ Supped already ? that's impof^ble ! why, 
** 'tis not eight o'clock yet-??T-That's very finmge ; but, 
*^ if you had not fuppcd, I muft have got fbmethingj 
^^ fbd: you. — Let nac fee, what fliould I hav« had ? A 
*^ couple of lobfters ; ay, that would have done very 
^^ well ; two ihillings — tarts, a Ihilling : but you will 
^* drmk a glafs of wine with mc, though you fupped fa 
«^ much before your ufual timeonly to fparemy pocko|?^ 
" — * No, we had rather talk with you than diic^witl^ 
^^ you.' — ^ But if you had fupped with me, as in aH («aT 
^^ fon you ought to have done, you muft then hava 
^^ drunk with me. — A bottle of wine, tWQ ihillings — i 
♦* two and two is four, and one is five : juft tworand^ 
** fix-peace a-piece. There, Pope, there's half a crowz\ 
*^ for yovJ, and there's another for yiou. Sir j for I won'c 
^* fave any thing by you, I am determined.'- — This w-as; 
'^ all faid and done with his ufual ferioufnefs on focl\ 
«< occafions ; and, in fpite of every thing we could fey 
^ to the contrary, he actually obliged us to take the 
^ money/' 

In the intercourfe pf familiar life, he indulged his 

i^ifpofition to petulance and farcafih^ and thought him- 

' ' fclf 

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& W I F T, j^ 

l&tf kgured If tke Ucentioiifiieis of hjs miVeiy, the Am* 
^Doy pf his cenfqrssy pr iM petviaiiof of his ^clicks, 
3¥as lefentcd or reprefied. He pradomiiuited ov>cr his 
jCompamcMis with Tery hjgh ^feeadeacy, und probably 
9¥0uld bear npae over whom lie could not predomtiiate^ 
To give hiqa ^vice was, m the ftylc of hw friend Dc- 
Jany^ to wnture to /peak U bim. This cqftomary Aipie* 
riorky foou grew too deliwte far truth ; and Swift, 
^ich all his penetration, allowed Himfelf to be delight 
f4 with low flattery. 

On all common occafions, be habitually aftfts a ftyle 
fli arroganoe, and dictates rather than perfiiades. This 
^qthoritative and magiflerial language he expefted to 
|)e received as his peculiar mclde of jocularity : but he 
apparently flattered his own arrogance by an afiumed 
imperioiifnefs, in which he was ironical only to the 
irfentful, and to the fubmiffire ftiificitntly ferions* 

He told ftorics with great feliqity, and delighted in 
doing wh^ he knew hirafdf to do well. He was there- 
fore captivated by the rcfpeftful filence of a ftc»dy 
}tilener,tmd told t^e faine tales too often. 

He did not, however, claim the right of talking 
^one ; for it w^s l^is rule, when he had fpoken ^ mi- 
nute, to g^ve Toorn by a paufe for any other Ipeaker* 
Of tinie, on all occafions, he was an exaft computer^ 
jind knewth^ minutes Teqnired to every common ope- 

It maybe juftly foppofed that there was in his con- 
Verfation, what appears fo frequently in his Letters, an 
affeftation of ^unillarity with the Great, an ambition 
pf inomentary equality fought and enjoyed by the npg- 
\t6t of thpfe ceremonies which cuftom has eftabliihed 
^ the barriers (between one order of fociety and an- 


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4ie SWIFT. 

other* Tht5 tranfgreffion of regularity was by himfelf 
^d his admirers termed greatnefs of foul. But a great 
xnind difd^ins to hold any thing by courtefy^ and there-r 
fore never ufurps aiawful claimant may take away. 
He that encroaches oq another's dignity, puts himfelf 
in his power ; he is either repelle4 with helplefs indig* 
pity, or endured by clemency j^ condefceniipn. 

Of Swift's general habi(s of thjnlf ing if his Letters 
fcao bp fuppofed to afford any evidence, he was not ^ 
man to be either loved or envied. . He ieems to have 
wafted Ufe in difcontent, by the rage of neglefted pride, 
wd the }anguilhmj^np of ynfatisfi(s;d ^iire. He is 
querulous and failidious, arrog^t and malignant; 
l^e fcarcely fpeaks of himfelf but with indignant la- 
mentations, or of others but with infolent fupcriority 
when he ^s gay, and with angry contempt when he is 
gloomyr From the Letters that pafs between him and 
Pope it might be inferred that they, with Arbuthjiot 
and Gay, had engroflcd aU thp underftanding and vir- 
tue of mankipd ; that their rnerits filled the world ; 
or that there was no hope of flipre, They fhew the 
age involved in daj-kpefs^ and ihade ^e picture w^^h 
fullen eniulation. 

When the Queen's death drove him into Ireland, hcf 
might be allowed to regret for a tim^ tlje Jnferception 
of his views, the extindtion of his hopes^ ^d his 
cjeftlon from gay fcenes, important emplpyn^ept, an4 
iplendid friendihips ; bpt when time had enabled rpa? 
fpn to prevail over vexation, the complaints, whicl^ 
at firft were natural, became ridiculous becaufe they 
were ufelefs. But queruloufncfs was now grown habi-i 
tual, and he' cried out when h^ probably had ceafec^ 
fp feel. His reitcrate4 wailines perfuaded Bolingbrok^ 


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SWIFT. 41)1 

lihac lie iva^ really willing to quit his deanery for an Eng<- 
lifh parilh ; and Bplingbroke pix)cured an exchange, 
fvhich was.rgedted ; and Swift flill regained the plea^ 
/ure of comptaining. 

The greatefl difficulty that occurs^ in analyfing his 
;chara&er9 is to difcovcr by what depti^vity.rf intelleO: 
he took delight in revolving ideas^ from which aloioft 
^vjery other mind ihrinks with difguft. The ideas of 
pleafure^ even when oriiftinal, may folick the. imagn 
cation ; but what has difeafe, deformity, and filthy 
upon which the thoughts can be allured to dwell? 
Delany is willing to think that Swift's* mind was not 
much tainted with this grofs corruption before his 
Jong vifit to Pope. He does pot confider how he de* 
grades his hero, by making him at fifty-nine the pupi} 
f>{ turpitu4i&9 and liable to the malignant influence of 
ian afcendant mind. But the truth is, that Gulliver 
)iad defcribed his Taboos before the viiit ; and he that 
had formed thofe images had nothing filthy to learn. 

J have here given the charafter of Swift as he ex-* 
hibits himfelf to my perception ; but now let another 
be heard, who knew him better. Dr. Delany, after 
}ong acquaintance, defcribes him to Lord Orrery in 
fhefe terms : 

5^ My I^ord, when you confider Swift's fingular, 
f^ peculiar, and niofl variegated vein of wit, always 
f * rightly intended (although not always fo rightly 
?' diredted), delightftil in many inftances, and falutary^ 
** even where it is moft offenfive j when you confider 
** his ftria truth, his fortitude in refifting oppreffion 
5* and arbitrary power ; his fidelity in friendihip, his 
f^ fmcere love and zeal for religion, his uprightnefs in 
^ jnaking right refolutions, and his fteadinefs in ad- 

** hering 

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^ berifig to them ; his care of his church, its chotfy 
/^ ks msMQOiB^f and its income; his attentioa to all 
'^ t3xo& that preached In his caihedial, in ^i4er to 
^^ their ameadmeDt in pronunciatioa and ftyle ; as al6 
^' hia mnariublc attcotioo to the intexeft of his Tuc- 
"^^ oeSbiSp prefieraUjr to his own prefent emohiments ; 
^^ his lAviocihle patriotifin, even to a country which he 
/'^ ^ noC Ipve^ bis very various, weU-devifed, well- 
^^juc^wl^ «4 ^xtenfive . dJiarities, throughout his 
/^ lifci and his whole fortune (to fay nothing of his 
^* wife*^) conveyed to the fame Chriftian purpofes at 
^^ his ikath ; tharities from which he could enjoy no 
^' hcuQOur^ advantage, ojr ^uisfaftion. <^ any kind in 
<< th^ wotld ; When you confider bis imnical and 
'^ hs^morovs, as wdl 9s his fcrious fchemes, for this 
'^ pcomotipn of true religion and virtue ; his fucceis 
;^' in foiiciting for the Firfl: Fruits and Twentieths, t<l , 
^^ %i^ unipeakable benefit of the eftaUtflied Church 
^^of Iredand; and his felicity (to rate it no higher) ] 
>^in givir^ <>ccafioo to the building of fifty new 
-^ churches in London : 

^^ All this confidered, the charmfter of his life wiU 
^^ appear like chat of his writings ; they will both bear 
** to be re-confidcred and re-examined with the u^tmoft 
^ attention, and always difcover new beauties and 
** excellences upon every examinati^fi. 

** They will bear to be confidered as the fiin, in 
-^ which the briglHnefs will hide the bfemiflies j and 
^' wherteter petulant ignorance, pride, malice, ma- 
^^lignity, or envy, intcrpofes to cloud or fully his 
** 'fame, I will take upon me to pronounce that the 
^' eclipfe will not laft long. 

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^^ To conclude — no man ever deferved better of his 
^* country than Swift did of his. A fteady, perfe* 
•* vering, inflexible friend ; a wife, a watchful, and 
/' a. faithful counfellor, under qiany ferere trials and 
** bitter perfecutions, to the manifefl; hazard both of 
** his liberty and fortune. 

'^ He lived a bleiSng, he died a benefactor, and his 
** name will ever live an honour to Ireland/' 

IN the poetical works of Dr. Swift there is itot 
much upon which the critick can exercife his powers*. 
They arc often humorous, almoft always light, and 
have the qualities which recommend fuch compofi- 
tions, eaiinefs and gaiety. They are, for the moft 
part, wluit their Author intended. The diftion is C'o^ 
red:, the numbers are fmootb, and the rhymes 
cxad* There feldom occurs a hard-laboured exprel^ 
fion, 6r a redundant epithet ; ill his verfes exemplifjr 
his own definition of a good ftyle^ tbe^ c&i^ift offro^ 
per words in proper places. 

Te divide this colledtion ihto clafles, and fltew ho^ 
fome pietes are ^ofs, and fome are ttifliBig, would b|^ 
to tell the reader what he knows alread^',. and to find 
faults of which the author could not be ignorint, Whd^ 
certainly wrote often not to his jnclgement, but his 


It was ftid, in a Prefitce to one dFthe Iriih cdi* 
ttons, that Swift had never been knsown to take % 
iingle thought froto afty writer, ancient or modfcnt 
This is not literally true ; but perhaps no writer can 
eafily be found that has borrowed fo little, or that im 
all his cxccHences and all his defedts has fo well mainr 
^taiificd iu3 :. i,:n to be confidcred as original. 


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t 414 i 

^' ' ■ • ■ ' ■■■ I n y 

B R O M E. 

WILLI AXl BUOOMe was bdrt to Chtihirefi 
as is faid, of very mean parents. Of the place 
of his birth, or the firft part of his life, I have not 
been able to gain any intelligence. He was ediicated 
upon the foundation at Eaton, and was captain of the 
fchool a whole year, without any vafcancy, by which 
he might hare obtained a fbholarfliip at King's College. 
Being by this delay, fuch as is find to have happened 
very rarely, fuperannuated, he was fent to St. John's 
College by the contributions of his friends, where ht 
obtained a fmall exhibition. 

At his College he lived for fome time in the famo 
chamber with the well-known Ford, by whom I have 
fonnerly heard him defcribed as a contra&ed fcholar 
aod a mere veriifyer, unacquainted with life, and un- 
ikilful in converfation. His addition to metre was 
then fuch, that his companions familiarly called him 
PoetM When he had opportunities of mingling with 


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:p R O o M £• 4i§ 

mankind) he cleared himfelf, as Ford likewife ownedy^ 
from great part of his fcholaftick ruft. 

He appeared early in the world as a tranflaror of th^ 
Siads into profe, in conjunction with Ozell and, Oldif- 
worth. How their feveral parts were diftributed is not 
known. This is the tranflation of which Ozell boafted 
as fuperior^ in Toland's opinion, to that of Pope : it 
has long (ince vaniflied, and is now in no danger from 
the criti<iks. 

He was introduced to Mr. Pope, who was then 
vKiting Sir John Cotton at Madingley near Cambridge, 
and gained fo much of his efteem, that he was em* 
ployed, I believe, to make extracts from Euftathiut 
for the notes to the tranflation of the Iliad; and in the 
volumes of poetry publiflied by Lintot, commonly 
called Pofe's Mifcellanics^ many of his early pieces wer* 

Pope and Broome were to be yet more clofely con- 
nedted. When the fuccefs of the Iliad gave encou- 
ragement to a verfion of the Odyfjeyj Pope, weary of 
the toil, called Fenton and Broome to his afTiftance ; 
and, taking only half the work upon himfelf, di- 
vided the other half between his partners, giving four 
books to Fenton, and eight to Broome. Fenton's 
i)Ooks I have enumerated in his Life j to the lot of 
Broome fell the fecond, fixth, eighth, eleventh, 
twelfth, fixteenth, eighteenth, and twenty- third, to- 
gether with the burthen of writing all the notes. 

As this tranflation is a very important event in po- 
etical hiftory, the reader has a right to know upoa 
what grounds I eftablifli my narration. That the ver- 
fion was not wholly Pope's, was always known : he 
had mentioned, the afliftance of t\YO friends in h^s pro- 

j I pofals. 

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4il^ t ti O 6 U t. 

poMs^ Md tt the end of tiiem6tk fofHe teMMtfll 
given by Broome of theif difletent parts^ which hot? « 
ever memioni only five books as written by the coad- 
jm(>ts; cht fourth and twentieth by Fenton; thS 
fixth, the eleventh, and the eighteenth by himfelf 9 
though Pope, in an advertifenwnt prefixed aft^ywards 
to a new volume of his works, claimed only twelve^ 
A natural cuf iofity, after the real conduft of fo great 
an undertaking, incited me once to enquire of Dn 
Watburton, who cold me, in his warm language, that 
he thought the relation given in the note a Ue ; but 
that he vTsls not able to afcertain the federal (hares. 
The intelligence which Dr. Warburton eould not af-* 
ford me, I obtained from Mr. Langton, towhcxn Mn 
Spdtite hid imparted it. 

The price at which Pope purchafed this aflHlance 
was three hundred pounds paid to Fenton, and five 
hundred to Broome, with as many copies as he wanted 
for his friends, which amounted to one hundred motc^ 
The payment made to Fenton I know not but by heir- 
lay ; Broome's is very diftili&ly told by Pope, in the 
notes to the Dunciad. 

It is evident, that, according to Pope's own eftl- 
mate, Broome was unkindly treated. If four book» 
could merit three hundred pounds, eight and all the 
notes, equivalent at lead to four, had certainly a right 
to more than fix. 

Broome probably confidered himfelf as mjured, and 
there was for feme time more than coldhefs between 
him and his employer. He always fpokc of Pope as 
loo much a lover of money, and Pope purfucd him; 
v^^ith avowed hoftility ; for he not only named him 
difrefpeftfully in the Dunciad ^ but quoted, him more 
6 than 

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BROOME. 413^ 

than 6ntt m che Bathos, as a proficient in the Art of 
&shking i and in his enumeration of the different kinds 
of poets diftinguifhed for the profound, he reckons 
Broome among tlig. Parrots who repeat another^ s word^ 
in fucb a boarfe odd tone as makes tbettt feem their own. 
I have been cold that they were afterwards reconciled; 
but I am afraid their peace was without fricndfhtp. 

He afterwards publilhed a Mifcellany of Poems, 
which i& infenedj with corre£kionSj in the late com- 

He never fofe to very high dignity ki the church. 
He was forn^ time reftor of Sturfton in Suffolk, where 
he married a wealthy widow ; and afterwards, when 
the King vifited Cambridge (17*8), became Dodtor 
of Laws. He was (1733) prefented by the Crown to 
the redtory of Pulham in Norfolk, which he held with 
Oakley Magna in Sif^olk, given him by the Lord Corn- 
wallii, to whom he was chaplain, and who added the 
vicarage of Eye in Suffolk ; he then re jgfted Pulham, 
and retained the other two. 

Towards the dofe bf his life he grew again poetical, 
And amufed himfelf with tranllating Odes of Anacreon, 
which he publilhed in*the Gentleman^s Magazine, under 
the qfuhe of Chejier. 

' fie died at Bath, November 16, 1745, and wa$ 
l^urled in the Abbey Church. 

Of Broome, 'though it cannot be faid that he was a 
great poet, it would be unjuft to deny that he waS an 
excellent verfifyer ; his lines are fmooth and fonorous, 
and his diftion is feledt and elegant. His rhymes are 
ibmetimes urifuitable; in his Melancholy he makes 
breath rhyme to birth in one place, and to earth ia 
Mother. Thofe faults occur but feldom ; and he had 

Vot..III. E e fuch 

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4i8 B R O O M R 

fuch power of words and numbers as fitted him for 
tranflation; but, in his original works, tecoUeaioii 
feems to have been his bufinefs more than invention; 
His imitations are fo apparent^ Aat it is part of his 
rcader^s employment to recall the i^rfes of fomc former 
poet. Sometimes- he copies the moft pofuK^riterSy 
for he feems fdaroely to endeavour at confl|alment ; 
and fometimes he picks up fragments ia obfcure cor- 
ners. His lines to Ffenton, 

Serene, the llmg of pain thy thoughts beguile. 
And make afflidions objects of a finite ; 

brought to my mind fome lines on the death of Queen 
Mary, written by Barnes, of whom I fliould not have 
expeded to find an Imitator ; 

But thou, O Mufe, whole fweet nepcnthean tongue 
Can charm the pangs of death with deathlefs fong ^ 
Canft Jiii^ing plagues with cafy thougbis beguiU, 
Maii paio and tortures obje^i o/afmili. 

To detedt his imitations were tedious and ulelefs« 
What he takei he feldom makes worfe ; and he cannot 
be juftly thought a n^ean man whom Pope chofe for 
an afTociate, and whofe co-operation was conlidered 
by Pope*s enemies as fo important, that he was at- 
tacked by Henfey with this ludicrous diftich : 

Pope painc ofF clean with Homer ; but they fay « 

Sroome went before, and kindly fw€pt#e way* 


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