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Seven,” for resenting his friend's request about | Author of the “ Night Thoughts” coluposeu his funeral.
many sermons, he did not oblige the public with During some part of his life Young was many: abroad, but I have not been able to learn any Besides, in the latter part of life, Young was particulars.
fond of holding himself out for a man retired In his seventh satire he says,
from the world. But he seemed to have forgotWhen, after battle, I the field have seen
ten that the same verse which contains "oblitus Spread o'er with ghastly shapes which once were men. meorum,” contains also “obliviscendus et illis."
It is known also, that from this or from some The brittle chain of worldly friendship and paother field he once wandered into the camp with tronage is broken as effectually, when one goes a classic in his hand, which he was reading in- beyond the length of it, as when the other does. tently; and had some difficulty to prove that he To the vessel which is sailing from the shore, it was only an absent poet, and not a spy. only appears that the shore also recedes; in life
The curious reader of Young's life will na- it is truly thus. He who retires from the world rally inquire to what it was owing, that though will find himself, in reality, deserted as fast, ir he lived almost forty years after he took orders, not faster, by the world. The public is not to which included one whole reign uncommonly be treated as the coxcomb treats his mistress; to long, and part of another, he was never thonght be threatened with desertion, in order to inworthy of the least preferment. The Author crease fondness. of the “Night Thoughts” ended his days upon Young seems to have been taken at his word. a living which came to him from his college Notwithstanding his frequent complaints of be. without any favour, and to which he probably ing neglected, no hand was reached out to pull had an eye when he determined on the church. him fiom thaí retirement of which he declared To satisfy curiosity of this kind is, at this dis- himself enamoured. Alexander assigned no pa. tance of time, far from easy. The parties them- lace for the residence of Diogenes, who boasted selves know not often, at the instant, why they his surly satisfaction with his tub. are neglected, or why they are preferred." The Of the domestic manners and petty habits of neglect of Young is by some ascribed to his the Author of the “Night Thoughts," I hoped having attached himself to the Prince of Wales, to have given you an account from the best auand to his having preached an offensive sermon thority: but who shall dare to say, 'To-morrow at St. James's. It has been told me that he had I will be wise or virtuous, or to-morrow! two hundred a year in the late reign, by the will do a particular thing? Upon inquiring for patronage of Walpole; and that, whenever any his housekeeper, I learned that she was buried one reminded the King of Young, the only an- two days before I reached the town of her swer was, “he has a pension.” All the light abode. thrown on this inquiry, by the following letter In a letter from Tscharner, a noble foreigner, from Secker, only serves to show at what a late to Count Haller, Tscharner says, he has lately period of life the Author of the “Night Thoughts” spent four days with Young at Welwyn, where solicited preferment:
the author takes all the ease and pleasure man
kind can desire. “Every thing about him “Deanery of St. Paul's, July 8, 1758. shows the man, each individual being placed by "Good Dr. Young,
rule. All is neat without art. He is very plea"I have long wondered, that more suitable sant in conversation, and extremely polite." notice of your great merit hath not been taken This and more may possibly be true; bat by persons in power: but how to remedy the Tscharner's was a first visit, a visit of curiosity pinission I see not. No encouragement hath and admiration, and a visit which the Author ever been given me to mention things of this na-expected. lure to his Majesty. And therefore, in all like- Of Edward Young an anecdote which warlihood, the only consequence of doing it would ders among readers is not true, that he was be weakening the little influence which I may Fielding's Parson Adams. The original of that possibly have on some other occasions. Your famous painting was William Young, who was fortune and your reputation set you abore the a clergyman. He supported an uncomfortable need of advancement; and your sentiments, existence by translating for the booksellers from above that concern for it, on your own account, Greek; and, if he did not seem to be his own which, on that of the public, is sincerely felt by friend,' was at least no man's enemy. Yet
“Your loving brother, the facility with which this report has gained “Tuo. 'Cant." belief in the world argues, were it not sufi:
ciently known, that the Author of the “ Night At last, at the age of fourscore, he was ap- Thoughts” bore some resemblance to Adams. pointed, in 1761, clerk of the closet to the Prin. The attention which Young bestowed upon ress Dowager. One obstacle must have stood not a little in When any passage pleased him he appears to
the perusal of books is not unworthy imitation. he way of that preferment after which his have folded down the leaf. On these passages whole life seems to have panted. Though he he bestowed a second reading. But the labours took orders, he never entirely shook off politics. of man are too frequently vain. Before he re He was always the lion of his master Milton, turned to much of what he had once approved, * pawing to get free his hinder parts.” By this he died. Many of his books, which I have seth onduct, if he gained some friends, he inade are by those notes of approbation so swelled be many enemies.
yond their real bulk, that they will hardly shul. Again: Young was poct; and again, with reverence be it spoken, poeis by profession do
What though we wade in wealth or soar in fame'
Earth's highest station ends in Here he lies! not always make the best clergymen. If the Anu dusi lo dust concludes her noblest song
The Author of these lines is not without his Hic yet the whole is languid ; the plan is too much
extended, and a succession of images divides and
but the great of that praise which no marble can make the bad reason why the reader is disappointed is, that the or the foolish merit; which, without the direc- thought of the Last Day makes every man more tion of a stone or a turf will find its way, sooner than poetical, by spreading over his mind a geor later, to the deserving.
neral obscurity of sacred horror, that oppresses
distinction, and disdains expression.
His story of “Jane Greyi was never popular.
It is written with elegance enough; but Jane is
Ftoo heroic to be pitied.
| The “Universal Passion” is indeed a very
great performance. It is said to be a series of
epigrams; but if it be, it is what the Author in-
tended: his endeavour was at the production of
striking distichs and pointed sentences; and his
distichs have the weight of solid sentiment, and
were often happy, and his reflections often just.
plays, indeed, only on the surface of life; he Dear sir,
never penetrates the recesses of the mind, and
HERBERT Croft, Jun. hausted by a single perusal; his conceits please
only when they surprise.
To translate he never condescended, unless his
"Paraphrase on Job" may be considered as a P.S. This account of Young was seen by you version: in which he has not, I think, been unin manuscript, you know, sir; and, though I successful; he indeed favoured himself, by chooscould not prevail on you to make any alteration, ing those parts which most easily admit the you insisted on striking out one passage, because ornaments of English poetry. it said, that, if I did not wish you to live long He had least success in his lyric attempts, in for your sake, I did for the sake of myself and of which he seems to have been under some maligthe world. But this postscript you will not see nant influence: he is always labouring to be before the printing of it; and I will say here, in great, and at last is only turgid. spite of you, how I feel myself honoured and In his “Night Thoughts” he has exhibited a bettered by your friendship and that, if I do very wide display of original poetry, variegated credit to the church, after which I always longed, with deep reflections and striking allusions, a and for which I am now going to give in ex- wilderness of thought, in which the fertility of change the bar, though not at so late a period of fancy scatters flowers of every hue and of every life as Young took orders, it will be owing, in no odour. This is one of the few poems in which small measure, to my having had the happiness blank verse could not be changed for rhyme but of calling the Author of "The Rambler" my with disadvantage. The wild diffusion of the friend.
H. C. sentiments, and the digressive sallies of imaginaOxford, Oet, 1782.
tion, would have been compressed and restrained
by confinement to rhyme. The excellence of Of Young's poems it is difficult to give any this work is not exactness, but copiousness; pargeneral character; for he has no uniformity of ticular lines are not to be regarded; the power is manner; one of his pieces has no great resem- in the whole; and in the whole there is a mag blance to another. He began to write early, nificence like that ascribed to Chinese planta and continued long; and at different times had tion, the magnificence of vast extent and endless
different modes of poetical excellence in view. diversity.
not to keep alive. In “Busiris” there are the re-assembly of the atoms that compose the by-
“They for kindness hate:" and " because she's
have studied prosody, nor to have had any direcHis conceits are sometimes yet less valuable. tion but from his own ear. But with all bus In “The Last Day" he hopes to illustrate the defects, he was a man of genius and a poet.
Of David Mallet, having no written memo- (persons of the highest rank and the highest cha rial, I am able to give no other account than racter, to wits, nobles, and statesmen. such as is supplied by the unauthorised loqua- Of his works, I know not whether I can trace city of common fame, and a very slight personal the series. His first production was “ William knowledge.
and Margaret ;"* of which though it contains He was by his original one of the Macgregors, nothing very striking or difficult, he has been ena clen, that became about sixty years ago, under vied the reputation, and plagiarism has been the conduct of Robir. Roy, sn formidable and so boldly charged, but never proved. infamous for violence and robbery, that the name Not long afterwards he published “The Es. was annulled by a legal abolition ; and when they cursion," ( 1725,) a desultory and capricious view were all to denominate themselves anew, the of such scenes of nature as his fancy led him, or father, I suppose, of this author, called himself his knowledge enabled him to describe. It is not Malloch.
devoid of poetical spirit. Many of his images are David Malloch was, by the penury of his pa striking, and many of the paragraphs are elegant. rents, compelled to be janitor of the high school The cast of diction seems to be copied from at Edinburgh; a mean office, of which he did not Thomson, whose “Seasons" were then in their afterwards delight to hear. But he surmounted full blossom
of reputation. He has Thomson's the disadvantages of his birth and fortune; for beauties and his faults. when the Duke of Montrose applied to the Col- His poem on “Verbal Criticism" (1733) was lege of Edinburgh for a tutor to educate his sons, written to pay court to Pope, on a subject which Malloch was recommended ; and I never heard he either did not understand, or willingly miste that he dishonoured his credentials.
presented ; and is little more than an improve When his pupils were sent to see the world, ment, or rather expansion, of a fragment wluch they were entrusted to his care; and having con- Pope printed in a Miscellany long before he <ducted them round the common circle of modish travels, he returned with them to London, where
* Mallet's “William and Margaret" was printed in by the influence of the family in which he re
Aaron Hill's “Plain Dealer," NO. 26, July 22179 siled, he naturally gained admission to many in the last edition of his works.
In its original state it was very different from what it is
grated it into a regular poem. There is in this how little confidence can be placed in posthumous piece more pertness than wit, and more confi- renown. When he died, it was soon determined dence than knowledge. The versification is to- that his story should be delivered to posterity; lerable, nor can criticism allow it a higher praise. and the papers supposed to contain the necessary
His first tragedy was “Eurydice," acted at information were delivered to Lord Molesworth, Drury-lane, in 1731 ; of which'I know not the who had been his favourite in Flanders. When reception nor the merit, but have heard it men- Molesworth died, the same papers were transtioned as a mean performance. He was not ferred with the same design to Sir Richard Steele, then too high to accept a prologue and epilogue who in some of his exigencies put them in pawn. from Aaron Hill, neither of which can be much | They then remained with the old Dutchess, who commended.
in her will assigned the task to Glover and Mal. Having cleared his tongue from his native let, with a reward of a thousand pounds, and a pronunciation so as to be no longer distinguished prohibition to insert any verses. "Glover rejectas a Scot, he seems inclined to disencumber him-ed, I suppose with disdain, the legacy, and deself from all adherences of his original, and took volved the whole work upon Mallet; who had upon him to change his name from Scotch Mal- from the late Duke of Marlborough a pension to loch, to English Mallet, without any imaginable promote his industry, and who talked of the disreason of preference which the eye or ear can coveries which he had made ; but left not, when discover. What other proofs he gave of disre- he died, any historical labours behind him. spect to his native country, I know not; but it While he was in the Prince's service he pubwas remarked of him, that he was the only Scot lished “Mustapha,” with a prologne by Thomwhom Scotchmen did not coinmend.
son, not mean, but far inferior to that which he About this time Pope, whom he visited famili- received from Mallet for “ Agamemnon.” The arly, published his “Essay on Man,” but con- Epilogue, said to be written by a friend, was cealed the author; and when Mallet entered one composed in haste by Mallet, in the place of one day, Pope asked him slightly what there was promised which was never given. This tragedy new. Mallet told him, that the newest piece was was dedicated to the Prince his master. It was something called an “Essay on Man,” which he acted at Drury-lane, in 1739, and was well rehad inspected idly, and seeing the utter inability ceived, but was never revived. of the author, who had neither skill in writing In 1740, he produced, as has been already nor knowledge of the subject, had tossed it mentioned, “The Mask of Alfred,” in conjuncaway. Pope, to punish his self-conceit, told him tion with Thomson. the secret.
For some time afterwards he lay at rest. Af A new edition of the works of Bacon being pre- ter a long interval, his next work was “Amyntor pared (1750) for the press, Mallet was employed and Theodora,” (1747,) a long story in blank to prefix a life, which he has written with ele- verse ; in which it cannot be denied that there is gance, perhaps with some affectation; but with copiousness and elegance of language, vigour of 80 much more knowledge of history than of sci- sentiment, and imagery well adapted to take ence, that when he afterwards undertook the Life possession of the fancy. But it is blank verse. of Marlborough, Warburton remarked, that he This he sold to Vaillant for one hundred and might perhaps forget that Marlborough was a twenty pounds. The first sale was not great, and general, as he had forgotten that Bacon was a it is now lost in forgetfulness. philosopher.
Mallet, by address or accident, perhaps by his When the Prince of Wales was driven from dependence on the Prince, found his way to the palace, and setting himself at the head of the Bolingbroke ; a man whose pride and petulance opposit on, kept a separate court, he endeavoured made his kindness difficult to gain, or keep, and to increase his popularity by the patronage of whom Mallet was content to court by an act, literature, and made Mallet his under secretary, which, I hope, was unwillingly performed. When with a salary of two hundred pounds a year; it was found that Pope had clandestinely printed
Thomson likewise had a pension; and they were an unauthorized number of the pamphlet called associated in the composition of "The Mask of The Patriot King,” Bolingbroke, in a fit of useAlfred," which in its original state was played at less fury, resolved to blast his memory, and emCliefden, in 1740; it was afterwards almost ployed Mallet (1749) as the executioner of his wholly changed by Mallet, and brought upon the vengeance. Mallet had not virtue, or had not stage at Drury-lane, in 1751, but with no great spirit, to refuse the office ; and was rewarded,
not long after, with the legacy of Lord Bolingo Mallet, in a familiar conversation with Gar- broke's works. rick, discoursing of the diligence which he was Many of the political pieces had been written then exerting upon the Life of Marlborough, let during ihe opposition to Walpole, and given to him know, that in the series of great men quickly Franklin, as he supposed, in perpetuity. These, to be exhibit:1, he should find a niche for the among the rest, were claimed by the will. The hero of the theatre. Garrick professed to won question was referred to arbitrators; but, when der by what artifice he could be introduced; but they decided against Mallet, he refused to yield Mallet let him know, that, by a dexterous anti- to the award; and by the help of Millar the cipation, he should fix him in a conspicuous place. bookseller, published all that he could find, but “Mr. Mallet,” says Garrick, in his gratitude of with success very much below his expectation. exultation, “have you left off to write for the In 1755, his mask of “Britannia" was acted stage ?" Mallet then confessed that he had a at Drury-lane; and his tragedy of “Elvira" in drama in his hands. Garrick promised to act 1763 ; in which year he was appointed keeper it; and “Alfred" was produced.
of the book of entries for ships in the port of The long retardation of the Life of the Duke London. of Marlborough, shows, with strong conviction, In the beginning of the last war, when the na.
tion was exasperated by ill success, he was em- | larly formed; his appearance, till he grew eor.
class. There is no species of composition in Towards the end of his life he went with his which he was eminent. His dramas had their wife to France; but after a while, finding his day, a short day, and are forgotten; his blank health declining, he returned alone to England, verse seems to my ear the echo of Thomson. and died in April, 1765.
His “Life of Bacon” is known as it is appended He was twice married, and by his first wife to Bacon's volumes, but is no longer mentioned had several children. One daughter, who mar- His works are such as a writer, bustling in the ried an Italian of rank, named Cilesia, wrote a world, showing himself in public, and emerging tragedy called “ Almida,” which was acted at occasionally, from time to time, into notice, Drury-lane. His second wife was the daughter might keep alive by his personal influence ; but of a nobleman's steward, who had a considerable which, conveying little information, and giving fortune, which she took care to retain in her own no great pleasure, must soon give way, as the hands.
succession of things produces new topics of conHis stature was diminutive, but he was regu- 1 versation, and other modes of amusement.
Mark Avenside was born on the ninth of | into it, advised him not to make a niggardly of November, 1721, at Newcastle upon Tyne. His fer; for “ this was no every-day writer." father Mark was a butcher, of the presbyterian In 1741 he went to Leyden, in pursuit of me sect; his mother's name was Mary Lumsden. dical knowledge; and three years afterwards He received the first part of his education at (May 16, 1744) became doctor of physic, having, the grammar-school of Newcastle; and was af- according to the custom of the Duich Universiterwards instructed by Mr. Wilson, who kept aties, published a thesis or dissertation. The private academy.
subject which he chose was “The Original and At the age of eighteen he was sent to Edin- Growth of the Human Fætus;" in which he is burgh, that he might qualify himself for the of said to have departed, with great judgment, from fice of a dissenting minister, and received some the opinion then established, and to have deliverassistance from the fund which the dissenters em-ed that which has been since confirmed and 16ploy in educating young men of scanty fortune. ceived. But a wider view of the world opened other Akenside was a young man, warm with every scenes, and prompted other hopes; he determin- notion that by nature or accident had been coned to study physic, and repaid that contribution, nected with the sound of liberty, and, by an which, being received for a different purpose, he centricity which such dispositions do not easily justly thought it dishonourable to retain. avoid, a lover of contradiction, and no friend to
Whether, when he resolved not to be a dis- any thing established. He 'adopted Shaftes senting minister, he ceased to be a dissenter, 1 bury's foolish assertion of the efficacy of ridicule know not. He certainly retained an unneces- for the discovery of truth. For this he was afsary and outrageous zeal for what he called and tacked by Warburton,
and defended by Dyson: thought liberty; a zeal which sometimes dis- Warburton afterwards reprinted his remarks at guises from the world, and not rarely from the the end of his dedication to the Freethinkers. mind which it possesses, an envious desire of The result of all
the arguments which have plundering wealth or degrading greatness; and been produced in a long and eager discussion of of which the immediate tendency is innovation this idle
question, may easily be collscted. If and anarchy, an impetuous eagerness to subvert ridicule be applied to any
position as the test of and confound, with very little care what shall be truth, it will then become a question whether established.
such ridicule be just; and this can only be de Akenside was one of those poets who have felt cided by the application of truth, as the test of very early the motions of genius
, and one of those ridicule. Two men fearing, one a real and the students who have very early stored their memo- other a fancied danger, wil be for a while ries with sentiments and images. Many of his equally exposed to the inevitable consequences performances were produced in his youth ; and of cowardice, contemptuous censure, and ludia luis greatest work, « The Pleasures of Imagina- crous representation; and the true state of both tion," appeared in 1744. I have heard Dodsley, cases must be known, before it can be decided by whom it was published, relate, that when the whose terror is rational, and whose is ridiculous copy was offered him, the price demanded for it, who is to be pitied, and who to be despised. which was a hundred and twenty pounds, being Both are for a while equally exposed to laughter
, such as he was not inclined to give precipitately, but both are not therefore equally contemptible
. he carried the work to Pope, who, having looked In the revisal of his poem, though he died