« ZurückWeiter »
possessed of a thousand curious Letters to my Father, I had many of this accomplished critic and scholar : the elegance of their style made it very unlike that of literary men, so profound as he was : but I have lost or given them away. I remember seeing a Letter of his to Mr. Hall, who was another of myintimate friends, which tickled me very much : 'You tell me,' said he,' that young is a Genius, and you ask me for advice how to educate him. My answer is, Find a good branch of an oak tree, and a good rope for him!' In some of the Letters to my Father were strokes of the purest wit, and of the most native humour. There is a book of Markland's, which, though Mr. Hall gave it me, I do not possess *. It was a series of notes, annexed, if I remember, to some of those upon Euripides, and miscellaneous, or, at least, including some upon Horace; for I recollect, in particular, a high compliment which he pays to my Father, by name, for one of his emendations. I should like to see these notes, They were addressed, I think, to Mr. Hall, who was in our family (including that of Lord Camden) like a relation. He gave me all Markland's printed works.
“ Mr. Hall was educated at Eton College, and was a Fellow of King's College in Cambridge. His political patron and generous friend was the amiable Brother of Horace Wal. pole, Sir Edward, of whom I recollect that he possessed a beautiful portrait, in crayons, at his chambers in the Middle Temple. Under him, when he was Post-master General, he obtained an office, which made him independent t, and enabled him to keep the best company. With Lord Jersey, Lord Clarendon, and Lord Hampden, he was much in habits of intimacy. He was the first Lord Camden's bosom friend and most enthu. siastic admirer. From connexions like these, and from a dignity of manners not unbecoming, but envied perhaps by Pecants, he had the name of Prince Hall, which, as far as it was invidious, he never deserved. With my Father he was like his Brother, and their Eton friendship never cooled. (Indeed I have remarked, and without naming it invidiously I assert, that Eton friendships in their constancy have been striking.) Yet he loved his chambers, loved his books, and the occasional society of Benchers at the Middle Temple. For Markland he had a passion. He had a serious and gentleman-like deportment, a good person, a mild and pleasing countenance. I do not think he had
• Mr. Hardinge bere alludes to “ Loca aliquot ex Auctoribus Græcis et Latinis explicata," annexed to Mr. Markland's “ Quæstio Grammatica;" the first Edition of which, consisting only of 40 copies, was printed at the expence of Mr. Hall, to whom it was addressed; and reprinted, with the “ Supplices Mulieres," in 1763.--After several excellent remarks on the Greek Writers, “ Transeo ad Latinos,” says Mr. Markland to Mr. Hall, p. 253 ; “ et in primis ad Delicias tuas (et cujus non, cui mens sana ?) Horatium;" and soon after, p. 258, he thus introduces an emendation of 3 Carm. xxix. 5, “ Ita hunc locum legebat et distinguebat, ut pridem fortè nosti, Amicus Noster, capitalis ingerii Vir, Nicolaus Har. dinge, ó parapíens, quo nihil verius puto.” J. N.
† At the time of his death, he was Solicitor to the Post office, and Deputy-clerk of the Pells. J. N.
a powerful genius of any kind, or much compass of any learning; but he had a ready fund of good sense, propriety of manners, grace of thought and of expression, a poetical ear, and a most admirable taste. He was, under the rose, a little too fond of the
His fate (and I suspect that it originated in his amours) was, perhaps, unexampled in the philosophy of human decay. He became at first weak, then childish, then absolutely an ideot; and from that ideotcy emerged into the wildest paroxysm of delirium, in which he died; so that his insanity was this : It began with imbecility ; the next chapter of it was ideot-folly ; and at last it iamed into delirium.
“ I never saw any of Mr. Hall's Latin compositions in verze ; hut there are three of his Poems in English (to my ear at least) exquisite of their kind all of them. 1. “Vacation ;" 2. "In the Dead of the Night;" and, 3, a most genteel, as well as poetical galanterie, “ To a Lady very handsome, but too fond of Dress," It is a perfect gem. The two last, as they are very short, I wish you would print from Dodsley.
“ ANACREON, Ode III.
“In the dead of the night, when, with labour oppress d,
To a Lady very handsome, but too fond of Dress.
What charms can the toilet supply?
Need beauty lay traps for the eye?
Must thy tucker be still setting right?
Because that thy teeth are so white?
To act so ignoble a part ?
A slave to the dictates of art?
Unless thou excellest each fair
Is not that a superfluous care?
The lily with whiteness to deck!
The delicate turn of thy neck ?
Can powder or jewels adorn?
With the breath or the blush of the morn?
Thou 'rt set out so enorinously fine,
And to please thou hast too much design:
How alluring the innocent eye ;
And what charms in simplicity lie.
Has with genuine ornaments dressid ;
To set off what already is best :
Bid the toilet be far set apart,
That impertinent Abigail, Art.” “ The address to Polly Laurence at Bath is inferior to these, but very elegant. And I have great pleasure in sending you a virgin manuscript, much, I think, to the honour of Mr. Hall, and, in my judgment, the most brilliant of his works. Our laa. guage has nothing more spirited, or truly Pindaric.
“SONNET, on the first Impression of Lauder's Forgeries ;
To Nicholas HARDINGE,
By William Hall, Esq.
Avenge the honour of his injur'd Muse!
The bold Salinasius dar'ri not so accuse,
Arch Forger, cursed poison to infuse
In Eve's chaste ear, her freedom to abuse:
In his own form the toad : But this new plot
With lashes keen, drive, to that trait'rous spot,
And barren mountains, the blaspheming Scot!"
Milbourne House, June 16. “I am surprized you have not laid peculiar stress upon Mr. Hay's “Essay on Deformity," the most original and exquisite work of the kind that ever came into the world. It is at once a master-piece of humour, wit, ingenuity, elegant style, fancy, and good sense. But, above all, it has the simplicity of Montaigne without his vanity, and the portrait of a most amiable mind. Ilis playful ridicule upon his own deformity is unexampled. Pope was unequal to that vein of good-humour and self-denial. His wife's brother married my sister ; but I never saw Mr. Hay.
“I have been told, that he was an acute andvery intelligent speaker in Parliament. I have seen a little of Colonel Hay, the son, who was a modest, virtuous, respectable, and sensible man; with no brilliancy of talent, but with a high sense of honour. The family, I believe, is extinct : he and his two sisters are dead, leaving no issue. They, too, were both of them very sensible and good.
“ I am piqued that you say so little of Dr. Barnard, iny tutor, inaster, and friend. If you will remind ineof it, I will give you sonie traits of him *, and of Dr. Battie, both of whom I intimately knew.
“ Wooddeson was my master before I went to Eton. He was a most elegant scholar, and the most amiable of men.
“ I had many letters of Stephen Poyntz to my Father.
“ James Hayes, another of iny Nestorian friends, was of Holliport, not Helliport, as you have written it. One of my father's Sapphic Odes, and one of the best, is to Cherry Hayes, M. D. the Uncle of Mr. James Hayes.
“ Dr. Glynn was an intimate friend of mine, and a perfect original ; of him I have many ludicrous anecdotes.
“Watson, Bishop of Llandaf, my Fellow Collegiate, was for one year my Tutor : we are still Friends.
Stephen Whisson was my Tutor at College ; you allude in the Index to his portrait, but which I never saw. He was an Evangelist. . See hereafter, pp. 543, et scqq.
I could tell you two or three good stories of him and one of myself at this College, that would make you smile. A propos of stories, Horace Walpole, who never spared a tempting opportunity for his banter upon Mr. Cambridge, our neighbour and my peculiar favorite, assured me, that one day he called upon him, and said, 'I have an admirable story for you, but you must hear four or five before I can get you to it.”
“ Thomas Papillon deserves a more ample mention. He was a great man of his kind. The figure he made in the famous trial of Shaftesbury is not a little striking. In temper, dignity, sense, and spirit, he was more than a match for the Court. He was upon that Jury; and, though not Foreman, was generally the most prominent speaker in the dialogues between the Bench and the Jury. His great grandson married my niece, and resides at Acrise, near Folkstone." “ DEAR SIR,
Milbourne House, June 19. "I have drawn a little sketch for you of AKENSIDE, WALPOLE, and BRYANT; men with whom I had for several years been in habits of the most intimate acquaintance.
“Dr. AKENSIDE was known to my Father, as being Mr. Dyson's friend, long before he was known to me. As to Mr. Dyson's knowledge of Mr. Hardinge, it originated in their contract for the succession of Mr. Dyson to the post of Chief Clerk in the House of Commons, when Mr. Hardinge was preparing to resign it; and the intercourse, ripening into mutual esteem, produced a cordial friendship, which lasted as long as Mr. Hardinge lived.
“ The first I can recollect of my own personal acquaintance with Dr. Akenside's name and Muse was my father's recital to me, when I was a boy at Eton School, of the Invocation to antient Greece, in that celebrated Poem which has been so 'depreciated by Dr. Johnson, that I fear no error of judgment and of taste, manifest in that criticism, can redeem the censure from heavier imputations. This inspired passage, as I think it still, was recommended additionally to me by the charm of reci. tation, in which not even Garrick himself could be superior to Mr. Nicholas Hardinge; though he wanted either nerves or powers to make a figure in the House of Commons, and though he had no musical ear. But his reuding and repeating Ear, if I may use that phrase, was exquisite; and his accent, prompted by his judgment, uniformly just. It is very singular, but it is true, that Akenside was not a good reader of his own verse.
• My Father admired him, as a gifted Poet, as a man of genius, of learning, and of taste.—They were upon friendly terms. I have heard Akenside represent my Father as a man of admirable taste and judgment, of perfect honour, and of the kindest affections that ever breathed in a human breast. As I grew up into man, Akenside honoured me with a most affectionate regard ;
which I forfeited, as you will have occasion to see, a little before his death, to my infinite regret; but, I am sorry to add, with no remorse; for I was more · sinn'd against than sinning.'
“When I was at College, he sent me a letter of advice and of directions for the course of my academical studies, which