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back as can be traced. On that of the Goths, its introduction into these islands by the Saxons and Danes, and its duration. On the origin of rhyme among the Franks, the Saxons, and Provençaux. Some account of the Latin rhyming poetry, from its early origin, down to the fifteenth century
PART 1. On the school of Provence, which rose about the year 1100, and was soon followed by the French and Italians. Their heroic poesy, or romances in verse, allegories, fabliaux, syrvientes, comedies, farces, canzoni, sonnets, balades, madrigals, sestines, &c. of their imitators, the French: and of the first Italian school, commonly called the Sicilian, about the year 1200, brought to perfection by Dante, Petrarch, Boccace, and others.-- State of poetry in England from the Conquest, 1066, or rather, from Henry the Second's time, 1154, to the reign of Edward the Third, 1327.
PART II. On Chaucer, who first introduced the manner of the Provençaux, improved by the Italians, into our country: his character and merits at large, the different kinds in which he excelled-Gower, Occleve, Lydgate, Hawes, Gawen Douglas, Lyndesay, Bellenden, Dunbar, &c.
Second Italian school, of Ariosto, Tasso, &c. an improvement on the first, occasioned by the revival of letters, the end of the fifteenth century. The lyric poetry of this and the former age introduced from Italy by Lord Surry, Sir T. Wyat, Bryan, Lord Vaux, &c. in the beginning of the sixteenth century.
PART IV. Spenser, his character: subject of his poem, allegoric, and romantic, of Provençal invention ; but his inanner of tracing it, borrowed from the second Italian school.-Drayton, Fairfax, Phineas Fletcher, Golding, Phaer, &c. this school ends in Milton.-A third Italian school, full of conceit, begun in Queen Elizabeth's reign, continued under James and Charles the First, by Donne, Crashaw, Cleiveland, carried to its height by Cowley, and ending periaps in Sprat.
School of France, introduced after the Restoration Waller, Dryden, Addison, Prior, and PopeWhich has continued to our own times.
You will observe, that my idea was in some measure taken from a scribbled paper of Pope, of which I believe you have a copy. You will also see, that I had excluded dramatic poetry entirely, which if you have taken in, it will at least double the bulk and labour of your book.
I am, Sir, with great esteem,
Your most humble and obedient servant, Pembroke-Hall, April 15, 1770.
T. GRAY. 1783, Feb.
XXXII. Mr. Williams to Mrs, Weste
your account of a valuable publication* by Mr. Gutch, in your last volume, is the following paragraph :
Among the MSS. communicated to the editor is a sensible (anonymous) letter to Mrs. West, &c. on the education of her son. Qu. whether this was Gilbert West ?"
Having it in my power to satisfy this inquiry, I am now to inform you, that the writer of this truly sensible letter was John Williams, Esq. who had been secretary to Lord Chancellor West, of Ireland, and who was at this time upon his travels. It was addressed to the Chancellor's widow, then at Epsom with her daughter, whom he afterwards married. Mrs. West was a daughter of Bishop Burnet, and mother also of Richard West, then a student in the Temple, the celebrated friend of Gray, and represented in Dr. Johnson's preface to Gray as a “ friend who deserved bis esteem by the powers which he sheus in his letters, and in the Ode to May, which Mr. Mason has preserved." In the second volume of Dodsley's collection of Poems is “ A Monody on the Death of Queen Caroline, by Richard West, Esg. son to the Chancellor of Ireland, and grandson to Bishop
* Collectanea Curiosa.
Burnet." He is the subject of the following admirable letter, which deserves to be published entire, especially as the mutilated copy, communicated to Mr. Gutch, is rendered unintelligible by the several strange mistakes that appear upon consulting the original, with which it has been collated, and from which a correct transcript is now conveyed to you by
Grande Bretagne. To Mrs. West, to the care of the Post-House at Epsom, Surry.
Lions, 12 Jan. 1739, N. S. This will come to your hands sooner than the last I wrote; that went by a private band, inclosed to Dick; probably the bearer may stay by the way: it contained an old story, to divert you and Molly; which, when read, pray burn. I received yesterday your long one, with two blank pages: I agree your paper is better than ours, but yet not so much as to make it worth the postage: you see how insatiable I am; I wish you had filled up those blank pages. I often think about my friend Dick, and last night dreamed of him. This letter is written on purpose for hini, to whom therefore pray communicate it. You have said not one word of him to me a great while, from whence I conclude two things, that he is preity well, but does not study the law: if he did, your satisfaction, and his too, would make me hear it soon enough. Young people do not see far; and, what is worse, they care not to be advised by those who do. They will not be the better for our experience. I say to myself frequently, what would I give to be twenty again, with the knowledge of the world which I have now? He is at that age, and my knowledge is at his service : why cannot we together produce what I figure to myself possible, if I was at that age? I bave often considered his aversion to the law, and grieve at it, because it is a natural, almost sure, way of advancing himself: his father's name so much esteemed, his friends and mine, and his own parts, altogether could not have failed. He has no fortune; I mean, scarce sufficient to keep him clean, unless in retirement, which, I know, (though perhaps he does not) he will never chuse; for his own sake and his family's I hope he will not. What then can he do? my case and his were much the same. I had but small expectations of fortune, and perhaps pretty good parts : these soon recommended me to the best company, that is, in plain English, they were pleased, and I was flate tered. What then? Why then, says my poor father (who was an excellent mathematician, but who knew no more of the world than his son;) my boy shall qualify himself for the grand monde, and he shall get into great places, and so forth. I was therefore put to Italian, French, and every thing that is called modern polite literature ; and with the improvements of dancing, fencing, riding, drawing, fortification, heraldry, music, and what not, I was to be made as fine a gentleman as any body living. Poor mistaken man! Instead of giving me a profession, any knowledge that was useful, and absolutely necessary to mankind, I was to be furnished only with the superfluities of life; and, without a fortune, was to be taught to live as if I had one, and create a relish, a habit of living, which, if I did not succeed, must make me miserable. Well, but with these accomplishments for foreign employs, I could not fail--few people of small fortunes were so fit for them; this all agreed to. But, as something more than Greek, Latin, French, Italian, &c. was necessary to qualify a man for these employments, I was shut up for two years, and, by the direction of a very great and wise man, was recommended to the reading of English History, then the History of Europe in general, then Domat's Civil Law, then Grotius, Puffendorf, and many more very dry, but necessary authors; and, last of all, to study four folio volumes of Treaties. All this, I was convinced, was necessary, absolutely so, to a man who is to treat (or to serve those who are to treat) with foreign courts. This labour gone through with pretty good success, the next thing was to find a patron. This was not easily done. My great friends were not used to hear me speak of wanting employment; they liked my wit and my Odes. Howe ever, they kept smiling on for some time, till my father's pockets grew low, and dress and chair-hire becanie too expensive. Luckily a patron was found ; one who understood what wit and parts were, and excelled himself in that way; but who well knew that was not enough: I was therefore to convince hiin that I had more material furniture in
head. I succeeded in this too, from the pains I had taken in those two years. We went abroad together; his own weight in the world, his prodigious virtue and goodness, and his near relàtion to the first minister, gave me reason to expect all the advantages that could attend so flattering a beginning in public business. What hindered ? why, the commonest thing upon earth ; my patron was turned out, and consequently Mr. Secretary was to seek for another. With better
luck than ordinary, in two years more another was found, envoy at the same court. I'wo or three great men's warm recommendations procured me his excellency's favour; and my little boat was set afloat again: the gale was prosperous, the weather fine for a whole twelvemonth (an age, I can assure you, in human affairs.)-What's the matter why, a mighty ordinary matter; the envoy died. These changes astonished me. I was a young man, and did not think that people were to die, or be turned out; but my father was older, and might have heard that such strange things did · sometimes happen. What was to be done now; no money, my former patron in disgrace! friends that were in favour, not able to serve me, or not willing; that is, cold, timid, careful of themselves, and indifferent to a man whose disappointments made him less agreeable. (For want of success, you must know, is always a fault in the
of most men, though it be owing to accidents ever so foreign to your merit.) In this condition, that is, in want of every thing but a fine coat and laced shirt (the remains of former lusury,) I languished on for three long melancholy years; sometimes a little elated; a smile, a kind hint, a downright promise, dealt out to me from those in whom I had placed some silly hopes, now and then brought a little refreshment; but that never lasted, and to say nothing of the agony of being reduced to talk of one's misfortunes and one's wants, and that basest, lowest of all conditions, the slavery of borrowing, to support an idle useless being, my time for those three years was unhappy beyond description. What would I have given then for a profession! How often did I accuse my father's ignorance of the world! My Greek and my wit, my Italian and my dancing, even my laborious disagreeable study of Grotius and the Treaties, were now of no use to me. In this wretched situation, retired eighteen miles from London into an obscure village, in debt to tailors, butchers, drapers, and chandlers' shops, one fine morning I received a letter from a school-fellow, whom I loved from my soul, acquainting me that he had the day before kissed the king's hand for a very great employment, and desiring me to come to town, and to consider which of the considerable places he now had to bestow would be most agreeable to me, that he might put me into possession of it immediately. Guess at my joy and gratitude; I can express neither, any more than my grief, except by the tears which are now in my eyes, because that friend is no more.
His love and my good fortune were so great, that he overlooked my untitness for any place under him (from my ignorance of the