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day, who engaged in political controversy, and employed their pens either for or against the administration. On the side of the opposition, was Robert Lloyd, a man of genius, who died early in life, but not until he had distinguished himself by a taste for poetry. He attacked the ministers, however, by means of prose, in which he was less skilled: but the deadly enmities arising out of domestic feuds were but little suitable to a mind possessed of great sensibility, and addicted to the cultivation of the muses. He accordingly perished, amidst the conflicts of political hostility, after having engaged for some time as a writer against the court, and that, too, at a period, and in a cause, when even the necessaries of life were not always secured by his literary labours.
Charles Churchill, had already rendered himself celebrated as a satirist, by the publication of the "Rosciad," in which he lashed many of the heroes of the green room, with far better success, than those he was afterwards pleased to denominate the enemies of the state. He also derived more popularity from the "Prophecy of Famine," which gratified the ruling propensity of the English of that day, towards national prejudice, than by any of his political papers. Mr. Churchill heartily joined in depreciating
the peace of Paris; and, under the names of the " Thane," and "Mortimer," was equally eager in his abuse of the earl of Bute, both in prose and rhime.
Mr. Wilkes may be considered one of the most successful writers of those times, on the popular side of the question. The well merited applause of the first Mr. Pitt had taught him, in early life, to set a high value on his own talents. A good education inspired him with a classical taste, while an association with the best company gave a polish to his wit, which, in its turn, transferred an edge and keenness to his writings, that none of his antagonists could cope with, and but few, for any length of time,withstand.
Philip Thicknesse, so famous afterwards for his travels and his eccentricities, had been an officer in his youth, and afterwards obtained the appointment of lieutenant-governor of Landguard Fort. He wrote on the same side, under the patronage of that great and good man, the first lord Camden, and, with several others, became proprietors of the Middlesex Journal, for the express purpose of using it as a vehicle of attack against the administration of that day.
While these, and a host of anonymous writers, abused every measure of the court with indiscriminate severity, they themselves were occasionally
assailed by the attorney-general, who, by means of ex-officio informations, which precluded the întervention of a grand jury, brought down ruin and misery on their devoted heads. In addition to this, their positions were combated, their facts questioned, and their conclusions denied, by a number of able and experienced writers; and it is no small proof of the utility, as well as excellence of our constitution, that both parties, on this, as on all similar occasions, affected to appeal to the judgment and decision of the people thus rendering public liberty more secure by their very contentions *.
Of the latter, Dr. Tobias Smollet, a Scotchman of some eminence, and possessed of various attainments, had acquired considerable celebrity by his novels, in which the scenes were sometimes indelicate, and the aim not always liberal. The reputation thus obtained by fiction was, in some measure, destroyed when he attempted to delineate facts; for he wrote a history of England, without studiously investigating ancient authorities, or carefully analysing the motives of human action. But he was a man, who, to a high sense of honour, is said to have added considerable talents, and only wanted that leisure and opportunity, which * Ex pugna monstrorum, libertas:
wealth alone affords, to excel in every branch of science. Having, unhappily, relinquished the profession of medicine, he dipped his pen in the gall of party-politics, and died in Italy, at the age of fifty, after experiencing all the infelicity but too frequently attendant on men of genius.
Dr. Francis, the translator of Horace and Demosthenes, who embarked in the same cause, proved more fortunate. He was patronised by lord Holland, who obtained for him a creditable rather than profitable appointment in Chelsea Hospital: but he was enabled to make a splendid provision for his son Philip, now a knight of the bath, who, after distinguishing himself during Mr. Hastings's administration in the East, adopted a different side in politics, and whose talents, great, various, and commanding, have been of late unfortunately lost to his native country in the obscurity of private life.
Mr. Malloch, who, for the sake of musical cadence, had changed his name to Mallet, was a native of the north. He had written a life of Bacon, in which he is accused of having forgotten that his author was a philosopher; but he obtained some celebrity by being associated with his countryman, Thomson, in composing
the "Masque of Alfred," for the entertainment of the little court at Leicester House, during a period when it affected popularity. He was also honoured with the friendship of Pope, Swift, and Bolingbroke, the last of whom bequeathed to him his posthumous works—a circumstance that produced the bitter and sarcastic remark, from the pen of the orthodox Dr. Johnson, "that a late nobleman had charged a blunderbuss, with all manner of combustibles, against the human race, and that he dared not let it off himself, but had hired a rascal to pull the trigger."
Arthur Murphy, like Dr. Francis, was from Ireland; and, like Smollet, was generally embarrassed in respect to his finances. By turns, an actor, a barrister, a dramatic writer, and a translator, he conducted a periodical work, in opposition to the "North Briton," with but equivocal success. He, too, was patronised by lord Holland, and occasionally paid for his labours by means of a commission*.
* The author learned this circumstance from Mr. Murphy himself, who, at the same time, told him, that having sold, to the son of a pawnbroker, an ensigncy in the late duke of Richmond's regiment, that nobleman attempted to trace the fact home to his brother-in-law, with whom he was then on bad terms; and added, that this event gave rise to the