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Fables of Flora. In this, although he claimed too hastily the merit of combining for the first time imagery, description, and sentiment, yet he has certainly enlarged the province of fable, and given proof of a wide range of imagination. It cannot however be denied, that the moral is not always sufficiently pointed, that the style is too much ornamented, and the general cast of sentiment too obscure, for the persons in whose hauds fables are usually placed. In answer to the objection made to the language of flowers, his son very justly remarks, that “imper. sonation may certainly be applied with as much reason to the vegetable as to the animal creation, if the characteristic attributes of each plant or flower are faithfully marked, and the unity of the fable is maintained."
Towards the latter end of the year 1771, Dr. Langhorne went to reside for a few months at Potton in Bedfordshire, where he wrote his Origin of the Veil, which, however, was not published for some time after. In 1772, he paid a visit to his native country, and married a second wife, the daughter of — Thomson, esq. a magistrate near Brough, and soon after took her with him on a tour through part of France and Flanders, the scenery of which afforded new topics for his
Late iu the spring he returned to Blagden, where he was put into the commis. sion of the peace; and having considered the usual practice of the duties of that office, he imparted his sentiments on the subject in a species of didactic and satirical poem, entitled The Country Justice, in three parts, published in 1774, 1775, and 1777. This humane endeavour to plead the cause of the poor and wretched against oppression and neglect, does great honour to his feelings, which, indeed, in all his works, are on the side of benevolence and virtue. It is said to have been written in consequence of the suggestion, and as to facts, probably with the as. sistance, of Dr. Burn, the well-known author of a Digest of the Laws relating to Justices of the Peace.--In 1773, Dr. Langhorne presented the public with a libe. ral translation of that part of Denina on the Ancient Republics of Italy, which contains the author's reflections on the admission of the Italian states to the fran. chises of Rome.
In 1776, he lost his second wife, who died like the former, in child-bed, fire years after her marriage, and left a daughter whom he consigned by his will to the protection of his friend, Mrs. Gillman. What impression this second interruption to domestic happiness produced on his mind, we are not told. In this year, how. ever, we find him again employing the press in a Translation of Milton's Italian Sonnets, and on two occasional servions. In 1777, at the request of the Bouverie family (who highly respected Dr. Langhorne), Dr. Moss, bishop of Bath and Wells, presented him with a prebend in the cathedral of Wells.
His last production was the tale of Owen of Carron, which, with some beauties, has less of his usual energy and vigour: it is uncertain whether this was owing to the nature of the poem, in which he conceived it necessary to imitate the ballad simplicity, or to a languor of body and mind. The death of the right hon. Charles Yorke, from whom he had great expectations, is said to have made a
• The author's object in this publication is not very obvious. In our days it might be of more importance to discuss the question, by what means the Romans acquired their superiority and were enabled to extend their conquests?" C.
Jasting impression on him, but as Mr. Yorke died in 1770, this' seems wholly improbable.
His biographer passes over his last days without notice of his situation or em. ployments. We are merely told that he died on April 1, 1779, in the forty-fifth year of his age.
In 1804, his son published an edition of his poems, in two elegant volumes 12mo. with memoirs of the Author. To these I am indebted for the principal part of this sketch.
If we may judge from his writings, Dr. Langhorne was a man of an amiable disposition, a friend to religion and morals, and though a wit, he never descends to grossness or indelicacy. His memory has not been followed by any worse ob. jection than that he was of a social turn, and during the latter part of his life more addicted to convivial indulgences than is consistent with health. This, how. ever, is a serious objection, and not much lessened by the supposition that he was driven to this unhappy species of relief by having twice lost the chief source of domestic happiness.
Incidental notice having been already taken of many of his pieces, it will not be necessary to enlarge on the subject in this place. Easo, elegance, and tender- . ness, are the most striking features of his poetry: nor is he deficient in invention ; an attentive perusal will discover many original sentiments, and spirited Aights, which the critics of his day pointed out with high praise. He is very seldom a co. pyist; his style and his sentiments, whatever their merit, are his own.
His prose works are various enough to convince us that he was either a labo. rious writer, or possessed of great fertility of imagination, and the latter will pro. bably be the safest conjecture. But, although a scholar of high attainments, he has rarely brought learning to his aid. His mind was stored with remarks on men and manners, which he expressed in various and desultory modes, so as to give an air of novelty to every thing he wrote, but we find nothing very profound. He appeared so frequently before the public as to secure a considerable degree of fame; what he announced was expected with eagerness, and what he published was read with pleasure ; but as his abilities were confined to the lighter provinces of literature, there are few of his productions which will be honoured by permanent popularity.
DR. JOHN LANGHORNE.
TO THE REV. MR. J. LANGHORNE, ON READING HIS For thee may Fame her fairest chaplets twine; Visions of FANCY, &c.
Each fragrant bloom that paints Aonia's BY MISS WHATELEY.
Each flow'r, that blows by Alcidale, be thine ; Fraught with each wish the friendly breast can With the chaste laurel's never-fading boughi. form,
On thee may faithful friendship's cordial smile, A simple Muse, O! Langhorne, would intrude;
Attendant wait to sooth each rising care ; Her lays are languid, but her heart is warm, Though not with Fancy's potent powers endu’d. T'be nymph thou lov'st be thine devoid of guile,
Mild, virtuous, kind, compassionate, and fair. Fancy, though erst she shed a glimmering ray,
May thy sweet lyre still charm the generous And op'd to fairy scenes my infant eye,
mind, Trom Pain and Care, has wing'd her cheerful
Thy liberal Muse the patriot spirit raise ; way,
While, in thy page to latest time consign'd, And with Hygeia sought a milder sky.
Virtue receives the meed of polish'd praise., No more my trembling hand attempts the lyre, Which Shenstune oft (sweet bard) has deign'd
to praise; Even tuneful Langhorne's friendship fails t'inspire SONNET' TO MR. LANGHORNE. The glow that warm'd my breast in happier days.
BY JOHN SCOTT, ESQ. Yet not this cold heart can remain onmov'd, Languorne, unknown to me (sequester'd swain!) When thy sweet numbers strike my raptur'd
Save by the Muse's soul-enchanting lay, The silver sounds, by ev'ry Muse approv'd, Cear; To kindred spirits never sung in vain, Suspend a while the melancholy tear.
Accept the tribute of this light essay; What time, on Arrowe's osier'd banks reclin'd,
Due for thy sweet songs that amus'd my day! I to the pale Moon pour'd thy plaintive lay;
Where Fancy held her visionary reign, (strain Smooth roll'd the waves, more gently sigh'd the Or Scotland's honours claim'd the pastoral wind,
Or Music came o'er Handel tears to pay: And Echo stole the tender notes away.
For all thy Irwan's flow'ry banks display Sweet Elves and Pays, that o'er the shadowy Thy Persian lover and his Indian fair; plains
All Theodosius' mournful lines convey, Their mystic rites and mazy dance pursue, Where Pride and Av'rice part a matchless Tun'd their light minstrelsy to softer straius,
pair; And from thy lays their melting music drew. Receive just praise and wreaths that ne'er decay, Sweet son of Fancy! may the white-rob’d Hours By Fame and Virtue twiu'd for thee to wear.
Shed their kind influence on thy gentle breast; | Amwell, near Ware, May Hebe strew thy vernal path with flow'rs,
16 Diarch, 1766. Elest in thy love, and in thy friendship blest. Sinocth as thy numbers may tby years advance, Pale Care and Pain their speeding darts sus- TO THE HON, CHARLES YORKE,
pend; May Health, and Fancy, lead the cheerful dance, Ac Muse that lov'd in Nature's walks to stray,
And Hope for ever her fair torch extend. And gather'd many a wild flower in her way,
To Nature's friend her genuine gifts would bring, Thee, thee I find, in all I find to please ;
Where Studley triumphs in her wreaths of If pure her incense, and unmixt her flame.
green, She pours po flattery into Folly's ear,
And pleas'd for once, while Eden smiles again, No shameless bireling of a shameless peer, Forget that life's inheritance is pain. The friends of Pope indulge her native lays, Say, shall we muse along yon arching shades, And Gloucester joins with Lyttelton to praise. Whose awful gloom no brightening ray pervades; Each judge of art her strain, though artless, Or down these vales where vernal flowers display loves;
(proves. Their golden bosoms to the smiles of day; And Shepstone smil'd, and polish'd Hurd ap- Where the fond eye in sweet distraction straps. O may such spirits long protect my page, Most pleas'd, when most it knows not where to Surviving lights of wit's departed age !
gaze? Long may l in their kind opinion live!
Here groves arrang'd in various order rise, All meaner praise, all envy, I forgive. - And blend their quiv'ring summits in the skies. Yet fairly be my future laurels won!
The regal oak high o'er the circling sbade,
The fir that blooms in Spring's eternal prime,
Here moss-clad walks, there lawns of lively
United, form one nicely-varying scene :
The varying scene still charisth'attentive sight,
Or brown with shades, or op'ning into light. Ix Eden'st vale, where early fancy wrought Here the gay tenants of the tuneful grove, Her wild embroidery on the ground of thought, Harmonious breathe the raptures of their love : Where Pembroke's? grottos, strew'd with Sidney's Each warbler sweet that hails the genial Spring, bays,
Tunes the glad song, and plies th' expanded Recall’d the dreams of visionary days, [youth,
wing: Thus the fond Muse, that sooth'd my vacant The love-suggested notes in varied strains, Prophetic sung, and what she sung was truth. Fly round the vocal hills and list'ning plains : “Boy, break thy lyre, and cast thy reed The vocal hills and list’ning plains prolong away ;
In varied strains the love-suggested song. Vain are the honours of the fruitless bay. To thee, all-bounteous Nature! thee they pay Though with each charm thy polish'd lay should | The welcome tribute of their grateful lay! please,
To thee, whose kindly-studious hand prepares Glow into strength, yet soften into ease; The fresh’ning fields and softly-breathing airs; Should Attic fancy brighten ev'ry line,
Whose parent-bounty annual still provides And all Aonia's harmony be thine ;
Of foodful insects such unbounded tides. Say would thy cares a grateful age repay, Beneath some friendly leaf supremely blest, Fame wreathe thy brows, or Fortune gild thy Each pours at large the raptures of his breast :
Nor changeful seasons mourn, nor storins unkind, Ev'n her own fools, if Fortune smile, shall blame; With those contented, and to these resign’d. And Envy lurks beneath the flowers of Fame. Here sprightly range the grove, or skim the " Yet, if resolv’d, secure of future praise,
plain, To tune sweet songs, and live melodious days, The sportive deer, a nicely-checker'd train. Let not the hand, that decks my holy shrine, Oft near their baunt, on him who curious strays, Round Folly's head the blasted laurel twine. All throng'd abreast in fix'd attention gaze; Just to thyself, dishonest grandeur scorn; Th’ intruding spy suspiciously survey, Nor gild the bust of meanness nobly born. Then butting limp along, and lightly frisk away. Let truth, let freedom still thy lays approve! Not so, when raves the pack's approaching Respect my precepts, and retain my love!"
roar, Then lores endear, then Nature smiles no more: In wild amaze, all tremblingly-dismay'd,
Burst through the groves, and bound along the STUDLEY PARK.
'Till now some destiu'd stag, prepard to fly, TO THE REV. MR. FARRAR.
Fires all the malice of the murd'ring cry: Farrar! to thee these early lays I owe : Forc'd from his helpless mates the fated prey Thy friendship warms the heart from whence Bears on the wings of quiv'ring fear away: they flow.
In flight (ah! could his matchless flight avail!)
Scorns the fierce steed, and leaves the flying gale. 1 The river Eden, in Westmorland.
Now trembling stops--and listens from afar, 2 The countess of Pembroke, to whom sir In long, long deep'ning howls, the madd’ning war; Philip Sidney dedicated his Arcadia, resided at
While loud-exulting triumphs thunder round, Appleby, a small but beautiful town in Westmor-Tremble the mountains, and the rocks rebound. land, situated upon the Eden.