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sublimity and splendour. This idea which he once delighted to converse, and whom I yet rehad formed of excellence led him to oriental fic-member with tenderness.

tions and allegorical imagery, and perhaps, while He was visited at Chichester, in his last illhe was intent upon description, he did not suffi-ness, by his learned friends Dr. Warton and his ciently cultivate sentiment. His poems are the brother, to whom he spoke with disapprobation production of a mind not deficient in fire, nor of his Oriental Eclogues, as not sufficiently exunfurnished with knowledge either of books or pressive of Asiatic manners, and called them his life, but somewhat obstructed in its progress by Irish Eclogues. He showed them, at the same deviation in quest of mistaken beauties. time, an ode inscribed to Mr. John Hume, on the superstitions of the Highlands; which they thought superior to his other works, but which no search has yet found.*

"His morals were pure, and his opinions pious: in a long continuance of poverty, and long habits of dissipation, it cannot be expected that any character should be exactly uniform. There is a degree of want by which the freedom of agency is almost destroyed; and long association with fortuitous companions will at last relax the strictness of truth, and abate the fervour of sincerity. That this man, wise and virtuous as he was, passed almost unentangled through the snares of life, it would be prejudice and temerity to affirm; but it may be said that at least he preserved the source of action unpolluted, that his principles were never shaken, that his distinctions of right and wrong were never confounded, and that his faults had nothing of malignity or design, but proceeded from some unexpected pressure, or casual temptation. "The latter part of his life cannot be remembered but with pity and sadness. He languished some years under that depression of mind which enchains the faculties without destroying them, and leaves reason the knowledge of right without the power of pursuing it. These clouds which he perceived gathering on his intellects, he endeavoured to disperse by travel, and passed into France; but found himself constrained to yield to his malady, and returned. He was for some time confined in a house of lunatics, and afterwards retired to the care of his sister in Chichester, where death, in 1756, came to his relief. "After his return from France, the writer of this character paid him a visit at Islington, where he was waiting for his sister, whom he had directed to meet him: there was then nothing of disorder discernible in his mind by any but himself; but he had withdrawn from study, and travelled with no other book than an English Testament, such as children carry to the school: when his friend took it into his hand, out of curiosity to see what companion a man of letters had chosen, 'I have but one book,' said Collins, 'but that is the best.""

Such was the fate of Collins, with whom I

His disorder was not alienation of mind, but general laxity and feebleness, a deficiency rather of his vital than his intellectual powers. What he spoke wanted neither judgment nor spirit; but a few minutes exhausted him, so that he was forced to rest upon the couch, till a short cessation restored his powers, and he was again able to talk with his former vigour.

The approaches of this dreadful malady he began to feel soon after his uncle's death; and, with the usual weakness of men so diseased, he eagerly snatched that temporary relief with which the table and the bottle flatter and seduce. But his health continually declined, and he grew more and more burdensome to himself.

To what I have formerly said of his writings may be added, that his diction was often harsh, unskilfully laboured, and injudiciously selected. He affected the obsolete when it was not worthy of revival; and he puts his words out of the common order, seeming to think, with some later candidates for fame, that not to write prose is certainly to write poetry. His lines commonly are of slow motion, clogged and impeded with clusters of consonants. As men are often esteemed who cannot be loved, so the poetry of Collins may sometimes extort praise when it gives little pleasure.

Mr. Collins's first production is added here from the "Poetical Calendar."


Cease, fair Aurelia, cease to mourn;
Lament not Hannah's happy state,
You may be happy in your turn,

And seize the treasure you regret.
With love united Hymen stands,


And softly whispers to your charms, "Meet but your lover in my bands, You'll find your sister in his arms."

* It is printed in the late Collection.-R.

JOHN DYER, of whom I have no other account the care of Dr. Freind, and was then called home to give than his own letters, published with to be instructed in his father's profession. But Hughes's correspondence, and the notes added his father died soon, and he took no delight in by the editor, have afforded me, was born in the study of the law; but, having always amused 1700, the second son of Robert Dyer, of Aber- himself with drawing, resolved to turn painter, glasney in Caermarthenshire, a solicitor of great and became pupil to Mr. Richardson, an artist capacity and note. then of high reputation, but now better known He passed through Westminster-school under by his books than by his pictures.

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If his poem was written soon after his return, he did not make much use of his acquisitions in painting, whatever they might be: for decline of health and love of study determined him to the church. He therefore entered into orders; and, it seems, married about the same time, a lady of the name of Ensor; "whose grandmother," says he, "was a Shakspeare descended from a brother of every body's Shakspeare;" by her, in 1756, he had a son and three daughters living.

to require an elaborate criticism. "Grongar Hill" is the happiest of his productions: it is not indeed very accurately written; but the scenes which it displays are so pleasing, the images which they raise are so welcome to the mind, and the reflections of the writer so consonant to the general sense or experience of mankind, that when it is once read, it will be read again.

He did indeed long survive that publica-
tion, nor long enjoy the increase of his
ments; for in 1758 he died.

Dyer is not a poet of bulk or dignity sufficient
July 24th.-C.

The idea of "The Ruins of Rome" strikes more, but pleases less, and the title raises greater expectation than the performance gratifies. Some passages however, are conceived with the mind of a poet; as when, in the neighbourhood of dilapidating edifices, he says,

-The pilgrim oft

At dead of night, 'mid his orizons, hears
Aghast the voice of time, disparting tow'r,
Tumbling all precipitate, down dash'd,
Rattling around, loud thundering to the moon.

Of "The Fleece," which never became poHis ecclesiastical provision was for a long pular, and is now universally neglected, I can time but slender. His first patron, Mr. Harper, say little that is likely to recall it to attention. gave him, in 1741, Calthorp, in Leicestershire, The woolcomber and the poet appear to me of eighty pounds a year, on which he lived ten such discordant natures, that an attempt to years, and then exchanged it for Belchford, in bring them together is to couple the serpent with Lincolnshire, of seventy-five. His condition the fowl. When Dyer, whose mind was not now began to mend. In 1751, Sir John Heath- unpoetical, has done his utmost, by interesting cote gave him Coningsby, of one hundred and his reader in our native commodity, by interforty pounds a year; and in 1755, the Chancel-spersing rural imagery and incidental digreslor added Kirkby, of one hundred and ten. He sions, by clothing small images in great words, complains that the repair of the house at Co- and by all the writer's arts of delusion, the ningsby, and other expenses, took away the profit. meanness naturally adhering, and the irreveIn 1757, he published "The Fleece," his great-rence habitually annexed to trade and manufacest poetical work, of which I will not suppress a ture, sink him under insuperable oppression; ludicrous story. Dodsley, the bookseller, was and the disgust which blank verse, encumbering one day mentioning it to a critical visiter, with and encumbered, superadds to an unpleasing more expectation of success than the other could subject, soon repels the reader, however willing easily admit. In the conversation the Author's to be pleased. age was asked, and being represented as advanced in life, "He will," said the critic, "be

buried in woollen."

Let me however honestly report whatever may counterbalance this weight of censure. I have been told that Akenside, who, upon a poetical question, has a right to be heard, said, prefer-"That he would regulate his opinion of the reigning taste by the fate of Dyer's 'Fleece;' for, if that were ill-received, he should_not think it any longer reasonable to expect fame from excellence."


WILLIAM SHENSTONE, the son of Thomas | poem of "The School-Mistress" has delivered Shenstone and Anne Pen, was born in Novem-to posterity; and soon received such delight ber, 1714, at the Leasowes in Hales-Owen, one from books, that he was always calling for fresh of those insulated districts which, in the division entertainment, and expected that, when any of of the kingdom, was appended, for some reason the family went to market, a new book should not now discoverable, to a distant county; and be brought him, which, when it came, was in which, though surrounded by Warwickshire and fondness carried to bed and laid by him. It is Worcestershire, belongs to Shropshire, though said, that when his request had been neglected, perhaps thirty miles distant from any other part his mother wrapt up a piece of wood of the same of it. form, and pacified him for the night.

He learned to read of an old dame whom his

As he grew older he went for a while to the

on the

Grammar School, in Hales-Owen, and was like all other modes of felicity, it was not enplaced afterwards with Mr. Crumpton, an emi-joyed without its abatements. Lyttelton was nent schoolmaster, at Solihul, where he dis- his neighbour and his rival, whose empire, spatinguished himself by the quickness of his pro- cious and opulent, looked with disda gress. petty state that appeared behind it. For a while the inhabitants of Hagley affected to tell their acquaintance of the little fellow that was trying to make himself admired; but when by degrees the Leasowes forced themselves into notice, they took care to defeat the curiosity which they could not suppress, by conducting their visitants perversely to inconvenient points of view, and introducing them at the wrong end of a walk to detect a deception; injuries of which Shenstone would heavily complain. Where there is emulation there will be vanity; and where there is vanity there will be folly.*

The pleasure of Shenstone was all in his eye; he valued what he valued merely for its looks: nothing raised his indignation more than to ask if there were any fishes in his water.

His house was mean, and he did not improve it; his care was of his grounds. When he came home from his walks he might find his floors flooded by a shower through the broken roof; but could spare no money for its repa

When he was young (June, 1724) he was deprived of his father, and soon after (August, 1726) of his grandfather, and was, with his brother, who died afterwards unmarried, left to the care of his grandmother, who managed the


From school he was sent in 1732 to Pembroke College, in Oxford, a society which for half a century has been eminent for English Poetry and elegant literature. Here it appears that he found delight and advantage; for he continued his name in the book ten years, though he took no degree. After the first four years, he put on the civilian's gown, but without showing any intention to engage in the profession.

About the time when he went to Oxford, the death of his grandmother devolved his affairs to the care of the Reverend Mr. Dolman, of Brome, in Staffordshire, whose attention he always mentioned with gratitude.

At Oxford he employed himself upon English poetry; and in 1737 published a small miscel-ration. lany without his name.

He then for a time wandered about, to acquaint himself with life, and was sometimes at London, sometimes at Bath, or any other place of public resort; but he did not forget his poetry. He published in 1741 his "Judgment of Hercules," addressed to Mr. Lyttelton, whose interest he supported with great warmth at an election: this was next year followed by "The School-Mistress."

Mr. Dolman, to whose care he was indebted for his ease and leisure, died in 1745, and the care of his own fortune now fell upon him. He tried to escape it a while, and lived at his house with his tenants who were distantly related: but finding that imperfect possession inconvenient he took the whole estate into his own hands, more to the improvement of its beauty, than the increase of its produce,

In time his expenses brought clamours about him, that overpowered the lamb's bleat and the linnet's song; and his groves were haunted by beings very different from fawns and fairies.† He spent his estate in adorning it, and his death was probably hastened by his anxieties. He was a lamp that spent its oil in blazing. It is said, that, if he had lived a little longer, he would have been assisted by a pension: such bounty could not have been ever more properly bestowed; but that it was ever asked is not certain; it is too certain that it never was enjoyed.

He died at the Leasowes, of a putrid fever, about five on Friday morning, February 11, 1763; and was buried by the side of his brother in the churchyard of Hales-Owen.

He was never married, though he might have obtained the lady, whoever she was, to whom his "Pastoral Ballad" was addressed. He is represented by his friend Dodsley as a man of great tenderness and generosity, kind to all that were

Now was excited his delight in rural pleasures and his ambition of rural elegance: he began from this time to point his prospects, to diversify his surface, to entangle his walks, and to wind his waters; which he did with such This charge against the Lyttelton family has been judgment and such fancy, as made his little do- denied with some degree of warmth by Mr. Potter, and main the envy of the great, and the admiration the case, I believe, was, that the Lyttelton family went since by Mr. Graves. The latter says, "The truth of of the skilful; a place to be visited by travellers, so frequently with their family to the Leasowes, that they and copied by designers. Whether to plant a were unwilling to break in upon Mr. Shenstone's retirewalk in undulating curves, and to place a benchment on every occasion, and therefore often went to the conduct them regularly through the whole walks. Of principal points of view without waiting for any one to this Mr. Shenstone would sometimes peevishly com plain: though, I am persuaded, he never really suspected any ill-natured intention in his worthy and much-valued

neighbours."- ·R.

at every turn where there is an object to catch the view; to make water run where it will be heard, and to stagnate where it will be seen; to leave intervals where the eye will be pleased, and to thicken the plantation where there is Mr. Graves, however, expresses his belief that this something to be hidden; demand any great is a groundless surmise. "Mr. Shenstone," he adds, powers of mind, I will not inquire: perhaps a "was too much respected in the neighbourhood to be surly and sullen spectator may think such per- as they were managed,) added to his manner of living, treated with rudeness; and though his works, (frugally formances rather the sport than the business of must necessarily have made him exceed his income, and, human reason. But it must be at least confessed, of course, he might sometimes be distressed for money, that to embellish the form of Nature is an inno-yet he had too much spirit to expose himself to insults cent amusement; and some praise must be tress, by anticipating a few hundreds: which his estate from trifling sums, and guarded against any great disallowed, by the most supercilious observer, to could very well bear, as appeared by what remained to him who does best what such multitudes are legacies to his friends, and annuities of thirty pounds a his executors after the payment of his debts, and his contending to do well.

This praise was the praise of Shenstone; but,

year to one servant, and six pounds to another; for his will was dictated with equal justice and generosity.”—R.

within his influence; but if once offended, not| But the four parts of his "Pastoral Ballad " easily appeased: inattentive to economy, and demand particular notice. I cannot but regret careless of his expenses. In his person he was that it is pastoral; an intelligent reader, acquaintlarger than the middle size, with something clum-ed with the scenes of real life, sickens at the sy in his form; very negligent of his clothes, and mention of the crook, the pipe, the sheep, and the remarkable for wearing his gray hair in a particu- kids, which it is not necessary to bring forward to lar manner; for he held that the fashion was no notice, for the poet's art is selection, and he ought rule of dress, and that every man was to suit his to show the beauties without the grossness of the appearance to his natural form.* country life. His stanza seems to have been chosen in imitation of Rowe's "Despairing Shepherd."

In the first part are two passages, to which if any mind denies its sympathy, it has no acquaintance with love or nature.

His mind was not very comprehensive, nor his curiosity active; he had no value for those parts of knowledge which he had not himself cultivated.

His life was unstained by any crime; the Elegy on Jesse, which has been supposed to relate an unfortunate and criminal amour of his own, was known by his friends to have been suggested by the story of Miss Godfrey, in Richardson's "Pamela."

What Gray thought of his character, from the perusal of his letters, was this:

"I have read too an octavo volume of Shenstone's Letters. Poor man! he was always wishing for money, for fame, and other distinctions; and his whole philosophy consisted in living against his will in retirement, and in a place which his taste had adorned, but which he only enjoyed when people of note came to see and commend it; his correspondence is about nothing else but this place and his own writings, with two or three neighbouring clergymen, who wrote verses too."

I priz'd every hour that went by,
Beyond all that had pleas'd me before;
But now they are past, and I sigh,

And I grieve that I priz'd them no more.
When forc'd the fair nymph to forego,

What anguish I felt in my heart!
Yet I thought (but it might not be so)
'Twas with pain that she saw me depart.
She gaz'd, as I slowly withdrew,

My path I could hardly discern;

So sweetly she bade me adieu,

I thought that she bade me return.

In the second this passage has its prettiness, though it be not equal to the former :

"These,” says Mr. Graves, "were not precisely his sentiments, though he thought right enough, that every one should, in some degree, consult his particular shape and complexion in adjusting his dress; and that no fashion ought to sanctify what was ungraceful, absurd, or really deformed."

I have found out a gift for my fair;

I have found where the wood-pigeons breed;
But let me that plunder forbear,

She will say 'twas a barbarous deed:
For he ne'er could be true, she averr'd,
Who could rob a poor bird of its young;
And I lov'd her the more when I heard
Such tenderness fall from her tongue.

His poems consist of elegies, odes, and ballads, humorous sallies, and moral pieces.

His conception of an elegy he has in his pre-amorous poetry with some address:— face very judiciously and discriminately explained. It is, according to his account, the effusion of a contemplative mind, sometimes plaintive, and always serious, and therefore superior to the glitter of slight ornaments. His compositions suit not ill to this description. His topics of praise are the domestic virtues, and his thoughts are pure and simple; but, wanting combination, they want variety. The peace of solitude, the innocence of inactivity, and the unenvied security of an humble station, can fill but a few pages. That of which the essence is uniformity will be soon described. His elegies have therefore too much resemblance of each other.

In the third he mentions the common-places of

'Tis his with mock-passions to glow!
'Tis his in smooth tales to unfold,
How her face is as bright as the snow,
And her bosom, be sure, is as cold;
How the nightingales labour the strain,
With the notes of this charmer to vie
How they vary their accents in vain,
Repine at her triumphs, and die.

In the fourth I find nothing better than this natural strain of Hope:

Alas from the day that we met,
What hope of an end to my woes,
When I cannot endure to forget

The glance that undid my repose?
Yet Time may diminish the pain:

The flow'r, and the shrub, and the tree,
Which I rear'd for her pleasure in vain,
In time may have comfort for me.

The lines are sometimes such as elegy requires, sinooth and easy; but to this praise his claim is not constant; his diction is often harsh, improper, and affected; his words ill-coined, or ill-chosen; and his phrase unskilfully inverted.

His Levities are by their title exempted from the severities of criticism; yet it may be remark ed in a few words, that his humour is sometimes gross, and seldom sprightly.

Of the moral poems, the first is "The Choice of Hercules," from Xenophon. The numbers are smooth, the diction elegant, and the thoughts just; but something of vigour is still to be wish

The lyric poems are almost all of the light and airy kind, such as trip lightly and nimbly along, without the load of any weighty meaning. From these, however, Rural Elegance has some right to be excepted. I once heard it praised by a very learned lady; and though the lines are irregular, and the thoughts diffused with too much verbosi-ed, which it might have had by brevity and comty, yet it cannot be denied to contain both philo- pression. His "Fate of Delicacy" has an air sophical argument and poetical spirit. of gayety, but not a very pointed and general moral. His blank verses, those that can read them may probably find to be like the blank verses of his neighbours. "Love and Honour" is derived from the old ballad, "Did you not hear of a Spanish Lady?"—I wish it well enough to wish it were in rhyme.

Of the rest I cannot think any excellent: "The Skylark" pleases me best, which has, however, more of the epigram than of the ode.

"The School-Mistress," of which I know not what claim it has to stand among the moral works, is surely the most pleasant of Shenstone's

performances. The adoption of a particular style, in light and short compositions, contributes much to the increase of pleasure; we are entertained at once with two imitations, of nature in the sentiments, of the original author in the style; and between them the mind is kept in perpetual employment.


THE following life was written, at my request, by a gentleman who had better information than I could easily have obtained; and the public will perhaps wish that I had solicited and tained more such favours from him.*

upon breach upon us, and has now carried away the head of this body with a stroke; so that he, whom you saw a week ago distributing the holy ob-mysteries, is now laid in the dust. But he still lives in the many excellent directions he has left us, both how to live and how to die."

The general recommendation of Shenstone is easiness and simplicity; his general defect is want of comprehension and variety. Had his mind been better stored with knowledge, whether he could have been great, I know not; he could certainly have been agreeable.


"In consequence of our different conversations about authentic materials for the life of Young, I send you the following detail.

"Of great men, something must always be said to gratify curiosity. Of the illustrious Author of the "Night Thoughts" much has been told of which there never could have been proofs; and little care appears to have been taken to tell that, of which proofs, with little trouble, might have been procured."

EDWARD YOUNG was born at Upham, near Winchester, in June, 1681. He was the son of Edward Young, at that time fellow of Winchester College and rector of Upham; who was the son of Jo. Young, of Woodhay, in Berkshire, styled by Wood, gentleman. In September, 1682, the Poet's father was collated to the prebend of Gillingham Minor, in the church of Sarum, by Bishop Ward. When Ward's faculties were impaired through age, his duties were necessarily performed by others. We learn from Wood, that at a visitation of Sprat's, July the 12th, 1686, the prebendary preached a Latin sermon, afterwards published, with which the bishop was so pleased, that he told the chapter he was concerned to find the preacher had one of the worst prebends in their church. Some time after this, in consequence of his merit and reputation, or of the interest of Lord Bradford, to whom, in 1702, he dedicated two volumes of sermons, he was appointed chaplain to King William and Queen Mary, and preferred to the deanery of Sarum. Jacob, who wrote in 1720, says, "he was chaplain and clerk of the closet to the late queen, who honoured him by standing godmother to the Poet." His fellowship of Winchester he resigned in favour of a gentleman of the name of Harris, who married his only daughter. The Dean died at Sarum, after a short illness, in 1705, in the sixty-third year of his age. On the Sunday after his decease Bishop Burnet preached at the cathedral, and began his sermon with saying, "Death has been of late walking round us, and making breach

* See Gent. Mag. vol. ixx. p. 225.--N.

The Dean placed his son upon the foundation at Winchester College, where he had himself been educated. At this school Edward Young remained till the election after his eighteenth birthday, the period at which those upon the foundation are superannuated. Whether he did not betray his abilities early in life, or his masters had not skill enough to discover in their pupil any marks of genius for which he merited reward, or no vacancy at Oxford offered them an opportunity to bestow upon him the reward provided for merit by William of Wykeham; certain it is, that to an Oxford fellowship our Poet did not succeed. By chance, or by choice, New College cannot claim the honour of numbering among its fellows him who wrote the "Night Thoughts."

On the 13th of October, 1703, he was entered an independent member of New College, that he might live at little expense in the warden's lodgings, who was a particular friend of his father's, till he should be qualified to stand for a fellowship at All Souls. In a few months the warden of New College died. He then removed to Corpus College. The president of this society, from regard also for his father, invited him thi ther, in order to lessen his academical expenses. In 1703, he was nominated to a law-fellowship at All Souls by Archbishop Tenison, into whose hands it came by devolution. Such repeated patronage, while it justifies Burnet's praise of the father, reflects credit on the conduct of the son: the manner in which it was exerted seems to prove that the father did not leave behind much wealth.

On the 23d of April, 1714, Young took his degree of bachelor of civil laws, and his doctor's degree on the 10th of June, 1719.

Soon after he went to Oxford, he discovered, it is said, an inclination for pupils. Whether he ever commenced tutor is not known. None has hitherto boasted to have received his acade mical instruction from the author of the "Night Thoughts."

It is probable that his College was proud of him no less as a scholar than as a poet; for, in 1716, when the foundation of the Codrington Library was laid, two years after he had taken

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