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preferments. Not long indeed after he took orders, he published in prose, 1728, "A true Estimate of Human Life," dedicated, notwithstanding the Latin quotations with which it abounds, to the Queen; and a sermon preached before the House of Commons, 1729, on the martyrdom of King Charles, intituled, "An Apology for Princes, or the Reverence due to Government." But the "Second Course," the counterpart of his "Estimate," without which it cannot be called "A true Estimate," though in 1728 it was announced as "soon to be published," never appeared; and his old friends the muses were not forgotten. In 1730, he relapsed to poetry, and sent into the world "Imperium Pelagi: a Naval Lyric, written in Imitation of Pindar's Spirit, ocasioned by his Majesty's Return from Hanover, September, 1729, and the succeeding Peace." It is inscribed to the Duke of Chandos. In the Preface we are told, that the ode is the most spirited kind of poetry, and that the Pindaric is the most spirited kind of ode. "This I speak," he adds, "with sufficient candour, at my own very great peril. But truth has an eternal title to our confession, though we are sure to suffer by it." Behold, again, the fairest of poets. Young's "Imperium Pelagi" was ridiculed in Fielding's "Tom Thumb ;" but, let us not forget that it was one of his pieces which the Author of the "Night Thoughts" deliberately refused to own.

Not long after this Pindaric attempt, he published Epistles to Pope, "concerning the Authors of the Age," 1730. Of these poems one occasion seems to have been an apprehension lest, from the liveliness of his satires, he should not be deemed sufficiently serious for promotion in the church.

In July, 1730, he was presented by his Col. lege to the rectory of Welwyn, in Hertfordshire. In May, 1731, he married Lady Elizabeth Lee, daughter of the Earl of Lichfield, and widow of Colonel Lee. His connexion with this lady arose from his father's acquaintance, already mentioned, with Lady Anne Wharton, who was coheiress of Sir Henry Lee of Ditchley, in Oxfordshire. Poetry had lately been taught by Addison to aspire to the arms of nobility, though not with extraordinary happiness.

We may naturally conclude that Young now gave himself up in some measure to the comforts of his new connexion, and to the expectations of that preferment which he thought due to his poetical talents, or, at least, to the manner in which they had so frequently been exerted.

The next production of his Muse was The Sea-piece, in two odes.

Young enjoys the credit of what is called an "Extempore Epigram on Voltaire;" who, when he was in England, ridiculed, in the company of the jealous English poet, Milton's allegory of "Sin and Death"

You are so witty, profligate, and thin,
At once we think thee Milton, Death, and Sin.

From the following passage in the poetical Dedication of his Sea-piece to Voltaire, it seems that this extemporaneous reproof, if it must be extemporaneous (for what few will now affirm Voltaire to have deserved any reproof) was something longer than a distich, and something more gentle than the distich just quoted.

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In a species of Poetry altogether his own, he next tried his skill, and succeeded.

Of his wife he was deprived 1741. Lady Elizabeth had lost, after her marriage with Young, an amiable daughter, by her former Temple, son of Lord Palmerston. Mr. Temple husband, just after she was married to Mr. did not long remain after his wife, though he was married a second time, to a daughter of Sir John Barnard's, whose son is the present peer. sidered as Philander and Narcissa. From the Mr. and Mrs. Temple have generally been congreat friendship which constantly subsisted between Mr. Temple and Young, as well as from other circumstances, it is probable that the Poet had both him and Mrs. Temple in view for these characters; though at the same time some passages respecting Philander do not appear to suit either Mr. Temple or any other person with whom Young was known to be connected or acquainted, while all the circumstances relating to Narcissa have been constantly found applicable to Young's daughter-in-law.

At what short intervals the Poet tells us he was wounded by the deaths of the three persons particularly lamented, none that has read "The Night Thoughts" (and who has not read them?) needs to be informed.

Insatiate Archer! could not one suffice? Thy shaft flew thrice; and thrice my peace was slain; And thrice, ere thrice yon moon had fill'd her horn. Yet how is it possible that Mr. and Mrs. Temple and Lady Elizabeth Young could be these three victims, over whom Young has hitherto been pitied for having to pour the

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"Midnight Sorrows" of his religious poetry; | almost his earliest poem, he calls her "the me-
Mrs. Temple died in 1736; Mr. Temple four lancholy maid,"
years afterwards, in 1740; and the Poet's wife
seven months after Mr. Temple, in 1741. How
could the insatiate Archer thrice slay his peace
in these three persons, "ere thrice the moon had
filled her horn?"

But in the short Preface to "The Complaint" he seriously tells us, "that the occasion of this poem was real, not fictitious; and that the facts mentioned did naturally pour these moral reflections on the thought of the writer." It is probable, therefore, that in these three contradictory lines the Poet complains more than the fatherin-law, the friend, or the widower.

Whatever names belong to these facts, or, if the names be those generally supposed, whatever heightening a poet's sorrow may have given the facts; to the sorrow Young felt from them, religion and morality are indebted for the "Night Thoughts." There is a pleasure sure in sadness which mourners only know!

Of these poems the two or three first have been perused perhaps more eagerly and more frequently than the rest. When he got as far as the fourth or fifth, his original motive for taking up the pen was answered; his grief was naturally either diminished or exhausted. We still find the same pious poet; but we hear less of Philander and Narcissa, and less of the mourner whom he loved to pity.

Mrs. Temple died of a consumption at Lyons, in her way to Nice, the year after her marriage; that is, when poetry relates the fact, "in her bridal hour." It is more than poetically true, that Young accompanied her to the Continent:

I flew, I snatch'd her from the rigid North,
And bore her nearer to the sun.

-Whom dismal scenes delight,
Frequent at tombs and in the realms of Night.

But in vain. Her funeral was attended with the difficulties painted in such animated colours in "Night the Third." After her death, the remainder of the party passed the ensuing winter at Nice.

In the prayer which concludes the second book
of the same poem, he says-

-Oh! permit the gloom of solemn night
To sacred thought may forcibly invite.
Oh! how divine to tread the milky way,
To the bright palace of Eternal Day!
When Young was writing a tragedy, Grafton
is said by Spence to have sent him a human
skull, with a candle in it, as a lamp; and the
Poet is reported to have used it.

What he calls "The true Estimate of Hu-
man Life," which has already been mentioned,
exhibits only the wrong side of the tapestry;
and, being asked why he did not show the right,
he is said to have replied, that he could not.
By others it has been told me that this was
finished; but that, before there existed any copy,
it was torn in pieces by a lady's monkey.

Still, is it altogether fair to dress up the Poet for the man, and to bring the gloominess of the "Night Thoughts" to prove the gloominess of Young, and to show that his genius, like the genius of Swift, was in some measure the sullen inspiration of discontent?

From them who answer in the affirmative it should not be concealed that, though Invisibilia non decipiunt appeared upon a deception in Young's grounds; and Ambulantes in horto audierunt vocem Dei on a building in his garden, his parish was indebted to the good humour of the Author of the "Night Thoughts" for an assembly and a bowling-green.

Whether you think with me I know not; but the famous De mortuis nil nisi bonum always appeared to me to savour more of female weakness than of manly reason. He that has too much feeling to speak ill of the dead, who if they cannot defend themselves, are at least ignorant of his abuse, will not hesitate by the most wanton The Poet seems perhaps in these compositions calumny to destroy the quiet, the reputation, to dwell with more melancholy on the death of the fortune of the living. Yet censure is not Philander and Narcissa, than of his wife. But heard beneath the tomb, any more than praise. it is only for this reason. He who runs and De mortuis nil nisi verum-De vivis nil nisi boreads may remember, that in the Night num-would approach much nearer to good Thoughts" Philander and Narcissa are often sense. After all, the few handfuls of remainmentioned and often lamented. To recollecting dust which once composed the body of the lamentations over the Author's wife, the memory Author of the "Night Thoughts," feel not much must have been charged with distinct passages. concern whether Young pass now for a man of This lady brought him one child, Frederick, to sorrow, or for a "fellow of infinite jest." To whom the Prince of Wales was godfather. this favour must come the whole family of Yorick. His immortal part, wherever that now dwells, is still less solicitous on this head.


But to a son of worth and sensibility it is of some little consequence whether contemporaries believe, and posterity be taught to believe, that his debauched and reprobate life cast a Stygian

That domestic grief is, in the first instance, to be thanked for these ornaments to our language, it is impossible to deny. Nor would it be common hardiness to contend, that worldly discontent had no hand in these joint productions of poetry and piety. Yet am I by no means sure that, at any rate, we should not have had some-gloom over the evening of his father's days, thing of the same colour from Young's pencil, saved him the trouble of feigning a character notwithstanding the liveliness of his satires. In completely detestable, and succeeded at last in so long a life, causes for discontent and occasions bringing his "gray hairs with sorrow to the for grief must have occurred. It is not clear to grave." me that his Muse was not sitting upon the watch for the first which happened. "Night Thoughts" were not uncommon to her, even when first she visited the Poet, and at a time when he himself was remarkable neither for gravity nor gloominess. In his "Last Day,"

The humanity of the world, little satisfied with inventing perhaps a melancholy disposition for the father, proceeds next to invent an argument in support of their invention, and chooses that Lorenzo should be Young's own son. The Biographia, and every account of Young, pretty

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roundly assert this to be the fact; of the abso-happened in May, 1731. Young's child was not lute possibility of which, the Biographia itself, born till June, 1733. In 1741, this Lorenzo, this in particular dates, contains undeniable evidence. finished infidel, this father to whose education Readers I know there are of a strange turn of Vice had for some years put the last hand, was mind, who will hereafter peruse the "Night only eight years old. Thoughts" with less satisfaction; who will wish they had still been deceived; who will quarrel with me for discovering that no such character as their Lorenzo ever yet disgraced human nature, or broke a father's heart. Yet would these admirers of the sublime and terrible be offended, should you set them down for cruel and for


Of this report, inhuman to the surviving son, if it be true, in proportion as the character of Lorenzo is diabolical, where are we to find the proof? Perhaps it is clear from the poems.

From the first line to the last of the "Night Thoughts" not one expression can be discover-vis ed which betrays any thing like the father. In the "Second Night" I find an expression which betrays something else; that Lorenzo was his friend; one, it is possible, of his former companions, one of the Duke of Wharton's set. The Poet styles him "gay friend;" an appellation not very natural from a pious incensed father to such a being as he paints Lorenzo, and that being his son.

In the "First Night," the address to the Poet's supposed son is,

Lorenzo, fortune makes her court to thee.

In the "Fifth Night"

But let us see how he has sketched this dreadful portrait, from the sight of some of whose features the artist himself must have turned away with horror. A subject more shocking, if his only child really sat to him, than the crucifixion of Michael Angelo; upon the horrid story told of which, Young composed a short poem of four-haviour. How such anecdotes, were they true, teen lines, in the early part of his life, which he tend to illustrate the life of Young, it is not easy did not think deserved to be republished.

out the son of Young, in that son's lifetime, as The Biographia, not satisfied with pointing his father's Lorenzo, travels out of its way into the history of the son, and tells us of his having been forbidden his college at Oxford for misbe

to discover. Was the son of the Author of the for a time, at one of the universities? The "Night Thoughts," indeed, forbidden his college author of "Paradise Lost," is by some supposed to have been disgracefully ejected from the other. From juvenile follies who is free? But, whatever the Biographia chooses to relate, the son of Young experienced no dismission from his college either lasting or temporary.

Yet, were nature to indulge him with a second youth, and to leave him at the same time the experience of that which is past, he would probably spend it differently-who would not?-he would certainly be the occasion of less uneasiness to his father. But, from the same experience, he would as certainly, in the same case, be treated differently by his father.

Young was a poet: poets, with reverence be it spoken, do not make the best parents. Fancy

At the beginning of the "Fifth Night" we and imagination seldom deign to stoop from


their heights; always stoop unwillingly to the low level of common duties. Aloof from vulgar life, they pursue their rapid flight beyond the ken of mortals, and descend not to earth but when compelled by necessity. The prose of ordinary occurrences is beneath the dignity of poets.

He who is connected with the Author of the "Night Thoughts," only by veneration for the poet and the Christian, may be allowed to observe, that Young is one of those concerning whom, as you remark in your account of Addison, it is proper rather to say "nothing that is false than all that is true."

But the son of Young would almost sooner, I know, pass for a Lorenzo, than see himself vindicated, at the expense of his father's memory,

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And burns Lorenzo still for the sublime
Of life, to hang his airy nest on high?

Is this a picture of the son of the Rector of Welwyn?


Eighth Night"""

In foreign realms (for thou hast travell'd far)which even now does not apply to his son. In "Night Five❞—

An anecdote of this cruel sort, so open to contradiction, so impossible to be true, who could propagate? Thus easily are blasted the reputations of the living and of the dead.

Who, then, was Lorenzo? exclaim the readers I have mentioned. If we cannot be sure that he was his son, which would have been finely terrible, was he not his nephew, his cousin?

These are questions which I do not pretend to answer. For the sake of human nature, I could wish Lorenzo to have been only the creation of the Poet's fancy: like the Quintus of Anti Lucretius, quo nomine, says Polignac, quem

Atheum intellige. That this was the case, many expressions in the "Night Thoughts" would seem to prove, did not a passage in "Night Eight" appear to show that he had something in his eye for the ground-work at least of the painting. Lovelace or Lorenzo may be feigned characters; but a writer does not feign a name of which he only gives the initial letter:

So wept Lorenzo fair Clarissa's fate;

Who gave that angel boy on whom he dotes;
And died to give him, orphan'd in his birth!

Lorenzo, to recriminate is just,

I grant the man is vain who writes for praise. But to cut short all inquiry; if any one of these passages, if any passage in the poems, be applicable, my friend shall pass for Lorenzo. The son of the Author of the "Night Thoughts" was not old enough, when they were written, to recriminate, or to be a father. The "Night Thoughts" were begun immediately after the mournful event of 1741. The first "Nights" appear, in the books of the Company of Stationers, as the property of Robert Dodsley, in 1742. The Preface to "Night Seven" is dated July the 7th, 1744. The marriage, in consequence of which the supposed Lorenzo was born,

Tell not Calista. She will laugh the dead,
Or send thee to her hermitage with L.

know you are much engaged, and only hope

from follies which, if it may be thought blame | I able in a boy to have committed them, it is surely to hear of you at your entire leisure. praiseworthy in a man to lament, and certainly "I am, sir, your most faithfu "And obedient servant, not only unnecessary, but cruel in a biographer to record. "E. YOUNG."

Of the "Night Thoughts," notwithstanding their Author's professed retirement, all are inscribed to great or to growing names. He had not yet weaned himself from earls and dukes, from the speakers of the House of Commons, lords commissioners of the Treasury, and chancellors of the Exchequer. In "Night Eight" the politician plainly betrays himself

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The "First Night" concludes with this passage

Dark, though not blind, like thee, Meonides:
Or Milton, thee. Ah! could I reach your strain;
Or his who made Meonides our own!
Man too he sung. Immortal man I sing.
Oh, had he prest this theme, pursued the track
Which opens out of darkness into day!
Oh, had he mounted on his wing of fire,
Soar'd, where I sink, and sung immortal man→
How had it blest mankind, and rescued me!

Nay, even after Pope's death, he says, in "Night Seven,”

Pope, who could'st make immortals, art thou dead? Either the "Essay," then, was dedicated to a patron who disapproved its doctrine, which I have been told by the author was not the case; or Young appears, in his old age, to have bartered, for a dedication, an opinion entertained of his friend through all that part of life when he must have been best able to form opinions.

From this account of Young, two or three

short passages, which stand almost together in "Night Four," should not be excluded. They afford a picture by his own hand, from the study of which my readers may choose to form their own opinion of the features of his mind, and the complexion of his life.

Ah me! the dire effect
Of loitering here, of death defrauded long;
Of old so gracious (and let that suffice)
My very Master knows me not.
I've been so long remember'd I'm forgot.

When in his courtiers' ears I pour my plaint,
They drink it as the Nectar of the Great;
And squeeze my hand, and beg me come to-morrow

Twice told the period spent on stubborn Troy,
Court-favour, yet untaken, I besiege.

If this song lives, Posterity shall know
One, though in Britain born, with courtiers bred
Who thought e'en gold might come a day too late;
Nor on his subtle death-bed plann'd his scheme
For future vacancies in church or state.

To the Author of these lines was dedicated, in 1756, the first volume of "An Essay on the Writings and Genius of Pope," which attempted, whether justly or not, to pluck from Pope his "Wing of Fire," and to reduce him to a rank at least one degree lower than the first class of English poets. If Young accepted and approved the dedication, he countenanced this attack upon the fame of him whom he invokes as his Muse. Part of "paper-sparing" Pope's Third Book of the "Odyssey," deposited in the Museum, is By these extraordinary poems, written after written upon the back of a letter signed "E. he was sixty, of which I have been led to say so Young," which is clearly the handwriting of much, I hope, by the wish of doing justice to the our Young. The letter, dated only May the living and the dead, it was the desire of Young 2d, seems obscure; but there can be little doubt to be principally known. He entitled the four that the friendship he requests was a literary volumes which he published himself, "The one, and that he had the highest literary opinion Works of the Author of the Night Thoughts." of Pope. The request was a prologue, I am told. While it is remembered that from these he excluded many of his writings, let it not be for"DEAR SIR, "May the 2d. gotten that the rejected pieces contained nothing "Having been often from home, I know not prejudicial to the cause of virtue, or of religion. you have done me the favour of calling on me. Were every thing that Young ever wrote to be But, be that as it will, I much want that instance published, he would only appear, perhaps, in a of your friendship I mentioned in my last; a less respectable light as a poet, and more defriendship I am very sensible I can receive from spicable as a dedicator; he would not pass for a no one but yourself. I should not urge this worse Christian, or for a worse man. This thing so much but for very particular reasons; enviable praise is due to Young. Can it be nor can you be at a loss to conceive how a claimed by every writer? His dedications, after 'trifle of this nature' may be of serious moment all, he had perhaps no right to suppress. They to me; and while I am in hopes of the great ad- all, I believe, speak, not a little to the credit of vantage of your advice about it, I shall not be so his gratitude, of favours received; and I know absurd as to make any further step without it. I not whether the author, who has once solemnly


Deduct from the writer's age "twice told the period spent on stubborn Troy," and you will still leave him more than forty when he sat down to the miserable siege of court favour.He has before told us

A fool at forty is a fool indeed.

After all, the siege seems to have been raisec. only in consequence of what the general thought his "death-bed."

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-a pope-bred Princeling crawl ashore, And whistle cut-throats, with those swords that scrap'd Their barren rocks for wretched sustenance, To cut his passage to the British throne.

This political poem might be called a "Night Thought." Indeed it was originally printed as the conclusion of the "Night Thoughts," though he did not gather it with his other works.

Prefixed to the second edition of Howe's "Devout Meditations" is a Letter from Young, dated Jan. 19, 1752, addressed to Archibald Macauly, Esq. thanking him for the book, which he says he shall "never lay far out of his reach; for a greater demonstration of a sound head and a sincere heart he never saw."

In 1753, when "The Brothers" had lain by him above thirty years, it appeared upon the stage. If any part of his fortune had been acquired by servility of adulation, he now deter-ish mined to deduct from it no inconsiderable sum, as a gift to the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel. To this sum he hoped the profits of "The Brothers" would amount. In his calculation he was deceived; but by the bad success of his play the Society was not a loser. The Author made up the sum he originally intended, which was a thousand pounds, from his own pocket.

The next performance which he printed was a prose publication, entitled "The Centaur not Fabulous, in Six Letters to a Friend, on the Life in Vogue." The conclusion is dated November 29, 1754. In the third Letter is described the death-bed of the "gay, young, noble, ingenious, accomplished, and most wretched Altamont." His last words were "My principles have poisoned my friend, my extravagance has beggared my boy, my unkindness has murdered my wife." Either Altamont and Lorenzo were the twin production of fancy, or Young was unlucky enough to know two characters who bore no little resemblance to each other in perfection of wickedness. Report has been accustomed to call Altamont Lord Euston.

despair "of breaking through the frozen obstructions of age and care's incumbent cloud, into that flow of thought and brightness of expres sion which subjects so polite require;" yet is it more like the production of untamed, unbridled youth, than of jaded fourscore. Some sevenfold volumes put him in mind of Ovid's sevenfold channels of the Nile at the conflagration: ostia septem Pulverulenta vocant, septem sine flumine valles. Such leaden labours are like Lycurgus's iron money, which are so much less in value than in bulk, that it required barns for strong boxes, and a yoke of oxen to draw five hundred pounds.

If there is a famine of invention in the land, we must travel, he says, like Joseph's brethren, far for food; we must visit the remote and rich ancients. But an inventive genius may safely stay at home; that, like the widow's cruse, is divinely replenished from within, and affords us a miraculous delight. He asks why it should editions of the human mind may be the most seem altogether impossible, that Heaven's latest correct and fair? and Jonson, he tells us, was very learned, as Samson was very strong, to his own hurt. Blind to the nature of tragedy, he pulled down all antiquity on his head, and buried himself under it.

Is this "care's incumbent cloud," or "the frozen obstructions of age?"

In this letter Pope is severely censured for his "fall from Homer's numbers, free as air, lofty and harmonious as the spheres, into child

shackles and tinkling sounds; for putting Achilles into petticoats a second time:" but we are told that the dying swan talked over an epic plan with Young a few weeks before his decease.

Young's chief inducement to write this Letter was, as he confesses, that he might erect a monnmental marble to the memory of an old friend. He, who employed his pious pen for almost the last time in thus doing justice to the exemplary death-bed of Addison, might probably, at the close of his own life, afford no unuseful lesson for the deaths of others.

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In the postscript, he writes to Richardson, that he will see in his next how far Addison is an original. But no other letter appears.

The few lines which stand in the last edition, as "sent by Lord Melcombe to Dr. Young, not long before his Lordship's death," were indeed so sent, but were only an introduction to what was there meant by "The Muse's latest Spark." The poem is necessary, whatever may be its merit, since the Preface to it is already printed. Lord Melcombe called his Tusculum "La Trappe."

Love thy country, wish it well,
Not with too intense a care,
'Tis enough, that when it fell,

Thou its ruin didst not share. Envy's censure, Flattery's praise, With unmov'd indifference view; Learn to tread life's dangerous maze, With unerring Virtue's clew.

Void of strong desire and fear,

Life's wide ocean trust no more; Strive thy little bark to steer With the tide, but near the shore. Thus prepar'd, thy shorten'd sail Shall, whene'er the winds increase, Seizing each propitious gale,

Waft thee to the port of peace.

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