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291 Keep thy conscience from offence,
the gods:" notwithstanding he administered And tempestuous passions free,
consolation to his own grief in this immortal lanSo, when ihou art call'd from hence, Easy shall thy passage be
guage, Mrs. Boscawen was comforted in rhyme.
While the poet and the Christian were apply-
ing this comfort, Young had himself occasion Short th' account 'twixt God and thee;
for comfort, in consequence of the sudden death Hope shall meet thee on the way:
of Richardson, who was printing the former Truth shall lead thee to the gate,
part of the poem. Of Richardson's death he Mercy's self shall let thee in,
When Heav'n would kindly set us free,
And earth's enchantment end; The poem was accompanied by a letter.
It takes the most effectual ineans,
And robs us of a friend.
To " Resignation” was prefixed an Apology “ You seemed to like the ode I sent you for for its appearance: to which more credit is due your amusement: I now send it you as a pre-than to the generality of such apologies, from sent. If you please to accept of it, and are wil. Young's unusual anxiety that no niore producling that our friendship should be known when tions of his old age should disgrace his former we are gone, you will be pleased to leave this fame. In his will, dated February 1760, he deamong those of your own papers that may pos- sires of his executors, in a particular manner, sibly see the light by a posthumous publication. that all his manuscript books and writings God send us health while we stay, and an easy whatever might be burned, except his book of journey. “My dear Dr. Young,
In September, 1764, he added a kind of codicil, " Yours, most cordially,
wherein he made it his dying entreaty to his “MELCOMBE.” housekeeper, to whom he left 10001. "that all
his manuscripts might be destroyed as soon as In 1762, a short time before his death, Young he was dead, which would greatly oblige her published“ Resignation.” Notwithstanding the deceased friend.” manner in which it was really forced from him It may teach mankind the uncertainty of by the world, criticism has treated it with no worldly friendships, to know that Young, either common severity. If it shall be thought not to by surviving those he loved, or by outliving their deserve the highest praise, on the other side of affections, could only recollect the names of two fourscore, by whom, except by Newton and by friends, his housekeeper and a batter, to mention Waller, has praise been merited ?
in his will; and it may serve to repress that lesTo Mrs. Montagu, the famous champion of tamentary pride, which too often seeks for Shakspeare, I am indebted for the history of sounding names and titles, to be informed that “Resignation.” Observing that Mrs. Boscawen, the Author of the “Night Thoughts” did " not in the midst of her grief for the loss of the admi- blush to leave a legacy to his friend Henry Steral, derived consolation from the perusal of the vens, a hatter at the Templegate.” Of these two "Night Thoughts,” Mrs. Montagu proposed a remaining friends, one went before Young. But visit to the Author.
From conversing with at eighty-four, "where,” as he asks in The CenYoung, Mrs. Boscawen derived still further con- taur, “is that world into which we were born ?" solation ; and to that visit she and the world The same humility which marked a batter were indebted for this poem. It compliments and a housekeeper for the friends of the Author Mrs. Montagu in the following lines;
of the “ Night Thoughts,” had before bestowed Yet write I must. A lady sues :
the same title on his footman, in an epitaph in How shameful her request :
his “Churchyard” upon James Baker, dated My brain in labour with dull rhyme, Hers teeming with the best.
1749; which I am glad to find in the late collec
tion of his works. And again
Young and his housekeeper were ridiculed And friend you have, and I the same,
with more ill-nature than wit, in a kind of novel Whose prudent, soft address,
published by Kidgell in 1755, called “The Card," Will bring to life chose healing thoughts under the names of Dr. Elwes and Mrs. Fusby. Which died in your distress.
In April, 1765, at an age to which few attain, That friend, the spirit of thy theme
a period was put to the life of Young. Extracting for your ease, Will leave to me the dreg, in thoughts
He had perforined no duty for three or four Too common ; such as these.
years, but he retained his intellects to the last. By the same lady I was enabled to sny, in her know not to have been true, of the manner of
Much is told in the “Biographia,” which I own words, that Young's unbounded genius ap- his burial; of the master and children of a chapeared to greater advantage in the companion rity school, which he founded in his parish, who than even in the author; that the Christian was in him a character still more inspired, more en- and of a bell which was not caused to toll as
neglected to attend their benefactor's corpse ; raptured, more sublime, than the poet; and that, often as upon those occasions bells usually toll
. in his ordinary conversation,
Had that humanity which is here lavished upon letting down the golden chain from high things of little consequence either to the living He drew his audience upward to the sky.
or to the dead, been shown in its proper place to Notwithstanding Young had said, in his the living, I should have had less to say about
Conjectures on Original Composition,” that Lorenzo. They who lament that these misfor. " blank verse is verse unfallen, uncurst; verse tunes happened to Young, forget the praise he reclaimed, re-enthroned in the true language of bestows upon Socrates, in the preface to "Night
Seven,” for resenting his friend's request about | Author of the "Night Thoughts” composed his funeral.
many sermons, he did not oblige the public with During some part of his life Young was many. abroad, but I have not been able to learn any Besides, in the latter part of life, Young was particulars.
fond of holding himself out for a man retired In his seventh satire he says,
from the world. But he seemed to have forgotWhen, after battle, I the field have seen
ten that the same verse which contains “oblitus Spread o'er with ghastly shapes which once were men. meorum," contains also “obliviscendus et illis."
It is known also, that from this or from some The brittle chain of worldly friendship and paother field he once wandered into the camp with tronage is broken as effectually, when one goes a classic in his hand, which he was reading in- beyond the length of it, as when the other does. tently; and had some difficulty to prove that he To the vessel which is sailing from the shore, it was only an absent poet, and not a spy. only appears that the shore also recedes; in life
The curious reader of Young's life will na. it is truly thus. He who retires from the world rally inquire to what it was owing, that though will find himself, in reality, deserted as fast, if he lived almost forty years after he took orders, not faster, by the world. The public is not to which included one whole reign uncommo be treated as the coxcomb treats his mistress; to long, and part of another, he was never thought be threatened with desertion, in order to inworthy of the least preferment. The Author crease fondness. of the “Night Thoughts” ended his days upon Young seems to have been taken at his word. a living which came to him from his college Notwithstanding his frequent complaints of bewithout any favour, and to which he probably ing neglected, no hand was reached out to pull had an eye when he determined on the church. him fom that retirement of which he declared To satisfy curiosity of this kind is, at this dis- himself enamoured. Alexander assigned no patance of time, far from easy. The parties them- lace for the residence of Diogenes, who boasted selves know not often, at the instant, why they his surly satisfaction with his tub. are neglected, or why they are preferred.' The Of the domestic manners and petty habits of neglect of Young is by some ascribed to his the Author of the “Night Thoughts,” I hoped having attached himself to the Prince of Wales, to have given you an account from the best auand to his having preached an offensive sermon thority: but who shall dare to say, To-morrow at St. James's. It has been told me that he had I will be wise or virtuous, orto-morrow I two hundred a year in the late reign, by the will do a particular thing? Upon inquiring for patronage of Walpole; and that, whenever any his housekeeper, I learned that she was buried one reminded the King of Young, the only an two days before I reached the town of her swer was, “he has a pension." All the light abode. thrown on this inquiry, by the following letter In a letter from Tscharner, a noble foreigner, from Secker, only serves to show at what a late to Count Haller, Tscharner says, he has lately period of life the Author of the “Night Thoughts" spent four days with Young at Welwyn, where solicited prefermcat:
the author takes all the ease and pleasure man
kind' can desire. “Every thing about him “Deanery of St. Paul's, July 8, 1758. shows the man, each individual being placed by “Good Dr. Young,
rule. All is neat without art. He is very plea. "I have long wondered, that more suitable sant in conversation, and extremely polite." notice of your great merit hath not been taken This and more may possibly, be true; but by persons in power: but how to remedy the Tscharner's was a first visit, a visit of curiosity omission I see not. No encouragement' hath and admiration, and a visit which the Author ever been given me to mention things of this na-) expected. ture to his Majesty. And therefore, in all like Of Edward Young an anecdote which wanlihood, the only consequence of doing it would ders among readers is not true, that he was be weakening the little influence which I may Fielding's Parson Adams. The original of that possibly have on some other occasions. Your famous painting was William Young, who was fortune and your reputation set you above the a clergyman. He supported an uncomfortable need of advancement; and your sentiments, existence by translating for the booksellers from above that concern for it, on your own account, Greek; and, if he did not seem to be his own which, on that of the public, is sincerely felt by friend, was at least no man's enemy. Yet “Your loving brother,
the facility with which this report has gained “Tho. Cant.” belief in the world argues, were it not suffi
ciently known, that the Author of the Night At last, at the age of fourscore, he was ap- Thoughts” bore some resemblance to Adams. pointed, in 1761, clerk of the closet to the Prin. The attention which Young bestowed upon cess Dowager.
the perusal of books is not unworthy imitation. One obstacle must have stood not a little in When any passage pleased him he appears to the way of that preferment after which his have folded down the leaf. On these passages whole life seems to have panted. Though he he bestowed a second reading. But the labours took orders, he never entirely shook off politics. of man are too frequently vain. Before he reHe was always the lion of his master Milton, turned to much of what he had once approved, "pawing to get free his hinder parts.". By this he died. Many of his books, which I have seen, conduct, if he gained some friends, he made are by those notes of approbation so swelled be many enemies.
yond their real bulk, that they will hardly shut Again: Young was a poet; and again, with reverence be it spoken, poets by profession do
What though we wade in wealth or soar in fame!
Earth's highest station ends in Here he lies! not always make the best clergymen. If the And dusi lo dust concludes her noblest song!
The Author of these lines is not without his Hic yet the whole is languid; the plan is too much jacet.
extended, and a succession of images divides and By the good sense of his son, it contains none weakens the general conception; but the great of that praise which no marble can make the bad reason why the reader is disappointed is, that the or the foolish merit; which, without the direc- thought of the Last Day makes every man more tion of a stone or a turf will find its way, sooner than poetical, by spreading over his mind a geor later, to the deserving.
neral obscurity of sacred horror, that oppresses
distinction, and disdains expression. Optimi Parentis
His story of “Jane Grey” was never popular. EDVARDI YOUNG, LL.D.
It is written with elegance enough; but Jane is Hujus Ecclesiæ rect.
too heroic to be pitied.
The "Universal Passion” is indeed a very fæm, prænob. Conjugis ejus amantissima,
great performance. It is said to be a series of Pin et gratissimo animo
epigrams; but if it be, it is what the Author inHoc marmor posuit
tended: his endeavour was at the production of F.Y.
striking distichs and pointed sentences; and his Filius superstes.
distichs have the weight of solid sentiment, and Is it not strange that the Author of the “Night his points the sharpness of resistless truth. Thoughts” has inscribed no monument to the His characters are often selected with discernmemory of his lamented wife? Yet, what marble ment, and drawn with nicety; his illustrations will endure as long as the poems ?
were often happy, and his reflections often just. Such, my good friend, is the account which I His species of satire is between those of Horace have been able to collect of the great Young. and Juvenal; and he has the gayety of Horace That it may be long before any thing like what without his laxity of numbers, and the morality I have just transcribed be necessary for you, is of Juvenal with greater variation of images. He the sincere wish of,
plays, indeed, only on the surface of life; he Dear sir,
never penetrates the recesses of the mind, and Your greatly obliged friend, therefore the whole power of his poetry is ex
HERBERT CROFT, Jun. hausted by a single perusal; his conceits please Lincoln's Inn,
only when they surprise. Sept. 1790.
To translate he never condescended, unless his
"Paraphrase on Job” may be considered as a P.S. This account of Young was seen by you version: in which he has not, I think, been unin manuscript, you know, sir; and, though I successful; he indeed favourcd himself, by chooscould not prevail on you to make any alteration, ing those parts which most easily admit the you insisted on striking out one passage, because ornaments of English poetry. it said, that, if I did not wish you to live long He had least success in his lyric attempts, in for your sake, I did for the sake of myself and of which he seems to have been under some maligthe world. But this postscript you will not see nant influence: he is always labouring to be before the printing of it; and I will say here, in great, and at last is only turgid. spite of you, how I feel myself honoured and In his “Night Thoughts" he has exhibited a bettered by your friendship: and that, if I do very wide display of original poetry, variegated credit to the church, after which I always longed, with deep reflections and striking allusions, a and for which I am now going to give in ex- wilderness of thought, in which the fertility of change the bar, though not at so late a period of fancy scatters flowers of every hue and of every life as Young took orders, it will be owing, in no odour. This is one of the few poems in which small measure, to my having had the happiness blank verse could not be changed for rhyme but of calling the Author of "The Rambler" my with disadvantage. The wild diffusion of the friend.
H. C. sentiments, and the digressive sallies of imaginaOxford, Oct, 1782.
tion, would have been compressed and restrained
by confinement to rhyme. The excellence of Of Young's poems it is difficult to give any this work is not exactness, but copiousness; pargeneral character ; for he has no uniformity of ticular lines are not to be regarded; the power is manner; one of his pieces has no great resemo in the whole ; and in the whole there is a mag. blance to another. He began to write early, nificence like that ascribed to Chinese plantaand continued long; and at different times had tion, the magnificence of vast extent and endless different modes of poetical excellence in view. diversity. His numbers are sometimes smooth, and some His last poem was “Resignation;" in which times rugged; his style is sometimes concate- he made, as he was accustomed, an experiment nated, and sometimes abrupt; sometimes dif- of a new mode of writing, and succeeded better fusive, and some mes concise. His plan seems than in his “Ocean” or his “Merchant.” It to have started in his mind at the present mo was very falsely represented as a proof of dement; and his thoughts appear the effect of cayed faculties. There is Young in every chance, sometimes adverse, and sometimes lucky, stanza, such as he often was in the highest with very little operation of judgment.
vigour. He was not one of those writers whom expe His tragedies, not making part of the Collecrience improves, and who, observing their own tion, I had forgotten, till Mr. Stevens recalled fáults, become gradually correct. His poem on them to my thoughts by remarking, that he the “ Last Day,” his first great performance, has seemed to have one favourite catastrophe, as his an equability and propriety, which he afterwards three plays all concluded with lavish suicide; a either never endeavoured or never attained. method by which, as Dryden remarked, a poet Many paragraphs are noble, and few are mean, I easily rids his scene of persons whom he wants
not to keep alive. In “Busiris” there are the re-assembly of the atoms that compose the birgreatest ebullitions of imagination ; but the pride man body, at the “Trump of Doom,” by the col. of Busiris is such as no other man can have, and lection of bees into a swarm at the tinkling of a the whole is too remote from known life to raise pan. either grief, terror, or indignation. The “Re The prophet says of Tyre, that "her mervenge” approaches much nearer to human prac- chants are princes.” Young says of Tyre in his tices and manners, and therefore keeps posses- “Merchant,” sion of the stage; the first design seems suggested by “Othello;" but the reflections, the Her merchants princes, and each deck a throne. incidents, and the diction, are original. The moral observations are so introduced, and so ex- Let burlesque try to go beyond him. pressed, as to have all the novelty that can be He has the trick of joining the turgid and farequired. Of“The Brothers” I may be allowed miliar; to buy the aliance of Britain, “ Climes to say nothing, since nothing was ever said of it were paid down.” Antithesis is his favourite. by the public.
“They for kindness hate :” and “because she's It must be allowed of Young's poetry that it right she's ever in the wrong." abounds in thought, but without much accuracy
His versification is his own; neither his blank or selection. When he lays hold of an illustra- nor his rhyming lines have any resemblance to Lion, he pursues it beyond expectation, sometimes those of former writers; he picks up no hemihappily, as in his parallel of Quicksilver with stichs, he copies no favourite expressions; he Pleasure, which I have heard repeated with ap- seems to have laid up no stores of thought or probation by a lady, of whose praise he would diction, but to owe all to the fortuitous suggeshave been justly proud, and which is very inge- tions of the present moment. Yet I have reason nious, very subile, and almost exact; but some- to believe that, when once he had formed a new times he is iess lucky, as when, in his “ Night design, he then laboured it with very patient inThoughts,” it having dropped into his mind that dustry; and that he composed with great labour the orbs, floating in space, inight be called the and frequent revisions. cluster of creation, he thinks on a cluster of His verses are formed by no certain model; he grapes, and says, that they all hang on the great is no more like himself in his different producvine, drinking the “nectareous juice of immortal tions than he is like others. He seems never to
have studied prosody, nor to have had any direcHis conceits are sometimes yet less valuable. tion but from his own ear. But with all his In “ The Last Day" he hopes to illustrate the defects, he was a man of genius and a poet.
Of David MALLET, having no written memo- persons of the highest rank and the highest charial, I am able to give no other account than racter, to wits, nobles, and statesmen. such as is supplied by the unauthorised loqua Of his works, I know not whether I can trace city of common fame, and a very slight personal the series. His first production was “ William knowledge.
and Margaret ;"* of which though it contains He was by his original one of the Macgregors, nothing very striking or difficult, he has been ena clần, that became, about sixty years ago, under vied the reputation ; and plagiarism has been the conduct of Robin Roy, so formidable and so boldly charged, but never proved. infamous for violence and robbery, that the name Not long afterwards he published “The Exwas annulled by a legal abolition; and when they cursion,”(1723,) a desultory and capricious view were all to denominate themselves anew, the of such scenes of nature as his fancy led him, or father, I suppose, of this author, called himself his knowledge enabled him to describe. It is not Malloch.
devoid of poetical spirit. Many of his images are David Malloch was, by the penury of his pa- striking, and many of the paragraphs are elegant. rents, compelled to be janitor of the high school The cast of diction seems to be copied from at Edinburgh; a mean office, of which he did not Thomson, whose “Seasons” were then in their afterwards delight to hear. But he surmounted full blossom of reputation. He has Thomson's the disadvantages of his birth and fortune; for beauties and his faults. when the Duke of Montrose applied to the Col His poem on “Verbal Criticism” (1733) was lege of Edinburgh for a tutor to educate his sons, written to pay court to Pope, on a subject which Malloch was recommended ; and I never heard he either did not understand, or willingly misrethat he dishonoured his credentials.
presented ; and is little more than an improveWhen his pupils were sent to see the world, ment, or rather expansion, of a fragment which they were entrusted to his care; and having con- Pope printed in a Miscellany long before he enducted them round the common circle of modish travels, he returned with them to London, where
* Mallet's " William and Margaret" was printed in by the influence of the fainily in which he re
Aaron Hill's “Plain Dealer," No. 36, July 24, 1724.
In its original state it was very different from what it is síded, he naturally gained admission to many in the last edition of his works.
grafted it into a regular poem. There is in this | how little confidence can be placed in posthumous piece more pertness than wit, and more confi- renown. When he died, it was soon determined dence than knowledge. The versification is to that his story should be delivered to posterity; lerable, nor can criticism allow it a higher praise. and the papers supposed to contain the necessary
His first tragedy was “Eurydice,” acted at information were delivered to Lord Molesworth, Drury-lane, in 1731 ; of which I know not the who had been his favourite in Flanders. When reception nor the merit, but have heard it men- Molesworth died, the same papers were transtioned as a mean performance. He was not ferred with the same design to Sir Richard Steele, then too high to accept a prologue and epilogue who in some of his exigencies put them in pawn. from Aaron Hill, neither of which can be much They then remained with the old Dutchess, who commended.
in her will assigned the task to Glover and MalHaving cleared his tongue from his native let, with a reward of a thousand pounds, and a pronunciation so as to be no longer distinguished prohibition to insert any verses. 'Glover rejectas a Scot, he seems inclined to disencumber him-ed, I suppose with disdain, the legacy, and de self from all adherences of his original, and took volved the whole work upon Mallet; who had upon him to change his name from Scotch Mal- from the late Duke of Marlborough a pension to loch, to English Mallet, without any imaginable promote his industry, and who talked of the disreason of preference which the eye or ear can coveries which he had made ; but left not, when discover. What other proofs he gave of disre- he died, any historical labours behind him. spect to his native country, I know not; but it While he was in the Prince's service he pubwas remarked of him, that he was the only Scot lished “Mustapha," with a prologne by Thomwhom Scotchmen did not commend.
son, not mean, but far inferior to that which he About this time Pope, whom he visited familj- received from Mallet for “ Agamemnon.” The arly, published his “Essay on Man,” but con- Epilogue, said to be written by a friend, was cealed the author; and when Mallet entered one composed in haste by Mallet, in the place of one day, Pope asked him slightly what there was promised which was never given. This tragedy new. Mallet told him, that the newest piece was was dedicated to the Prince his master. It was something called an "Essay on Man,” which he acted at Drury-lane, in 1739, and was well rehad inspected idly, and seeing the utter inability ceived, but was never revived. of the author, who had neither skill in writing In 1740, he produced, as has been already nor knowledge of the subject, had tossed it mentioned, “The Mask of Alfred,” in conjuncaway. Pope, to punish his self-conceit, told him tion with Thomson. the secret.
For some time afterwards he lay at rest. AfA new edition of the works of Bacon being pre- ter a long interval, his next work was “Amyntor pared (1750) for the press, Mallet was employed and Theodora,” (1747,) a long story in blank io prelix a life, which he has written with ele- verse ; in which it cannot be denied that there is gance, perhaps with some affectation; but with copiousness and elegance of language, vigour of so much more knowledge of history than of sci- sentiment, and imagery well adapted to take ence, that when he afterwards undertook the Life possession of the fancy. But it is blank verse, of Marlborough, Warburton remarked, that he | This he sold to Vaillant for one hundred and might perhaps forget that Marlborough was a twenty pounds. The first sale was not great, and general, as he had forgotten that Bacon was a it is now lost in forgetfulness. philosopher.
Mallet, by address or accident, perhaps by his When the Prince of Wales was driven from dependence on the Prince, found his way to the palace, and setting himself at the head of the Bolingbroke; a man whose pride and petulance opposition, kept a separate court, he endeavoured made his kindness difficult to gain, or keep, and to increase his popularity by the patronage of whom Mallet was content to court by an act, literature, and made Mallet his under secretary, which, I hope, was unwillingly performed. When with a salary of two hundred pounds a year; it was found that Pope had clandestinely printed Thomson likewise had a pension; and they were an unauthorized number of the pamphlet called associated in the composition of “The Mask of “The Patriot King,” Bolingbroke, in a fit of useAlfred,” which in its original state was played at less fury, resolved to blast his memory, and emCliefden, in 1740; it was afterwards almost ployed Mallet (1749) as the executioner of his wholly changed by Mallet, and brought upon the vengeance. Mallet had not virtue, or had not stage at Drury-lane, in 1751, but with no great spirit, to refuse the office; and was rewarded,
not long after, with the legacy of Lord BolingMallet, in a familiar conversation with Gar- broke's works. rick, discoursing of the diligence which he was Many of the political pieces had been written then exerting upon the Life of Marlborough, let during the opposition to Walpole, and given to him know, that in the series of great men quickly Franklin, as he supposed, in perpetuity. These, to be exhibited, he should find a niche for the among the rest, were claimed by the will. The hero of the theatre. Garrick professed to won- question was referred to arbitrators; but, when der by what artifice he could be introduced; but they decided against Mallet, he refused to yield Mallet let him know, that, by a dexterous anti- to the award ; and by the help of Millar the cipation, he should fix him in a conspicuous place. bookseller, published all that he could find, but “Mr. Mallet,” says Garrick, in his gratitude of with success very much below his expectation. exultation, “have you left off to write for the In 1755, his mask of “Britannia” was acted stage?" Mallet then confessed that he had a at Drury-lane ; and his tragedy of “Elvira” in drama in his hands. Garrick promised to act | 1763 ; in which year he was appointed keeper it; and “Alfred" was produced.
of the book of entries for ships in the port of The long retardation of the Life of the Duke London. of Marlborough, shows, with strong conviction, In the beginning of the last war, when the na