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it is drawn from mythology, though such as may measures, and consequently before it can receive be more easily assimilated to real life. Idalia's pleasure from their consonance and recurrence. *velvet green" has something of cant. An epi of the first stanza the abrupt beginning has thet or metaphor drawn from Nature ennobles been celebrated : but technical beauties can give Art; an epithet or metaphor drawn from Art praise only to the inventor. It is in the power degrades Nature. Gray is too fond of words of any man to rush abruptly upon his subject, arbitrarily compounded. “Many-twinkling" that has read the ballad of " Johnny Armwas formerly censured as not analogical; we strong." may say “many-spotted,” but scarcely “many Is there over a man in all Scotland spotting.” This stanza, however, has some The initial resemblances, or alliterations, thing pleasing.
"ruin, ruthless, helm or hauberk,” are below of the second ternary of stanzas, the first en: the grandeur of a poem that endeavours at subdeavours to tell something, and would have told limity. it, had it not been crossed by Hyperion: the In the second stanza the Bard is well describsecond describes well enough the universal pre-ed; but in the third we have the puerilities of valence of poetry; but I am afraid that the con obsolete mythology. When we are told that clusion will not arise from the premises. The “Cadwallo hush'd the stormy main," and that caverns of the North and the plains of Chili “Modred made huge Plinlimmon bow his cloudare not the residences of “Glory and generous topp'd head,” attention recoils from the repetiShame." But that Poetry and Virtue go always tion of a tale that, even when it was first heard, together is an opinion so pleasing, that I can was heard with scorn. forgive him who resolves to think it true.
The weaving of the winding sheet he borrowed, The third stanza sounds big with “Delphi,” | as he owns, from the Northern Bards: but their and “Egean," and "Ilissus,” and “Meander,” texture, however, was very properly the work and with hallowed fountains," and " solemn of female powers, as the act of spinning the sound;" but in all Gray's odes there is a kind thread of life is another mythology. Theft is of cumbrous splendour which we wish away. always dangerous ; Gray has made weavers of His position is at last false : in the time of Dante slaughtered bards' by a fiction outrageous and and Petrarch, from whom we derive our first incongruous. They are then called upon to school of Poetry, Italy was overrun by “tyrant “Weave the warp, and weave the woof,” perpower ;" and "coward vice;” nor was our state, haps with no great propriety; for it is by crossmuch better when we first borrowed the Italian ing the woof with the warp that men weave the arts.
web or piece; and the first line was dearly bought of the third ternary, the first gives a mytho- by the admission of its wretched correspondent, logical birth of Shakspeare. What is said of «Give ample room and verge enough."* He that mighty genius is true; but it is not said has, however, no other line as bad. happily: the real effects of this poetical power The third stanza of the second ternary is comare put out of sight by the pomp of machinery. mended, I think, beyond its merit. The perWhere truth is sufficient to fill the mind, fiction sonification is indistinct. Thirst and Hunger is worse than useless; the counterfeit debases are not alike; and their features, to make the the genuine. His account of Milton's blindness, if we sup. We are told, in the same stanza, how “ towers
imagery perfect, should have been discriminated. porse it caused by study in the formation of his are fed.” But I will no longer look for particupoem, a supposition surely allowable, is poeti- lar faults ; yet let it be observed that the ode cally true, and happily imagined. But the car of might have been concluded with an action of Dryden, with his two coursers, has nothing in it better example; but suicide is always to be had, peculiar; it is a car in which any other rider without expense of thought. may be placed.
These odes are marked by glittering accumui The Bard" appears, at the first view, to be, lations of ungraceful ornaments; they strike, as Algarotti and others have remarked, an imi- rather than please ; the images are magnified by tation of the prophecy of Nereus. Algarotti affectation; the language is laboured into harshthinks it superior to its original; and, if prefe- ness. The mind of the writer seems to work rence depends only on the imagery and anima- with unnatural violence. “Double, double, toil tion of the two poems, his judgment is right and trouble.” He has a kind of strutting digThere is in “The Bard” more force, more nity, and is tall by walking on tiptoe. His art thought, and more variety. But to copy is less and his struggle are too visible, and there is too than to invent, and the copy has been unhappily little appearance of ease and nature. produced at a wrong time. The fiction of Ho
To say that he had no beauties, would be unrace was to the Romans credible ; but its revival just; a man like him, of great learning and great disgusts us with apparent and unconquerable industry, could not but produce something valu, falsehood. Incredulus odi.
able. When he pleases least, it can only be said To select a singular event, and swell it to a that a good design was ill directed. giant's bulk by fabulous appendages of spectres His translations of Northern and Welsh Poetry and predictions, has little difficulty; for he that deserve praise;
the imagery is preserved, perhaps forsakes the probable may always find the mar, often improved; but the language is unlike the vellous. And it has little use; we are affected language of other poets. only as we believe ; we are improved only as we find something to be imitated or declined. I do
“I have a goul, that like an ample shield not see that “The Bard” promotes any truth, Can take in all; and verge enough for more." moral or political.
Dryden's Sebastian. His stanzas are too long, especially his epodes; anything easily, but things of humour :' and added, that
+ Lord Orford used to assert, that Gray "never wrote the ode is finished before the ear has learned its l humour was his natural and original turn.-C.
In the character of his Elegy I rejoice to con- | ments to which every bosom returns an echo. cur with the common reader ; for by the com- The four stanzas, beginning “Yet even these mon sense of readers, uncorrupted with literary bones,” are to me original: I have never seen prejudices, after all the refinements of subtlety the notions in any other place; yet he that, reads and the dogmatism of learning, must be finally them here persuades himself that he has always decided all claim to poetical honours. The felt them. Had Gray written often thus, it had "Churchyard ” abounds with images which been vain to blame, and useless to praise him. find a mirror in every mind, and with senti
GEORGE LYTTELTON, the son of Sir Thomas (poem, called “The Trial of Selim;" for which Lyttelton, of Hagley, in Worcestershire, was he was paid with kind words, which, as is comborn in 1709. He was educated at Eton, where mon, raised great hopes, that were at last dishe was so much distinguished, that his exercises appointed. were recommended as models to his school Lyttelton now stood in the first rank of opfellows.
position; and Pope, who was incited, it is not From Eton he went to Christchurch, where easy to say how, to increase the clamour against he retained the same reputation of superiority, the ministry, commended him among the other and displayed his abilities to the public in a poem patriots. This drew upon him the reproaches of on “Blenheim.”
Fox, who, in the house, imputed to him as a He was a very early writer, both in verse and crime his intimacy with a lampooner so unjust prose. His “Progress of Love,” and his “Per- and licentious. Lyttelton supported his friend; sian Letters,” were both written when he was and replied, that he thought it an honour to he very young; and indeed the character of a young received into the familiarity of so great a poet. man is very visible in both. The Verses cant of While he was thus conspicuous, he married shepherds and flocks, and crooks dressed with (1741) Miss Lucy Fortescue of Devonshire, by flowers; and the Letters have something of that whom he had a son, the late Lord Lyttelton, and indistinct and headstrong ardour for liberty two daughters, and with whom he appears to which a man of genius always catches when he have lived in the highest degree of connubial enters the world, and always suffers to cool as felicity: but human pleasures are short: she he passes forward.
died in childbed about five years afterwards ; He stayed not long in Oxford; for in 1728 he and he solaced himself by writing a long poem began his travels, and saw France and Italy - to her memory: When he returned, he obtained a seat in parlia He did not, however, condemn himself to perment, and soon distinguished himself among petual solitude and sorrow; for, after a while, the most eager opponents of Sir Robert Wal- he was content to seek happiness again by a pole, though his father, who was commissioner second marriage with the daughter of Sir Robert of the admiralty, always voted with the court. Rich; but the experiment was unsuccessful.
For many years the name of George Lyttel At length, after a long struggle, Walpole gave ton was seen in every account of every debate in way, and honour and profit were distributed the House of Commons. He opposed the stand- among his conquerors. Lyttelton was made ing army; he opposed the excise; he supported (1744) one of the Lords of the Treasury; and the motion for petitioning the King to remove from that time was engaged in supporting the Walpole. His zeal was considered by the cour- schemes of the ministry. tiers not only as violent, but as acrimonious and Politics did not, however, so much engage malignant ; and when Walpole was at last him as to withhold his thoughts from things of hunted from his places, every effort was made more importance. He had in the pride of juveby his friends, and many friends he had, to ex-nile confidence, with the help of corrupt conclude Lyttelton from the secret committee. versation, entertained doubts of the truth of
The Prince of Wales, being (1737) driven Christianity ; but he thought the time now come from St. James's, kept a separate court, and when it was no longer fit to doubt or believe by opened his arms to the opponents of the minis- chance, and applied himself seriously to the try. Mr. Lyttelton became his secretary, and great question. His studies being honest, ended was supposed to have great influence in the di. in conviction. He found that religion was true; rection of his conduct. He persuaded his mas- and what he had learned he endeavoured to ter, whose business it was now to be popular, teach (1747) by “Observations on the Converthat he would advance his character by patron- sion of St. Paul;" a treatise to which infidelity age. Mallet was made under-secretary with has never been able to fabricate a specious antwo hundred pounds; and Thomson had a pen- swer. This book his father had the happiness sion of one hundred pounds a year. For Thom- of seeing, and expressed his pleasure in a letter son, Lyttelton always retained his kindness, and which deserves to be inserted. was able at last to place him at ease.
“I have read your religious treatise with inMoore courted his favour by an apologetical | finite pleasure and satisfaction. The style is
fine and clear, the arguments close, cogent, and impression; but the charges and repeated operairresistible. May the King of kings, whose tions of the press were at the expense of the glorious cause you have so well defended, re- author, whose ambitious accuracy is known to ward your pious labours, and grant that I may have cost him at least a thousand pounds. He be found worthy, through the merits of Jesus began to print in 1755. Three volumes apChrist, to be an eye-witness of that happiness peared in 1764, a second edition of them in 1767, which I don't doubt he will bountifully bestow a third edition in 1768, and the conclusion upon you. In the mean time I shall never ceasel in 1771. glorifying God, for having endowed you with Andrew Reid, a man not without considerable such useful talents, and giving me so good a son. abilities, and not unacquainted with letters or “Your affectionate father,
with life, undertook to persuade Lyttelton, as “Thomas LYTTELTON." he had persuaded himself, that he was master
of the secret of punctuation; and, as fear begets A few years afterwards, (1751,) by the death credulity, he was employed, I know not at what of his father, he inherited a baronet's title with price, to point the pages of “Henry the Second.” a large estate, which, though perhaps he did not The book was at last pointed and printed, and augment, he was careful to adorn, by a house of sent into the world. Lyttelton took money for great elegance and expense, and by much atten- his copy, of which, when he had paid the printer, tion to the decoration of his park.
he probably gave the rest away; for he was very As he continued his activity in parliament, he liberal to the indigent. was gradually advancing his claim to profit and When time brought the History to a third preferment; and accordingly was made in time edition, Reid was either dead or discarded; and (1754) cofférer and privy counsellor : this place the superintendence of typography and punc. he exchanged next year for the great office of tuation was committed to a man originally a chancellor of the Exchequer; an office, however, comb-maker, but then known by the style of that required some qualifications which he soon Doctor. Something uncommon was probably perceived himself to want,
expected, and something uncommon was at last The year after, his curiosity led him into done; for to the Doctor's edition is appended, Wales; of which he has given an account, per- what the world had hardly seen before, a list of haps rather with too much affectation of delight, errors in nineteen pages. to Archibald Bower, a man of whom he had But to politics and literature there must be an conceived an opinion more favourable than he end. Lord Lyttelton had never the appearance seems to have deserved, and whom, having once of a strong or of a healthy man; he had a slenespoused his interest and fame, he was never der uncompacted frame, and a meagre face; he persuaded to disown. Bower, whatever was lasted however sixty years, and was then seized his moral character, did not want abilities; at- with his last illness. Of his death a very affecttacked as he was by a universal outcry, and ing and instructive account has been given by that outcry, as it seems, the echo of truth, he his physician, which will spare me the task of kept his ground; at last, when his defences be- his moral character. gan to fail him, he sallied out upon his adver “On Sunday evening the symptoms of his saries, and his adversaries retreated.
Lordship's disorder, which for a week past had About this time Lyttelton published his alarmed us, put on a fatal appearance, and his “Dialogues of the Dead,” which were very Lordship believed himself to be a dying man. eagerly read, though the production rather, as it From this time he suffered by restlessness raseems, of leisure than of study: rather effusions ther than pain; though his nerves were appathan compositions. The names of his persons rently much futtered, his mental faculties never too often enable the reader to anticipate their seemed stronger, when he was thoroughly conversation; and when they have met, they awake. too often part without any conclusion. He has "His Lordship's bilious and hepatic comcopied Fenelon more than Fontenelle.
plaints seemed alone not equal to the expected When they were first published, they were mournful event; his long want of sleep, whether kindly commended by the “Critical Review the consequence of the irritation in the bowels, ers:" and poor Lyttelton, with humble grati- or, which is more probable, of causes of a differtude, returned in a note which I have read, ac- ent kind, accounts for his loss of strength, and knowledgments which can never be proper, for his death, very sufficiently, since they must be paid either for flattery or for “Though his Lordship wished his approachjustice.
ing dissolution not to be lingering, he waited for When, in the latter part of the last reign, the it with resignation. He said, "It is a folly, a inauspicious commencement of the war made keeping me in misery, now to attempt to prothe dissolution of the ministry unavoidable, Sir long life;' yet he was easily persuaded, for the George Lyttelton, losing with the rest his em- satisfaction of others, to do or take any thing ployment, was recompensed with a peerage ; thought proper for him. On Saturday he had and rested from political turbulence in the House been remarkably better, and we were not withof Lords.
out some hopes of his recovery. His last literary production was his “History “On Sunday about eleven in the forenoon, of Henry the Second," elaborated by the searches his Lordship sent for me, and said he felt a great and deliberations of twenty years, and pub- furry, and wished to have a little conversation lished with such anxiety as vanity can dctate. with me in order to divert it. He then pro
The story of this publication is remekable. ceeded to open the fountain of that heart, The whole work was printed twice over, a great from whence goodness had so long flowed, part of it three times, and many sheets four or as from a copious spring. 'Doctor, said he, five times. The booksellers paid for the first l you shall be my confessor: when I first set out
in the world, I had friends who endeavoured to dying, but with very little uneasiness, till Tues shake my belief in the Christian religion. I saw day morning, August 22, when between seven difficulties which staggered me; but I kept my and eight o'clock he expired, almost without mind open to conviction. The evidences and a groan.” doctrines of Christianity, studied with attention, His Lordship was buried at Hagley; and the made me a most firm and persuaded believer of following inscription is cut on the side of his the Christian religion. I have made it the rule Lady's monument: of my life, and it is the ground of
This unadorn'd stone was placed here hopes. I have erred and sinned; but have re By the particular desire and express pented, and never indulged any vicious habit. Directions of the Right Honourable In politics, and public life, I have made public
GEORGE LORD LYTTELTON, good the rule of my conduct. I never gave
Who died August 22, 1778, aged 64. counsels which I did not at the time think best. Lord Lyttelton's Poems are the works of a I have seen that I was sometimes in the wrong, man of literature and judgment, devoting part but I did not err designedly. I have endeavour- of his time to versification. They have nothing ed, in private life, to do all the good in my power, to be despised, and little to be admired. Of his and never for a moment could indulge malicious “Progress of Love,” it is sufficient blame to or unjust designs upon any person whatsoever.' say that it is pastoral. His blank verse in
“At another time he said, 'I must leave my “Blenheim” has neither much force nor much soul in the same state it was in before this ill- elegance. His little performances, whether ness; I find this a very inconvenient time for songs or epigrams, are sometimes sprightly, and solicitude about any thing.'
sometimes insipid. His epistolary pieces have “On the evening, when the symptoms of a smooth equability, which cannot much tire, death came on, he said, 'I shall die; but it will because they are short, but which seldom elenot be your fault.' When Lord and Lady Va- vates or surprises. But from this censure ought lentia came to see his Lordship, he gave them to be excepted his “Advice to Belinda," which, his solemn benediction, and said, 'Be good, be though for the most part written when he was virtuous, my Lord; you must come to this.' very young, contains much truth and much pruThus he continued giving his dying benediction dence, very elegantly and vigorously expressed, to all around him. On Monday morning a lu- and shows a mind attentive to life, and a power cid interval gave some small hopes, but these of poetry which cultivation might have raised to vanished in the evening; and he continued l excellence.
LIVES OF EMINENT PERSONS.
FATHER PAUL SARPI.
FATHER Paul, whose name, before he entered | parts of natural philosophy, and chemistry itself; into the monastic life, was Peter Sarpi, was born for his application was unintermitted, his head at Venice, August 14, 1552. His father followed clear, his apprehension quick, and his memory merchandise, but with so little success, that, at retentive. his death, he left his family very ill provided for, Being made a priest at twenty-two, he was disbut under the care of a mother, whose piety was tinguished by the illustrious Cardinal Borromeo likely to bring the blessing of Providence upon with his confidence, and employed by him on them, and whose wise conduct supplied the want many occasions, not without the envy of persons of fortune by advantages of greater value. of less merit, who were so far exasperated as to
Happily for young Sarpi, she had a brother lay a charge against him, before the Inquisition, master of a celebrated school, under whose direc- for denying that the Trinity could be proved from tion he was placed by her. Here he lost no time, the first chapter of. Genesis : but the accusation but cultivated his abilities, naturally of the first was too ridiculous to be taken notice of. rate, with unwearied application. He was born After this he passed successively through the for study, having a natural aversion to pleasure dignities of his order, and in the intervals of his and gayety, and a memory so tenacious, that he employment applied himself to the studies with so could repeat thirty verses upon once hearing them. extensive a capacity, as left no branch of know
Proportionable to his capacity was his progress ledge untouched. By him Aquapendente, the in literature: at thirteen, having made himself great anatomist, confesses that he was informed master of school-learning, he turned his studies how vision is performed; and there are proofs to philosophy and the mathematics, and entered that he was not a stranger to the circulation of upon logic under Capella of Cremona, who, though the blood. He frequently conversed upon astroa celebrated master of that science, confessed nomy with mathematicians, upon anatomy with himself in a very little time unable to give his surgeons, upon medicine with physicians, and with pupil farther instructions.
chemists upon the analysis of metals, not as a As Capella was of the order of the Servites, superficial inquirer, but as a complete master, his scholar was induced, by his acquaintance with But the hours of repose, that he employed so him, to engage in the same profession, though his well, were interrupted by a new information in uncle and his mother represented to him the hard the Inquisition, where a former acquaintance proships and austerities of that kind of life, and ad-duced a letter written by him in ciphers, in which vised him with great zeal against it. But he was he said, “ that he detested the court of Rome, steady in his resolutions, and in 1566 took the and that no preferment was obtained there but by habit of the order, being then only in his 14th dishonest means.” This accusation, however danyear, a time of life in most persons very improper gerous, was passed over on account of his great for such engagements, but in him attended with reputation, but made such impression on that court, such maturity of thought, and such a settled tem- that he was afterwards denied a bishopric by Cleper, that he never seemed to regret the choice he ment VIII. After these difficulties were sur ihen made, and which he confirmed by a solemn mounted, Father Paul again retired to his solitude, public profession in 1572.
where he appears, by some writings drawn up by At a general chapter of the Servites, held at him at that time, to have turned his attention more Mantua, Paul, (for so we shall now call him,) to improvements in piety than learning. Such being then only twenty years old, distinguished was the care with which he read the scriptures, himself so much in a public disputation by his that, it being his custom to draw a line under any genius and learning, that William Duke of Man- passage which he intended more nicely to contua, a great patron of letters, solicited the consent sider, there was not a single word in his New of his superiors to retain him at his court, and Testament but was underlined; the same marks not only made him public professor of divinity in of attention appeared in his Old Testament, Psalthe cathedral, but honoured him with many proofs ter, and Breviary. of his esteem.
But the most active scene of his life began about But Father Paul, finding a court life not agree- the year 1605, when Pope Paul V. exasperated able to his temper, quitted it two years afterwards, by some decrees of the senate of Venice that inand retired to his beloved privacies, being then terfered with the pretended rights of the church, not only acquainted with the Latin, Greek, He- laid the whole state under an interdict. brew, and Chaldee languages, but with phíloso The senate, filled with indignation at this treatphy, the mathematics, canon and civil law, all inent, forbade the bishops to receive or publish