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of submissiveness. In commenting on a line of Pope, he hazarded a remark on Hogarth's propensity to intermix the ludicrous with attempts at the sublime. Hogarth revengefully introduced Dr. Warton's works into one of his satirical pieces, and vowed to bear him eternal enmity. Their mutual friends, however, interfered, and the artist was pacified. Dr. Warton, in the next edition, altered his just animadversion on Hogarth into an illmerited compliment.


By delaying to re-publish his Essay on Pope, he ultimately obtained a more dispassionate hearing from the public for the work in its finished state. In the meantime, he enriched it with additions digested from the reading of half a lifetime. The author of The Pursuits of Literature' has pronounced it a common-place book; and Richardson, the novelist, used to call it a literary gossip: but a testimony in its favour, of more authority than any individual opinion, will be found in the popularity with which it continues to be read. It is very entertaining, and abounds with criticism of more research than Addison's, of more amenity than Hurd's or Warburton's, and of more insinuating tact than Johnson's. At the same time, while much ingenuity and many truths are scattered over the Essay, it is impossible to admire it as an entire theory, solid and consistent in all its parts. It is certainly setting out from unfortunate premises to begin his 'Remarks on Pope' with grouping Dryden and Addison in the same class of poets; and to form a scale for estimating poetical genius, which would set Elijah Fenton in a higher sphere than Butler. He places Pope, in the scale of our poets, next to Milton, and above Dryden; yet he applies to him the exact character which Voltaire gives to the heartless Boileau-that of a writer, perhaps, incapable of the sublime which elevates, or of the feeling which affects the soul.' With all this, he tells us, that our poetry and our language are everlastingly indebted to Pope he attributes genuine tenderness to the Elegy on an Unfortunate Lady;' a strong degree of passion to the Epistle on Eloise;' invention and fancy to The Rape of the Lock;' and a picturesque conception to some parts of Windsor Forest,' which he pronounces worthy of the pencil of Rubens or Julio Romano. There is something like April weather in these transitions.

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"In May, 1766, he was advanced to the head-mastership of Winchester School. In consequence of this promotion, he once more visited Oxford, and proceeded to the degree of bachelor and doctor in divinity. After a union of twenty years, he lost his first wife, by whom he had six children; but his family and his professional situation requiring a domestic partner, he had been only a year a widower, when he married a Miss Nicholas, of Winchester.

"He now visited London more frequently than before. The circle of his friends, in the metropolis, comprehended all the members of Burke's and Johnson's Literary Club. With Johnson himself he was for a long time on intimate terms; but their friendship suffered a breach which was never closed, in consequence of an argument, which took place between them, during an evening spent at the house of Sir Joshua Reynolds. The concluding words of their conversation are reported, by one who was present, to have been these, Johnson said, 'Sir, I am not accustomed to be contradicted.' Warton replied, Better, sir, for yourself and your friends if you were: our respect could not be increased, but our love might.'

"In 1782 he was indebted to his friend, Dr. Lowth, Bishop of London, for a prebend of St. Paul's, and the living of Thorley, in Hertfordshire, which, after some arrangements, he exchanged for that of Wickham. His ecclesiastical preferments came too late in life to place him in that state of leisure and independence which might have enabled him to devote his best years to literature, instead of the drudgery of a school. One great project, which he announced, but never fulfilled, namely, 'A General History of Learning,' was, in all probability, prevented by the pressure of his daily occupations. In 1788, through the interest of Lord Shannon, he obtained a prebend of Winchester; and, through the interest of Lord Malmsbury, was appointed to the rectory of Euston, which he was afterwards allowed to exchange for that of Upham. In 1793 he resigned the fatigues of his mastership of Winchester; and having received, from the superintendents of the institution, a vote of well-earned thanks, for his long and meritorious services, he went to live at his rectory of Wickham.

"During his retirement at that place, he was induced, by a liberal offer of the booksellers, to superintend an edition of Pope. which he published in 1797. It was objected to this edition, that it contained only his Essay on Pope,' cut down into notes; his biographer, however, repels the objection, by alleging that it contains a considerable portion of new matter. In his zeal to present every. thing that could be traced to the pen of Pope, he introduced two pieces of indelicate humour, 'The Double Mistress,' and the second satire of Horace. For the insertion of those pieces, he received a censure in the Pursuits of Literature,' which, considering his grey hairs and services in the literary world, was unbecoming, and which my individual partiality for Mr. Matthias makes me wish that I had not to record.

"As a critic, Dr. Warton is distinguished by his love of the fanciful and romantic. He examined our poetry at a period when it appeared to him that versified observations on familiar life and manners had usurped the

honours which were exclusively due to the bold and inventive powers of imagination. He conceived, also, that the charm of description in poetry was not sufficiently appreciated in his own day: not that the age could be said to be without descriptive writers; but because, as he apprehended, the tyranny of Pope's reputation had placed moral and didactic verse in too pre-eminent a light. He therefore strongly urged the principle, that the most solid observations on life, expressed with the utmost brevity and elegance, are morality, and not poetry.' Without examining how far this principle applies exactly to the character of Pope, whom he himself owns not to have been without pathos and imagination, I think his proposition is so worded, as to be liable to lead to a most unsound distinction between morality and poetry. If by the most solid observations on life' are meant only those which relate to its prudential management and plain concerns, it is certainly true, that these cannot be made poetical, by the utmost brevity or elegance of expression. It is also true, that even the nobler tenets of morality are comparatively less interesting, in an insulated and didactic shape, than when they are blended with strong imitations of life, where passion, character, and situation bring them deeply home to our attention. Fiction is on this account so far the soul of poetry, that, without its aid as a vehicle, poetry can only give us morality in an abstract and (comparatively) uninteresting shape. But why does Fiction please us? surely not because it is false, but because it seems to be true; because it spreads a wider field, and a more brilliant crowd of objects to our moral perceptions, than reality affords. Morality (in a high sense of the term, and not speaking of it as a dry science) is the essence of poetry. We fly from the injustice of this world to the poctical justice of Fiction, where our sense of right and wrong is either satisfied, or where our sympathy, at least, reposes with less disappointment and distraction, than on the characters of life itself. Fiction, we may indeed be told, carries us into a world of gayer tinct and grace,' the laws of which are not to be judged by solid observations on the real world.

But this is not the case, for moral truth is still the light of poetry, and fiction is only the refracting atmosphere which diffuses it; and the laws of moral truth are as essential to poetry, as those of physical truth (Anatomy and Optics, for instance), are to painting. Allegory, narration, and the drama make their last appeal to the ethics of the human heart. It is therefore unsafe to draw a marked distinction between morality and poetry; or to speak of solid observations on life' as of things in their nature unpoetical; for we do meet in poetry with observations on life, which, for the charm of their solid truth, we should exchange with reluctance for the most ingenious touches of fancy.

"The school of the Wartons, considering them as poets, was rather too studiously prone to description. The doctor, like his brother, certainly so far realized his own ideas of inspiration, as to burthen his verse with few observations on life which oppress the mind by their solidity. To his brother he is obviously inferior in the graphic and romantic style of composition, at which he aimed; but in which, it must nevertheless be owned, that in some parts of his 'Ode to Fancy' he has been pleasingly successful. From the sub. joined specimens, the reader will probably be enabled to judge as favourably of his genius, as from the whole of his poems; for most of them are short and occasional, and (if I may venture to differ from the opinion of his amiable editor, Mr. Wooll), are by no means marked with originality. The only poem of any length, entitled The Enthusiast,' was written at too early a period of his life, to be a fair object of criticism."-Campbell's "Specimens," pp. 663-7.


"This amiable man deserves praise for his character and for his conduct under very peculiar circumstances, much more than for his poetry. He was born at Annan, where his father was a bricklayer, in 1721. When about six months old, he lost his eyesight by small-pox. His father used to read to him, especially poetry, and through the kindness of friends he acquired some knowledge of the Latin tongue. His father having been accidentally killed when Thomas was nineteen, it might have fared hard with him, but Dr. Stevenson, an eminent medical man in Edinburgh, who had seen some verses composed by the blind youth, took him to the capital, sent him to college to study divinity, and encouraged him to write and to publish poetry. His volume, to which was prefixed an account of the author, by Professor Spence of Oxford, attracted much attention. lock was licensed to preach in 1759, and three years afterwards was married to a Miss Johnstone of Dumfries, an exemplary but plainlooking lady, whose beauty her husband was wont to praise so warmly that his friends were thankful that his infirmity was never removed, and thought how justly Cupid had been painted blind. He was even, through the influence of the Earl of Selkirk, appointed to the parish of Kirkcudbright, but the parishioners opposed his induction on the plea of his want of sight, and, in consideration of a small annuity, he withdrew his claims. He finally settled down in Edinburgh, where he supported himself chiefly by keeping young gentlemen as boarders in his house. His chief amusements were poetry and music. His conduct to (1786)


and correspondence with Burns are too well known to require to be noticed at length here. He published a paper of no small merit in the 'Encyclopædia Britannica' on Blindness, and is the author of a work entitled Paraclesis ; or, Consolations of Religion,'-which surely none require more than the blind. He died of a nervous fever on the 7th of July, 1791, so far fortunate that he did not live to see the ruin of his immortal protégé.

"Blacklock was a most amiable, genial, and benevolent being. He was sometimes subject to melancholy-unlike many of the blind, and one especially, whom we name not, but who, still living, bears a striking resemblance to Blacklock in fineness of mind, warmth of heart, and high-toned piety, but who is cheerful as the day. As to his poetry, it is undoubtedly wonderful, considering the circumstances of its production, if not per se. Dr. Johnson says to Boswell,-'As Blacklock had the misfortune to be blind, we may be absolutely sure that the passages in his poems descriptive of visible objects are combinations of what he remembered of the works of other writers who could see. That foolish fellow Spence has laboured to explain philosophically how Blacklock may have done, by his own faculties, what it is impossible he should do. The solution, as I have given it, is plain. Suppose I know a man to be so lame that he is absolutely incapable to move himself, and I find him in a different room from that in which I left him, shall I puzzle myself with idle conjectures that perhaps his nerves have, by some unknown change, all at once become effectivo? No, sir; it is clear how he got into a different room -he was CARRIED.'

"Perhaps there is a fallacy in this somewhat dogmatic statement. Perhaps the blind are not so utterly dark but they may have certain dim simulacra of external objects before their eyes and minds. Apart from this, however, Blacklock's poetry endures only from its connection with the author's misfortune, and from the fact that through the gloom he groped greatly to find and give the burning hand of the peasant poet the squeeze of a kindred spirit,-kindred, we mean, in feeling and heart, although very far removed in strength of intellect and genius."-Gilfillan's "Less-known British Poets," vol. iii., pp. 279, 280. See Allibone's "Crit. Dict. Eng. Lit."; Beeton's "Dict. Univ. Biog."

WILLIAM HAYWARD ROBERTS. "William Hayward Roberts, born 1745, died 1791. He was educated at Eton, and from thence was elected to King's College, Cambridge, where he took the degree of master of arts, and of doctor in divinity. From being an under master at Eton he finally rose to be

provost of the college, in the year 1781. He was also chaplain to the king, and rector of Farnham Royal, in Buckinghamshire. In 1771 he published, in three parts, A Poetical Essay on the Attributes and Providence of the Deity.' Two years afterwards, A Poetical Epistle to Christopher Anstey, on the English Poets, chiefly those who had written in blank verse;' and in 1774, his poem of Judah Restored,' a work of no common merit."-Campbell's "Specimens," p. 628.


"Thomas Penrose, born 1743, died 1779. The history of Penrose displays a dash of warlike adventure, which has seldom enlivened the biography of our poets. He was not led to the profession of arms, like Gascoigne, by his poverty, or like Quarles, Davenant, and Waller, by political circumstances; but, in a mere fit of juvenile ardour, gave up his studies at Oxford, where he was preparing to become a clergyman, and left the banners of the church for those of the battle. This was in the summer of 1762, when the unfortunate expedition against Buenos Ayres sailed under the command of Captain Macnamara. It consisted of three ships: the 'Lord Clive,' of 64 guns; the Ambuscade,' of 40, on board of which Penrose acted as lieutenant of marines; the Gloria,' of 38; and some inferior vessels. Preparatory to an attack on Buenos Ayres, it was deemed necessary to begin with the capture of Nova Colonia, and the ships approached closely to the fortress of that settlement. The men were in high spirits; military music sounded on board; while the new uniforms and polished arms of the marines gave a splendid appearance to the scene. Penrose, the night before, had written and despatched to his mistress in England a poetical address, which evinced at once the affection and serenity of his heart, on the eve of danger. The gay preparative was followed by a heavy fire of several hours, at the end of which, when the Spanish batteries were almost silenced, and our countrymen in immediate expectation of seeing the enemy strike his colours, the Lord Clive was found to be on fire; and the same moment which discovered the flames showed the impossibility of extinguishing them. A dreadful spectacle was then exhibited. Men who had the instant before assured themselves of wealth and conquest, were seen crowding to the sides of the ship, with the dreadful alternative of perishing by fire or water. The enemy's fire was redoubled at the sight of their calamity. Out of Macnamara's crew, of 340 men, only 78 were saved. Penrose escaped with his life on board the Ambuscade,' but received a wound in the action; and the subsequent hardships which

he underwent, in a prize-sloop, in which he was stationed, ruined the strength of his constitution. He returned to England; resumed his studies at Oxford; and having taken orders, accepted of the curacy of Newbury, in Berkshire, of which his father was the rector. He resided there for nine years, having married the lady already alluded to, whose name was Mary Slocock. A friend at last rescued him from this obscure situation, by presenting him with the rectory of Beckington and Standerwick, in Somersetshire, worth about £500 a year. But he came to his preferment too late to enjoy it. His health having never recovered from the shock of his American service, obliged him, as a last remedy, to try the hot wells at Bristol, at which place he expired, in his thirty-sixth year."-Campbell's "Specimens," p. 561.

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"Colley Cibber, born in London 1671, died 1757, an English poet and play-writer, the son of Gabriel Cibber, the sculptor, served in the army of the prince of Orange at the Revolution, and afterwards went on the stage; but not attaining to eminence as an actor, turned his attention to dramatic writing. His first play was Love's Last Shift,' which was performed in 1695, and met with great applause ; after which he wrote a number of others. His best work is considered to be the Careless Husband,' performed in 1704; but the Nonjuror brought him the most fame and profit. George I., to whom it was dedicated, prosented him with £200, and appointed him to the office of Poet-laureate. His comedies are

light, airy, and pleasant, but his royal odes possess many faults. He wrote an Apology' for his own life, which is very amusing, as it depicts many of his own foibles and peculiarities with considerable candour. His son Theophilus followed, for a short time, the theatrical profession, and wrote a ballad opera called 'Pattie and Peggy.' Born 1703, died on his passage to Ireland, 1758."-Beeton's "Diet. Univ. Biog." See Allibone's "Crit. Dict. Eng. Lit."


"James Beattie was born in 1735 in the parish of Lawrence Kirk, in Kincardineshire, Scotland. His father, who rented a small farm in Lawrence Kirk, died when the poet was only seven years old; but the loss of a protector was happily supplied to him by his elder brother, who kept him at school till he obtained a bursary at the Marischal College, Aberdeen. At that university he took the degree of master of arts; and, at nineteen, he entered on the study of divinity, supporting himself in the mean time by teaching a school in the neighbouring parish. Whilst he was in this obscure situation, some pieces of verse, which he transmitted to the Scottish Magazine, gained him a little local celebrity. Mr. Garden, an eminent Scottish lawyer, afterwards Lord Gardenstone, and Lord Monboddo, encouraged him as an ingenious young man, and introduced him to the tables of the neighbouring gentry; an honour not usually extended to a parochial schoolmaster. In 1757, he stood candidate for the place of usher in the highschool of Aberdeen. He was foiled by a competitor who surpassed him in the minutiae of Latin grammar; but his character as a scholar suffered so little by the disappointment, that at the next vacancy he was called to the place without a trial. He had not been long at this school, when, in 1761, he published a volume of Original Poems and Translations which (it speaks much for the critical clemency of the times) were favourably received, and highly commended in the English Reviews. So little satisfied was the author himself with those early effusions, that, excepting four, which he admitted to a subsequent edition of his works, he was anxious to have them consigned to oblivion; and he destroyed every copy of the volume which he could procure. About the age of twenty-six, he obtained the chair of Moral Philosophy in the Marischal College of Aberdeen, a promotion which he must have owed to his general reputation in literature; but it is singular, that the friend who first proposed to solicit the High Constable of Scotland to obtain this appointment, should have grounded the proposal on the merit of Beattie's poetry. In the volume already

mentioned there can scarcely be said to be a budding promise of genius.

"Upon his appointment to this professorship, which he held for forty years, he immediately prepared a course of lectures for the students; and gradually compiled materials for those prose works, on which his name would rest with considerable reputation, if he were not known as a poet. It is true, that he is not a first-rate metaphysician; and the Scotch, in undervaluing his powers of abstract and close reasoning, have been disposed to give him less credit than he deserves, as an elegant and amusing writer. But the English, who must be best able to judge of his style, admire it for an ease, familiarity, and an Anglicism that is not to be found even in the correct and polished diction of Blair. His mode of illustrating abstract questions is fanciful and interesting.

"In 1765, he published a poem entitled 'The Judgment of Paris,' which his biographer, Sir William Forbes, did not think fit to rank among his works. For more obvious reasons Sir William excluded his lines, written in the subsequent year, on the proposal for erecting a monument to Churchill in Westminster Abbey-lines which have no beauty or dignity to redeem their bitter expression of hatred. On particular subjects, Beattie's virtuous indignation was apt to be hysterical. Dr. Reid and Dr. Campbell hated the principles of David Hume as sincerely as the author of the Essay on Truth; but they never betrayed more than philosophical hostility, while Beattie used to speak of the propriety of excluding Hume from civil society.

"His reception of Gray, when that poet visited Scotland in 1765, shows the enthusiasm of his literary character in a finer light. Gray's mind was not in poetry only, but in many other respects, peculiarly congenial with his own; and nothing could exceed the cordial and reverential welcome which Beattie gave to his illustrious visitant. In 1770, he published his Essay on Truth,' which had a rapid sale, and extensive popularity; and within a twelvemonth after, the first part of his Minstrel.' The poem appeared at first anonymously; but its beauties were immediately and justly appreciated. The second part was not published till 1774. When Gray criticised the Minstrel' he objected to its author, that, after many stanzas, the description went on and the narrative stopped. Beattie very justly answered to this criticism, that he meant the poem for description, not for incident. But he seems to have forgotten this proper apology, when he mentions in one of his letters his intention of producing Edwin, in some subsequent books, in the character of a warlike bard inspiring his countrymen to battle, and contributing to repel their invaders. This intention, if he ever seriously entertained it, might have produced some new

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kind of poem, but would have formed an incongruous counterpart to the piece as it now stands, which, as a picture of still life, and a vehicle of contemplative morality, has a charm that is inconsistent with the bold evolutions of heroic narrative. After having portrayed his young enthusiast with such advantage in a state of visionary quiet, it would have been too violent a transition to have begun in a new book to surround him with dates of time and names of places. The interest which we attach to Edwin's character, would have been lost in a more ambitious effort to make him a greater or more important, or a more locally defined being. It is the solitary growth of his genius, and his isolated and mystic abstraction from mankind, that fix our attention on the romantic features of that genius. The simplicity of his fate does not divert us from his mind to his circumstances. A more unworldly air is given to his character, that instead of being tacked to the fate of kings, he was one Who envied not, who never thought of kings;' and that, instead of mingling with the troubles which deface the creation, he only existed to make his thoughts the mirror of its beauty and magnificence. Another English critic has blamed Edwin's vision of the fairies as too splendid and artificial for a simple youth; but there is nothing in the situation ascribed to Edwin, as he lived in minstrel days, that necessarily excluded such materials from his fancy. Had he beheld steam-engines or dock-yards in his sleep, the vision might have been pronounced to be too artificial; but he might have heard of fairies and their dances, and even of tapers, gold, and gems, from the ballads of his native country. In the second book of the poem there are some fine stanzas; but he has taken Edwin out of the school of nature, and placed him in his own, that of moral philosophy; and hence a degree of languor is experienced by the reader.

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"Soon after the publication of the Essay on Truth,' and of the first part of the Minstrel,' he paid his first visit to London. His reception, in the highest literary and polite circles, was distinguished and flattering. The university of Oxford conferred on him the degree of doctor of laws, and the sovereign himself, besides honouring him with a personal conference, bestowed on him a pension of £200 a year.

"On his return to Scotland, there was a proposal for transferring him to the university of Edinburgh, which he expressed his wish to decline, from a fear of those personal enemies whom he had excited by his Essay on Truth. This motive, if it was his real one, must have been connected with that weakness and irritability on polemical subjects which have been already alluded to. His metaphysical fame perhaps stood higher in Aberdeen than in Edinburgh; but to have dreaded personal hostility in the capital of a religious country,

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