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including Dr. Johnson, who pronounced its' brief continuance, no property could be secure, opening lines 'very noble.' He afterwards and no life could be safe. indited several other pieces, wrote a translation The commencement of the Ode to Soli. of Tibullus, and became one of the critical staff tude' is fine, but the closing part becomes of the Monthly Review. He was unable, how. tedious. In the middle of the poem there is ever, through all these labours to secure a a tumult of personification, some of them competence, and, in 1759, he sought the West felicitous and others forced. Indies. In St. Christopher's he commenced
·Sage Reflection, bent with years,' practising as a physician, and married the Governor's daughter, who brought him a may pass, but fortune. He wrote a poem entitled “The • Conscious Virtue, void of fears,' Sugar-cane.' This was sent over to London in MS., and was read at Sir Joshua Reynolds' table to a literary coterie, who, according to
Halcyon Peace on moss reclined,' Boswell, all burst out into a laugh when,
is a picture; after much blank-verse pomp, the poet began *Retrospect that scans the mind,' a new paragraph thus
is nothing; • Now, muse, let's sing of rats.'
* Health that snuffs the morning air,' And what increased the ridicule was, that is a living image ; but what sense is there in one of the company, slily overlooking the
Full-eyed Truth, with bosom bare' ? reader, found that the word had been originally
and how poor his mice,' but had been changed to rats as more dignified.
Laughter in loud peals that breaks,' "Boswell goes on to record Johnson's opinion
to Milton's of Grainger. He said, 'He was an agreeable man, a man that would do any good that was
Laughter holding both his sides'! in his power.' His translation of Tibullus The paragraph, however, commencing was very well done, but “The Sugar-cano, a
With you roses brighter bloom, Poem,' did not please him. What could he make of a Sugar-cane ? one might as well and closing with write “ The Parsley-bed, a Poem,” or “The * The bournless macrocosm's thine,' Cabbage Garden, a Poem.”' Boswell — You must then pickle your cabbage with the sal is very spirited, and, along with the opening Atticum. Johnson — One could say a great lines, proves Grainger a poet.”—Gilfillan's deal about cabbage. The poem might begin
“Less-known British Poets," vol. iii. See with the advantages of civilized society over
Allibone's “ Crit. Dict. Eng. Lit.” a rude state, exemplified by the Scotch, who had no cabbages till Oliver Cromwell's soldiers introduced them, and one might thus show how arts are propagated by conquest, as they
JAMES MERRICK. were by the Roman arms.' Cabbage, by the way, in a metaphorical sense, might furnish a
“James Merrick, born 1720, died 1769, was
a clergyman, as well as a writer of verse, and very good subject for a literary satire. “Grainger died of the fever of the country
became a Fellow of Trinity College, Oxford, in 1767. Bishop Percy corroborates Johnson's
where Lord North was one of his pupils. He character of him as a man. He says, 'He
took orders, but owing to incessant pains in
the head, could not perform duty. His was not only a man of genius and learning,
a translation of Tryphiodorus, but had many excellent virtues, being one of
done at twenty, a version of the Psalms, a the most generous, friendly, benevolent men
collection of Hymns, and a few miscellaneous I ever knew.' “Grainger in some points reminds us of
pieces. — Gilfillan's " Less-known British Dyer. Dyer staked his reputation on “The
Poets,” vol. iii.
JOHN SCOTT. effusion has survived the laboured work. And so Grainger's 'Solitude' has supplanted the " This worthy and poetical Quaker, who was stately 'Sugar-cane.' The scenery of the the son of a draper in London, was born, in the West Indies had to wait till its real poet borough of Southwark, 1730, and died 1783. appeared in the author of 'Paul and Virginia.' His father retired to Amwell, in Hertfordshire, Grainger was hardly able to cope with the when our poet was only ten years old; and this strange and gorgeous contrasts it presents of removal, together with the circumstance of his cliffs and crags, like those of Iceland, with never having been inoculated for the small vegetation rich as that of the fairest parts of pox, proved an unfortunate impediment to his India, and of splendid sunshine, with tempests education. He was put to a day-school, in of such tremendous fury that, but for their the neighbouring town of Ware, where not
wife was the daughter of his friend Frogley. He died at a house in Radcliff, of a putrid fever, and was interred there in the burying ground of the Friends.”—Campbell's “Specimens.” See Gilfillan's “Less-known British Poets.”
WILLIAM OLDYS. “Oldys was born in 1696, and died in 1761. He was a very diligent collector of antiquarian materials, and the author of a Life of Raleigh. He was intimate with Captain Grose, Burns' friend, who used to rally him on his inordinate thirst for ale, although, if we believe Burns, it was paralleled by Grose's liking for port.” - Gilfillan's “ Lese-known British Poets." See Campbell's “Specimens.”
much instruction was to be had ; and from that little he was called away, upon the first alarm of infection. Such indeed was his constant apprehension of the disease, that he lived for twenty years within twenty miles of London without visiting it more than once. About the age of seventeen, however, he betook himself to reading. His family, from their cast of opinions and society, were not likely to abound either in books or conversation relating to literature ; but he happened to form an acquaintance and friendship with a neighbour of the name of Frogley, a master bricklayer, who, though an uneducated man, was an admirer of poetry, and by his intercourse with this friend he strengthened his literary propensity. His first poetical essays were transmitted to the 'Gentleman's Magazine.' In his thirtieth year he published four elegies, which were favourably received. His poems, entitled, “The Garden,' and 'Amwell,' and his volume of collected poetical pieces, appeared after considerable intervals; and his Critical Essays on the English Poets,' two years after his death. These, with his * Remarks on the Poems of Rowley,' are all that can be called his literary productions. He published also two political tracts, in answer to Dr. Johnson's 'Patriot,' and 'False Alarm.' His critical essays contain some judicious remarks on Denham and Dyer ; but his verbal strictures on Collins and Goldsmith discover a miserable insensibility to the soul of those poets. His own verses are chiefly interesting where they breathe the pacific principles of the Quaker; while his personal character engages respect, from exhibiting a public spirit and liberal taste beyond the habits of his brethren. He was well informed in the laws of his country; and, though prevented by his tenets from becoming a magistrate, he made himself useful to the inhabit. ants of Amwell, by his offices of arbitration, and by promoting schemes of local improvement. He was constant in his attendance at turnpike meetings, navigation trusts, and commissions of land-tax. Ware and Hertford were indebted to him for the plan of opening a spacious road between those two towns. His treatises on the highway and parochial laws were the result of long and laudable attention to those subjects.
“His verses, and his amiable character, gained him by degrees a large circle of literary acquaintance, which included Dr. Johnson, Sir William Jones, Mrs. Montague, and many other distinguished individuals ; and having submitted to inoculation, in his thirty-sixth year, he was from that period more frequently in London. In his retirement he was fond of gardening, and, in amusing himself with the improvement of his grounds, had excavated a grotto in the side of a hill, which his biographer, Mr. Hoole, writing in 1785, says was still shown as a curiosity in that part of the country. He was twice married. His first
JOHN CUNNINGHAM. "John Cunningham, born 1729, died 1773, the son of a wine-cooper in Dublin, was a respectable actor, and performed several years in Digges's company, Edinburgh. In his latter years he resided in Newcastle-on-Tyne, in the house of a 'generous printer,' whose hospitality for some time supported the poet. Cunningham's pieces are full of pastoral simplicity and lyrical melody. He aimed at nothing high and seldom failed.”—Chambers'
Cyc. Eng. Lit,"vol. ii. See Allibone's “Crit. Dict. Eng. Lit.” ; Campbell's “ Specimens.”
NATHANIEL COTTON. “Nathaniel Cotton, born 1721, died 1788, wrote · Visions in Verse,' for children, and a volume of poetical ‘Miscellanies.' He followed the medical profession in St. Albans, and was distinguished
for his skill in the treatment of cases of insanity. Cowper, his patient, bears evidence to his well-known humanity and sweetness of temper.”—Chambers' “ Cyc. Eng. Lit.," vol. ii. p. 122. See Allibone's “Crit. Dict. Eng. Lit."; Grimshawe's' “ Life of Cowper"; Southey's “Life and Works of Cowper."
putting his name to a joint security for £3000, at the request of his friend Fleetwood, the theatrical manager, who persuaded him that his signature was a mere matter of form. How he obtained his liberation we are not informed.
“In the year 1735 he married a Miss Anne Dyer, with whom he obtained ten thousand pounds. She was homely in her person, and very weak in intellect; but Whitehead, it appears, always treated her with respect and tenderness.
"He became, in the same year, a satirical rhymer against the ministry of Walpole ; and having published his ‘State Dunces,' a weak echo of the manner of the 'Dunciad,' he was patronised by the opposition, and parti. cularly by Bubb Doddington. In 1739 he published the ‘Manners,' a satire, in which Mr. Chalmers says that he attacks every thing venerable in the constitution. The poem is not worth disputing about; but it is certainly a mere personal lampoon, and no attack on the constitution. For this invective he was summoned to appear at the bar of the House of Lords, but concealed himself for a time, and the affair was dropped. The threat of prosecuting him, it was suspected, was meant as a hint to Pope, that those who satirised the great might bring themselves into danger; and Pope (it is pretended) became more cautious. There would seem, however, to be nothing very terrific in the example of a prosecution, that must have been dropped either from clemency or conscious weakness. The ministerial journals took another sort of revenge, by accusing him of irreligion; and the evidence, which they can. didly and consistently brought to substantiate the charge, was the letter of a student from Cambridge, who had been himself expelled from the university for atheism.
“In 1744 he published another satire, entitled the Gymnasiad,' on the most renowned boxers of the day. It had at least the merit of being harmless.
" By the interest of Lord Despenser, hn obtained a place under government, that of deputy treasurer of the chamber ; and, retiring to a handsome cottage, which he purchased at Twickenham, he lived in comfort and hospitality, and suffered his small satire and polities to be equally forgotten. Churchill attacked him in a couplet :“May I (can worse disgrace on manhood
fall ?) Be born a Whitehead and baptised a Paul.' But though a libertine lire Churchill, he seems not to have been the worse man of the two. Sir John Hawkins gives him the character of being good-hearted, even to sim. plicity; and says, that he was esteemed a Twickenham for his kind offices, and for composing quarrels among his neighbours." — Campbell's “Specimens.”
CHRISTOPHER ANSTEY. “Christopher Anstey, born 1724, died 1805, was author of "The New Bath Guide,' a light satirical and humorous poem, which appeared in 1766, and set an example in this description of composition, that has since been followed in numerous instances, and with great success. Smollett, in his 'Humphrey Clinker,' published five years later, may be almost said to have reduced the New Bath Guide' to prose. Many of the characters and situations are exactly the same as those of Anstey. This poem seldom rises above the tone of conversation, but is easy, sportive, and entertaining. The fashionable Fribbles of the day, the chat, scandal and amusements of those attending the wells, and the canting hypocrisy of some sectarians, are depicted, sometimes with indelicacy, but always with force and liveliness. Mr. Anstey was son of the Rev. Dr. Anstey, rector of Brinkeley, in Cambridgeshire, a gentleman who possessed a considerable landed property, which the poet afterwards inherited. He was educated at Eton school, and elected to King's College, Cambridge, and in both places he distinguished himself as a classical scholar. In consequence of his refusal to deliver certain declamations, Anstey quarrelled with the heads of the university, and was denied the usual degree. In the epilogue to the 'New Bath Guide,' fie alludes to this circumstance
shire, published anonymously, in 1769, a col. lection of miscellaneous poems, forming a thin quarto, which he had printed at Wolverhampton. One piece was copied by Dodsley into his ‘Annual Register,' and from thence has been transferred (different persons being assigned as the author) into almost every periodical and collection of fugitive verses. This poem is entitled The Beggar' (sometimes called 'The Beggar's Petition'), and contains much pathetic and natural sentiment finely expressed.". Chambers' “Cyc. Eng. Lit.," vol. ii., p. 125.
*Granta, sweet Granta, were studious of ease, Seven years did I sleep, and then lost my
degrees.' He then went into the army, and married Miss Calvert, sister to his friend John Calvert, Esq., of Allbury Hall, in Hertfordshire, through whose influence he was returned to parliament for the borough of Hertford. He was a frequent resident in the city of Bath, and a favourite in the fashionable and literary coteries of the place. In 1766 was published his celebrated poem, which instantly became popular. He wrote various other pieces—'A Poem on the Death of the Marquis of Tavistock (1767); “An Election Ball, in Poetical Letters from Mr. Inkle at Bath to his Wife at Gloucester’; a ‘Paraphrase of the Thirteenth Chapter of the First Epistle to the Corin. thians'; a satire entitled "The Priest Dis. sected'; 'Speculation,
Defence of Mankind' (1780); "Liberality, or Memoirs of a Decayed Macæroni' (1788); "The Farmer's Daughter, a Poetical Tale' (1795); and various other copies of occasional verses. Anstey also translated Gray's “Elegy' into Latin verse, and addressed an elegant Latin Ode to Dr. Jenner. While the New Bath Guide' was 'the only thing in fashion,' and relished for its novel and original kind of humour, the other productions of Anstey were neglected by the public, and have never been revived. In the enjoyment of his paternal estate, the poet, however, was independent of the public support, and he took part in the sports of the field up to his eightieth year. While on a visit to his son-in-law, Mr. Bosanquet, at Harnage, Wiltshire, he was taken ill, and died on the 3rd of August, 1805.”—Chambers' “Cyc. Eng. Lit.,” vol. ii. See Allibone's “ Crit. Dict. Eng. Lit.”
JOHN WESLEY. “ John Wesley, born 1703, died 1791, a celebrated English divine, who, with Whitefield, founded Methodism. He was the son of Samuel Wesley the elder, and was educated at the Charterhouse, whence he removed to Christ Church College, Oxford ; but in 1726 was chosen fellow of Lincoln College, where he became an eminent tutor. In 1730 he and his brother, with a few other students, formed themselves into a small society for the purpose of mutual edification in religiou? exercises. They devoted their leisure to visiting the prisons and the sick, took the communion once a week, and fasted upon two out of every seven days. An association thus rigidly occupied with religious duties excited considerable notice; and, among other names bestowed upon the members, that of Methodists was applied to them with such success as to sub. sequently become the distinctive appellation of all their followers. Deeming Oxford a sphere not large enough for his labours, Wesley, with some others, went to Georgia, in North America, in 1735, with a view of converting the Indians. After a stay there of nearly two years, he returned to England, commenced preaching to open-air meetings, and gathered many followers. The churches being shut against him, he built spacious meeting-houses in London, Bristol, and other places. For some time he was united to George Whitefield; but differences arising on account of the doctrine of election, which was zealously espoused and preached by the latter, they separated, and the Methodists were denominated according to their respective leaders. Wesley was indefatigable in his labours, and was almost continually engaged in travelling over England, Wales, Scotland, and Ireland. No man ever laboured more zealously or continuously in the cause which he had undertaken. Every moment of his life was devoted to the organization of the great sect of Methodists, and he preserved his influence over it to the last. He published hymns, sermons, political tracts, and controversial pieces against the Calvinists and Moravians; but the complete list of the writings of this extraordinary man is too
MRS. THRALE. “Mrs. Thrale, afterwards Mrs. Piozzi, born 1740, died 1822, whose maiden name was Esther Lynch Salusbury, a native of Bodville, in Carnarvonshire, married Mr. Henry Thrale, the opulent brewer, in whose house Dr. Johnson found so frequent a home. She was the authores3 of “The Three Warnings, which is so good a piece of composition that Johnson has been supposed to have assisted in writing it. After the death of her husband, she married Piozzi, an Italian music-master, and left England. She wrote several other works, but the one by which she is best known is . Anecdotes of Dr. Johnson, 1786. She spent the latter portion of her life at Clifton, where she died."-Shaw's "Hist. Eng. Lit.”
THOMAS MOSS. " Thomas Moss, who died in 1808, minister of Brierley Hill, and of Trentham, in Stafford
voluminous to be inserted. Two collected editions of his works have been published, the first in 32 vols., and the second in 16 vols. The best biographies of him are those of Coke and More, and Southey. His preaching was extemporaneous, but not vehement. He dwe much upon practical religion, though he taught his followers to seek inspiration of the Holy Spirit, and to aspire to a state of sinless perfection." — Beeton's “ Dict. Univ. Biog." See Southey's “Life of Wesley."
Laws. He succeeded at last to a lucrative clerkship of the Privy Council, and Mr. Pitt made him deputy treasurer of Chelsea Hos. pital; but this accession to his fortune came but a short time previous to his death, which was occasioned by a stroke of the palsy.". Campbell's “Specimens.”
CHARLES WESLEY. “ Charles Wesley, born 1708, died 1788, an English divine, and younger brother of the preceding, was one of the first Methodists, and continued a constant preacher among them to his death. He wrote several hymns, and other pious pieces of great excellence.” Beeton's “ Dict. Univ. Biog." See Southey's “Life of Wesley."
“ Aaron Hill was born in 1685, and died in the very minute of the earthquake of 1750, of the shock of which, though speechless, he appeared to be sensible. His life was active, benevolent, and useful : he was the general friend of unfortunate genius, and his schemes for public utility were frustrated only by the narrowness of his circumstances. Though his manners were unassuming, his personal dignity was such, that he made Pope fairly ashamed of the attempt to insult him, and obliged the satirist to apologise to him with a mean equivocation.”-Campbell's Speci. mens. See Allibone's “Crit. Dict. Eng. Lit.”
ALEXANDER ROSS. “Alexander Ross, a schoolmaster in Lochlee, in Angus, when nearly seventy years of age, in 1768, published at Aberdeen, by the advice of Dr. Beattie, a volume entitled “Helenore, or the Fortunate Shepherdess ; a Pastoral Tale in the Scottish Dialect, to which are added a few Songs by the Author Ross was a good descriptive poet, and some of his songs, as · Woo'd, and Married, and a',' • The Rock and the Wee Pickle Tow,' are still popular in Scotland. Being chiefly written in the Kincardineshire dialect (which differs in many expressions, and in pronunciation, from the Lowland Scotch of Burns), Ross is less known out of his native district than he ought to be. Beattie took a warm interest in the "good-humoured, social, happy old man,' who was independent on £20 a year; and to promote the sale of his volume, he addressed a letter and a poetical epistle in praise of it to the Aberdeen Journal. The epistle is remark. able as Beattie's only attempt in Aberdeenshire Scotch; one verse of it is equal to Burns :
O bonny are our greensward hows,
And saft winds rustle,
Blaw the blythe whistle.' Ross died in 1784, at the great age of eightysix.”—Chambers' “Cyc. Eng. Lit.” vol. ii. pp. 125, 126.
GILBERT WEST. “Gilbert West, born 1706, died 1755. The translator of Pindar was the son of the Rev. Dr. West, who published an edition of the same classic at Oxford. His mother was sister to Sir Richard Temple, afterwards Lord Cobham. Though bred at Oxford with a view to the Church, he embraced the military life for some time, but left it for the employ. ment of Lord Townshend, then secretary of state, with whom he accompanied the King to Hanover. Through this interest he was appointed clerk extraordinary to the Privy Council, a situation which however was not immediately profitable. He married soon after, and retired to Wickham, in Kent, where his residence was often visited by Pitt and Lord Lyttelton. There he wrote his Ob. servations on the Resurrection,' for which the University of Oxford made him a Doctor of
LADY ANNE BARNARD. “ Lady Anne Barnard was authoress of • Auld Robin Gray, one of the most perfect, tender, and affecting of all our ballads or tales of humble life. About the year 1771, Lady Anne composed the ballad to an ancient air. It instantly became popular, but the lady kept the secret of its authorship for the long period of fifty years, when, in 1823, she acknowledged it in a letter to Sir Walter Scott, accompanying the disclosure with a full account of the cir. cumstances under which it was written. At the same time Lady Anne sent two continuations to the ballad, which, like all other con. tinuations (Don Quixote, perhaps, excepted), are greatly inferior to the original. Indeed, the tale of sorrow is so complete in all its