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tical treatise on the brewing of that drink. John Philips, who published likewise a poem on the battle of Blenheim, in rivalry of Addison, was a Tory poet, and the affectation of simplicity, at least, cannot be laid to his charge, for what he aims at imitating or appropriating is not what is called the language of nature, but the swell and pomp of Milton. His serious poetry, however, is not worth much, at least as poetry. John Philips belongs to the preceding era, having been born in 1676, and having died in 1708.
Two or three more names may be merely mentioned. Leonard Welsted, who was born in 1689, and died in 1747, also, like Ambrose Philips, figures in the Dunciad and in the Treatise of Martinus Scriblerus, and produced a considerable quantity both of verse and prose, utterly forgotten. Thomas Yalden, who died a Doctor of Divinity in 1736, was a man of wit as well as the writer of a number of odes, elegies, hymns, fables, and other compositions in verse, of which one, entitled a Hymn to Darkness, is warmly praised by Dr. Johnson, who has given the author a place in his Lives of the Poets. In that work too may be found an account of Hammond, the author of the Love Elegies, who died in 1742, in his thirty-second year, driven mad, and eventually sent to his grave, it is affirmed, by the inexorable cruelty of the lady, a Miss Dashwood, who, under the name of Delia, is the subject of his verses,
and who, we are told, survived him for thirty-seven years without finding any one else either to marry or fall in love with her. The character, as Johnson remarks, that Hammond bequeathed her was not likely to attract courtship. Hammond's poetry, however, reflects but coldly
the amorous fire which produced all this mischief: it is correct and graceful, but languid almost to the point of drowsiness. Gilbert West was born about 1705, and died in 1756 : besides other verse, he published a translation of a portion of the odes of Pindar, which had long considerable reputation, but is not very Pindaric, though a smooth and sonorous performance. The one of his works that has best kept its ground is his prose tract entitled Observations on the Resurrection, a very able and ingenious disquisition, for which the university of Oxford made West a Doctor of Laws. Aaron Hill, who was born in 1685 and died in 1750, and who lies buried in Westminster Abbey, was at different periods of his life a traveller, a projector, a theatrical manager, and a literary man. He is the author of no fewer than seventeen dramatic pieces, original and translated, among which his versions of Voltaire's Zaire and Merope long kept possession of the stage. His poetry is in general both pompous and empty enough ; and of all he has written, almost the only passage that is now much remembered is a satiric sketch of Pope, in a few lines, which have some imitative smartness, but scarcely any higher merit. Pope had offended him by putting him in the Dunciad, though the way in which he is mentioned is really complimentary to Hill. A good view of the character of Aaron Hill, who was an amiable and honourable man, although he overrated his own talents and importance, is to be got from the published correspondence of Richardson the novelist, in the first of the six volumnes of which Hill's letters, extending from the year 1730 to 1748, fill about 130 pages. Mrs. Barbauld, by whom the collection was prepared for the press, W&S
not aware that in publishing two of these letters of Hill's, those given on pp. 53 and 55, she was letting out a literary secret. The letters, as given by her, are mutilated ; but they are in part the same with those published by Richardson himself at the head of the second edition of his Pamela, as from “ a gentleman of the most distinguished taste and abilities”. -"an incomparable writer,” &c., in which both that work and its author are extolled in a way that must have left the most inordinate vanity nothing to desire. The laudation, however, as we see, was liberally repaid on Richardson's part: if Pamela was unequalled among books, Pamela's critic was incomparable among writers: there was a fair interchange between the parties. Perhaps, however, if it had been announced that the incomparable critic and fine writer was only Aaron Hill, the effect designed to be produced on the public mind might have been somewhat damaged.
By far the greatest of all the poetical writers of this age who, from the small quantity of their productions, or the brevity of each of them separately considered, are styled minor poets, is Collins. William Collins, born in 1720, died at the early age of thirty-six, and nearly all his poetry had been written ten years before his death. His volume of Odes, descriptive and allegorical, was published in 1746; his Oriental Eclogues had appeared some years before, while he was a student at Oxford. Only his unfinished Ode on the Popular Superstitions of the Highlanders was found among his papers after his death, and it is dated 1749. The six or seven last years of his short life were clouded with a depression of spirits which made intellectual exertion impossible. All that Collins has written is full of imagination, pathos, and melody. The defect of his poetry in general is that there is too little of earth in it: in the purity and depth of its 'beauty it resembles the bright blue sky. Yet Collins had genius enough for anything; and in his ode entitled The Passions he has shown with how strong a voice and pulse of humanity he could, when he chose, animate his verse, and what extensive and enduring popularity he could command. We may here also mention his contemporaries, Gray and Shenstone, since, although both survived the accession of George III.-Shenstone dying at the age of fifty in 1763, Gray at that of fifty-five in 1771 — nearly all their poetry was produced before that event. Shenstone is remembered for his Pastoral Ballad, his Schoolmistress, and an elegy or two; but there was very little potency of any kind in the music of his slender oaten pipe. Gray's famous Elegy, his two Pindarics, his Ode on Eton College, his Long Story, some translations from the Norse and Welsh, and a few other short pieces, which make
up his contributions to the poetry of his native language, are all admirable for their exquisite finish, nor is a true poetical spirit ever wanting, whatever may be thought of the form in which it is sometimes embodied. When his two celebrated compositions, “The Progress of Poesy' and The Bard,' appeared together in 1757, Johnson affirms that “the readers of poetry were at first content to gaze in mute amazement;” and, although the difficulty or impossibility of understanding them which was then, it seems, felt and confessed, is no longer complained of, much severe animadversion has been passed
on them on other accounts. But, whatever objections may be made to the artificial and unnatural character and over-elaboration of their style, the gorgeous brocade of the verse does not hide the true fire and fancy beneath, or even the real elegance of taste that has arrayed itself so ambitiously. But Gray often expresses himself, too, as naturally and simply in his poetry as he always does in his charming Letters and other writings in prose : the most touching of the verses in his Ode to Eton College, for instance, are so expressed ; and in his Long Story he has given the happiest proof of his mastery over the lightest graces and gaieties of song.
Among the more eminent writers of longer poems about this date may be noticed Dr. John Armstrong, who was born in Scotland in 1709, and whose Art of Preserving Health, published in 1744, has the rare merit of an original and characteristic style, distinguished by raciness and manly grace; and Dr. Mark Akenside, likewise a physician, the author, at the age of twentythree, of The Pleasures of Imagination, published in the same year with Armstrong's poem, and giving another example of the treatment of a didactic subject in verse with great ingenuity and success. Akenside's rich, though diffuse, eloquence, and the store of fanciful illustration which he pours out, evidence a wonderfully full mind for so young a man.
Neither Akenside nor Armstrong published any more verse after the accession of George III. ; though the former lived till 1770, and the latter till 1779. Wilkie, the author of the rhyming epic called The Epigoniad, who was a Scotch clergyman