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patriots'. This drew upon him the reproaches of Fox, who, in the house, imputed to him as a crime his intimacy with a lampooner so unjust and licentious. Lyttelton supported his friend, and replied that he thought it an honour to be received into the familiarity of so great a poet”.
While he was thus conspicuous he married (1741) · Miss Lucy 9 Fortescue of Devonshire, by whom he had a son, the late lord Lyttelton", and two daughters, and with whom he appears to have lived in the highest degree of connubial felicity: but human pleasures are short ; she died in childbed about five years afterwards, and he solaced his grief by writing a long poem to her memory
He did not, however, condemn himself to perpetual solitude 10 and sorrow, for after a while he was content to seek happiness again by a second marriage with the daughter of Sir Robert Rich; but the experiment was unsuccessful?.
At length, after a long struggle, Walpole gave way, and honour 11 and profit were distributed among his conquerors 8. Lyttelton was made (1744) one of the Lords of the Treasury'; and from that time was engaged in supporting the schemes of the ministry.
Politicks did not, however, so much engage him as to withhold 12 his thoughts from things of more importance. He had, in the
' 'Sometimes a patriot, active in de
bate, Mix with the world, and battle for
the state, Free as young Lyttelton her cause
pursue, Still true to virtue, and as warm as true.'
Imit. Hor., Epis. i. 1. 27. Ante, POPE, 219. According to Walpole, in the privately printed Patriot King (ante, POPE, 250), 'where Bolingbroke had strongly flattered their common friend, Lyttelton, Pope suppressed the panegyric. ... Lyttelton asked Bolingbroke how he had forfeited his good opinion.' Walpole's Letters, ii. 159. In June, 1742.
Phillimore's Lyttelton, i. 213. Ante, WEST, 6 n.
• “The wicked Lord Lyttelton.' Boswell's Johnson, iv, 298 n.
5 She gave birth to a daughter on Jan. 1, 1746–7, and died on Jan. 19. Gent. Mag. 1747, pp. 47-8.
'Her own great imprudence, it is thought, occasioned her death.' MRS. DELANY, Auto. ii. 451.
See Appendix CC.
* July 10, 1749. Geo. Lyttelton, Esq., a Lord of the Treasury, to Miss Rich, daughter of Sir Rob. Rich, Bart., with £20,000.' Gent. Mag. 1749, p. 331. 'Her conduct at last made a separation inevitable.' Phillimore, i. 335. For the verses she and Horace Walpole exchanged in 1784 see his Letters, viii. 528.
Walpole resigned on Feb. 9, 1741-2. Ib. i. Preface, p. 63.
Lyttelton came in with the coalition known as 'The Broad Bottom,' when the Pelhams forced Granville to resign. Smollett's Hist. iii. 144. Horace Walpole, mentioning the appointment on Dec. 24, 1744, adds :* The Prince has turned out Lyttelton, who was his Secretary.' Letters, i. 335. See ante, THOMSON, 35.
LIVES OF POETS. MI
pride of juvenile confidence, with the help of corrupt conversa. tion, entertained doubts of the truth of Christianity'; but he thought the time now come when it was no longer fit to doubt or believe by chance, and applied himself seriously to the great question. His studies, being honest, ended in conviction. He found that religion was true, and what he had learned he endeavoured to teach (1747) by Observations on the Conversion of St. Paul', a treatise to which infidelity has never been able to fabricate a specious answer.
This book his father had the happiness of seeing, and expressed his pleasure in a letter which deserves to be inserted :
I have read your religious treatise with infinite pleasure and satisfaction. The style is fine and clear, the arguments close, cogent, and irresistible. May the King of kings, whose glorious cause you have so well defended, reward your pious labours, and grant that I may be found worthy, through the merits of Jesus Christ, to be an eye-witness of that happiness which I don't doubt he will bountifully bestow upon you. In the mean time, I shall never cease glorifying God, for having endowed you with such useful talents, and giving me so good a son.
Your affectionate father,
THOMAS LYTTELTON 3.' 13
A few years afterwards (1751), by the death of his father“, he inherited a baronet's title with a large estate, which, though perhaps he did not augment, he was careful to adorn, by a house of great elegance and expences and by much attention to the
decoration of his parko. 14 As he continued his activity in parliament, he was gradually " Post, LYTTELTON, 27.
Horace various characters that he has worn.' Walpole wrote from Paris on Oct. 19, Letters, ii. 154. 1765:-—'For Lord Lyttelton, if he The same year Fielding dedicated would come hither and turn free- to him Tom Jones. 'From the name,' thinker once more, he would be he wrote, "of my patron indeed, í reckoned the most agreeable man in hope my reader will be convinced at France. Letters, iv. 426.
his very entrance on this work that 3. Observations on the Conversion he will find in the whole course of it and Apostleship of St. Paul, price .. nothing which can offend even Is. 6d Gent. Mag. 1747, p. 252; the chastest ear in the perusal.' Works, p. 251; ante, WEST, 6.
* He died on Sept. 14, 1751. Gent. 3 Horace Walpole wrote of the Mag. 1751, p. 427. Methodists in 1749:-'This sect in- s® The house,' wrote Walpole in creases as fast as almost ever any 1753, 'is immeasurably bad and old. religious nonsense did. Lady Fanny Letters, ii. 352. For Johnson's deShirley has chosen this way of bestow- scription of the new house see Bosing the dregs of her beauty, and Mr. well's Johnson, v. 456. Lyttelton is very near making the 6 Thomson, in 1728, celebrated the same sacrifice of the dregs of all those park in Spring, Il. 901-59. Walpole
advancing his claim to profit and preferment, and accordingly was made in time (1754) cofferer' and privy counsellor : this place he exchanged next year for the great office of chancellor of the Exchequer; an office, however, that required some qualifications which he soon perceived himself to want?.
The year after his curiosity led him into Wales; of which he 15 has given an account, perhaps rather with too much affectation of delight, to Archibald Bower, a man of whom he had conceived an opinion more favourable than he seems to have deserved, and whom, having once espoused his interest and fame, he never was persuaded to disown. Bower, whatever was his moral character, did not want abilities : attacked as he was by an universal outcry, and that outcry, as it seems, the echo of truth, he kept his ground ; at last, when his defences began to fail him, he sallied out upon his adversaries, and his adversaries retreated 3.
About this time Lyttelton published his Dialogues of the 16 Dead“, which were very eagerly read, though the production rather, as it seems, of leisure than of studys, rather effusions than compositions. The names of his persons too often enable the reader to anticipate their conversation ; and when they have
wrote in 1753:—'There is a scene of else.' Prior's Malone, p. 443. a small lake, with cascades falling 3 See Appendix DD. down such a Parnassus !' Letters, 4 Works, p. 313; Gent. Mag. 1760, ii. 352. Johnson wrote in 1774:- p. 251. “The park wants water; there is how- Walpole, on May 24, 1760, deever one temporary cascade.' Bos. scribed it as a work paltry enough; well's Johnson, v. 456.
the style a mixture of bombast, poetry + Gent. Mag. March, 1754, p. 143.
and vulgarisms. Letters, iii. 314. Johnson defines Cofferer as a 'prin- Wesley quoting from it :-Martin cipal officer of his Majesty's Court, has spawned a strange brood of next under the Comptroller.' The fellows called Methodists, Moravians, salary was £500. Millan's Universal Hutchinsonians, who are madder than Register, 1756, p. 71.
Jack was in his worst days, conWalpole mentions the appoint- tinues :-'I would ask any one who ment on Nov. 25, 1755. Letters, ii. knows what good breeding means, is 489. On Jan, 24, 1756, he wrote that this language for a nobleman or a
Lyttelton opened the Budget; well porter?' Journal, 1827, iii. 398. enough in general, but was strangely Johnson first wrote :-'The probewildered in the figures; he stumbled duction rather of a mind that means over millions, and dwelt pompously well than thinks vigorously.' Bosupon farthings.' 16. p. 500. See also well's Johnson, iv. 58. Speaking of ib. p. 511. When he was succeeded it he said :-That man sat down to by Dowdeswell, Warburton said :- write a book to tell the world what "The one (Lyttelton) never in his life the world had all his life been telling could learn that two and two made him. Ib. ii. 126. four, while the other knew nothing
met, they too often part without any conclusion. He has copied
Fénelon more than Fontenelle'. 17 When they were first published they were kindly commended
by the Critical Reviewers, and poor Lyttelton 3 with humble gratitude returned, in a note which I have read, acknowledgements which can never be proper, since they must be paid either
for flattery or for justice *. 18
When, in the latter part of the last reign, the inauspicious commencement of the war made the dissolution of the ministry unavoidable, Sir George Lyttelton, losing with the rest his employment, was recompensed with a peerage 5; and rested from
political turbulence in the House of Lords. 19 His last literary production was his History of Henry the
Lyttelton mentions both writers Walpole wrote in 1781:-("Poor in his Preface. Fontenelle's Dialogues Lyttelton” were the words of offence. des Morts was published in 1683 and Mrs. Vesey sounded the trumpet. It Fénelon's in 1712. In Dialogue xiv. has not, I believe, produced any first ed. p. 134, Lyttelton wrote of altercation, but at a blue-stocking Voltaire : -Even his exile, I fear, meeting held by Lady Lucan, Mrs. has not taught him enough to curb Montagu and Dr. Johnson kept at the excesses of his wit. Voltaire different ends of the chamber, and wrote a letter to him complaining of set up altar against altar there.' this and other statements, and signed Letters, viii. 16. himself :-'Gentleman of the King's W. W. Pepys, writing to Mrs. Chamber. At my Castle of Ferney, Montagu, lamented that our dear and in Burgundy.' Euvres, l. 543. For respectable friend should be handed Horace Walpole's ridicule of this down to succeeding generations under subscription see his Letters, iii. 380. the appellation of poor Lyttelton.' Lyttelton published Voltaire's letter John. Misc. ii. 417.. in Gent. Mag. 1761, p. 54. For his * In the first edition, 'returned his own answer see Rebecca Warner's acknowledgements in a note which I Original Letters, p. 282.
have read; acknowledgements either ? The writers in The Critical Re- for flattery or justice.' view. They are for supporting the For Boswell's defence of the pracconstitution both in Church and tice see Boswell's Johnson, iv. 57, State,' said Johnson. Boswell's John- and for Macaulay's breaking through son, iii. 32. See also ib. ii. 39. The Johnson's rule see his Life, 1877, ii. scope of the Review was to decry any 124. work that appeared favourable to the Nov. 13, 1756. Mr. Legge reprinciples of the Revolution.' HORACE turns to be Chancellor of the ExWALPOLE, Memoirs of the Reign of chequer, and Sir George Lyttelton is George II, iii. 260. Lyttelton, a Whig, indemnified with a peerage.' H. dreaded a hostile criticism. Smollett WALPOLE, Letters, iii. 44. moreover was the editor, who had On Nov. 25 Lyttelton wrote to his grossly libelled him. The reviewer brother:-'My good friends were says that the hand of a master is pleased to say they would annihilate visible in every page.' Critical Re- me; but my annihilation is a Peerview, May, 1760, p. 390.
age given me by the King, with the 3 See ante, DRYDEN, 40, for 'poor most gracious expressions of favour.' Dryden,' and post, LYTTELTON, Ap Phillimore, ii. 537. See ante, WEST, pendix BB.
Second', elaborated by the searches and deliberations of twenty years, and published with such anxiety as only vanity can dictate?
The story of this publication is remarkable. The whole work 20 was printed twice over, a great part of it three times, and many sheets four or five times. The booksellers paid for the first impression ; but the charges and repeated operations of the press were at the expence of the author, whose ambitious accuracy is known to have cost him at least a thousand pounds. He began to print in 1755. Three volumes appeared in 1764 3, a second edition of them in 1767, a third edition in 1768, and the conclusion in 1771
Andrew Reid', a man not without considerable abilities, and 21 not unacquainted with letters or with life, undertook to persuade Lyttelton, as he had persuaded himself, that he was master of the secret of punctuation“; and, as fear begets credulity, he was
* Lyttelton, as he told Doddridge passions than Burn's Justice of Peace. in 1747, wrote the History 'to expose WALPOLE, Letters, viii. 16. a false religion which is every day 2 The Critical Review, 1767, i. 81, gaining ground in this kingdom ; . spoke highly of it. “Mr. Murphy by the account of that reign in which said he understood it was kept back the spirit of Popery discovers itself in several years for fear of Smollett.' all its deformity. Phillimore, i. 381. Boswell's Johnson, iii. 33.
BOSWELL. I rather think, Sir, * Lyttelton was equally in dread of that Toryism prevails in this reign. present and future critics, which made JOHNSON. I know not why you his works so insipid that he had better should think so, Sir. You see your not have written them at all.' WALfriend Lord Lyttelton, a nobleman, is POLE, Letters, v. 500. obliged in his History to write the 3 The first notice of them is in most vulgar Whiggism. Boswell's 1767, both in Gent. Mag. p. 319, and Johnson, ii. 221. See also ib, ii. 37 Ann. Reg. ii. 266. 1767, not 1764, for Johnson's talk with George III was the year of publication. about the book.
Walpole wrote of it on Dec. 14, Hume wrote to Adam Smith on 1771:-* It is so crowded with clouds July 14, 1767 :—Have you read Lord of words, and they are so uninterestLyttelton? Do you not admire his ing, that I think one may dispute, as Whiggery and his Piety; Qualities metaphysicians do, whether all the so useful both for this World and the space is a plenum or a vacuum.' next?' Hume MSS. in the Royal Letters, v. 356. Society, Edinburgh.
5 He edited The Present State of 'For the first article [in Mémoires the Republick of Letters (ante, POPE, littéraires de la Grande Bretagne), 189 n. I) from 1728–36. Brit. Mus. Lyttelton's History of Henry II, I Cata. must own myself responsible ; but • Johnson said that Lyttelton emthe public has ratified my judgment ployed a man to point his History for of that voluminous work, in which him; as if (laughing) another man sense and learning are not illuminated could point his sense better than by a ray of genius.' GIBBON, Me- himself. Boswell's Johnson, iii. 32. moirs, p. 173.
Byron wrote to John Murray :* His Henry II raises no more 'Do you know any one who can stop