Imágenes de páginas

which, as Dryden remarked, a poet easily rids his scene of persons whom he wants not to keep alive! In Busiris there are the greatest ebullitions of imagination ; but the pride of Busiris is such as no other man can have, and the whole is too remote from known life to raise either grief, terror, or indignation ? The Revenge approaches much nearer to human practices and manners, and therefore keeps possession of the stage }; the first design seems suggested by Othello, but the reflections, the incidents, and the diction are original*. The moral observations are so introduced and so expressed as to have all the novelty that can be required. Of The Brothers I may be allowed to say nothing, since nothing was ever said of it by the Publick?

It must be allowed of Young's poetry that it abounds in 163

X. 261.

shoulder of mutton. And yet this finds its origin in a story in The man, so ignorant in modern butchery, Guardian, No. 37. has cut up half a hundred heroes, and 5 Wedderburne in a scurrilous inquartered five or six miserable lovers vective against Dr. Franklin' quoted in every tragedy he has written.' The Revenge:—'Amidst these tranPope's Works (Elwin and Courthope), quil events here is a man who, with

the utmost insensibility of remorse, 'The dagger and the cup of stands up and avows himself the poison are always in a readiness.' author of all. I can compare him Dryden's Works, vi. 410.

only to Zanga :Suicide is always to be had with

“ Know then 'twas 1out expense of thought.' Post, GRAY, I forged the letter-I disposed the 47.

picture. It was published in 1719. 'It I hated-I despised-and I destroy." appeared with success at Drury

[Act v. sc. 2.] Lane.' Biog. Dram. ii. 72.

I ask, my Lords, whether the rePope (Imit. Hor., Epis. i. 6. 87) vengeful temper attributed to the says of Timon:

bloody African is not surpassed by Or if three ladies like a luckless the coolness and apathy of the wily play,

American.' Chatham Corres, iv. 323. Takes the whole house upon a 6 It is in the March list of books poet's day.'

in Gent. Mag. 1753, p. 150, price The play,' writes Warton, 'was 15. 6d. See also ib. p. 135. once said to be Busiris.' Warton's I have seen Young's receipt to Pope, iv. 135

Dodsley, dated March 7, 1753, for It was acted at Drury Lane in £147 for the copyright. 1721-only six nights.' Biog. Dram. ? Horace Walpole wrote of theatric iii. 202. It was published the same genius' (Works, 1798, i. 129) :-'It year. Macready took the part of turned to tuneful nonsense in The Zanga in 1820. Macready's Remi- Mourning Bride, grew stark mad in niscences, i. 220.

Lee; whose cloak, a little the worse 'For the copy-money Dr. Young for wear, fell on Young ; yet in both could get no more than £50. But to was still a poet's cloak. It recovered drive a bargain was not the talent its senses in Hughes and Fenton, of this generous and disinterested who were afraid it should relapse, man.' J. WARTON, Essay on Pope, and accordingly kept it down with a

timid but amiable hand -and then it * Mrs. Piozzi, in a marginal note, languished.'

ii. 471.

thought, but without much accuracy or selection! When he lays hold of an illustration he pursues it beyond expectation, sometimes happily, as in his parallel of Quicksilver with Pleasure, which I have heard repeated with approbation by a lady, of whose praise he would have been justly proud, and which is very ingenious, very subtle, and almost exact?; but sometimes he is less lucky, as when, in his Night Thoughts, having it dropped into his mind that the orbs, floating in space, might be called the cluster' of Creation, he thinks on a cluster of grapes, and says that they all hang on the great Vine, drinking the 'necta

reous juice of immortal Life ?! 164 His conceits are sometimes yet less valuable; in The Last Day

he hopes to illustrate the re-assembly of the atoms that compose the human body at the ‘Trump of Doom,' by the collection of

bees into a swarm at the tinkling of a pan*. 165 The Prophet says of Tyre that her · Merchants are Princes 5'; Young says of Tyre in his Merchant,

'Her merchants Princes, and each deck a Throne 6.' Let burlesque try to go beyond him. 166 He has the trick of joining the turgid and familiar: to buy

the alliance of Britain, 'Climes were paid down?' Antithesis is

'Young has a surprising knack Self-mov'd advance; the neck per. of bringing thoughts from a distance, haps to meet from their lurking-places, in a mo- The distant head; the distant legs ment's time.' SHENSTONE, Works, the feet' 1791, ii. 229.

5 Isaiah, xxiji. 8. · Mrs. Thrale was the lady, as she 6 Her merchants Princes, every deck tells us. John. Misc. i. 258. For the a throne.' parallel see ib. n. 6; The Universal Imperium Pelagi; The Merchant, Passion, v. 291.

Works, 1858, ii. 347. The poem is 3 ‘Worlds ! systems ! and creations ! in Eng. Poets (lxii. 252). It opens :-and creations

'Fast by the surge my limbs are In one agglomerated cluster hung, spread, Great Vine! on Thee, on Thee the The naval oak nods o'er my head.' cluster hangs!

"His sons, Po, Ganges, Danube, The filial cluster! infinitely spread

Nile, In glowing globes, with various Their sedgy foreheads lift and being fraught;

smile; And drinks (nectareous draught!) Their urns inverted prodigally immortal life.'

pour Night ix. 1. 1912.

Streams charg'd with wealth, The Last Day, ii. 49. He is still and vow to buy more absurd when he writes (ib. ii. Britannia for their great ally 23) :

With climes paid down ; what *Now charnels rattle; scatter'd limbs

can the gods do more?' and all

(the call, Young's Poetical Works, 1857-8, The various bones, obsequious to


ii. 341.

his favourite: 'They for kindness hate!' and 'because she's right, she's ever in the wrong?.'

His versification is his own ?, neither his blank nor his rhyming 167 lines have any resemblance to those of former writers +: he picks up no hemistichs, he copies no favourite expressions; he seems to have laid up no stores of thought or diction, but to owe all to the fortuitous suggestions of the present moment. Yet I have reason to believe that, when once he had formed a new design, he then laboured it with very patient industry, and that he composed with great labour and frequent revisions.

His verses are formed by no certain model, for he is no more 168 like himself in his different productions than he is like others. He seems never to have studied prosody, nor to have had any direction but from his own ear. But, with all his defects, he was a man of genius and a poet.

1 The Universal Passion, v. 551. For Young'scondemnation of Pope's 2 16. vi. 200.

Iliad see ante, POPE, 349 n. His 3 For Swift's prevailing with him admiration of Shakespeare is far to exclude alexandrines see ante, higher than would be expected from POPE, 376 n.

his own dramas. In his Conjectures Johnson says the same of Thom- on Original Composition (Works, son's blank verse. Ante, THOMSON, 1770, iv. 289) he says :- Shakespeare 46.

mingled no water with his wine, 5 Ante, COWLEY, 198; PRIOR, 71. lowered his genius by no vapid imita

6 Johnson, after being 'forced to tion; Shakespeare gave us a Shakeprefer Young's description of Night

speare, nor could the first in ancient to those of Dryden and Shakespeare,' fame have given us more.

Shakecontinued :- This is true; but re- speare is not their son, but brother ; member that taking the compositions their equal; and that in spite of all of Young in general, they are but like his faults. bright stepping-stones over a miry Coleridge said that Young was road: Young froths, and foams, and not a poet to be read through at once. bubbles sometimes very vigorously; His love of point and wit had often but we must not compare the noise put an end to his pathosand sublimity; made by your tea-kettle here with but there were parts in him which the roaring of the ocean. John. must be immortal. He loved to read Misc. i. 186.

a page of Young, and walk out to To Young's son he spoke of him think of him.' Table Talk, 1884, as 'that great man your father.' P. 297. Boswell's Johnson, iv. 120. For his [Since Sir Leslie Stephen conmeeting the poet see ib. v. 269. tributed his admirable life of Young

For a coarse criticism by Pope on to the Dict. of Nat. Biog. fresh Young's ' being always on the strain material has been made available and labouring for expression’ see by the publication of the poet's Warburton's Pope, iv. 224. In War- letters to the Duchess of Portland, ton's Pope, iv. 233, it is said that he 1740-65. Hist. MSS. Com., 1904, was criticizing Night Thoughts. See Report on MSS. of Marquis of Bath, also ante, YOUNG, 13.

i. 254-300.]



1 DAVID MALLET, having no written memorial, I am

able to give no other account than such as is supplied by the unauthorised loquacity of common fame and a very slight

personal knowledge'. 2 He was by his original one of the Macgregors, a clan that

became, about sixty years ago, under the conduct of Robin Roy, so formidable and so infamous for violence and robbery, that the name was annulled by a legal abolition ?; and when they were all to denominate themselves anew the father, I suppose, of this

author called himself Malloch. 3 David Malloch was, by the penury of his parents, compelled to

be Janitor of the High School at Edinburgh; a mean office, of which he did not afterwards delight to hear 3. But he surmounted the disadvantages of his birth and fortune; for when the Duke of Montrose * applied to the College of Edinburgh for a tutor to educate his sons Malloch was recommended ; and I never heard

that he dishonoured his credentials 5. 4

When his pupils were sent to see the world they were entrusted to his care; and having conducted them round the common circle of modish travels 6 he returned with them to London, where, by the influence of the family in which he resided, he naturally gained admission to many persons of the highest rank and the highest character, to wits, nobles, and statesmen.

· He was born about the year 1705. a detestable name and a corrupt one. Dict. Nat. Biog.

I would as soon be a Macgregor.' · Scott, in the Introduction to Rob Letters, vii. 508. Roy, says that the name was abolished 3 I have seen it stated—where I in 1603; it was restored at the Resto- forget-that as janitor he had to ration, and a second time abolished 'horse' the boys when they were after the Revolution. Johnson refers flogged. to the exception of the clan from the Ante, THOMSON, 7. Act of Grace of 1717. Ante, PRIOR, ““My encouragement is £30." 39 n.

Mallet to Ker, July, 1723. CunningHorace Walpole, on Feb. 3, 1781, ham's Lives of the Poets, iii. 362. mentioning Governor Johnstone, and • For a letter of his dated 'Geneva, having Dr. Johnson in mind, con- 1735,' see Pope's Works (Elwin and tinues :-'With or without a t that is Courthope), x. 90.


Of his works, I know not whether I can trace the series. His 5 first production' was William and Margaret?, of which, though it contains nothing very striking or difficult, he has been envied the reputation, and plagiarism has been boldly charged but never proved 3.

Not long afterwards he published The Excursion* (1728), 6 a desultory and capricious view of such scenes of Nature as his fancy led him, or his knowledge enabled him, to describe. It is not devoid of poetical spirit. Many of the images are striking, and many of the paragraphs are elegant. The cast of diction seems to be copied from Thomson, whose Seasons were then in their full blossom of reputation. He has Thomson's beauties and his faults 5.

His poem on Verbal Criticism(1733) was written to pay 7

1 'His first printed production was of the Burning Pestle (Act ii. sc. 8] a Pastoral in the Edinburgh Mis- in the following stanza : cellany, 1720.' Cunningham's Lives 'When it was grown to dark midnight, of the Poets, iii. 362; Tovey's Thom- And all were fast asleep, son, Preface, p. 16.

In came Margaret's grimly ghost, a' Mallet's William and Margaret And stood at William's feet.' was printed in Aaron Hil Plain Gibbon wrote on May 24, 1776:Dealer, No. 36, July 24, 1724. In its 'Poor Mallet! I pity his misfortune, original state it was very different and feel for him probably more than from what it is in the last edition of he does for himself at present. His his works. JOHNSON.

William and Margaret, his only good In The Plain Dealer the opening piece of poetry, is torn from him.' stanza runs :

Gibbon's Corres. 1896, i. 283. 'When hope lay hush'd in silent night, Professor F. J. Child says that 'a

And woe was wrapp'd in sleep, copy of the date 1711, with the title In glided Marg'ret's pale-ey'd ghost, William and Margaret, an Old

And stood at William's feet.' Ballad, turns out to be substantially In a broad-sheet in the Brit. Mus. the piece which Mallet published as (n. d.) it runs:

his own in 1724. William and Now all was wrapt in dark mid-night Margaret is simply Fair Margaret And all were fast asleep;

and Sweet William rewritten in what In glided Margaret's grimly ghost, used to be called an elegant style.'

And stood at William's feet.' Eng. and Scot. Popular Ballads, In Eng. Poets, lxiii. 191, it runs :- 1882-98, ii. 199. ''Twas at the silent, solemn hour

Eng. Poets, lxiii. 41. When night and morning meet,

5 Mallet was writing this poem In glided Margaret's grimly ghost, when Thomson was writing Summer,

And stood at William's feet.' as Thomson's letters to him show. For The Plain Dealer see ante, Philobiblon Misc. vol. iv. SAVAGE, 59.

. Of Verbal Criticism, an Epistle Captain Edward Thompson, in to Mr. Pope, occasioned by Theobald's an edition of Marvell in 1776, charged Shakespeare and Bentley's Milton. Mallet with plagiarism from that poet. Gent. Mag. March, 1734, p. 167; See Gent. Mag: 1776, pp: 355, 401.

Eng. Poets, lxiii. 7. On. p. 559 it is asserted that the On Nov. 7, 1733, Pope wrote to ballad was written in 1622, and is Mallet :--The Epistle I have read quoted by Fletcher in The Knight over and over with great and just





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