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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 3; 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
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 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 X. 261.
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 Iout 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
I ask, my Lords, whether the rePope (Imit. Hor., Epis. i. 6. 87) vengeful temperattributed 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 Is. 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 iji. 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 Briile, 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.'
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 3.' 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 perof 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.
Isaiah, xxiii. 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
‘His sons, Po, Ganges, Danube,
pour Night ix. 1. 1912
Streams charg'd with wealth,
and vow to buy
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
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 hemistichss, 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 6.
· The Universal Passion, v. 551. ? 16. vi. 200.
3 For Swift's prevailing with him to exclude alexandrines see ante, POPE, 376 n.
* Johnson says the same of Thomson's blank verse. Ante, THOMSON, 46. 5 Ante, COWLEY, 198; PRIOR, 71.
Johnson, after being 'forced to prefer Young's description of Night to those of Dryden and Shakespeare,' continued :- This is true; but remember that taking the compositions of Young in general, they are but like bright stepping-stones over a miry road: Young froths, and foams, and bubbles sometimes very vigorously; but we must not compare the noise made by your tea-kettle here with the roaring of the ocean. John. Misc. i. 186.
To Young's son he spoke of him as 'that great man your father.' Boswell's Johnson, iv. 120. For his meeting the poet see ib. v. 269.
For a coarse criticism by Pope on Young's ‘being always on the strain and labouring for expression' see Warburton's Pope, iv. 224. In Warton's Pope, iv. 233, it is said that he was criticizing Night Thoughts. See also ante, YOUNG, 13.
For Young's condemnation of Pope's Iliad see ante, POPE, 349 n.
His admiration of Shakespeare is far higher than would be expected from his own dramas. In his Conjectures on Original Composition (Works, 1770, iv. 289) he says :-—'Shakespeare mingled no water with his wine, lowered his genius by no vapid imitation; Shakespeare gave us a Shakespeare, nor could the first in ancient fame have given us more. Shakespeare is not their son, but brother; their equal; and that in spite of all his faults.
Coleridge said that Young was not a poet to be read through at once. His love of point and wit had often put an end to his pathosand sublimity; but there were parts in him which must be immortal. He loved to read a page of Young, and walk out to think of him.' Table Talk, 1884, p. 297.
[Since Sir Leslie Stephen contributed his admirable life of Young to the Dict. of Nat. Biog. fresh material has been made available by the publication of the poet's letters to the Duchess of Portland, 1740–65. Hist. MSS. Com., 1904, Report on MSS. of Marquis of Bath, i. 254-300.)
1 F 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. 8 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 6 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
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
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, :'Mallet's William and Margaret And stood at William's feet.' was printed in Aaron Hill's 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, s 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.
6 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
LIVES OF POETS. III