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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 2. The Revenge approaches much nearer to human practices and manners, and therefore keeps possession of the stage3; 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 man, so ignorant in modern butchery, has cut up half a hundred heroes, and quartered five or six miserable lovers in every tragedy he has written.' Pope's Works (Elwin and Courthope), x. 261.

'The dagger and the cup of poison are always in a readiness.' Dryden's Works, vi. 410.

'Suicide is always to be had without expense of thought.' Post, Gray, 47.


finds its origin in a story in The Guardian, No. 37.

5 Wedderburne 'in a scurrilous invective against Dr. Franklin' quoted The Revenge:-'Amidst these tranquil events here is a man who, with the utmost insensibility of remorse, stands up and avows himself the author of all. I can compare him only to Zanga:

"Know then 'twas II forged the letter-I disposed the 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:—

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bloody African is not surpassed by the coolness and apathy of the wily American.' Chatham Corres. iv. 323.

It is in the March list of books in Gent. Mag. 1753, p. 150, price Is. 6d. See also ib. p. 135.

I have seen Young's receipt to Dodsley, dated March 7, 1753, for £147 for the copyright.

'Horace Walpole wrote of 'theatric genius' (Works, 1798, i. 129):-'It turned to tuneful nonsense in The Mourning Bride, grew stark mad in Lee; whose cloak, a little the worse for wear, fell on Young; yet in both was still a poet's cloak. It recovered its senses in Hughes and Fenton, who were afraid it should relapse, and accordingly kept it down with a timid but amiable hand-and then it 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 'nectareous 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 *.



The Prophet says of Tyre that her 'Merchants are Princes "'; Young says of Tyre in his Merchant,

'Her merchants Princes, and each deck a Throne.'

Let burlesque try to go beyond him.

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 of bringing thoughts from a distance, from their lurking-places, in a moment's time.' SHENSTONE, Works, 1791, ii. 229.

* Mrs. Thrale was the lady, as she tells us. John. Misc. i. 258. For the parallel see ib. n. 6; The Universal Passion, v. 291.

3 'Worlds! systems! and creations!
-and creations

In one agglomerated cluster hung,
Great Vine! on Thee, on Thee the
cluster hangs!

The filial cluster! infinitely spread
In glowing globes, with various
being fraught;

And drinks (nectareous draught!)
immortal life.'
Night ix. 1. 1912.

The Last Day, ii. 49. He is still more absurd when he writes (ib. ii. 23):

'Now charnels rattle; scatter'd limbs

and all [the call, The various bones, obsequious to

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

His versification is his own 3, neither his blank nor his rhyming 167 lines have any resemblance to those of former writers: he picks up no hemistichs 5, 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 o.

• The Universal Passion, v. 551. 2 lb. vi. 200.

3 For Swift's prevailing with him to exclude alexandrines see ante, POPE, 376 n.

4 Johnson says the same of Thomson's blank verse. Ante, THOMSON, 46.

5 Ante, COWLEY, 198; PRIOR, 71. 6 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 pathos and 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.]

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F DAVID MALLET, having no written memorial, I am able

Die 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 2; and when they were all to denominate themselves anew the father, I suppose, of this author called himself Malloch.



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 hear3. 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.

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 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. Dict. Nat. Biog.

* Scott, in the Introduction to Rob Roy, says that the name was abolished in 1603; it was restored at the Restoration, and a second time abolished after the Revolution. Johnson refers to the exception of the clan from the Act of Grace of 1717. Ante, PRIOR, 39 n.

Horace Walpole, on Feb. 3, 1781, mentioning Governor Johnstone, and having Dr. Johnson in mind, continues:-'With or without at that is

a detestable name and a corrupt one. I would as soon be a Macgregor.' Letters, vii. 508.

3 I have seen it stated-where I forget that as janitor he had to 'horse' the boys when they were flogged.

Ante, THOMSON, 7.

s "My encouragement is £30." Mallet to Ker, July, 1723.' Cunningham's Lives of the Poets, iii. 362.

For a letter of his dated 'Geneva, 1735,' see Pope's Works (Elwin and 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 Criticism6 (1733) was written to pay 7

'His first printed production was a Pastoral in the Edinburgh Miscellany, 1720. Cunningham's Lives of the Poets, iii. 362; Tovey's Thomson, Preface, p. 16.

2 Mallet's William and Margaret was printed in Aaron Hill's Plain Dealer, No. 36, July 24, 1724. In its original state it was very different from what it is in the last edition of his works. JOHNSON.

In The Plain Dealer the opening

stanza runs :

'When hope lay hush'd in silent night,

And woe was wrapp'd in sleep, In glided Marg❜ret's pale-ey'd ghost, And stood at William's feet.'

In a broad-sheet in the Brit. Mus. (n. d.) it runs :

Now all was wrapt in dark mid-night
And all were fast asleep;
In glided Margaret's grimly ghost,
And stood at William's feet.'
In Eng. Poets, lxiii. 191, it runs :-
"Twas at the silent, solemn hour

When night and morning meet,
In glided Margaret's grimly ghost,
And stood at William's feet.'
For The Plain Dealer see ante,


Captain Edward Thompson, in an edition of Marvell in 1776, charged Mallet with plagiarism from that poet. See Gent. Mag. 1776, pp. 355, 401. On p. 559 it is asserted that the ballad was written in 1622, and is quoted by Fletcher in The Knight

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of the Burning Pestle [Act ii. sc. 8]
in the following stanza :-
'When it was grown to dark midnight,
And all were fast asleep,

In came Margaret's grimly ghost,
And stood at William's feet.'

Gibbon wrote on May 24, 1776 :'Poor Mallet! I pity his misfortune, and feel for him probably more than he does for himself at present. His William and Margaret, his only good piece of poetry, is torn from him.' Gibbon's Corres. 1896, i. 283.

Professor F. J. Child says that 'a copy of the date 1711, with the title William and Margaret, an Old Ballad, turns out to be substantially the piece which Mallet published as his own in 1724. . . . William and Margaret is simply Fair Margaret and Sweet William rewritten in what used to be called an elegant style.' Eng. and Scot. Popular Ballads, 1882-98, ii. 199.


Eng. Poets, lxiii. 41.

5 Mallet was writing this poem when Thomson was writing Summer, as Thomson's letters to him show. Philobiblon Misc. vol. iv.


Of Verbal Criticism, an Epistle to Mr. Pope, occasioned by Theobald's Shakespeare and Bentley's Milton. Gent. Mag. March, 1734, p. 167; Eng. Poets, lxiii. 7.

On Nov. 7, 1733, Pope wrote to Mallet:-'The Epistle I have read over and over with great and just


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