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Mallet, by address or accident, perhaps by his dependance on 18 the Prince, found his way to Bolingbroke; a man whose pride and petulance made his kindness difficult to gain or keep1, and whom Mallet was content to court by an act which, I hope, was unwillingly performed. When it was found that Pope had clandestinely printed an unauthorised number of the pamphlet called The Patriot King, Bolingbroke, in a fit of useless fury, resolved to blast his memory, and employed Mallet (1747)3 as the executioner of his vengeance. Mallet had not virtue, or had not spirit, to refuse the office; and was rewarded, not long after, with the legacy of lord Bolingbroke's works *.

Many of the political pieces had been written during the 19 opposition to Walpole, and given to Franklin, as he supposed, in perpetuity 5. These, among the rest, were claimed by the will. The question was referred to arbitrators; but when they decided against Mallet he refused to yield to the award, and by the help of Millar the bookseller' published all that he

edition. According to Nichols he received 120 guineas. Swift's Works, 1803, xviii. 320.

For his boast that he was faithful in his friendships see ante, POPE, 252 n.

2 Mallet wrote two days after Pope's death:-'His person I loved, his worth I know, and shall ever cherish his memory with all the regard of esteem, with all the tender

ness of friendship.' Pope's Works (Elwin and Courthope), viii. 522.

'Mallet had many obligations to Pope, no disobligations to him, and was one of his grossest flatterers.' WALPOLE, Letters, ii. 160.

3 It was in 1749 that the attack on Pope's memory was made. Ante, POPE, 250 n.

Ante, POPE, 94. Johnson said of Bolingbroke and his legacy :'Sir, he was a scoundrel and a coward; a scoundrel for charging a blunderbuss against religion and morality; a coward, because he' had not resolution to fire it off himself, but left half a crown to a beggarly Scotchman to draw the trigger after his death.' Boswell's Johnson, i. 268. See ante, A. PHILIPS, 4 n. 2.

5 In Gent. Mag. 1754, p. 247, is advertised A short state of the case

relating to a claim made by Richard Franklin on David Mallet, on account of some copies which are inserted in the works of the late Lord Bolingbroke, published by Mallet, and which were originally printed by Franklyn [sic].

Bolingbroke says in his will :—' I have not assigned to any person whatsoever the copy of the said books.' Works, 1809, Preface, p. 219. Mallet said there was no occa

sion for bonds of arbitration, as he hoped they were both men of honour, and, as such, declared he would abide by the decision.' Gent. Mag. 1754, P. 247.

7 The Maecenas of the age,' as Johnson called him. Boswell's Johnson, i. 287 n. Hume writing to him on May 20, 1757, about a report that 'the stop in the sale of my History proceeded from some strokes of irreligion, which had raised the cry of the clergy against me,' continues :-'The cause assigned could never have produced that effect; it was rather likely to increase the sale. ... You had offered (as I heard) a large sum for Bolingbroke's Works, trusting to this consequence.' Burton's Hume, ii. 24.

could find, but with success very much below his expectation'.

20 In 1753 his masque of Britannia was acted at Drury-Lane, and his tragedy of Elvira in 17633; in which year he was appointed keeper of the book of Entries for ships in the port of London *.


In the beginning of the last war, when the nation was exasperated by ill success, he was employed to turn the publick vengeance upon Byng, and wrote a letter of accusation under the character of 'A Plain Man". The paper was with great industry circulated and dispersed; and he, for his seasonable intervention, had a considerable pension bestowed upon him, which he retained to his death 6.

In the March list of books in Gent. Mag. 1754, P. 144, are 'The Works of Lord Bolingbroke, 5 vols. 4to, price 37. 15s. sheets,' and in the June list, p. 295, 'Bolingbroke's Philosophical Works, 5 vols. 8vo.'

Dr. Warton says in a passage printed about 1762, though not published till 1782:-'No writings that raised so mighty an expectation in the public as those of Bolingbroke ever perished so soon and sunk into oblivion.' Essay on Pope, ii. 179.

'Who now reads Bolingbroke?' asked Burke in 1790. 'Who ever read him through?' Burke's Works, 1808, v. 172.

'The dreary pages of Bolingbroke's disquisitions,' wrote Mark Pattison. Essays, 1889, ii. 353.

For Garrick's verses on 'St. John's fell genius' see Boswell's Johnson, i. 269.

On May 1, 1755. Genest's Hist. of the Stage, iv. 411. "The Prologue, in the character of a drunken sailor reading a play-bill, by Mallet and Garrick, and spoken by Garrick, was called for by the audience many nights when the piece itself was not performed.' Biog. Dram. ii. 68. For the Prologue see Eng. Poets, Ixiii. 186.

3 This being looked upon by many as a ministerial play, and the rather as it was brought on at the critical time when our political pack were in full cry, hunting down the Scotch peace, as they called it, it was beheld

in a very unpopular light.' Biog. Dram. ii. 191.

Boswell and two Scotch friends wrote a pamphlet, entitled Critical Strictures, against it.' Boswell's Johnson, i. 408.

Gibbon, who was starting for Italy says:- My last act in town was to applaud Mallet's new tragedy of Elvira Memoirs, p. 148. On Jan. 19, 1763, he recorded:-'My father and I went to the Rose, in the passage of the play-house, where we found Mallet, with about thirty friends. We dined together, and went thence into the pit, where we took our places in a body, ready to silence all opposition. However, we had no occasion to exert ourselves. Notwithstanding the malice of party, Mallet's nation, connections, and indeed imprudence, we heard nothing but applause. I think it was deserved.' A few days later there was a riot in the theatre-a protest against the abolition of half-price at the end of the third act. The benches were torn up and the glass lustres were broken.' The play did not run many nights longer. Ib. p. 304.

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Gent. Mag. Feb. 1763, p. 98. 5 Observations on the Twelfth Article of War, &c. By a Plain Man. London, 8vo. 1757. Byng was shot on March 14, 1757. The pamphlet is dated March 27. was written to justify the execution.


''Johnson said Mallet was ready for any dirty job; that he had wrote

Towards the end of his life he went with his wife to France1; 22 but after a while, finding his health declining, he returned alone to England, and died in April, 17652.

He was twice married, and by his first wife had several 23 children. One daughter, who married an Italian of rank named Cilesia3, wrote a tragedy called Almida, which was acted at Drury-Lane*. His second wife was the daughter of a nobleman's steward, who had a considerable fortune, which she took care to retain in her own hands.

His stature was diminutive, but he was regularly formed; his 24 appearance, till he grew corpulent, was agreeable, and he suffered it to want no recommendation that dress could give it. His

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Cunningham (iii. 370) publishes a MS. letter of his dated Paris, Dec. 16, 1764, which shows that 'his last dirty job' was in the Hamilton and Douglas case [Boswell's Johnson, ii. 50, 229, v. 353].'


'April 21, David Mallet, Esq., well known in the republic of letters.' Gent. Mag. 1765, p. 199.

Chesterfield wrote on April 22, 1765:- Mallet died two days ago of a diarrhoea, which he had carried with him to France, and brought back again hither.' Letters to his Son, iv. 224.

3 Gibbon, who met her at Genoa in 1764, recorded:-'La tyrannie de sa belle-mère l'avait jetée entre les bras de M. Celesia, alors Envoyé de Gênes en l'Angleterre, qui l'a épousée.' Misc. Works, i. 180.

• Gibbon wrote on Jan. 15, 1771, that Almida' was received last Saturday with great and deserved applause.' Corres. i. 124.

According to Murphy (Life of Garrick, p. 310), it was to Mrs. Barry's inimitable acting that the piece owed its brilliant success during a run of twelve nights.'

In an attack on the play in Gent. Mag. 1771, p. 128, it is said that 'Mrs. Barry rises like perfection out of Chaos.'

5 Oct. 7, 1742. David Mallet, Esq., Under-Secretary to the Pr. of Wales, to Miss Lucy Elstob with 10,000l. Gent. Mag. 1742, p. 546.

Mrs. Piozzi, in a marginal note on The Tatler, No. 63 [ed. 1789, ii. 130], described her as 6 a famous wit and an infidel.'

'She was not destitute of wit or learning,' writes Gibbon, Memoirs, p. 115. He called on her in Paris in 1777. 'She received me with a shriek of joy and a close embrace. ... I found her exactly the same talkative, positive, passionate, conceited creature as we knew her twenty years ago. She raved with her usual indiscretion and fury of Gods, Kings, and Ministers, the perfections of her favourites and the vice or folly of every person she disliked.' Corres. i. 315. For her disconcerting Hume see Boswell's Johnson, ii. 8 n.


'Every shilling of her fortune Mrs. Mallet settled upon herself; but then she took all imaginable care that Mr. Mallet should appear like a gentleman of distinction; she always purchased everything that he wore. His favourite dress was a suit of black velvet.' T. DAVIES, Life of Garrick, ii. 48.

'JOHNSON. Mallet was the prettiest drest puppet about town, and always kept good company.' Boswell's Johnson, v. 174.


conversation was elegant and easy 1. The rest of his character may, without injury to his memory, sink into silence 2.

As a writer he cannot be placed in any high class. There is no species of composition in which he was eminent. His Dramas had their day, a short day, and are forgotten3: his blank verse seems to my ear the echo of Thomson. His Life of Bacon is known as it is appended to Bacon's volumes, but is no longer mentioned. His works are such as a writer, bustling in the world, shewing himself in publick, and emerging occasionally from time to time into notice, might keep alive by his personal influence; but which, conveying little information and giving no great pleasure, must soon give way, as the succession of things produces new topicks of conversation and other modes of amusement*.

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him to Mallet's house; 'by whose philosophy,' he writes, 'I was rather scandalised than reclaimed.' Memoirs, p. 82.

Wedderburne wrote to Hume from Paris on Oct. 28, 1764:-'From the knowledge I have of Mallet I feel an unaccountable propensity to believe the contrary of what he tells me.' Letters of Eminent Persons to Hume, 1849, p. 111.


Gibbon, in 1791, described him as the author of some forgotten poems and plays.' Autos. p. 300.

Boswell writes under date of April 29, 1773: The character of Mallet having been introduced, and spoken of slightingly by Goldsmith; JOHNSON. "Why, Sir, Mallet had talents enough to keep his literary reputation alive as long as he himself lived; and that, let me tell you, is a good deal." Boswell's Johnson, ii. 233. Literary is not in Johnson's Dictionary.




ARK AKENSIDE was born on the ninth of November, 1 1721, at Newcastle upon Tyne. His father, Mark, was a butcher of the Presbyterian sect; his mother's name was Mary Lumsden. He received the first part of his education at the grammar-school of Newcastle 3, and was afterwards instructed by Mr. Wilson, who kept a private academy.

At the age of eighteen he was sent to Edinburgh that he 2 might qualify himself for the office of a dissenting minister, and received some assistance from the fund which the Dissenters employ in educating young men of scanty fortune. But a wider view of the world opened other scenes and prompted other hopes he determined to study physick, and repaid that contribution, which, being received for a different purpose, he justly thought it dishonourable to retain.

Whether, when he resolved not to be a dissenting minister, he 3 ceased to be a Dissenter, I know not. He certainly retained an unnecessary and outrageous zeal for what he called and thought liberty 5-a zeal which sometimes disguises from the world, and not


Johnson in this Life follows closely the Life in Biog. Brit. 1778, i. 103.

2 A halt in Akenside's gait was occasioned, when a boy, by the falling of a cleaver from his father's stall.' Gent. Mag. 1777, p. 384.

3 Lord Stowell and the Earl of Eldon were at the same school about a quarter of a century later.

The Principal of Mansfield College informs me that 'at, or soon after, the Revolution a "Fund Board" was founded; from it grants were made to students to help them to proceed to a Continental or Scotch university, or even to find education at home.'

5 Johnson at first wrote 'a furious and outrageous zeal,' &c. Boswell's Johnson, iv. 56. For Lyttelton's

'indistinct and headstrong ardour for liberty' see post, LYTTELTON, 3.

Akenside is the pedantic physician in Peregrine Pickle, who maintained 'that no country could flourish but under the administration of the mob.' Ch. 43.

In Gent. Mag. Sept. 1761, p. 431, he appears as physician in the list of the household of the future Queen.' In the same list is a 'bottle man.'

Dr. Robertson, who was a student of divinity at the University, told Dugald Stewart that 'he attended the meetings of the Medical Society, chiefly to hear the speeches of Akenside, the great object of whose ambition then was a seat in Parliament.' Stewart's Elem. of the Phil. of the Human Mind (Notes), iii. 501, 4to, quoted in Dyce's Akenside, Aldine

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