Imágenes de páginas


[ocr errors]

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 keep', 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 perpetuitys. 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 relating to a claim made by Richard received 120 guineas. Swift's Works, Franklin on David Mallet, on ac1803, xviii. 320.

count of some copies which are inFor his boast that he was faith- serted in the works of the late Lord ful in his friendships see ante, POPE, Bolingbroke, published by Mallet, 252 n.

and which were originally printed Mallet wrote two days after by Franklyn [sic]. Pope's death :- His person I loved, Bolingbroke says in his will :-'I his worth I know, and shall ever have not assigned to any person cherish his memory with all the re- whatsoever the copy of the said gard of esteem, with all the tender- books. Works, 1809, Preface, p. ness of friendship’ Pope's Works 219, (Elwin and Courthope), viii. 522.

• Mallet said there was no occa. Mallet had many obligations to sion for bonds of arbitration, as he Pope, no disobligations to him, and hoped they were both men of honour, was one of his grossest flatterers.' and, as such, declared he would abide WALPOLE, Letters, ii. 160.

by the decision.' Gent. Mag. 1754, It was in 1749 that the attack on

P. 247. Pope's memory was made. Ante, 7 i The Maecenas of the age,' as POPE, 250 n.

Johnson called him. Boswell's JohnAnte, POPE, 94. Johnson said son, i. 287 n. Hume writing to him of Bolingbroke and his legacy :- on May 20, 1757, about a report that 'Sir, he was a scoundrel and a 'the stop in the sale of my History coward; a scoundrel for charging proceeded from some strokes of ira blunderbuss against religion and religion, which had raised the cry of morality ; a coward, because he had the clergy against me, continues :-not resolution to fire it off himself, “The cause assigned could never have but left half a crown to a beggarly produced that effect; it was rather Scotchman to draw the trigger after likely to increase the sale. ... You his death. Boswell's Johnson, i. 268. had offered (as I heard) a large sum See ante, A. PHILIPS, 4 n. 2.

for Bolingbroke's Works, trusting to 5 In Gent. Mag. 1754, p. 247, is this consequence.' Burton's Hume, advertised A short state of the case

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

ii. 24.


could find, but with success very much below his expecta

tion'. 20 In 1753 his masque of Britannia’ was acted at Drury-Lane,

and his tragedy of Elvira in 1763 3; in which year he was appointed keeper of the book of Entries for ships in the port of

London 21 In the beginning of the last war, when the nation was ex

asperated 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 Mans. 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. 1 In the March list of books in in a very unpopular light.' Biog.

Dram. ii. 191. Works of Lord Bolingbroke, 5 vols. Boswell and two Scotch friends 4to, price 31. 155. sheets,' and in the 'wrote a pamphlet, entitled Critical June list, p. 295, 'Bolingbroke's Phi- Strictures, against it.' Boswell's losophical Works, 5 vols. 8vo.' Johnson, i. 408.

Dr. Warton says in a passage Gibbon, who was starting for Italy printed about 1762, though not pub- says :-'My last act in town was lished till 1782:—'No writings that to applaud Mallet's new tragedy of raised so mighty an expectation in Elvira: Memoirs, p. 148. On Jan. the public as those of Bolingbroke 19, 1763, he recorded :- My father ever perished so soon and sunk into and I went to the Rose, in the passage oblivion.' Essay on Pope, ii. 179. of the play-house, where we found

Who now reads Bolingbroke?' Mallet, with about thirty friends. asked Burke in 1790. Who ever We dined together, and went thence read him through ?' Burke's Works, into the pit, where we took our places 1808, v. 172.

in a body, ready to silence all opThe dreary pages of Boling broke's position. However, we had no occadisquisitions,' wrote Mark Pattison. sion to exert ourselves. NotwithEssays, 1889, ii. 353.

standing the malice of party, Mallet's For Garrick's verses on 'St. John's nation, connections, and indeed imfell genius' see Boswell's Johnson, prudence, we heard nothing but

applause. I think it was deserved.' On May 1, 1755. Genest's Hist. A few days later there was a riot in of the Stage, iv. 411. The Prologue, the theatre-a protest against the in the character of a drunken sailor abolition of half-price at the end of reading a play-bill, by Mallet and the third act. "The benches were Garrick, and spoken by Garrick, was torn up and the glass lustres were called for by the audience many nights broken. The play did not run many when the piece itself was not per- nights longer. 16. p. 304. formed.' Biog. Dram. ii. 68. For Gent. Mag. Feb. 1763, p. 98. the Prologue see Eng. Poets, lxiii. 5 Observations on the Twelfth 186.

Article of War, &c. By a Plain 3 "This being looked upon by many

Man. London, 8vo. 1757. Byng as a ministerial play, and the rather was shot on March 14, 1757. The as it was brought on at the critical pamphlet is dated March 27. It time when our political pack were in was written to justify the execution. full cry, hunting down the Scotch 6 Johnson said Mallet was ready peace, as they called it, it was beheld for any dirty job; that he had wrote

i. 269.




Towards the end of his life he went with his wife to France'; 22 but after a while, finding his health declining, he returned alone to England, and died in April, 1765?

He was twice married, and by his first wife had several 23 children. One daughter, who married an Italian of rank named Cilesia?, 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 5.

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 ito. His

son, ii. 128.

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

against Byng at the instigation of In an attack on the play in Gent. the ministry, and was equally ready Mag. 1771, p. 128, it is said that to write for him, provided he found Mrs. Barry rises like perfection out his account in it.' Boswell's John- of Chaos.'

5.Oct. 7, 1742.

David Mallet, Smollett, in The Adventures of an Esq., Under-Secretary to the Pr. of Atom, says of Byng :-—'Authors were Wales, to Miss Lucy Elstob with enlisted to defame him in public 10,000l. Gent. Mag. 1742, p. 546. writings.' Works, 1901, xii. 278. He Mrs. Piozzi, in a marginal note on does not mention Mallet by name. The Tatler, No.63 (ed. 1789, ii. 130),

Cunningham (iii. 370) publishes described her as a famous wit and a MS. letter of his dated Paris, Dec.

an infidel.' 16, 1764, which shows that his last "She was not destitute of wit or dirty job' was in the Hamilton and learning,' writes Gibbon, Memoirs, Douglas case (Boswell's Johnson, ii. p. 115. He called on her in Paris 50, 229, v. 353].

in 1777. 'She received me with a April 21, David Mallet, Esq., shriek of joy and a close embrace. well known in the republic of letters.' . . I found her exactly the same Gent. Mag. 1765, p. 199.

talkative, positive, passionate, conChesterfield wrote on April 22, ceited creature as we knew her twenty 1765:- Mallet died

wo days ago

years ago. She raved with her usual of a diarrhoea, which he had carried indiscretion and fury of Gods, Kings, with him to France, and brought and Ministers, the perfections of her back again hither.' Letters to his favourites and the vice or folly of Son, iv. 224.

every person she disliked. Corres. Gibbon, who met her at Genoa i. 315. For her disconcerting Hume in 1764, recorded :-'La tyrannie de see Boswell's Johnson, ii. 8 n. sa belle-mère l'avait jetée entre les ‘Every shilling of her fortune bras de M. Celesia, alors Envoyé de Mrs. Mallet settled upon herself ; Gênes en l'Angleterre, qui l'a épousée.' but then she took all imaginable care Misc. Works, i. 180.

that Mr. Mallet should appear like a Gibbon wrote on Jan. 15, 1771, gentleman of distinction; she always that Almida'was received last Satur- purchased everything that he wore. day with great and deserved ap- His favourite dress was a suit of plause.' Corres. i. 124.

black velvet.' T. DAVIES, Life of According to Murphy (Life of Garrick, ii. 48. Garrick, P. 310), it was to Mrs. • JOHNSON. Mallet was the pretBarry's inimitable acting that the tiest drest puppet about town, and piece owed its brilliant success during always kept good company.' 'Bosa run of twelve nights.'

well's Johnson, v. 174.


[ocr errors]


conversation was elegant and easy". The rest of his character

may, without injury to his memory, sink into silence?. 25 As a writer he cannot be placed in any high class. There is

a no species of composition in which he was eminent. His Dramas had their day, a short day, and are forgotten?: 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 amusemento.


According to Steevens Johnson him to Mallet's house; 'by whose said :-'I have seldom met with a philosophy,' he writes, “I was rather man whose colloquial ability exceeded scandalised than reclaimed. Methat of Mallet.' John. Misc. ii. 320. moirs, p. 82.

2 Gibbon tells how, on his mother's Wedderburne wrote to Hume from death, his father frequented the Mal- Paris on Oct. 28, 1764:-'From the lets' house. “The poet's conversation knowledge I have of Mallet I feel (we may trust Dr. Johnson, an un- an unaccountable propensity to beforgiving enemy)was easy and elegant. lieve the contrary of what he tells ... Their society soothed and occu- me.' Letters of Eminent Persons to pied his grief ; and as they both Hume, 1849, p. III. thought with freedom on the subjects Gibbon, in 1791, described him of religion and government, they as 'the author of some forgotten successfully laboured to correct the poems and plays. Autos. p. 300. prejudices of his education.' Gibbon's * Boswell writes under date of April Autos. p. 379.

29, 1773:—' The character of Mallet There was nothing, I believe, baving been introduced, and spoken personal in Johnson's enmity. With of slightingly by Goldsmith; JOHNPope he might have said :

SON.“Why, Sir, Mallet had talents · Ask you what provocation I have enough to keep his literary reputabad?

tion alive as long as he himself The strong antipathy of good to lived ; and that, let me tell you, is bad.'

Epil. Sat. ii. 197. a good deal.” Boswell's Johnson, When Gibbon avowed himself a ii. 233. Literary is not in Johnson's Roman Catholic his father carried Dictionary.


[blocks in formation]


[ocr errors]

(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 ?, 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 a zeal which sometimes disguises from the world, and not


i. 103.

Ch. 43.

* Johnson in this Life follows 'indistinct and headstrong ardour closely the Life in Biog. Brit. 1778, for liberty'see post, LYTTELTON, 3.

Akenside is the pedantic physician 2. A halt in Akenside's gait was in Peregrine Pickle, who maintained occasioned, when a boy, by the fall- 'that no country could flourish but ing of a cleaver from his father's under the administration of the mob.' stall. Gent. Mag. 1777, p. 384.

3 Lord Stowell and the Earl of In Gent. Mag. Sept. 1761, p. 431, Eldon were at the same school about he appears as physician in the list a quarter of a century later.

of the household of the future Queen.' The Principal of Mansfield Col- In the same list is a 'bottle man.' lege informs me that 'at, or soon Dr. Robertson, who was a student after, the Revolution

“Fund of divinity at the University, told Board was founded; from it grants Dugald Stewart that he attended were made to students to help them the meetings of the Medical Society, to proceed to a Continental or Scotch chiefly to hear the speeches of Akenuniversity, or even to find education side, the great object of whose at home.

ambition then was a seat in ParliaJohnson at first wrote 'a furious ment.' Stewart's Elem. of the Phil. and outrageous zeal,' &c. Boswell's of the Human Mind (Notes), iii. 501, Johnson, iv. 56. For Lyttelton's

For Lyttelton's 4to, quoted in Dyce's Akensidé, Aldine


« AnteriorContinuar »