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My

His hopes of obtaining eminence as a political writer now became extravagantly sanguine, and he already seems to have considered himself a man of considerable public importance. company," he says, in a letter to his sister, "is courted everywhere; and could I humble myself to go into a compter, could have had twenty places before now; but I must be among the great; state matters suit me better than commercial." These bright prospects, about July, appear to have been siddenly clouded; and, after a short career of dissipation, which kept pace with his hopes, he found that he had nothing to expect from the patronage of the great; and, to escape the scene of his mortification, made an unsuccessful attempt to obtain the post of surgeon's-mate to the coast of Africa. It is less certain to what extent he was now employed by the booksellers, than that he felt the idea of dependence upon them insupportable, and soon fell into such a state of indigence as to be reduced to the want of necessary food. Such was his pride, however, that when, alter a fast of three days, his landlady invited him to dinner, he refused the invitation as an insult, assuring her he was not hungry. This is the last act recorded of his life; a few hours afterward, he swallowed a dose of arsenic, and was found dead the next morning, August the 25th, 1770, surrounded by fragments of numerous manuscripts, which he appeared to have destroyed. His sui-magazines, were all the effervescences of the same cide took place in Brook-street, Holborn, and he ungovernable impulse, which, cameleon-like, imwas interred, in a shell, in the burying-ground bibed the colours of all it looked on. It was Osof Shoe lane workhouse. This melancholy ca- sian, or a Saxon monk, or Gray, or Smollett, or tastrophe is heightened by the fact, that Dr. Fry, Junius; and if it failed most in what it most affecthead of St. John's College, Oxford, had just gone to ed to be, a poet of the fifteenth century, it was beBristol, for the purpose of assisting Chatterton, cause it could not imitate what had not existed." when he was there informed of his death. In person, Chatterton is said to have been, like his genius, premature; he had, says his biographer, a manliness and dignity beyond his years, and there was a something about him uncommonly prepos sessing. His most remarkable feature was his eyes, which, though gray, were uncommonly piercing; when he was warmed in argument, or otherwise, they sparkled with fire; and one eye, it is said, was still more remarkable than the other.

In 1778, a miscellaneous volume of the avowed writings of Chatterton was published; and, in 1803, an edition of his works appeared, in three volumes, octavo, with an account of his life, by Dr. Gregory, from whom we have before quoted. The general character of his productions has been well appreciated by Lord Orford, who, after expatiating upon his quick intuition, his humour, his vein of satire, the rapidity with which he seized all the topics of conversation, whether of politics, literature, or fashion, remarks, "Nothing in Chatterton can be separated from Chatterton. His noblest flight, his sweetest strain, his grossest ribaldry, and his most commonplace imitations of the productions of

The controversy respecting the authenticity of the poems attributed to Rowley is now at an end; though there are still a few, perhaps, who may side with Dean Milles and others, against the host of writers, including Gibbon, Johnson, and the two Wartons, who ascribe the entire authorship to Chatterton. The latter have, perhaps, come to a conclusion, which is not likely to be again dispated, viz. that however extraordinary it was for The character of Chatterton has been sufficiently Chatterton to produce them in the eighteenth cen- developed in the course of the preceding memoir; tury, it was impossible that Rowley could have his ruling passion, we have seen, was literary fame; written them in the fifteenth. But, whether and it is doubtful whether his death was not Chatterton was or was not the author of the poems rather occasioned through fear of losing the reputaascribed to Rowley, his transcendent genius must tion he had already acquired, than despair of being ever be subject of wonder and admiration. able to obtain a future subsistence. This is renThe eulogy of his friends, and the opinions of the dered at least plausible, by the fact of his having controversialists respecting him, are certainly too received pecuniary assistance from Mr. Hamilton, extravagant. Dean Milles prefers Rowley to Ho-senior, the proprietor of the Critical Review, not mer, Virgil, Spencer, and Shakspeare; Mr. Ma- long before his death, with a promise of more; that lune believes Chatterton to have been the great- he was employed by his literary friends, almost to est genius that England has produced since the the last hour of his existence; and that he was days of Shakspeare;" and Mr. Croft, the author aware of the suspicions existing that himself and of Love and Madness, asserts, that "no such hu- Rowley were the same. Though he neither conman being, at any period of life, has ever been fessed nor denied this, it was evident that his conknown, or possibly ever will be known." This duct was influenced by some mystery, known only enthusiastic praise is not confined to the critical to himself; he grew wild, abstracted, and incohe writers; the British muse has paid some of her rent, and a settled gloominess at length took posmost beautiful tributes to the genius and memory session of his countenance, which was a presage of Chatterton. The poems of Rowley, as published of his fatal resolution. He has been accused of by Dean Milles, consist of pieces of all the prin- libertinism, but there are no proofs of this during cipal classes of poetical composition: tragedies, | his residence either at London or Bristol; though

lyric and heroic poems, pastorals, epistles, ballads, &c. Sublimity and beauty pervade many of them; and they display wonderful powers of imagination and facility of composition; yet, says Dr. Aikin, there is also much of the commonplace flatness and extravagance, that might be expected from a juvenile writer, whose fertility was greater than his judgment, and who had fed his mind upon stores collected with more avidity than choice. The haste and ardour, with which he pursued his various literary designs, was in accordance with his favourite maxim, " that God had sent his creatures into the world with arms long enough to reach any thing, if they would be at the trouble of extending them."

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many of his productions show a laxity of principle caused by the last act of his life? His sister says, which might justify the supposition. The best that "he was a lover of truth from the earliest qualities in his character were the negative ones dawn of reason;" yet his life was one continued of temperance and affection for his family, to whom career of deception. He is to be pitied for his he sent small presents out of his first gains, and misfortunes, and admired for his genius; but, with always spoke of their welfare as one of the princi- Kirke White in our remembrance, we could pal ends of his exertions. But what deeper afflic-wish to forget all else that belonged to Chattion could he have brought upon them than that

terton.

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O goode Syr Charles!" sayd Canterlone,
"Badde tydyngs I doe brynge."
"Speke boldlie, manne," sayd brave Syr Charles, Christ's vicarr only knowes ne synne,

"Was Godde to serche our hertes and reines,
The best were synners grete;

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Whatte says the traytour kynge ?"

Ynne all thys mortall state.

"Justice does loudlie for hym calle,

And hee shalle have hys meede :

Speke, Maister Canynge! whatte thynge else

Att present doe you neede ?"

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My nobile leige!" goode Canynge sayde,

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Leave justice to our Godde,

And laye the yronne rule asyde;

Be thyne the olyve rodde.

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MYNSTRELLES SONGE.

O! synge untoe mie roundelaie,
O! droppe the brynie teare wythe mee,
Daunce ne moe atte hallie daie,

Lycke a rennynge ryver bee;
Mie love ys dedde,

Gon to hys death-bedde,
Al under the wyllowe tree.

Blacke hys cryne as the wyntere nyghte, Whyte hys rode as the sommer snowe, Rodde hys face as the mornynge lyghte, Cald he lyes ynne the grave belowe;

Mie love ys dedde,

Gon to hys death-bedde,

Al under the wyllowe tree.

Swote hys tongue as the throstles note, Quycke ynn dáunce as thought canne bee, Defe hys taboure, codgelle stote,

O! hee lyes bie the wyllowe tree:

Mie love ys dedde,

Gonne to hys death-bedde, Al under the wyllowe tree.

Harke, the ravenne flappes hys wynge,
Ynne the briered delle belowe ;
Harke! the dethe-owle loude dothe synge,
To the nyghte-mares as heie goe;
Mie love ys dedde,

Gonne to hys death-bedde, Al under the wyllowe tree.

See the whyte moone sheenes onne hie; Whyterre ys mie true love's shroude; Whyterre yanne the mornynge skie, Whyterre yanne the evenynge cloude;

Mie love ys dedde,

Gon to hys death-bedde,

Al under the wyllowe tree.

Heere uponne mie true love's grave,
Schalle the baren fleurs be layde,
Nee on hallie seyncte to save
Al the celness of a mayde.

Mie love ys dedde,

Gon to hys death-bedde,
Al under the wyllowe tree.

Wythe mie hondes I'll dente the brieres
Rounde his hallie corse to gre,
Ouphante fairie, lyghte your fyres,
Heere mie bodie still schalle bee.
Mie love ys dedde,

Gon to hys death-bedde,
Al under the wyllowe tree.
Comme, wythe acorne-coppe and thorne,
Drayne mie hartys blodde awaie ;
Lyfe and alle yts goode I scorne,
Daunce bie nete, or feaste bie daie.
Mie love ys dedde,
Gon to hys death-bedde,
Al under the wyllowe tree.
Waterre wytches, crownede wythe reytes,
Bere mee to yer leathalle tyde.

I die I comme; mie true love waytes.— Thos the damselle spake, and dyed.

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