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common reader; for by the common sense of readers uncorrupted with literary prejudices, after all the refinements of subtilty and the dogmatism of learning, must be finally decided all claim to poetical honours. The“ Church-yard” abounds with images which find a mirrour in every mind, and with sentiments to which every bosom returns an echo. The four stanzas beginning Yet even these bones, are to me original: I have never seen the notions in any other place; yet he that reads them here, persuades himself that he has always felt them. Had Gray written often thus, it had been vain to blame, and useless to praise him.
EORGE LYTTELTON, the son of Sir Thomas
Lyttelton of Hagley in Worcestershire, was born in 1709. He was educated at Eton, where he was so much distinguished, that his exercises were recommended as models to his school-fellows.
From Eton he went to Christ-church,' where he retained the same reputation of superiority, and displayed his abilities to the publick in a poem on “ Blenheim.” :
He was a very early writer, both in verse and prose. His “ Progress of Love,” and his “ Persian Letters,” were both written when he was very young; and, indeed, the character of a young man is very visible in both. The Verses cant of shepherds and flocks, and crooks dressed with flowers; and the Letters have something of that indistinct and headstrong ardour for liberty which a man of genius always catches when he enters the world, and always suffers to cool as he passes forward.
He staid not long at Oxford ; for in 1728 he began his travels, and saw France and Italy. When he returned," he obtained a seat in parliament, and soon distinguished himself among the most eager opponents of Sir Robert Walpole,
See Boswell on Johnson's feeling against Lyttelton, with “various readings" in this life. --Boswell's Johnson, vol. iv. pp. 19, 20.
? George Lyttelton was entered as a Gentleman Commoner of Christchurch, 4th Dec., 1725.
though his father, who was Commissioner of the Admiralty, always voted with the Court.
For many years the name of George Lyttelton was seen in every account of every debate in the House of Commons. He opposed the standing army; he opposed the excise; he supported the motion for petitioning the King to remove Walpole. His zeal was considered by the courtiers not only as violent, but as acrimonious and malignant; and when Walpole was at last hunted from his places, every effort was made by his friends, and many friends he had, to exclude Lyttelton from the Secret Committee.
The Prince of Wales, being (1737) driven from St. James's, kept a separate court, and opened his arms to the opponents of the ministry. Mr. Lyttelton became his secretary, and was supposed to have great influence in the direction of his conduct. He persuaded his master, whose business it was now to be popular, that he would advance his character by patronage. Mallet was made under-secretary, with 2001. and Thomson had a pension of 1001. a year.
For Thomson Lyttelton always retained his kind. ness, and was able at last to place him at ease.
Moore? courted his favour by an apologetical poem, called “The Trial of Selim,” for which he was paid with kind words, which, as is common, raised great hopes, that at last were disappointed.
Lyttelton now stood in the first rank of opposition ; and Pope, who was incited, it is not easy to say how, to increase the clamour against the ministry, commended him among the other patriots. This drew upon him the reproaches of Fox, who, in the house, imputed to him as a crime his intimacy with a lampooner so unjust and licentious. Lyttelton supported his friend, and replied, that he thought
i Life of Thomson, vid, supr. p. 163.
· Edward Moore, author of The Gamester, and editor of The World, died 1757.