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New College, Oxford, was entered a commoner at of his understanding, I need not suggest how truly that of Oriel. At the university he composed his enviable was the journey which his fellow-travel. two poems, “ The Enthusiast," and " The Dying lers accomplished through the French provinces Indian,” and a satirical prose sketch, in imitation to Montauban.” It may be doubted, however, if of Le Sage, entitled “ Ranelagh,” which his the French provinces were exactly the scene, editor, Mr. Wooll, has inserted in the volume where his fellow-travellers were most likely to be that contains his life, letters, and poems. Hav- | instructed by the acuteness of Dr. Warton's obing taken the degree of bachelor of arts at Oxford, servations; as he was unable to speak the lan-1 in 1744, he was ordained on his father's curacy guage of the country, and could have no informaat Basingstoke. At the end of two years, he re tion from foreigners, except what he could not moved from thence to do duty at Chelsea, where and then extort from the barbarous Latin of some he caught the small.pox. Having left that place, Irish friar. He was himself so far from being for change of air, he did not return to it, on delighted or edified by his pilgrimage, that for account of some disagreement with the parishion- private reasons, (as his biographer states), and ers, but officiated for a few months at Chawton from impatience of being restored to his family, and Droxford, and then resumed his residence at he returned home, without having accomplished Basingstoke. In the same year, 1746, he pub the object for which the Duke had taken him lished a volume of his odes, in the preface to abroad. He get out for Bordeaux in a courier's which he expressed a hope that they would be cart ; but being dreadfully jolted in that vehicle, regarded as a fair attempt to bring poetry back he quitted it, and, having joined some carriers from the moralizing and didactic taste of the in Brittany, came home by way of St. Maloes. age, to the truer channels of fancy and descrip- | A month after his return to England, the Duchess tion. Collins, our author's immortal contempo. of Bolton died; and our author, imagining that rary, also published his odes in the same month his patron would, possibly, have the deceney to of the same year. He realised, with the hand of remain a widower for a few weeks, wrote to his genius, that idea of highly personified and pic. Grace, offering to join him immediately. But the turesque composition, which Warton contem Duke had no mind to delay his nuptials; he was plated with the eye of taste. But Collins's works joined to Polly by a protestant clergyman, who were ushered in with no manifesto of a design to was found upon the spot; and our author thus regenerate the taste of the age, with no preten- missed the reward of the only action of his life sions of erecting a new or recovered standard of which can be said to throw a blemish on his reexcellence.
spectable memory. In 1748 our author was presented by the Duke In the year 1748-9 he had begun, and in 1753 of Bolton to the rectory of Winslade, when he he finished and published, an edition of Virgil in immediately married a lady of that neighbour- English and Latin. To this work Warburton hood, Miss Daman, to whom he had been for some
contributed a dissertation on the sixth book of time attached. Ile had not been long settled in the Æneid ; Atterbury furnished a commentary his living, when he was invited by his patron to on the character of Iapis; and the laureate accompany him to the south of France. The Whitehead, another on the shield of Æneas. Duchess of Bolton was then in a confirmed dropsy, Many of the notes were taken from the best conand his Grace, anticipating her death, wished to mentators on Virgil, particularly Catrou and Se have a protestant clergyman with him on the grais : some were supplied by Mr. Spence; and Continent, who might marry him, on the first others, relating to the soil, climate, and customs intelligence of his consort's death, to the lady with of Italy, by Mr. Holdsworth, who had resided whom he lived, and who was universally known for many years in that country. For the Eng. by the name of Polly Peachum. Dr. Warton lish of the Æneid, he adopted the translation by complied with this proposal, to which (as his cir Pitt. The life of Virgil, with three essays on cumstances were narrow) it must be hoped that pastoral*, didactic, and epic poetry, and a poetihis poverty consented rather than his will. “ To cal version of the Eclogues and Georgics, consti." those” (says Mr. Wooll)" who have enjoyed the tuted his own part of the work. This translation rich and varied treasures of Dr. Warton's con may, in many instances, be found more faithful versation, who have been dazzled by the bril- and concise than Dryden's ; but it wants that liancy of his wit, and instructed by the acuteness
elastic and idiomatic freedom, by which Dryden
reconciles us to his faults; and exhibits rather zine of that time was by Collins. Of the other verses,
the diligence of a scholar than the spirit of a Mr. Dyee says, “ their inediocrity convinces me that they did not proceed from the pen of Collins" (p. 207). There
poet. Dr. Harewood, in his view of the classics, was no necessity to decide this by their mediocrity; for
accuses the Latin text of incorrectnesst. Shortly Cave, in a note at the end of the poetry for that month,
* His reflections on pastoral poetry are limited to a “ The poems signed Amasius in this Magazine are
few sentences ; but he subjoins an essay on the subject, from different correspondents; "and Dr. Johnson says, in
by Dr. Johnson, from the Rambler. one of his little notes to Nichols omitted by Boswell, that the other Amasius was Dr. Swan, the translator of
† With what justice I will not pretend to say; but after Sydenhan.)
comparing a few pages of his edition with Maittaire, be seems to me to be less attentive to punctuation than the
after the appearance of his Virgil, he took a share ditions, digested from the reading of half a lifein the periodical paper, The Adventurer, and time. The author of « The Pursuits of Literacontributed twenty-four numbers, which have ture” bas pronounced it a common-place book ; been generally esteemed the most valuable in the and Richardson, the novelist, used to call it a work.
literary gossip : but a testimony in its favour, of In 1754 he was instituted to the living of Tun more authority than any individual opinion, will worth, on the presentation of the Jervoise family; be found in the popularity with which it continues and in 1755 was elected second master of Win to be read. It is very entertaining, and abounds chester School, with the management and advan- with criticism of more research than Addison's, of tage of a boarding house. In the following year more amenity than Hurd's or Warburton's, and Lord Lyttelton, who had submitted a part of his of more insinuating tact than Johnson's. At the
History of Henry 11.” to his revisal, bestowed same time, while much ingenuity and many truths a scarf upon him. He found leisure, at this are scattered over the Essay, it is impossible to period, to commence his “ Essay on the Writings admire it as an entire theory, solid and consistand Genius of Pope,” which he dedicated to ent in all its parts. It is certainly setting out Young, without subscribing his name. But he from unfortunate premises to begin his Remarks was soon, and it would appear with his own tacit on Pope with grouping Dryden and Addison in permission, generally pronounced to be its author. the same class of poets; and to form a scale for Twenty-six years, however, elapsed before he estimating poetical genius, which would set Elijah ventured to complete it. Dr. Johnson said, that Fenton in a higher sphere than Butler. He places this was owing to his not having been able to Pope, in the scale of our poets, next to Milton, bring the public to be of his opinion as to Pope. and above Dryden ; yet he applies to him the Another reason has been assigned for his inac exact character which Voltaire gives to the hearttivity*. Warburton, the guardian of Pope's | less Boileau—that of a writer, “perhaps, incafame, was still alive; and he was the zealous and pable of the sublime which elevates, or of the useful friend of our author's brother. The pre- feeling which affects the soul.” With all this, he late died in 1779, and in 1782 Dr. Warton pub- tells us, that our poetry and our language are lished his extended and finished Essay. If the everlastingly indebted to Pope : he attributes supposition that he abstained from embroiling genuine tenderness to the “ Elegy on an Unfortuhimself by the question about Pope with War nate Lady ;” a strong degree of passion to the burton be true, it will at least impress us with “ Epistle of Eloise;" invention and fancy to “The an idea of his patience ; for it was no secret that Rape of the Lock;" and a picturesque concepRuffhead was supplied by Warburton with mate tion to some parts of “ Windsor Forest," which rials for a life of Pope, in which he attacked Dr. he pronounces worthy of the pencil of Rubens or Warton with abundant severity; but in which he Julio Romano. There is something like April entangled himself more than his adversary, in the weather in these transitions. coarse-spun ropes of his special pleading. The In May 1766, he was advanced to the headEssay, for a time, raised up to him another mastership of Winchester School.
In conseenemy, to whom his conduct has even an air of quence of this promotion, he once more visited submissiveness. In commenting on a line of Oxford, and proceeded to the degree of bachelor Pope, he hazarded a remark on Hogarth’s pro- and doctor in divinity. After a union of twenty pensity to intermix the ludicrous with attempts years, he lost his first wife, by whom he had six at the sublime. Hogarth revengefully introduced children ; but his family and his professional siDr. Warton's works into one of his satirical tuation requiring a domestic partner, he had been pieces, and vowed to bear him eternal enmity. only a year a widower, when he married a Miss Their mutual friends, however, interfered, and Nicholas, of Winchester. the artist was pacified. Dr. Warton, in the next He now visited London more frequently than edition, altered his just animadversion on Hogarth before. The circle of his friends, in the metrointo an ill-merited compliment.
polis, comprehended all the members of Burke's By delaying to re-publish his Essay on Pope, and Johnson's Literary Club. With Johnson he ultimately obtained a more dispassionate hear himself he was for a long time on intimate terms; ing from the public for the work in its finished but their friendship suffered a breach which was state. In the mean time, he enriched it with ad never closed, in consequence of an argument,
which took place between them, during an eveneditor of the Corpus Poetarum, and sometimes to omit the marks by which it is customary todistinguish adverbs
ing spent at the house of Sir Joshua Reynolds. from pronouns. I dislike his interpretation of one line The concluding words of their conversation are in the first Eclogue of Virgil, which seems to me pecu- reported, by one who was present, to have been liarly tasteless ; namely, where he translates * Post
these : Johnson said, “ Sir, I am not accustomed aliquot aristas” “after a few years." The picture of Melibæus's cottnge . behind a few cars of corn," so sim
to be contradicted.” Warton replied, “ Better, ply and exquisitely touched, is thus exchanged for a sir, for yourself and your friends if you were: forced phrase with regard to time.
our respect could not be increased, but our love * Chalmers's Life of J. Warton, British Poets.
In 1782 he was indebted to his friend, Dr. ciently appreciated in his own day: not that the Lowth, bishop of London, for a prebend of St. age could be said to be without descriptive writers; Paul's, and the living of Thorley in Hertford but because, as he apprehended, the tyranny of shire, which, after some arrangements, he ex Pope's reputation had placed moral and didactic changed for that of Wickham. His ecclesiastical verse in too pre-eminent a light. He, therefore, preferments came too late in life to place him in strongly urged the principle, " that the most that state of leisure and independence which solid observations on life, expressed with the might have enabled him to devote his best years utmost brevity and elegance, are morality, and to literature, instead of the drudgery of a school. not poetryt." Without examining how far this One great project, which he announced, but never principle applies exactly to the character of Pope, fulfilled, namely, “ A General History of Learn whom he himself owns not to have been without ing *," was, in all probability, prevented by the pathos and imagination, I think his proposition is pressure of his daily occupations. In 1788, 50 worded, as to be liable to lead to a most unthrough the interest of Lord Shannon, he ob sound distinction between morality and poetry. tained a prebend of Winchester; and, through If by “the most solid observations on life" are the interest of Lord Malmsbury, was appointed meant only those which relate to its prudentia! to the rectory of Euston, which he was afterwards management and plain concerns, it is certaibly allowed to exchange for that of Upham. In 1793 true, that these cannot be made poetical, by the he resigned the fatigues of his mastership of Win utmost brevity or elegance of expression. It is chester ; and having received, from the superin. also true, that even the nobler tenets of morality tendants of the institution, a vote of well-earned are comparatively less interesting, in an insulated thanks, for his long and meritorious services, he and didactic shape, than when they are blended went to live at his rectory of Wickham.
with strong imitations of life, where passion, chaDuring his retirement at that place, he was racter, and situation bring them deeply home to induced, by a liberal offer of the booksellers, to our attention. Fiction is on this account so far superintend an edition of Pope, which he pub- the soul of poetry, that, without its aid as a re lished in 1797. It was objected to this edition, hicle, poetry can only give us morality in an atsthat it contained only his Essay on Pope, cut down tract and (comparatively) uninteresting shape. into notes ; his biographer, however, repels the But why does Fiction please us ! surely not be objection, by alleging that it contains a consider. cause it is false, but because it seems to be true; able portion of new matter. In his zeal to pre because it spreads a wider field, and a more brisent everything that could be traced to the pen liant crowd of objects to our moral perceptions, of Pope, he introduced two pieces of indelicate than reality affords. Morality (in a high sense humour,“ The Double Mistress," and the second of the term, and not speaking of it as a dry sei
. satire of Horace. For the insertion of those ence) is the essence of poetry. We fly from the pieces, he received a censure in the « Pursuits of injustice of this world to the poetical justice of Literature,” which, considering his grey hairs Fiction, where our sense of right and wrong is and services in the literary world, was unbecom either satisfied, or where our sympathy, at least, ing, and which my individual partiality for Mr. reposes with less disappointment and distraction, Matthias makes me wish that I had not to than on the characters of life itself. Fiction, we record.
may indeed be told, carries us into " a toorld of As a critic, Dr. Warton is distinguished by gayer tinct and grace," the laws of which are not his love of the fanciful and romantic. He ex
[t Our English poets may, I think, be disposed in amined our poetry at a period when it appeared four different classes and degrees. In the first class ! to him that versified observations on familiar life would place, our only three sublime and pathetic ports and manners had usurped the honours which Spenser, Shakspeare, Milton. In the second class should
be ranked, such as possessed the true poetical geniu*, in were exclusively due to the bold and inventive
a more moderate degree, but who had noble talents for powers of imagination. He conceived, also, that moral, ethical, and panegyrical poesy. At the head of the charm of description in poetry was not suffi these are, Dryden, Prior, Addison, Cowley, Walker
Garth, Fenton, Gay, Denham, Parnell. [* Did Warton ever announce his intention of writing class may be placed, men of wit, of elegant taste, and “A General History of Learning?" We think not, lively fancy in describing familiar life, though not the though Hume, in a letter to Robertson, speaks of such a higher scenes of poetry. Here may be numbered, Kutlet, work as coming from Warton's pen. Collins had such Swift, Rochester, Donne, Dorset, Oldham. In the fourth an intention, and Warton mentions it in his Essay, in a class, the mere versifiers, however smooth and mellt passage which has been overlooked by every writer on fuous some of them may be thought, should be dispred the subject. (Essay, ed. 1762, p. 186.) No copy of Collins's Such as Pitt, Sandys, Fairfax, Broome, Buckingham. published proposals is known to exist, and it is now Lansdowne. This enumeration is not intended as a cum perhaps hopeless to obtain the exact title of his projected plete catalogue of writers, but only to mark out briefly work. Johnson calls it, Allistory of the Revival of the different species of our celebrated authors. In which Learning; a correspondent in the Gentleman's Maga of these classes Pope deserves to be placed, the following zine, and an acquaintance of Collins's, A History of work is intended to determine.-JOSEPH Waxtos, Dein the Darker Ages ; Thomas Warton, A History of the
cation to Dr. Young. Restoration of Learning, and Joseph Warton, The llis The position of Pope among our poets, and the ques tory of the Age of Leo X. Walpole mentions it in a letter tion generally of classification, Mr. Campbell has argued to Sir David Dalrymple.]
at some length in the Introductory Essay to this volume)
In the third
to be judged by solid observations on the real scription. The doctor, like his brother, certainly world.
so far realised his own ideas of inspiration, as to But this is not the case, for moral truth is still burthen his verse with few observations on life the light of poetry, and fiction is only the refract- which oppress the mind by their solidity. To his ing atmosphere which diffuses it ; and the laws brother he is obviously inferior in the graphic of moral truth are as essential to poetry, as those and romantic style of composition, at which he of physical truth (Anatomy and Optics, for in- aimed ; but in which, it must nevertheless be stance,) are to painting. Allegory, narration, and owned, that in some parts of his “ Ode to Fancy” the drama make their last appeal to the ethics of he has been pleasingly successful. From the the human heart. It is therefore unsafe to draw subjoined specimens, the reader will probably be a marked distinction between morality and poetry; enabled to judge as favourably of his genius, as or to speak of “ solid observations on life” as of from the whole of his poems ; for most of them things in their nature unpoetical ; for we do meet are short and occasional, and (if I may venture in poetry with observations on life, which, for the to differ from the opinion of his amiable editor, charm of their solid truth, we should exchange Mr. Wooll,) are by no means marked with origi. with reluctance for the most ingenious touches nality. The only poem of any length, entitled of fancy.
“ The Enthusiast," was written at too early The school of the Wartons, considering them a period of his life, to be a fair object of critias poets, was rather too studiously prone to de- / cism,
ODE TO FANCY,
O PARENT of each lovely Muse,
Some nightingale still builds her nest,
O deign t'attend his evening walk,
THE DYING INDIAN.
Now let us louder strike the lyre,
of absence, O remove !
The dart of Izdabel prevails ! 'twas dipp'd
And whes disease Preys on her languid limbs, then kindly stab her With thine own hands, nor suffer her to linger, Like Christian cowards, in a life of pain. I go! great Copac beckons me! Farewell !
QUEEN of every moving measure,