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depends only on the imagery and animation of the two poems, his judgment is right. There is in The Bard more force, more thought, and more variety. But to copy is less than to invent, and the copy has been unhappily produced at a wrong time. The fiction of Horace was to the Romans credible ; but its revival disgusts us with apparent and unconquerable falşehood. In credulus odi,

To select a singular event, and swell it to a giant's bylk by fabulous appendages of spectres and predictions, has little diffi. culty; for he that forsakes the probable may always find the marvellous. And it has little use ; we are affected only as we believe; we are improved only as we find something to be imitated or declined. I do not see that The Bard promotes any truth, moral or political.

His stanzas are too long, especially his epodes; the ode is finished before the ear has learned its measures, and consequently before it can receive pleasure from their consonance and recurrence.

Of the first stanza the abrupt beginning has been celebrated; but technical beauties can give praise only to the inventor. It is in the power of any man to rush abruptly upon his subject, that has read the ballad of Johnny Armstrong,

Is there ever a man in all Scotland.

The initial resemblances, or alliterations, “ ruin, ruthless, heln or hauberk,” are below the grandeur of a poem that endeavours at sublimity.

In the second stanza the bard is well described ; but in the third we have the puerilities of obsolete mythology. When we are told that “Cadwallo hush'd the stormy main," and that “ Moded made huge Plinlimmon bow his cloud topp'd head,” atten. tion recoils from the repetition of a tale that, even when it was first heard, was heard with scorn.

The weaving of the winding sheet he borrowed, as he owns, from the northern bards; but their texture, however, was very properly the work of female powers as the act of spinning the thread of life is another mythology. Theft is always dangerous; Gray has made weavers of slaughtered bards by a fiction outra. geous and incongruous. They are then called upon to “ weave the warp, and weave the woof,” perhaps with no great propriety ; for it is by crossing the woof with the warp that men weave the web or peice; and the first line was dearly bought by the admis

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sion of its wretched correspondent, “Give ample room and verge enough."* He has, however, no other line as bad.

The third stanza of the second ternary is commended, I think, beyond its merit. The personification is indistinct. Thirst and hunger are not alike ; and their features, to make the imagery perfect, should have been discriminated. We are told, in the same stanza, how “ towers are fed." But I will no longer look for particular faults; yet let it be observed that the ode might have been concluded with an action of better example ; but suicide is always to be had without expense of thought.

These odes are marked by glittering accumulations of ungraceful ornaments; they strike, rather than please ; the images are magnified by affectation ; the language is laboured into harshness. The mind of the writer seems to work with unnatural violence. « Double,double, toil and trouble.” He has a kind of strutting diga nity, and is tall by walking on tiptoe. His art and his struggle are too visible, and there is too little

appearance

of ease and nature.f To say that he has no beauties, would be unjust; a man like him, of great learning and great industry, could not but produce something valuable. When he pleases least, it can only be said that a good design was ill directed.

His translations of northern and Welsh poetry deserve praise; the imagery is preserved, perhaps often improved ; but the language is unlike the language of other poets.

In the character of his elegy I rejoice to concur with the 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 Churchyard abounds with images which find a mirror 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.

" I have a soul, that like an ample shield
Can take in all; and verge enough for more."

DRYDEN's SEBASTIAN.
of Lord Oxford used to assert, that Gray“ never wrote any thing easily,
but things of humour ;” and added, that humour was his natural and original
plan. C.

57

VOL. IR

LYTTELTON.

GEORGE LYTTELTON, the son of sir Thomas Lyttelton, of Hagley in Worcestershire, was born in 1709. He was edu. cated at Eton, where he was so much distinguished, that his exercises were recommended as models to his schoolfellows.

From Eton he went to Christ church, where he retained the same reputation of superiority, and displayed his abilities to the public 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.

Hestaid not long in Oxford; forin 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, 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 undersecretary, with 2001. and Thomson had a pension of 1001, a year. For Thomson, Lyttelton always retained his kindness, 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 were at last 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 lam. pooner so unjust and licentious. Lyttelton supported his friend ; and replied, that he thought it an honour to be received into the familiarity of so great a poet.

While he was thus conspicuous, he married, 1741, Miss Lucy Fortescue of Devonshire, by whom he had a son, the late lord Lyttelton, and two daughters, and with whom he appears to have lived in the highest degree of connubial felicity; but human pleasures are short; she died in childbed about five years afterward; and he solaced himself by writing a long poem to her memory.

He did not, however, condemn himself to perpetual solitude and sorrow; for, after awhile he was content to seek happiness again by a second marriage with the daughter of sir Robert Rich ; but the experiment was unsuccessful. - At length, after a long struggle, Walpole gave way, and honour and profit were distributed among

his

conquerors. Lyttelton was made, 1744, one of the lords of the treasury; and from that time was engaged in supporting the schemes of the ministry.

Politics did not, however, so much engage him as to withhold his thoughts from things of more importance. He had, m the pride of juvenile confidence, with the help of corrupt conversation, entertained doubts of the truth of christianity ; but he thought the time now come when it was no longer fit to doubt or believe by chance, and applied himself seriously to the great question. His studies, being honest, ended in conviction. He . found that religion was true ; and what he had learned he endeavoured to teach, 1747, by “ Observations on the Conversion of St. Paul ;" a treatise to which infidelity has never been able to fabricate a specious answer. This book his father had the happiness of seeing, and expressed his pleasure in a letter which deserves to be inserted.

“I HAVE read your religious treatise with infinite pleasure and satisfaction. The style is fine and clear, the arguments close, cogent, and irresistible. May the King of kings, whose glorious cause you have so well defended, reward your pious labours, and grant that I may be found worthy, through the merits of Jesus Christ, to be an eye witness of that happiness which I don't doubt he will bountifully bestow upon you. In the mean time, I shall never cease glorifying God, for having endowed you with such useful talents, and giving me so good a son.

6 Your affectionate father,

6 THOMAS LYTTELTON."

A few years afterward, 1751, by the death of his father he inherited a baronet's title with a large estate, which, though perhaps he did not augment, he was careful to adorn, by a house of great elegance and expense, and by much attention to the decoration of his park.

As he continued his activity in parliament, he was gradually advancing his claim to profit and preferment; and accordingly was made in time, 1754, cofferer and privy counsellor ; this place he exchanged next year for the great office of chancellor of the exchequer ; an office, however, that required some qualifications which he soon perceived himself to want.

The year after, his curiosity led him into Wales ; of which he has given an account, perhaps rather with too much affectation of delight, to Archibald Bower, a man of whom he had conceived an opinion more favourable than he seems to have deserved, and whom, having once espoused his interest and fame, he was never persuaded to disown. Bower, whatever was his moral character, did not want abilities ; attacked as he was by an

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