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Centaur," is that world into which we were " born?"

The fame humility which marked a hatter and a housekeeper for the friends of the author of the "Night "Thoughts," had before bestowed the fame title on his footman, in an epitaph in his "Church-yard" upon James Baker, dated 1749; which I am glad to find in the late collection of his works.

Young and his houfekeeper were ridiculed, with more ill-nature than wit, in a kind of novel published by Kidgell in 1755, called "The Card," under the names of Dr. Elwes and Mrs. Fusby.

In April 1765, at an age to which few attain, a period was put to the life of Young.

He had performed no duty for three or four years, but he retained his intellects to the laft.

Much is told in the "Biographia," which I know not to have been true, of the manner of his burial; of the master and children of a charity-school, which he founded in his parifh, who neglected to attend their benefactor's corpfe; and of a bell which was not caused to toll as often as upon thofe occafions bells ufually toll. Had that humanity, which is here lavished upon things of little confequence either to the living or to the dead, been fhewn in its proper place to the living, I fhould have had less to say about Lorenzo. They who lament that thefe misfortunes happened to Young, forget the praise he bestows upon Socrates, in the Preface to "Night Seven," for refenting his friend's request about his funeral.

During fome part of his life Young was abroad, but I have not been able to learn any particulars.

In his feventh Satire he says,

When, after battle, I the field have SEEN
Spread o'er with ghaftly thapes which once were men.

It is known alfo, that from this or from fome other field he once wandered into the camp, with a claffick in his hand, which he was reading intently; and had fome difficulty to prove that he was only an abfent poet, and not a spy.

The curious reader of Young's life will naturally inquire to what it was owing, that though he lived almost forty years after he took Orders, which included one whole reign uncommonly long, and part of another, he was never thought worthy of the least preferment. The author of the "Night Thoughts" ended his days upon a Living which came to him from his College without any favour, and to which he probably had an eye when he determined on the Church. To fatisfy curiofity of this kind is, at this distance of time, far from eafy. The parties themfelves know not often, at the inftant, why they are neglected, or why they are preferred. The neglect of Young is by fome ascribed to his having attached himself to the Prince of Wales, and to his having preached an offenfive fermon at St James's. It has been told me that he had two hundred a year in the late reign, by the patronage of Walpole; and that, whenever any one reminded the King of Young, the only answer was, " he has a penfion." All the light thrown on this inquiry, by the following Letter from Secker, only ferves to fhew at what a late period of life the author of the "Night Thoughts" folicited preferment :


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"Deanery of St. Paul's, July 8, 1758.

"Good Dr. Young,

"I have long wondered, that more fuitable no"tice of your great merit hath not been taken by "perfons in power. But how to remedy the omiffion "I fee not. No encouragement hath ever been given "me to mention things of this nature to his Majefty. "And therefore, in all likelihood, the only confequence of doing it would be weakening the little "influence which elfe I may poffibly have on some "other occafions. Your fortune and your reputation "set you above the need of advancement; and your "sentiments, above that concern for it, on your own "account, which, on that of the Public, is fincerely " felt by


"Your loving Brother,

At laft, at the age of fourfcore, he was appointed, in 1761, Clerk of the Closet to the Princess Dowager. One obftacle must have ftood not a little in the way of that preferment after which his whole life feems to have panted. Though he took Orders, he never intirely fhook off Politicks. He was always the Lion of his mafter Milton, "pawing to get free his hin"der parts." By this conduct, if he gained fome friends, he made many enemies.

Again Young was a poet; and again, with reverence be it spoken, poets by profeffion do not always make the beft clergymen. If the author of the "Night Thoughts" compofed many fermons, he did not oblige the publick with many.



Befides, in the latter part of life, Young was fond of holding himself out for a man retired from the world. But he feemed to have forgotten that the fame verfe which contains "oblitus meorum," contains alfo oblivifcendus & illis." The brittle chain of worldly friendship and patronage is broken as effectually, when one goes beyond the length of it, as when the other does. To the veffel which is failing from the fhore, it only appears that the fhore also recedes; in life it is truly thus. He who retires from the world will find himself, in reality, deserted as fast, if not fafter, by the world. The publick is not to be treated as the coxcomb treats his mistress; to be threatened with desertion, in order to increase fondness.

Young feems to have been taken at his word. Notwithstanding his frequent complaints of being neg. lected, no hand was reached out to pull him from that retirement of which he declared himself enamoured. Alexander affigned no palace for the refidence of Diogenes, who boafted his furly fatisfaction with his tub.


Of the domeftick manners and petty habits of the author of the Night Thoughts," I hoped to have given you an account from the beft authority: but who fhall dare to fay, To-morrow I will be wife or virtuous, or to-morrow I will do a particular thing? Upon enquiring for his houfekeeper, I learned that she was buried two days before I reached the town of her abode.

In a Letter from Tfcharner, a noble foreigner, to Count Haller, Tfcharner fays, he has lately spent four days with Young at Welwyn, where the author


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taftes all the ease and pleasure mankind can defire.


Every thing about him fhews the man, each indivi"dual being placed by rule. All is neat without He is very pleasant in converfation, and ex"tremely polite."


This, and more, may poffibly be true; but Tfcharner's was a firft vifit, a vifit of curiofity and admiration, and a vifit which the author expected.

Of Edward Young an anecdote which wanders among readers is not true, that he was Fielding's Parfon Adams. The original of that famous painting was William Young, who was a clergyman. He fupported an uncomfortable existence by tranflating for the booksellers from Greek; and, if he did not feem to be his own friend, was at leaft no man's enemy. Yet the facility with which this report has gained belief in the world argues, were it not fufficiently known, that the author of the "Night Thoughts" bore fome resemblance to Adams.

The attention which Young bestowed upon the perufal of books is not unworthy imitation. When any paffage pleased him, he appears to have folded down the leaf. On these paffages he bestowed a fecond reading. But the labours of man are too frequently vain. Before he returned to much of what he had once approved, he died. Many of his books, which I have seen, are by thofe notes of approbation fo fwelled beyond their real bulk, that they will hardly shut.

What though we wade in wealth, or foar in fame!
Earth's highest station ends in Here he lies!
And duft to duft concludes her nobleft fong!

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