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New College, Oxford, was entered a commoner at 'that of Oriel. At the university he composed his two poems, "The Enthusiast," and "The Dying Indian," and a satirical prose sketch, in imitation of Le Sage, entitled "Ranelagh," which his editor, Mr. Wooll, has inserted in the volume that contains his life, letters, and poems. Having taken the degree of bachelor of arts at Oxford, in 1744, he was ordained on his father's curacy at Basingstoke. At the end of two years, he removed from thence to do duty at Chelsea, where he caught the small-pox. Having left that place, | for change of air, he did not return to it, on account of some disagreement with the parishioners, but officiated for a few months at Chawton and Droxford, and then resumed his residence at Basingstoke. In the same year, 1746, he published a volume of his odes, in the preface to which he expressed a hope that they would be regarded as a fair attempt to bring poetry back from the moralizing and didactic taste of the age, to the truer channels of fancy and description. Collins, our author's immortal contemporary, also published his odes in the same month of the same year. He realised, with the hand of genius, that idea of highly personified and pic. turesque composition, which Warton contemplated with the eye of taste. But Collins's works were ushered in with no manifesto of a design to regenerate the taste of the age, with no pretensions of erecting a new or recovered standard of excellence.

In 1748 our author was presented by the Duke of Bolton to the rectory of Winslade, when he immediately married a lady of that neighbourhood, Miss Daman, to whom he had been for some time attached. He had not been long settled in his living, when he was invited by his patron to accompany him to the south of France. The Duchess of Bolton was then in a confirmed dropsy, and his Grace, anticipating her death, wished to have a protestant clergyman with him on the Continent, who might marry him, on the first intelligence of his consort's death, to the lady with whom he lived, and who was universally known by the name of Polly Peachum. Dr. Warton complied with this proposal, to which (as his circumstances were narrow) it must be hoped that his poverty consented rather than his will. "To those" (says Mr. Wooll) "who have enjoyed the rich and varied treasures of Dr. Warton's conversation, who have been dazzled by brilliancy of his wit, and instructed by the acuteness

zine of that time was by Collins. Of the other verses, Mr. Dyce says, "their mediocrity convinces me that they did not proceed from the pen of Collins" (p. 207). There was no necessity to decide this by their mediocrity; for Cave, in a note at the end of the poetry for that month, says, "The poems signed Amasius in this Magazine are from different correspondents; " and Dr. Johnson says, in one of his little notes to Nichols omitted by Boswell, that the other Amasius was Dr. Swan, the translator of Sydenham.]

of his understanding, I need not suggest how truly enviable was the journey which his fellow-travellers accomplished through the French provinces to Montauban." It may be doubted, however, if the French provinces were exactly the scene, where his fellow-travellers were most likely to be instructed by the acuteness of Dr. Warton's observations; as he was unable to speak the language of the country, and could have no information from foreigners, except what he could now and then extort from the barbarous Latin of some Irish friar. He was himself so far from being delighted or edified by his pilgrimage, that for private reasons, (as his biographer states), and from impatience of being restored to his family, he returned home, without having accomplished the object for which the Duke had taken him abroad. He set out for Bordeaux in a courier's cart; but being dreadfully jolted in that vehicle, he quitted it, and, having joined some carriers in Brittany, came home by way of St. Maloes. A month after his return to England, the Duchess of Bolton died; and our author, imagining that his patron would, possibly, have the decency to remain a widower for a few weeks, wrote to his Grace, offering to join him immediately. But the Duke had no mind to delay his nuptials; he was joined to Polly by a protestant clergyman, who was found upon the spot; and our author thus missed the reward of the only action of his life which can be said to throw a blemish on his respectable memory.

In the year 1748-9 he had begun, and in 1753 he finished and published, an edition of Virgil in English and Latin. To this work Warburton contributed a dissertation on the sixth book of the Eneid; Atterbury furnished a commentary on the character of Iapis; and the laureate Whitehead, another on the shield of Eneas. Many of the notes were taken from the best commentators on Virgil, particularly Catrou and Segrais: some were supplied by Mr. Spence; and others, relating to the soil, climate, and customs of Italy, by Mr. Holdsworth, who had resided for many years in that country. For the English of the Æneid, he adopted the translation by Pitt. The life of Virgil, with three essays on pastoral*, didactic, and epic poetry, and a poetical version of the Eclogues and Georgics, constituted his own part of the work. This translation may, in many instances, be found more faithful and concise than Dryden's; but it wants that elastic and idiomatic freedom, by which Dryden reconciles us to his faults; and exhibits rather the diligence of a scholar than the spirit of a poet. Dr. Harewood, in his view of the classics, accuses the Latin text of incorrectness+. Shortly

* His reflections on pastoral poetry are limited to a few sentences; but he subjoins an essay on the subject, by Dr. Johnson, from the Rambler.

With what justice I will not pretend to say; but after comparing a few pages of his edition with Maittaire, he seems to me to be less attentive to punctuation than the

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after the appearance of his Virgil, he took a share in the periodical paper, The Adventurer, and contributed twenty-four numbers, which have been generally esteemed the most valuable in the work.

By delaying to re-publish his Essay on Pope, he ultimately obtained a more dispassionate hearing from the public for the work in its finished state. In the mean time, he enriched it with ad


In 1754 he was instituted to the living of Tun-
worth, on the presentation of the Jervoise family;
and in 1755 was elected second master of Win-
chester School, with the management and advan-
tage of a boarding-house. In the following year
Lord Lyttelton, who had submitted a part of his
History of Henry II." to his revisal, bestowed
a scarf upon him. He found leisure, at this
period, to commence his "Essay on the Writings
and Genius of Pope," which he dedicated to
Young, without subscribing his name. But he
was soon, and it would appear with his own tacit
permission, generally pronounced to be its author.
Twenty-six years, however, elapsed before he
ventured to complete it. Dr. Johnson said, that
this was owing to his not having been able to
bring the public to be of his opinion as to Pope.
Another reason has been assigned for his inac-
tivity*. Warburton, the guardian of Pope's
fame, was still alive; and he was the zealous and
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-
lished his extended and finished Essay. If the
supposition that he abstained from embroiling
himself by the question about Pope with War-
burton be true, it will at least impress us with
an idea of his patience; for it was no secret that
Ruffhead was supplied by Warburton with mate-
rials for a life of Pope, in which he attacked Dr.
Warton with abundant severity; but in which he
!' entangled himself more than his adversary, in the
coarse-spun ropes of his special pleading. The
Essay, for a time, raised up to him another
enemy, to whom his conduct has even an air of
submissiveness. In commenting on a line of
Pope, he hazarded a remark on Hogarth's pro-
pensity to intermix the ludicrous with attempts
at the sublime. Hogarth revengefully introduced
Dr. Warton's works into one of his satirical
pieces, and vowed to bear him eternal enmity.
Their mutual friends, however, interfered, and
the artist was pacified. Dr. Warton, in the next
edition, altered his just animadversion on Hogarth
into an ill-merited compliment.

tells us, that our poetry and our language are
everlastingly indebted to Pope: he attributes
genuine tenderness to the "Elegy on an Unfortu-
nate Lady;" a strong degree of passion to the
"Epistle of Eloise ;" invention and fancy to "The
Rape of the Lock ;" and a picturesque concep-
tion to some parts of "Windsor Forest," which
he pronounces worthy of the pencil of Rubens or
Julio Romano. There is something like April
weather in these transitions.

editor of the Corpus Poetarum, and sometimes to omit
the marks by which it is customary to distinguish adverbs
from pronouns. I dislike his interpretation of one line
in the first Eclogue of Virgil, which seems to me pecu-
liarly tasteless; namely, where he translates Post
aliquot aristas "after a few years." The picture of
Melibus's cottage "behind a few cars of corn,"
so sim-
ply and exquisitely touched, is thus exchanged for a
forced phrase with regard to time.

* Chalmers's Life of J. Warton, British Poets.

ditions, digested from the reading of half a life-
time. The author of "The Pursuits of Litera-
ture" has pronounced it a common-place book;
and Richardson, the novelist, used to call it a
literary gossip: but a testimony in its favour, of
more authority than any individual opinion, will
be found in the popularity with which it continues
to be read. It is very entertaining, and abounds
with criticism of more research than Addison's, of
more amenity than Hurd's or Warburton's, and
of more insinuating tact than Johnson's. At the
same time, while much ingenuity and many truths
are scattered over the Essay, it is impossible to
admire it as an entire theory, solid and consist-
ent in all its parts. It is certainly setting out
from unfortunate premises to begin his Remarks
on Pope with grouping Dryden and Addison in
the same class of poets; and to form a scale for
estimating poetical genius, which would set Elijah
Fenton in a higher sphere than Butler. He places
Pope, in the scale of our poets, next to Milton,
and above Dryden; yet he applies to him the
exact character which Voltaire gives to the heart-
less Boileau-that of a writer, "perhaps, inca-
pable of the sublime which elevates, or of the

In May 1766, he was advanced to the head-
mastership of Winchester School.
In conse-
quence of this promotion, he once more visited
Oxford, and proceeded to the degree of bachelor
and doctor in divinity. After a union of twenty
years, he lost his first wife, by whom he had six
children; but his family and his professional si-
tuation requiring a domestic partner, he had been
only a year a widower, when he married a Miss
Nicholas, of Winchester.

He now visited London more frequently than before. The circle of his friends, in the metropolis, comprehended all the members of Burke's and Johnson's Literary Club. With Johnson himself he was for a long time on intimate terms; but their friendship suffered a breach which was never closed, in consequence of an argument, which took place between them, during an evening spent at the house of Sir Joshua Reynolds. The concluding words of their conversation are reported, by one who was present, to have been these: Johnson said, "Sir, I am not accustomed to be contradicted." Warton replied, "Better, sir, for yourself and your friends if you were: our respect could not be increased, but our love might."

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In 1782 he was indebted to his friend, Dr. Lowth, bishop of London, for a prebend of St. Paul's, and the living of Thorley in Hertfordshire, which, after some arrangements, he exchanged for that of Wickham. His ecclesiastical preferments came too late in life to place him in that state of leisure and independence which might have enabled him to devote his best years to literature, instead of the drudgery of a school. One great project, which he announced, but never fulfilled, namely, " A General History of Learning," was, in all probability, prevented by the pressure of his daily occupations. In 1788, through the interest of Lord Shannon, he obtained a prebend of Winchester; and, through the interest of Lord Malmsbury, was appointed to the rectory of Euston, which he was afterwards allowed to exchange for that of Upham. In 1793 he resigned the fatigues of his mastership of Winchester; and having received, from the superintendants of the institution, a vote of well-earned thanks, for his long and meritorious services, he went to live at his rectory of Wickham.

During his retirement at that place, he was induced, by a liberal offer of the booksellers, to superintend an edition of Pope, which he published in 1797. It was objected to this edition, that it contained only his Essay on Pope, cut down into notes; his biographer, however, repels the objection, by alleging that it contains a considerable portion of new matter. In his zeal to present everything that could be traced to the pen of Pope, he introduced two pieces of indelicate humour, "The Double Mistress," and the second satire of Horace. For the insertion of those pieces, he received a censure in the "Pursuits of Literature," which, considering his grey hairs and services in the literary world, was unbecoming, and which my individual partiality for Mr. Matthias makes me wish that I had not to record.

As a critic, Dr. Warton is distinguished by his love of the fanciful and romantic. He examined our poetry at a period when it appeared to him that versified observations on familiar life and manners had usurped the honours which were exclusively due to the bold and inventive powers of imagination. He conceived, also, that the charm of description in poetry was not suffi

[* Did Warton ever announce his intention of writing "A General History of Learning?" We think not, though Hume, in a letter to Robertson, speaks of such a work as coming from Warton's pen. Collins had such an intention, and Warton mentions it in his Essay, in a passage which has been overlooked by every writer on the subject. (Essay, ed. 1762, p. 186.) No copy of Collins's published proposals is known to exist, and it is now perhaps hopeless to obtain the exact title of his projected work. Johnson calls it, A History of the Revival of Learning; a correspondent in the Gentleman's Magazine, and an acquaintance of Collins's, A History of the Darker Ages; Thomas Warton, A History of the Restoration of Learning; and Joseph Warton, The History of the Age of Leo X. Walpole mentions it in a letter to Sir David Dalrymple.]

ciently appreciated in his own day: not that the age could be said to be without descriptive writers; but because, as he apprehended, the tyranny of Pope's reputation had placed moral and didactic verse in too pre-eminent a light. He, therefore, strongly urged the principle, "that the most solid observations on life, expressed with the utmost brevity and elegance, are morality, and not poetry." Without examining how far this principle applies exactly to the character of Pope, whom he himself owns not to have been without

pathos and imagination, I think his proposition is so worded, as to be liable to lead to a most unsound distinction between morality and poetry. If by "the most solid observations on life" are meant only those which relate to its prudential management and plain concerns, it is certainly true, that these cannot be made poetical, by the utmost brevity or elegance of expression. It is also true, that even the nobler tenets of morality are comparatively less interesting, in an insulated and didactic shape, than when they are blended with strong imitations of life, where passion, character, and situation bring them deeply home to our attention. Fiction is on this account so far the soul of poetry, that, without its aid as a ve hicle, poetry can only give us morality in an abstract and (comparatively) uninteresting shape. But why does Fiction please us? surely not be cause it is false, but because it seems to be true; because it spreads a wider field, and a more brilliant crowd of objects to our moral perceptions, than reality affords. Morality (in a high sense of the term, and not speaking of it as a dry seience) is the essence of poetry. We fly from the injustice of this world to the poetical justice of Fiction, where our sense of right and wrong is either satisfied, or where our sympathy, at least, reposes with less disappointment and distraction, than on the characters of life itself. Fiction, we may indeed be told, carries us into a world of gayer tinct and grace," the laws of which are not

[t Our English poets may, I think, be disposed in four different classes and degrees. In the first class I would place, our only three sublime and pathetic poets, Spenser, Shakspeare, Milton. In the second class should be ranked, such as possessed the true poetical genius, in a more moderate degree, but who had noble talents fr moral, ethical, and panegyrical poesy. At the head of these are, Dryden, Prior, Addison, Cowley, Waller Garth, Fenton, Gay, Denham, Parnell. In the third class may be placed, men of wit, of elegant taste, and lively fancy in describing familiar life, though not the higher scenes of poetry. Here may be numbered. Butler, Swift, Rochester, Donne, Dorset, Oldham. In the fourth class, the mere versifiers, however smooth and melli fluous some of them may be thought, should be disposed. Such as Pitt, Sandys, Fairfax, Broome, Buckingham, Lansdowne. This enumeration is not intended as a conplete catalogue of writers, but only to mark out briefly the different species of our celebrated authors. In which of these classes Pope deserves to be placed, the following work is intended to determine.-JOSEPH WARTON, Deli cation to Dr. Young.

The position of Pope among our poets, and the ques tion generally of classification, Mr. Campbell has argued at some length in the Introductory Essay to this volume)

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to be judged by solid observations on the real world.

But this is not the case, for moral truth is still the light of poetry, and fiction is only the refracting atmosphere which diffuses it; and the laws of moral truth are as essential to poetry, as those of physical truth (Anatomy and Optics, for instance,) are to painting. Allegory, narration, and the drama make their last appeal to the ethics of the human heart. It is therefore unsafe to draw a marked distinction between morality and poetry; or to speak of "solid observations on life" as of things in their nature unpoetical; for we do meet in poetry with observations on life, which, for the charm of their solid truth, we should exchange with reluctance for the most ingenious touches of fancy.

The school of the Wartons, considering them as poets, was rather too studiously prone to de


O PARENT of each lovely Muse,
Thy spirit o'er my soul diffuse,
O'er all my artless songs preside,
My footsteps to thy temple guide,
To offer at thy turf-built shrine,
In golden cups no costly wine,
No murder'd fatling of the flock,
But flowers and honey from the rock.
O nymph with loosely-flowing hair,
With buskin'd leg, and bosom bare,
Thy waist with myrtle-girdle bound,
Thy brows with Indian feathers crown'd,
Waving in thy snowy hand
An all-commanding magic wand,
Of power to bid fresh gardens blow,
'Mid cheerless Lapland's barren snow,
Whose rapid wings thy flight convey
Through air, and over earth and sea,
While the vast various landscape lies
Conspicuous to thy piercing eyes.
O lover of the desert, hail!
Say, in what deep and pathless vale,
Or on what hoary mountain's side,
'Mid fall of waters, you reside,
'Mid broken rocks, a rugged scene,
With green and grassy dales between,
'Mid forests dark of aged oak,

Ne'er echoing with the woodman's stroke,
Where never human art appear'd,
Nor ev'n one straw-roof'd cot was rear'd,
Where Nature seems to sit alone,
Majestic on a craggy throne;
Tell me the path, sweet wand'rer, tell,
To thy unknown sequester'd cell,
Where woodbines cluster round the door,
Where shells and moss o'erlay the floor,
And on whose top an hawthorn blows,
Amid whose thickly-woven boughs


scription. The doctor, like his brother, certainly so far realised his own ideas of inspiration, as to burthen his verse with few observations on life which oppress the mind by their solidity. To his brother he is obviously inferior in the graphic and romantic style of composition, at which he aimed; but in which, it must nevertheless be owned, that in some parts of his "Ode to Fancy" he has been pleasingly successful. From the subjoined specimens, the reader will probably be enabled to judge as favourably of his genius, as from the whole of his poems; for most of them are short and occasional, and (if I may venture to differ from the opinion of his amiable editor, Mr. Wooll,) are by no means marked with originality. The only poem of any length, entitled "The Enthusiast," was written at too early a period of his life, to be a fair object of criticism.

Some nightingale still builds her nest,
Each evening warbling thee to rest :
Then lay me by the haunted stream,
Rapt in some wild, poetic dream,
In converse while methinks I rove
With Spenser through a fairy grove;
Till, suddenly awaked, I hear
Strange whisper'd music in my ear,
And my glad soul in bliss is drown'd
By the sweetly-soothing sound!
Me, goddess, by the right hand lead
Sometimes through the yellow mead,
Where Joy and white-robed Peace resort,
And Venus keeps her festive court;
Where Mirth and Youth each evening meet,
And lightly trip with nimble feet,
Nodding their lily-crowned heads,
Where Laughter rose-lipp'd Hebe leads
Where Echo walks steep hills among,
List'ning to the shepherd's song:
Yet not these flowery fields of joy


Can long my pensive mind employ ;
Haste, Fancy, from the scenes of folly,
To meet the matron Melancholy,
Goddess of the tearful eye,
That loves to fold her arms, and sigh;
Let us with silent footsteps go
To charnels and the house of woe,
To Gothic churches, vaults, and tombs,
Where each sad night some virgin comes,
With throbbing breast, and faded cheek,
Her promised bridegroom's urn to seek ;
Or to some abbey's mould'ring towers,
Where, to avoid cold wintry showers,
The naked beggar shivering lies,
While whistling tempests round her rise,
And trembles lest the tottering wall
Should on her sleeping infants fall.

Now let us louder strike the lyre,
For my heart glows with martial fire,—
I feel, I feel, with sudden heat,

My big tumultuous bosom beat;
The trumpet's clangors pierce my ear,
A thousand widows' shrieks I hear,
Give me another horse, I cry,
Lo! the base Gallic squadrons fly;
Whence is this rage ?-what spirit, say,
To battle hurries me away?

"Tis Fancy, in her fiery car,
Transports me to the thickest war,
There whirls me o'er the hills of slain,
Where Tumult and Destruction reign;
Where, mad with pain, the wounded steed
Tramples the dying and the dead;
Where giant Terror stalks around,
With sullen joy surveys the ground,
And, pointing to th' ensanguin'd field,
Shakes his dreadful gorgon shield!
O guide me from this horrid scene,
To high-arch'd walks and alleys green,
Which lovely Laura seeks, to shun
The fervours of the mid-day sun;
The pangs of absence, O remove !
For thou canst place me near my love,
Canst fold in visionary bliss,

And let me think I steal a kiss,

While her ruby lips dispense Luscious nectar's quintessence!

When young-eyed Spring profusely throws
From her green lap the pink and rose,
When the soft turtle of the dale
To Summer tells her tender tale;
When Autumn cooling caverns seeks,
And stains with wine his jolly cheeks ;
When Winter, like poor pilgrim old,
Shakes his silver beard with cold;
At every season let my ear
Thy solemn whispers, Fancy, hear.
O warm, enthusiastic maid,
Without thy powerful, vital aid,
That breathes an energy divine,
That gives a soul to every line,
Ne'er may I strive with lips profane
To utter an unhallow'd strain,

Nor dare to touch the sacred string,
Save when with smiles thou bidd'st me sing.
O hear our prayer, O hither come
From thy lamented Shakspeare's tomb,
On which thou lovest to sit at eve,
Musing o'er thy darling's grave;
O queen of numbers, once again
Animate some chosen swain,
Who, fill'd with unexhausted fire,
May boldly smite the sounding lyre,
Who with some new unequall'd song
May rise above the rhyming throng,
O'er all our list'ning passions reign,
O'erwhelm our souls with joy and pain,
With terror shake, and pity move,
Rouse with revenge, or melt with love;

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