« ForrigeFortsett »
finished. As it is so unfortunate to come too late for Mr. Bentley, it may appear in the fourth volume of the Miscellanies, provided you don't think it execrable, and suppress it. Pray, when the fine book is to be printed,* let me revise the press, for you know you can't; and there are a few trifles I could wish altered.
I know not what you mean by hours of love, and cherries, and pine-apples. I neither see nor hear any thing here, and am of opinion that is the best way. My compliments to Mr. Bentley, if he be with you.
I am yours ever. I desire you would not shew that epigram I repeated to you,t as mine.
I have heard of it twice already as coming from you.
I Am obliged to you for Mr. Dodsley's book ;£ and, having pretty well looked it over, will (as you desire) tell you my opinion of it. He might, mệthinks, have spared the graces in his frontispiece, if he chose to be economical, and dressed his authors in a little more decent raiment—not in whited-brown paper and distorted characters, like an old ballad. I am ashamed to see myself: but the company keeps me in countenance; so to begin with Mr. Tickell. This is not only a statepoem (my ancient aversion), but a state-poem on the peace of Utrecht. If Mr. Pope had wrote a panegyric on it, one could hardly have read him with patience ; but this is only a poor short-winded imitator of Addison, who had hiinself not above three or four notes in poetry, sweet enough indeed, like those of a German flute, but such as soon tire and satiate the ear with their frequent
• The edition of his Odes, printed at Strawberry hill.
# His Collection of Poems.
return. Tickell has added to this a great poverty of sense, and a string of transitions that hardly become a school-boy. However, I forgive him for the sake of his ballad," which I always thought the prettiest in the world. All there is of M. Green here has been printed before: there is a profusion of wit every where; reading would have formed his judgment, and harmonized his verse, for even his wood-notes often break out into strains of real poetry and music. The School-mistress is excellent in its kind, and masterly; and (I am sorry to differ from you, but) London is to me one of those few imitations, that have all the ease and all the spirit of an original. The same man'st verses at the opening of Garrick's theatre are far from bad. Mr. Dyer (here you will despise me highly) has more of poetry in his imagination, than almost any of our number ; but rough and injudicious. I should range Mr. Bramston only a step or two above Dr. King, who is as low in my estimation as in yours. Dr. Evans is a furious madman ; and pre-existence is nonsense in all her altitudes. Mr. Lyttelton is a gentle elegiac person: Mr. Nugent; sure did not write his own ode.Ş I like Mr. Whitehead's little poems, I mean the Ode on a Tent, the Verses to Garrick, and particularly those to Charles Townshend, better than any thing I had seen before of him. I gladly pass over H. Brown, and the rest, to come at you. You know I was of the publishing side, and thought your reasons against it none; for though, as Mr. Chute said extremely well, the still small voice of Poetry was not made to be heard in a crowd; yet Satire will be heard, for all the audience are by nature her friends; especially when she appears in the spirit of Dryden, with his
• Colin and Lucy ; beginning,
" Of Leinster fam'd for maidens fair."
Afterward Earl Nugent.
strength, and often with his versification ; such as you have caught in those lines on the royal unction, on the.. papal dominion, and convents of both sexes, on Henry VIII. and Charles II. for these are to me the shining parts of your Epistle. There are many lines I could wish corrected, and some blotted out, but beauties enough to atone for a thousand worse faults than these. The opinion of such as can at all judge, who saw it before in Dr. Middleton's hands, concurs nearly with mine. As to what any one says, since it came out; our people (you must know) are slow of judgment: they wait till some bold body saves them the trouble, and then follow his opinion; or stay till they hear what is said in town, that is, at some bishop's table, or some coffee-house about the Temple. When they are determined, I will tell you faithfully their verdict. As for the Beauties, t I am their most humble servant. What shall I say to Mr. Lowth, Mr. Ridley, Mr. Rolle, the Reverend Mr. Brown, Seward, &c. ? If I say, Messieurs ! this is not the thing; write prose, write sermons, write nothing at all; they will disdain me and my advice. What then would the sickly peerf have done, that spends so much time in admiring every thing that has four legs, and fretting at his own misfortune in having but two'; and cursing his own politic head and feeble constitution, that won't let him be such a beast as he would wish? Mr. S. Jenyns now and then can write a good line or two-such as these
Snatch us from all our little sorrows bere,
Calm every grief, and dry each childish tear, &c. I like Mr. Aston Hervey's fable; and an ode (the last of all) by Mr. Mason, a new acquaintance of mine, whose Musæus too seems to carry with it the promise at least of something good to come. I was glad to see
* Epistle from Florence to Thomas Asheton, tutor to the Earl of Plymouth. † The Epistle to Mr. Eckardt the painter.
# Lord Hervey.
you distinguished who
poor West was, before his charming ode, and called it any thing rather than a Pindaric. The town is an owl, if it don't like Lady Mary, † and I am surprised at it: wę here are owls enough to think her eclogues very bad; but that I did not wonder at. Our present taste is Sir T. Fitz-Osborne's Letters. I send
you bit of a thing for two reasons: first, because it is one of your favourites, Mr. M. Green; and next, because I would do justice. The thought on which my second odeš turns is manifestly stole from hence :—not that I knew it at the time, but, having seen this many years before, to be sure it imprinted itself on my memory, and, forgetting the author, I took it for my own.
The subject was the Queen's Hermitage.
Though yet no palace grace the shore
If thou, the god with winged feet,
* Monody on the Death of Queen Caroline. + Lady Mary W. Montagu's Poems.
The Ode to Spring.
| The four busts.
Needless it is in terms unskill'd
Adieu! I am yours ever.
Stoke, July 11, 1757. I will not give you the trouble of sending your chaise for me.
I intend to be with you on Wednesday in the evening. If the press stands still all this time for me,
, to be sure it is dead in child-bed.
I do not love notes, though you see I had resolved to put two or three. * They are signs of weakness and obscurity. If a thing cannot be understood without them,
To the Bard.