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375 To the Rev. W. Bagot. Milton's Elegy on the death 413 To the Rev. Mr. Greatheed. Description of Earth.
Aug. 6 ib.
Dec. 5 364 418 To Lady Hesketh. Improvement in his health ; his
Feb. 14 ib. 421 To W. Hayley, Esq. Account of his journey, Sept. 18 352
367 To the same. Continuation of the same, March 2 ib. 428 To S. Rose, Esq. Compliment on his professional
Nov. 9 ib.
Nov. 20 ib.
March 25 ib. 43] To J. Hill, Esq. Politics of the day, Dec. 16 ib.
ter of Mrs. Unwin,
April 6 ib. 433 To the Rev. W. Hurdis. On the illness of Miss Ilur.
Jan. 6 ib.
Jan. 20 ib.
399 To Lady Hesketh. Mrs. Unwin's second attack, 440 To W. Hayley, Esq. His dream respecting Milton,
Feb. 24. ib.
May 26 374 441 To the Rev. W. Bagot. Republicans of France,
403 To the same. Same subject,
June 5 ib. 414 To S. Rose, Esq. Revised translation of Homer,
March 27 ib.
June 7 375 445 To J. Johnson, Esq. Mr. Johnson's resolution to
take holy orders,
April 11 ib.
June 10 ib. 446 To W. Hayley, Esq. Onule notes to his Homer,
449 To Lady Hesketh. Toryism of Lady Hesketh, 465 To Mrs Courtenay. On Mr. Johnson's present of a
Sept. 15 ib.
on his arrival at Cambridge we, when no rain had 167 To W. Hayley, Esq. On the visits and civilities
Oct. 5 ib.
468 To the same. On Mr. Hayley and his son's visit to
453 To the same. On his projected poem of the Four 469 To the Rev. J. Jekyll Rye. On Mr. Hurdis's election
Nov. 3 ib.
Nov. 4 ib.
455 To W. Hayley, Esq. Improvements in his garden, 472 To the Rev. W. Bagot. Reflections on the French
July 24 ib.
Nov. 10 ib.
July 25 395 473 To the Rev. Mr. Hurdis. On Hayley's Life of Mil-
.by a roguish fiddler,
Aug. 20 396 476 To W. Hayley, Esq. Uneasy at not hearing from
477 To the same. Criticism on the address of Hector to
463 To the Rev. John Johnson. Mr. Johnson's present 478 To the same. Same subject,
Jan. 5 ib.
Sept. 6 398
LIFE OF WILLIAM COWPER, ESQ.
OF THE INNER TEMPLE.
William CowPER was born at Berkhamstead, of spirits, into a state of great mental disorder. Herts, November 26, 1731. His father, the rec- At this period, he was led into a deep consideration tor of the parish, was the reverend.John Cowper; of his religious state; and, having imbibed the D. D., son of Spencer Cowper, one of the justices doctrine of election and reprobation in its most apof the common pleas, a younger brother of the lord palling rigor, he was led to a very dismal state of chancellor Cowper. He received his early educa- apprehension. We are told, “that the terror of tion at a school in his native county, whence he eternal judgment overpowered and actually disorwas removed to that of Westminster. Here he dered his faculties; and he remained seven months adquired a competent portion of classical know- in a continual expectation of being instantly plungledge; but, from the delicacy of his temperament, ed into eternal misery." In this shocking condiand the timid shyness of his disposition, he seems tion, confinement became necessary, and he was to have endured a species of martyrdom from the placed in a receptacle for lunatics, kept by the rudeness and tyranny of his more robust compan- amiable and well-known doctor Cotton of St. Alions, and to have received, indelibly, the impres- ban’s. At length, his mind recovered a degree of sions that subsequently produced his Tirocinium, serenity, and he retired to Huntingdon, where he in which poem his dislike to the system of public formed an acquaintance with the family of the education in England is very strongly stated. On reverend Mr. Unwin, which ripened into the strictleaving Westminster, he was articled, for three est intimacy. In 1773, he was again assailed by years, to an eminent attorney, during which time religious despondency, and endured a partial alienhe appears to have paid very little attention to his ation of mind for some years, during which afflicprofession; nor did he alter on this point after his tion he was highly indebted to the affectionate care entry at the Temple, in order to qualify himself of Mrs. Unwin. In 1778, he again recovered; in for the honourable and lucrative place of clerk to 1780, he was persuaded to translate some of the the house of lords, which post his family interest spiritual songs of the celebrated madame Guion. had secured for him. While he resided in the Inthe same and the following year, he was also inducTemple, he appears to have been rather gay and ed to prepare a volume of poems for the press, which social in his intercourse, numbering among his was printed in 1782. This volume did not attract companions Lloyd, Churchill, Thornton and Col- any great degree of public attention. The princiman, all of whom had been his companions at pal topics are, Error, Truth, Expostulation, Hope, Westminster school, and the two latter of whom Charity, Retirement and Conversation; all of which he assisted with some papers in the Connoisseur. / are treated with originality, but, at the same time, His natural disposition, however, remained timid with a portion of religious austerity, which, withand diffident, and his spirits so constitutionally in- out some very striking recommendation, was not, firm, that, when the time arrived for his assuming at that time, of a nature to acquire popularity. the post to which he had been destined, he was They are in rhymed heroics; the style being rather thrown into such unaccountable terror at the idea strong than poctical, although never flat or insipid. of making his appearance before the assembled A short time before the publication of this volume, peerage, that he was not only obliged to resign the Mr. Cowper became acquainted with lady Austen, appointment, but was precipitated, by his agitation widow of sir Robert Austen, who subsequently resided, for some time, at the parsonage-house at ly a more accurate representation of Homer than Olney. To the influence of this lady, the world the version of Pope; but English blank verse can is indebted for the exquisitely humorous ballad of not sufficiently sustain the less poetical parts of John Gilpin, and the author's master-piece, the Homer, and the general effect is bald and prosaic. Task. The latter admirable poem chiefly occupi- Disappointed at the reception of this laborious ed his second volume, which was published in work, he meditated a revision of it, as also the su1785, and rapidly secured universal admiration perintendence of an edition of Milton, and a new The Task unites minute accuracy with great ele- didactic poem, to be entitled the Four Ages; but, gance and picturesque beauty; and, after Thom- although he occasionally wrote a few verses, and son, Cowper is probably the poet who has added revised his Odyssey, amidst his glimmerings of most to the stock of natural imagery. The moral reason, those and all other undertakings finally reflections in this poem are also exceedingly im- gave way to a relapse of his malady. His disorpressive, and its delineation of character abounds der extended, with little intermission to the close in genuine nature. His religious system, too, al- of life; which, melancholy to relate, ended in a though discoverable, is less gloomily exhibited in state of absolute despair. In 1794, a pension of this than in his other productions. This volume 3001. per annum was granted him by the crown. also contained his Tirocinium—a piece strongly In the beginning of 1800, this gifted, but afflicted written, and abounding with striking observations, man of genius, exhibited symptoms of dropsy, whatever may be thought of its decision against which carried him off on the 25th of April followpublic education. About the year 1784, he began ing. Since his death, Cowper has, by the care his version of Homer, which, after many impedi- and industry of his friend and biographer, Hayments, appeared in July, 1791. This work pos- ley, become known to the world, as one of the most sesses much exactness, as to sense, and is certain- easy and elegant letter-writers on record.
WILLIAM COWPER, ESQ.
OF THE INNER TEMPLE.
Si te fortè meæ gravis uret sarcina chartæ,
Hor. Lib. 1. Epist. 13.
A. YOU told me, I remember, glory, built Some royal mastiff panting at their heels, On selfish principles, is shame and guilt; With all the savage thirst a tiger feels; The deeds that men admire as half divine, Then view him self-proclaimed in a gazette Stark naught, because corrupt in their design. Chief monster that has plagued the nations yet: Strange doctrine this! that without scruple tears The globe and sceptre in such hands misplaced, The laurel, that the very lightning spares; Those ensigns of dominion, how disgraced ! Brings down the warrior's trophy to the dust, The glass, that bids man mark the fleeting hour, And eats into his bloody sword like rust. And Death's own scythe would better speak his B. I grant that, men continuing what they are,
power; Fierce, avaricious, proud, there must be war; Then grace the bony phantom in their stead And never meant the rule should be applied With the king's shoulder-knot and gay cockade; To him, that fights with justice on his side. Clothe the twin brethren in each other's dress,
Let laurels drenched in pure Parnassian dews, The same their occupation and success. Reward his memory, dear to every muse,
A. 'Tis your belief the world was made for man; Who, with a courage of unshaken root,
Kings do but reason on the self-same plan: In Honour's field advancing his firm foot,
Maintaining yours, you cannot theirs condemn, Plants it upon the line that Justice draws,
Who think, or seem to think, man made for them. And will prevail or perish in her cause. 'Tis to the virtues of such men, man owes . B. Seldom, alas! the power of logic reigns His portion in the good that Heaven bestows. With much sufficiency in royal brains; And when recording History displays
Such reasoning falls like an inverted cone, Feats of renown, though wrought in ancient days, Wanting its proper base to stand upon. Tells of a few stout hearts, that fought and died, Man made for kings! those optics are but dim, Where duty placed them, at their country's side; That tell you so—say, rather, they for him. The man, that is not moved with what he reads, That were indeed a king-ennobling thought, That takes not fire at their heroic deeds, Could they, or would they, reason as they ought. Unworthy of the blessings of the brave,
The diadem, with mighty projects lined, Is base in kind, and born to be a slave.
To catch renown by rui mankind, But let eternal infamy pursue
Is worth, with all its gold and glittering store, The wretch to nought but his ambition true, Just what the toy wili sell for, and no more. Who, for the sake of filling with one blast Oh! bright occasions of dispensing good, The post-horns of all Europe, lays her waste. How seldom used, how little understood! Think yourself stationed on a towering rock, To pour in Virtue's lap her just reward; To see a people scattered like a flock,
Keep Vice restrained behind a double guard;