Page. Lelter.


371 To the Rev. W. Bagot. Lady Bagot's visit to Wes- 408 To the same. Same subject; lines to Catharina,


Aug. 2 361

June 27 376

372 To the Rev. Mr. Hurdis. On his mode of study at 409 To the same. Upon the life of Milton, July 4 377


Aug. 9 ib. 410 To the same. On Abbott's picture of him, July 15 ib.

373 To J. Johnson, Esq. On the subject of a new work, 411 To the same. The day fixed for their journey to

Aug. 9 362


July 22 ib.

374 To S. Rose, Esq. Translation of Milton's Italian and 412 To the same. Fears and distresses before setting out;

Latin Poems,

Sept. 14 ib.

his picture finished,

July 29 378

375 To the Rev. W. Bagot. Milton's Elegy on the death 413 To the Rev. Mr. Greatheed. Description of Earth.
of the Bishop of Winchester,

Sept. 21ib.
am; the journey thither,

Aug. 6 ib.

376 To the same. Upon a poem of Lord Bagot's, Oct. 25 363 414 To Mrs. Courtenay. Same subject,

Aug. 12 379

377 To J. Johnson, Esq. On his sister's recovery, Oct. 31 ib. 415 To S. Rose, Esq. Wishes him at Eartham, Aug. 14 ib.

373 To J. Hill, Esq. On the antipathy to compound epi. 416 To the same. Same subject,

Aug. 18 330


Nov. 14 ib. 417 To Mrs. Courtenay. Manner of spending his time

379 To the Rev. W. Bagot. Translation of Homer and

at Eartham; epitaph on For,

Aug 25 ib.


Dec. 5 364 418 To Lady Hesketh. Improvement in his health ; his

380 To the Rev. Mr. Hurdis. On original composition

portrait by Romney,

Aug. 26 ib.

and translation,

Dec. 10 ib. 419 To the Rev. Mr. Hurdis. On the death of his sister;

381 To S. Rose, Esq. Mrs. Unwin's illness, Dec. 21 365 invitation to Eartham,

Aug. 26 381


420 To the same. On the beautiful scenery of Eartham;

382 To the Rev. W. Bagot. On his children's recove-

regrets on leaving it,

Sept. 9ib.

Feb. 14 ib. 421 To W. Hayley, Esq. Account of his journey, Sept. 18 352

383 To the Lord Thurlow. On his translation of Homer, 366 422 To the same. Same subject,

Sept. 21 ib.

To William Cowper, Esq. from Lord Thurlow. On 423 To the same. His spirits sink on the approach of

rhyme; on translation; his lordship's version of


Oct. 2 ib.

the speech of Achilles to Phunix,

ib. 424 To the same. Full of affectionate regard; on Hay-

384 To the Lord Thurlow. On the same subject, ib. ley's verses to Dr. Austin,

Oct. 13 383

385 To the same. His satisfaction at his lordship's being 425 To J. Johnson, Esq. Regret for his absence; sonnet

pleased with his translation,


to Romney,

Oct. 19 ib.

To William Cowper Esq. from Lord Thurlow. Blank 426 To the same Moral reflection on sitting for a pic-

verse fittest for a translation of Homer,



Oct. 22 ib.

336 To the Rev. Mr. Hurdis. Acknowledgment of his 427 To W. Hayley, Esq. Difficulty of exertion; sonnet

friendly remarks on Homer,

Feb. 21ib. to Romney,

Oct. 28 384

367 To the same. Continuation of the same, March 2 ib. 428 To S. Rose, Esq. Compliment on his professional
38 To J. Johnson, Esq. Mildness of the Spring, March 11 369 industry; hopes of future success,

Nov. 9 ib.
399 To the Rev. Mr. Hurdis. On his tragedy of Sir Tho. 429 To J. Johnson, Esq. Difficulty in commencing his
mas More,
March 23 ib. Milton; lowness of spirits,

Nov. 20 ib.
390 To Lady Hesketh. On receiving the first letter froin. 430 To W. Hayley, Esq. Same subject, Nov. 25 335
Mr. Hayley,

March 25 ib. 43] To J. Hill, Esq. Politics of the day, Dec. 16 ib.

391 To S. Rose, Esq. On a poem of Mr. Park's, March 30 370 432 To W. Hayley, Esq. On his confinement in conse-

392 To the same. Printers tiresome,

April 5 ib.

quence of his translating Milton,

Dec. 26 386

393 To W. Hayley, Esq. Invitation to Weston; charac.


ter of Mrs. Unwin,

April 6 ib. 433 To the Rev. W. Hurdis. On the illness of Miss Ilur.
394 To the Rev. Mr. Hurdis. Comparison of his unan-


Jan. 6 ib.
svered letters with the leaves in autumn, April 8 371 434 To W. Hayley, Esq. On the arrival of Mr. Hayley's
335 To Lady Throckmorton. On appropriating the pro-


Jan. 20 ib.

ductions of others to ourselves; on calumniation; 435 To the saune. On the death of a friend, Jan. 29 387

Bonnet to Mr. Wilberforce,

April 16 ib. 436 To S. Rose, Esq. His translation of Homer, Feb. 5 ib.

396 To the Rev. J. Jekyll Rye. Abhorrence of the slave 437 To Lady Hesketh. Toryism of Lady Hesketh and


April 16 372

Mrs. Rose,

Feb. 10 ib.

397 To Lady Hesketh. With some lines to Warren Has- 438 To S. Rose, Esq. On the Analytical Review of his


May 5 il


Feb. 17 ib.

3B TO J. Johnson, Esq. On the subject of his ordina. 439 To the Rev. Mr. Hordis. Professorship of poetry;


May 20 373 discoveries in natural history,

Feb. 23 388

399 To Lady Hesketh. Mrs. Unwin's second attack, 440 To W. Hayley, Esq. His dream respecting Milton,
May 24 ib.

Feb. 24. ib.
400 To the same. The same subject,

May 26 374 441 To the Rev. W. Bagot. Republicans of France,

401 To Mrs. Bodham. On the subject of early ordina-

March 4 389


June 4 ib. 442 To Mr. Thomas Hayley. On Mr. Thomas Hayley's

402 To William Hayley, Esq. On Mrs. Unwin's amend.

strictures on his Homer,

March 14 ib.

ed health,

June 4 ib. 443 To W. Hayley, Esq. Revisal of his Homer, March 19 390

403 To the same. Same subject,

June 5 ib. 414 To S. Rose, Esq. Revised translation of Homer,
404 To the same. His attachment to Mr. Hayley, and

March 27 ib.
his own melancholy,

June 7 375 445 To J. Johnson, Esq. Mr. Johnson's resolution to
405 To the same. Resignation of Mrs. Unwin; a poem

take holy orders,

April 11 ib.
to Dr. Darwin,

June 10 ib. 446 To W. Hayley, Esq. Onule notes to his Homer,

406 To Lady Hesketh. Mrs. Unwin's gradual recovery,

April 23 391

June 11 376 417 To the Rev. W. Baget. On the death of those we

47 To W. Hayley, Esq. On the projected visit to Earth.


May 4 ib.


June 19 ib. 448 To S. Rose, Esq. On the notes of his Homer, May 5 ib.

Page. | Letter.


449 To Lady Hesketh. Toryism of Lady Hesketh, 465 To Mrs Courtenay. On Mr. Johnson's present of a
May 7 392 sun-dial,

Sept. 15 ib.

450 To W. Hayley, Esq. Distribution of his time, May 21 ib. 466 To the Rey. J. Johnson. On Mr. Johnson's visit to

451 To Lady Hesketh. With his verses to a young friend


Sept. 29 399

on his arrival at Cambridge we, when no rain had 167 To W. Hayley, Esq. On the visits and civilities
fallen there,
June 1 393 which wasted his time,

Oct. 5 ib.
452 To W. Hayley, Esq. On the proposal of a joint com-

468 To the same. On Mr. Hayley and his son's visit to


June 29 ib.

Oct. 18 400

453 To the same. On his projected poem of the Four 469 To the Rev. J. Jekyll Rye. On Mr. Hurdis's election
July 7 ib. to the Professorship of poetry at Oxford,

Nov. 3 ib.
454 To the Rev. Mr. Greatheed. On Mr. Greatheed's in- 470 To Mrs. Courtenay. Mr. Hayley's visit,

Nov. 4 ib.


July 23 394 471 To J. Hill, Esq. Beauties of Weston, Nov. 5 401

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.
456 To Mrs. Charlotte Smith.

July 25 395 473 To the Rev. Mr. Hurdis. On Hayley's Life of Mil-

457 To Lady Hesketh. On his lines and acknowledg.

his own commentary,

Nov. 24 ib.

ments to Miss Fanshaw,

Aug. 11 ib. 474 To S. Rose, Esq. Subjects for painting recommend.

458 To W. Hayley, Esq. On his new buildings and im-

ed; idea of a joint work with Hayley, Nov. 29 402


Aug. 15 ib. 475 To the same. Thanking him for books; Jonathan

459 To Mrs. Courtenay. The treatment of Bob Archer

Wild; Man as he is,

Dec. 8 ib.

.by a roguish fiddler,

Aug. 20 396 476 To W. Hayley, Esq. Uneasy at not hearing from
460 To S. Rose, Esq. Notes to his Homer, Aug. 22 ib. him; plan of continuing the Four Ages, Dec. 8 ib.
461 To W. Hayley, Esq. On Flaxman's monument to

477 To the same. Criticism on the address of Hector to

Lord Mansfield,

Aug. 27 397

Dec. 17 403

462 To Lady Hesketh. On Lady Hesketh's visit to Wes.


Aug. 29 ib.


463 To the Rev. John Johnson. Mr. Johnson's present 478 To the same. Same subject,

Jan. 5 ib.
of a sun-dial,

Sept. 6 398

464 To W. Hayley, Esq. On his affected mirth and real



Sept. 8 ib. 479 To Lady Hesketh,

Oct. 13 404





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.





Table Talk.

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;

« ForrigeFortsett »