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from his studies. Dermody afterwards published a volume of poems, written between the ages of fourteen, and fifteen, which poems (if possible) increased his fame.

At about this time, by his imprudent conduct, he lost the countenance of his noble patroness, the Countess of Moira, and, after committing many irregularities, at length he enlisted as a common soldier, but was traced and recovered this time by the exertion of Mr. Raymond, of Drury-Lane theatre, then on the Dublin boards, who was for many years his firm and steady friend. To trace Dermody through all the vicissitudes of his life, would far exceed the limits of this account: suffice it to say, that he was for three years in the army, at first as a common soldier, afterwards as a corporal, and last of all as a lieutenant. He was in several engagements, in all of which he behaved with uncommon bravery, and had the misfortune to be very severely wounded more than once.

Dermody's commission was presented him by the truly noble Lord Moira, whose liberal patronage and friendship our bard enjoyed until his death.

In this country Dermody suffered all the extremity of want, and languished, unknown and unregarded, till he was discovered and drawn from his obscurity by his former friend, Mr. Raymond. He was at that time in the utmost state of wretchedness, but, by the assiduous exertions of his friend, he was soon introduced to some literary men, and began his career as an author in this metropolis. Since that time he has been well known to the public.

A rapid decline closed the life of the unhappy Dermody, on the 15th July, 1802. About a fortnight before his death, thinking the country air might relieve him, he wandered from town, and took up his residence in a wretched old house near Sydenham, inhabited by labourers employed in digging the canal in that neighbourhood. From hence he wrote to Mr. Raymond, and another friend, who had been in the habit of contributing to his necessities, and begged their assistance. These friends immediately sent him a small supply of cash, and then went to see him. He was, indeed, in a miserable state. He received them with a tear of gratitude;-his voice had not strength to tell his thanks: he soon recovered himself, however, enough to converse a little. One of his friends observing Butler's Hudibras on the table-" I am merry to the last, you see," said he ; then being taken with a fit of coughing, "Ah!" said he, "this hollow cough rings out my knell." A few hours afterwards he died. His friends had left him, having previously taken a lodging for him, delightfully situated on Sydenham Common, to which it was their intention to have removed him the next day. He was buried in

Lewisham church-yard; the two friends before-mentioned performed the last sad office of humanity, by attending him to his grave, and↓ by their care a handsome tomb has been erected to his memory, with the following inscription, selected from his works.

"No titled birth had he to boast,

Son of the Defart! Fortune's child!
Yet, not by frowning Fortune crost,
The Muses on his cradle smil'd.

"Now a cold tenant dost thou lie

Of this dark cell;-all hush the song,
While Friendship bends his streaming eye,
As by thy grave he wends along.

"On thy cold clay lets fall the holy tear,
And cries-"Though mute, there is a poet here!"

The misfortunes of Dermody, and his early death, were not, like Chatterton's, produced by the miseries of want, or the dearth of patronage. As his genius was of the first order, so were his friends liberal to him almost beyond example. The Literary Fund, as a body, often relieved him, and its members, individually, were his best supporters. Sir James Bland Burgess, Mr. Bragge, Lord Carlisle, Lord Kilwarden, Baron Smith, Hely Addington, Mr. Boscawen,* Mr. Pye, and Mr. Addington, the Right Honourable Chancellor of the Exchequer, gave him large sums; and, even a few days before his death, a society of gentlemen associating at a tavern in the neighbourhood of Covent Garden, on Dermody's situation being represented to them by a distinguished literary character, voted, without hesitation, an immediate supply, part of which was administered to him on the following day.

For so young a man, Dermody has written much. In addition to the various volumes of poems published with his name, he was the author of MORE

* The kind and endearing assiduity of this gentleman, in the interest of Dermody, was exemplary. Mr. Todd, the ingenious editor of Milton, and Mr. Park, of High-street, (whose original poems, erudite criticisms, and valuable prose contributions, have long been greatly respected and esteemed by the literary world) hearing of the pitiable situation of poor Dermody, went, with a common friend, to visit him at his humble lodging, a public house in Portpool Lane, in order to administer to his necessities. On enquiring, they learned, from his hostess, that he was that day a little better, and, though exceedingly infirm, had left the house. The affectionate concern of these gentlemen did not rest here; Mr. Todd mentioned this circumstance publicly at the Westminster Library, and Mr. Boscawen, to the honour of his feelings, convened a meeting of the committee of the Literary Fund, who voted ten pounds for Dermody's relief,

MORE WONDERS, an Heroic Epistle, addressed to M. G. Lewis, Esq.

BATTLE OF THE BARDS, in two Cantos, occasioned by the dispute between Gifford and Peter Pindar.

ODE to PEACE, addressed to Mr. Addington.

ODE ON THE DEATH OF GENERAL ABERCROMBY. HISTRIONADE, a Satire on the Theatrical Performers, after the manner of Churchill's Rosciad.

In the estimation of those friends to whom Dermody was best known, the following picture is allowed to be admirably drawn, and truly characteristic of the poet himself, for and by whom it was written, and published in his last volume.


This once I will alter my old-fashion'd style,
For the rosey reward of a sensible smile,

And betray the wild sketches of Passion, imprest
By Nature's own seal, on that tablet, my breast,
Which, too oft, as 'tis sway'd by the whim of the brain,
A rude Chaos of blunder is forc'd to contain,
Projections absurd, prepossessions unjust,

Tho' friendship has, still, found it true to its trust,
And it, still, when such blots are expung'd, may be fit
For the splendor of sense, or the sparkle of wit.
Then, first, I confess, least you kindly mistake,
I'm a compound extreme of the Sage, and the Rake;
Abstracted, licentious, affected, heroic,

A Poet, a soldier, a coxcomb, a stoic;

This moment, abstemious as Faquir or Bramin;
The next, Aristippus-like, swinishly cramming;
Now, full of devotion, and loyal dispute ;

A democrat, now, and a deist to boot;
Now, a frown on my front, and a leer in my eye;
Now, heaving unfeign'd sensibility's sigh;
Now, weighing with care each elaborate word;
Now, the jest of a tavern, as drunk as a lord;
By imminent woes, now, unmov'd as a stone;
And, now, tenderly thrill'd by a grief not my own.
Of Love shall I speak? who my bosom still bare
To the arrows, discharg'd from the glance of the fair,
A target, whose verge many shafts may receive,
But whose centre, as yet, is untouch'd, I believe ;
For who to one damsel, could, meanly, confine
That heart, which is ever devoted to nine?

Shall I speak of Politeness? ah 1 there I am mute,
For tho' honest in thought, I'm in manners-a brute;
My virtues, indeed, are too shy to be seen,

Tho' my follies are not quite so bashful, I ween.
Not e'vn to a lady a fine thing I say,

As blunt as the hero of Wycherly's play,

Tho' ladies, good faith, have been never my ganie,
For I guess the whole sex are, in secret, the same;
Smooth flatt'ry may lift the dear nymph in the sky;
But her feelings will certainly give it the lie;
And in cases which I, and, most probably, you know,
She had rather be Jane, than Diana, or Juno.
Shall I make to grave dowager, Prudence, a claim?
Alas! I have slighted her much, to my shame,
Secur'd no snug office, scrap'd up no estate,
Nay, scarce own a Garret to shelter my pate;

So have nought to consign, when I've finish'd my mirth,
But my book to the critics, my body to earth.
Thro' life's chequer'd changes, in every state,
Hypocrisy, always, has met with my hate,


For, tho' foes may be blinded, or friends may be bam'd,
very well know, I may chance-to be damn'd.
Should you seek, in my mere conversation, to find
Those sprightly conceits, that illumine my mind,
Your search will be vain, for I candidly vow,
I can ne'er make a compliment; seldom, a bow;
Yet, when Venus appears, at gay Bacchus's call,
I can coax her with ever a blood of them all.
Tho' youth's florid blush on my cheek is decay'd
(Such blooms will soon wither in study's pale shade,)
Remembrance still pensively hangs on each scene,
That rais'd the sweet raptures of careless nineteen ;
Then, to transport's fine touch every pulse was alive,
Now, I droop in the year of my age-twenty-five !
This, you'll instantly cry, is a wonderful thing:
But my summer of genius arriv'd ere its spring.
The orange-tree thus, prematurely, we're told,
Bears its blossoms of green, and its fruitage of gold,
And these talents of mine, now entirely forgotten,
Like the medlar, soon ripe, were, I fear, as soon rotten.



It has been proposed as a question, whether the reading of romances and novels only (to the exclusion of all other books) or whether no reading of any kind whatever would be productive of the worst consequences. I have considered this question over and over again, and maturely weighed every pro and con that occurred to me on the subject. It is urged by the "ante-novelists" that romances and novels serve only to estrange the minds of youth (specially of females) from their own affairs, and transmit them to those of which they read so that, while totally absorbed in lamenting and condoling with the melancholy situation of a Julia, an Emily, or a Matilda, or lost in the admiration of the glorious deeds of some allperfect novel hero, they neglect both their own interest, and the several duties which they owe to parent, friend, or brother. That such is but too often the case, I am sorry to be obliged to confess. Yet, though a great part of our modern novels are flimsy productions, without either good writing or good sense, others mere catchpenny trash, and some immoral and even impious; though the press teems with " Midnight Bells,” “Black Castles," "Haunted Towers,” Mysterious Monks," &c. &c. with a long train of ghosts, phantoms, &c. yet I am inclined to think that many excellent precepts and morals are inculcated in by far the greatest part of them; and that the rest are to be censured rather as being absurd, improbable, and ill-written, than tending to corrupt the mind. (I except some few, such as the "Monk," by Mr. Lewis, which is not only immoral, but blasphemous, cum paucis aliis.) For example those written by the ingenious and amiable Mrs. Anne Radcliffe, and Dr. Moore's" Edward," "Zeluco," &c. which are not only commendable, but thank-worthy; possess, in my opinion, the powers of pleasing and instructing at the same time: a rare coalition! The latter particularly paints life in accurate colours, and from the various actions and opinions of the characters, deduces morals the most wholesome and unexceptionable. I might mention several others of hardly inferior merits, but let these suffice. Such productions as these are doubly excellent; because, while they inculcate the best morals, they give the readers an accurate knowledge of life and manners; of which it is highly proper young people should have a correct idea. For a young unsophisticated person just entering


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