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was in this work that they commenced, in conjunction with Major Drewe, a fellow-collegian of Mr. Hole, a periodical paper under the title of “ The Linkboy,” which was carried on for some time with considerable spirit. Mr. Hole's chief contributions, however, to the magazine consisted of a series of dialogues between the ideal characters of popular fiction; as, for example, between Belcour and serjeant Kite; Mr. Shandy, senior, and Matthew Bramble; Don Quixote, Sancho Panza, and parson Adams ; a design happily imagined, and conducted, on the part of its projector, with no little sprightliness and vigour. There was, indeed, in the mental temperament of Mr. Hole, a large share of wit and humour and sportive irony; and amongst the sallies of this kind, which he sprinkled over the pages of the Miscellany, I am tempted to extract one, which he is said to have written on the re. covery of a young attorney, who had little or no practice, from a disease which had threatened his life.
On his sick bed as Simple lay,
A novice in the laws,
And die without a cause,
Jove wondering hears; his gracious nod
The youth from death reprieves;
Without a cause he lives.
For several years, indeed, about this period of his life, Mr. Hole seems to have been a frequent contributor to the monthly literature of his country. Beside communicating with the works which I have just mentioned, he undertook the poetical department in a review of considerable popularity, and became also an occasional writer, both in the British and Gentleman's Magazines.
At length, after having long withdrawn his name from the public eye, he affixed it to the work on which his future fame must rest, and which I have selected as the principal subject of these papers, his ARTHUk. It appeared in 1789, in an octavo volume, and with the following title: "ARTHUR, or the Northern Enchantment. A Poetical Romance, in Seven Books." By Richard Hole, L.L.B.
In 1792, on the resignation of Mr. Massey, he was presented, by the bishop of Exeter, to the rectory of Faringdon, in Devonshire, and obtained, at the same time, a dispensation to hold with it his
former vicarage of Buckerell, which he afterwards, however, exchanged for the rectory of Inwardleigh, in the same county, then in the patronage of the Rev. Mr. Moore.
It has been remarked that the lyric powers of Mr. Hole were shown to great advantage in the Ode to Imagination, first printed in the volume which contained his “ Fingal.” This beautiful piece again met the eye in a collection of “ Poems, by Gentlemen of Devonshire and Cornwall," published by Mr. Polwhele in 1794, and accompanied by several other communications from the same source, and in the same department of poetry. Of these it would be injustice not to particularize the Odes to Terror and to Melancholy, and that named The Tomb of Gunnar, imitated from the Islandic, as entitled to very distinguished praise, and to a rank, indeed, next, if not equal, to those of Gray and Collins.
In the year 1796 was published an octavo of 580 pages, under the title of “ Essays by a Society of Gentlemen at Exeter." To this volume Mr. Hole, who had been one of nine members with whom the society had originated in 1792, contributed several papers of great merit, especially one On Literary
Fame, and the Historical Characters of Shakspeare, and two ironical Apologies for the Characters and Conduct of lago and Shylock. So admirably, indeed, was the grave irony of these vindications maintained, that, as a writer in the Gentleman's Magazine has observed, “ several attacks have been made on them, on the supposition of their being serious; as Swift's advice to the Irish peasantry, to eat their own children, was, at first, from the grave manner in which it was proposed, mistaken in the same way.”
There is much reason to regret that the sequel to this volume of essays which, we were told, was soon to follow, has never made its
since it is well known that Mr. Hole had made many other communications to the society of a very interesting nature. Two of these, however, have since been published in a separate form; and the first, indeed, by the author himself, in a manner very much enlarged from that in which it was originally read to his fellow members. It is entitled “ Remarks on the Arabian Nights Entertainments; in which the Origin of Sinbad's Voyages, and other Oriental Fictions, is particularly considered," and was printed in 1797, in 12mo. Few works of similar extent have
exhibited a larger fund of curious, elaborate, and entertaining research; for the author has successfully traced the marvels of the East, which we have been accustomed to consider as the mere offspring of a rich but lawless imagination, either to descriptions drawn from nature, and incidents founded on fact, or to classic tales and popular legends; to relations, events, and circumstances, in short, which were not only credited by the Indian and the Arab, but many of which have since been found not inconsistent with the discoveries of modern travellers, and the results of philosophical inquiry.
Of a nature somewhat similar in principle and design would have been the second of these productions, had the author lived to complete his plan; for what we have was merely intended as an introduction to Remarks on the Voyages of Ulysses, as narrated in the Odyssey. It was fortunately found, however, after his death, sufficiently complete in itself to admit of publication, and was given to the world in 1807, by a friend of the author, under the title of “ An Essay on the Character of Ulysses, as delineated by Homer.” The object of this highlypleasing and ingenious little work is to prove, no mental excellence, nor moral virtue, can easily