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To share his father's inmost heart and counsels, justice to her inviolable affection and generous Than aliens to his interest, those, who make
tenderness for a prince, who was the darling of a A property, a market of his honour ?"
great and free people. Their descendants, even “Edward has great, has amiable virtues;
now, will own with pleasure how properly this That virtue chiefly which befits a prince
address is made to your Royal Highness." He loves the people he must one day rule; With fondness loves them, with a noble pride;
The loss of whatever fame and profit he may Esteems their good, esteems their glory his."
have anticipated in consequence of the prohibition "Amidst his many virtues, youthful Edward
of this tragedy, was more than made up by the Is lofty, warm, and absolute of temper;
sympathy of the public. To the latter he apI therefore seek to moderate his heat,
peared in a light which never fails to render an To guide his fiery virtues, that, misled
Englishman attractive, that of a sufferer for the By dazzling power and flattering sycophanis,
sake of freedom, and an injured patriot! Johnson Might finish what his father's weaker measures Have tried in vain. And hence I here attend him.
states that he endeavoured to repair his pecuniary O save our country, Edward ! save a nation, loss by a subscription, but he says that he can The chosen land, the last retreat of freedom, not tell its success. Upon the same authority Amidst a world enslaved !--Cast back thy view, it is related, that " when the public murmured at And trace from farthest times her old renown:
the unkind treatment of Thomson, one of the miThink of the blood that, to maintain her rights, And guard her sheltering laws, has flow'd in battle
, nisterial writers remarked, that he had taken a Or on the patriot's scaffold: think what cares,
liberty' which was not agreeable to Britannia in What vigilance, what toile, what bright contention,
any season, In councils, camps, and well disputed senates,
From this time until 1945 Thomson did little It cost our generous ancestors, to raise
excepting that about the year 1740 he wrote his A matchless plea of freedom: whence we shine, Even in the jealous eye of hostile nations,
“ Masque of Alfred," in conjunction with his The happiest of mankind. Then see all this, friend Mallet. This was composed by command This virtue, wisdom, toil, and blood of ages, of the Prince of Wales for the entertainment of Behold it ready to be lost for every
his household at his summer residence, and was In this important, this decisive hour, On thee, and thee alone, our weeping country
performed at the gardens in Clifden on the ist of Turns her distresssuleye; to thee she calls
August, 1740, before a brilliant audience, consistAnd with a helpless parent's piercing voice." ing of their Royal Highnesses, the Prince and Edward is made to say, in reply,
Princess of Wales and
their whole suite. This “O, there is nothing, which for thee, my country,
piece, with alterations and new music, was some I, in my proper person, could not suffer!"
years afterwards acted at Covent Garden.*
Three letters Many other political allusions occur, which it was impossible not to understand, and when under-1742, when he was residing in Kew Lane, have
been printed. Two of them are addressed to Mrs. stood not to apply; hence the suppression of the piece was neither surprising nor unreasonable. Robertson, the sister of Miss Young, to
o whom he The remark of Johnson that it was difficult to
was warmly attached, and whose beauty and mediscover why the play was not allowed to be acted, rits he repeatedly celebrated under the name of
Amanda. Those ladies had gone to Bath for proves that he never read Thomson's works with the attention which was incumbent upon his bioge their society in a lively styles a passage in one
their health, and Thomson laments the loss of rapher. It was, however, printed with a dedicawhich is its chief merit. He says, tion to the Princess of Wales
, the moderation of of them, in which he speaks of Mrs. Robertson's
child, in reference to Miss Young, is worth ex
tracting: “In the character of Eleanora I have endea
"I can not help telling you of a very pleasing voured to represent, however faintly, a princess distinguished for all the virtues that render great- there stands a peaceful lowly habitation; into
scene I lately saw.-In the middle of a green field ness amiable. I have aimed, particularly, to do
* Murdoch sayg, “This refusal drew after it another; and in a way which, as it is related, was rather ludicrous. Mr. It was entirely new modelled by Mallet, no part of the Paterson, a companion of Mr. Thomson, afterwards his-de- first being retained except a few lines. It was acted at Drury puty and then his successor in the general-surveyorship, used Lane, and published in 8vo. in 1751. Though excellently to write out fair copies for his friend, when such were wanted performed, it was not very successful. The prologue was for the press or for the stage. This gentleman likewise court- written by the Earl of Corke. It has been said, that Mallet ed the tragic muse; and had taken for his subject the story of procured Alfred to be performed at Drury Lane, by insinuArminius the German hero. But his play, guiltless as it was, ating to Garrick, that, in his intended Life of the Duke of being presented for a license, no sooner had the censor cast his Marlborough, he should, by an ingenious device, find a niche eyes on the hand-writing in which he had seen Edward and for the Roscius of the age. “My dear friend," said Garı ick, Eleanora, than he cried out, 'Away with it! and the author's “ have you quite lese off writing for the stage 3" The hint profits were reduced to what his bookseller could afford for a was taken, and Alfred was produced. — Biographia Dra. tragedy in distress."
which having entered, I beheld innocence, sweet | British note is better music. If a timely stop is innocence, asleep. Your heart would have yearn- not put to this, the genuine breed of our ancient ed, your eyes perhaps have overflowed with tears sturdy dogs will by degrees dwindle and degeneof joy, to see how charming he looked; like a rate into dull Dutch mastiffs, effeminate Italian young cherub dropped from heaven, if they be so lapdogs, or tawdry impertinent French harlequins. happy as to have young cherubs there.
All our once noble throated guardians of the house When awaked, it is not to be imagined with and fold will be succeeded by a mean courtly race, what complacency and ease, 'what soft serenity that snarl at honest men, flatter rogues, proudly altogether unmixed with the least cloud, he open-wear badges of slavery, ribands, collars, &c. and ed his eyes. Dancing with joy in his nurse's fetch and carry sticks at the lion's court. By the arms, his eyes not only smiled, but laughed, which by, my dear Marquis
, this fetching and carrying put me in mind of a certain near relation of his, of sticks is a diversion you are too much addicted whom I need not name. What delights thee so, to, and, though a diversion, unbecoming a true thou lovely babe ? art thou thinking of thy mo- independent country dog. There is another dog ther's recovery? does some kind power impress vice that greatly prevails among the hungry whelps . upon thee a presage of thy future happiness under at court, but you are too well stuffed to fall into that. her tender care? I took the liberty to touch him what I mean is patting, pawing, soliciting, teasing, with unhallowed lips, which restored me to the snapping the morsel out of one another's mouths, good opinion of the nurse, who had neither forgot being bitterly envious, and insatiablý ravenous, nay, nor forgiven my having a slighted that favour sometimes tilebing when they safely may. Of this once."
vice, I have an instance continually before my eyes, This letter contained a song, which will be in that wretched animal Scrub, whose' genius is found in the second volume, Another letter is quite misplaced here
in the country. He has, behere given at length, from its being the only at- sides, such an admirable talent at scratching at a tempt of a humorous nature in prose which door, as might well recommend
him to the office of Thomson is known to have made, and the man- a court waiter. A word in your ear--I wish a cerner in which he satirizes travellers and courtiers tain two-legged friend of mine had a little of this is amusing
assiduity. These canine courtiers are also ex
tremely given to bark at merit and virtue, if ill clad To a Friend, on his Travels.
and poor, they have likewise a nice discernment “ Trusty and well beloved Dog, Dec. 7, 1742. with regard to those whom their master distin"HEARING you are gone abroad to see the
guishes ; to such you shall see them go up immeworld, as they call it
, I can not forbear, upon this diately, and fawning in the most abject manneroccasion, transmitting you a few thoughts. baiser leur cul. For me, it is always a maxim
may seem presumption in me to pretend to give you any instruetion; but you must know,
To honour humble worth, and, scoring state,
P- on the proud inhospitable gate. that I am a dog of considerable experience. Indeed I have not improved so much as I might For which reason I go scattering my water every have done by my justly deserved misfortunes:
where about Richmond. And now that I am upon the case very often of my betters. However, a this topic, I must cite you two lines of a letter from little I have learned;, and sometimes, while I Bounce, of celebrated memory, to Fop, a dog in seemed to lie asleep before the fire, I have over the country to a dog at court. She is giving an heard the conversation of your travellers. In the account of her generous offspring, among which first place, I will not suppose that you are gone she mentions two, far above the vice I now cenabroad an illiterate cub, just escaped from the lash sure: of your keeper, and running wild about the world
One ushers friends to Bathurst's door, like a dog who has lost his master, utterly unac
One fawns at Oxford's on the poor. quainted with the proper knowledge, manners, and conversation of dogs.
Charming dogs! I have little more to say; but " These are the public jests of every country only, considering the great mart of scandal you through which they run post, and frequently they ate at, to warn you against flattering those you are avoided as if they were mad dogs. None will converse with, and the moment they turn to go converse with them but those who shear, some-away, backbiting them-a vice with which the old times even skin them, and often they return home dogs of old ladies are much infected; and you must like a dog who has lost his tail. In short, these have been most furiously affected with it here at travelling puppies do nothing else but run after Richmond, had you not happened into a good faforeign bitches, learn to dance, cut capers, play mily: therefore I might have spared this caution. tricks, and admire your fine outlandish howling; One thing I had almost forgot. You have a base though, in my opinion, our vigorous deep mouthed /custom, when you chance upon a certain fragrant. exuvium, of perfuming your carcass with it. Fie!|Hagley, and particularly her who gives it charms fie ! leave that nasty custom to your little, foppish, to you it never had before. crop-eared dogs, who do it to conceal their own Believe me to be ever, with the greatest respect, stink.
Most affectionately yours, “My letter, I fear, grows tedious. I will detain
JAMES THOMSON." you from your slumbers no longer, but conclude by wishing that the waters and exercise may bring In 1745 his Tancred and Sigismunda was perdown your fat sides, and that you may return a formed at Drury Lane with considerable applause, genteel accomplished dog. Pray lick for me, you and he again
found a patron in the Prince of happy dog, the hands of the fair ladies you have Wales, to whom he says, in the dedication, “Althe honour to attend. I remember to have had low me only to Wish, that what I have now the that happiness once, when one who shall be name-honour to offer to your Royal Highness niay be less looked with an envious eye upon me. judged not unworthy of your protection, at least
"Farewell, my dear marquis. Return, I beg it in the sentiments which it inculcates. A warm of you, soon to Richmond ; when I will treat you and grateful sense of your goodness to me makes with some choice fragments, a marrowbone, which me desirous to seize every occasion of declaring I will crack for you myself, and a dessert of high in public my profound respect and dutiful attachtoasted cheese., I am, without further ceremony, ment." yours sincerely,
BUFF. During the year 1744 Mr. Lyttelton came into “Mi Dewti too Marki. X Scrub's mark." office, and the earliest exercise of his patronage
was to bestow on Thomson the situation of surIn a letter which Thomson wrote Mr. Lyttel- veyor general of the Leeward Islands, the duties ton, in July, 1743, he says he was employed in of which
appointment he performed, by deputy, correcting" The Seasons:” at that time, it seems, and of which the profits were 3001. a year. He he had never been at Hagley, his friend's seat, in was thus placed above want, if he was not eleWorcestershire.
vated tô affluence, and this piece of good fortune
must have been the more grateful since he was DEAR SIR,
London, July 14, 1743. indebted for it to a friendship produced by his I had the pleasure of yours some posts ago, and own merits. have delayed answering it hitherto that I might Much of the Summer of 1745, and the Autumn be able to determine when I could have the happi- of 1746, were passed at the Leasowes, with Shenness of waiting upon you, Hagley is the place stone, who, after his death, placed the following in England I most desire to see; I imagine it to inscription in Virgil's grove there in commemorabe greatly delightful in itself, and I know it to be tion of him. 80 to the highest degree by the company it is ani
Celeberrimo Poetæ, mated with. Some reasons prevent my waiting
Jacobo Thomson, upon you immediately, but, if you will be so good
Prope fontes ille non fastiditos as let me know how long you design to stay in
Sedem hanc ornavit. the country, nothing shall hinder me from passing three weeks.or a month with you before you leave
Quæ tibi, quæ tali reddam pro carmine dona ?
Nam neque me tantum venientis sibilus austri, it. As this will fall in Autumn, I shall
like it the
Nec percussa juvant fluctu tam littora, nec quæ better, for I think that season of the year the most
Saxosus inter decurrunt flumina valles."* pleasing and the most poetical. The spirits are not then dissipated with the gaiety of Spring, and Thomson
once more experienced the uncertainthe glaring light of summer, but composed into a
patronage by the loss of the pension of 1001. serious and tempered joy. The year is perfect. In a year, which the Prince of Wales had granted the mean time I will go on with correcting The him. This it would seem, from a passage in a
letter to his friend Paterson, 1718, arose from Mr. Seasons, and hope to carry down more than one of them with me. The muses, whom you oblig
To the much celebrated Poet, ingly say I shall bring along with me, I shall find
James Thomson, with you—the muses of the great simple country,
This seat was placed not the little, fine-lady muses of Richmond Hill.
near his favourite springs “I have lived so long in the noise, or at least
by its distant din of the town, that I begin to forget what retirement is: with you I shall enjoy it in its
How shall I thank thy Muse, so form'd to please ? highest elegance and purest simplicity. The mind
For not the whisperings of the southern breeze,
Nor banks still beaten by the breaking wave, will not only be soothed into peace, but enlivened
Nor limpid rills that pebbly vallies lave, into harmony. My compliments attend all at Yield such delight.
Lyttelton, whose influence obtained it for him, But enough of this melancholy though not unhaving incurred the Prince's displeasure. West pleasing strain. and Mallet, both friends of that noble minded in- “I esteem you for your sensible and disinterdividual, and who were similarly favoured with ested advice to Mr. Bell, as you will see by my pensions, were deprived of them on the same day letter to him; as I approve, entirely, of his marry. and for the same reason.
ing again, you may readily ask me why I do not Whilst at Hagley, Mr. Lyttelton's seat, in Oc- marry at all. My circumstances have hitherto tober, 1747, he wrote to his sister, Mrs. Thomson, been so variable and uncertain in this fluctuating and, as it is the last to his family which has been world, as induce to keep me from engaging in preserved, it will be read with interest. . Dr. John- such a state; and now, though they are more son received it from Boswell to whom that lady settled, and of late, which you will be glad to presented it.
hear, considerably improved, I begin to think my
"self too far advanced in life for such youthful unHagley, in Worcestershire, dertakings, not to mention some other petty rea
October the 4th, 1747. sons that are apt to startle the delicacy of difficult MY DEAR SISTER,
old bachelors. I am, however, not a little suspiI thought you had known me better than to cious that was I to pay a visit to Scotland, of interpret my silence into a decay of aflection, which I have some thoughts of doing soon, I especially as your behaviour has always been
such might possibly
be tempted to think of a thing not as rather to increase than diminish it. Do not easily repaired if done amiss. I have always imagine, because I am a bad correspondent, that beenpf opinion, that none make better wives than I can ever prove an unkind friends and brother. the ladies of Scotland ; and yet, who more forsaI must do myself the justice to tell you, that my ken than they, while the gentlemen are continualaffections are naturally very fixed and constant; ly running abroad all the world over? Some of and if I had ever reason of complaint against them, it is true, are wise enough to return for a you, of which, by the by, I have not the least sha- wife. You see I am beginning to make interest dow, I am conscious of so many defects in my- already with the Scotch ladies. But, no more of self, as dispose me to be not a little charitable and this infectious subjecto Pray let me hear from forgiving.
you now and then; and though I am not a regu“It gives me the truest heartfelt satisfaction to lar correspondent, yet, perhaps, I may mend in hear you have a good, kind husband, and are in that respect. Remember me kindly to your huseasy, contented circumstances, but were they band, and believe me to be otherwise, that would only awaken and
heighten Your most affectionate brother, my tenderness towards you. As our good and
JAMES THOMSON. tender-hearted parents did not live
to receive any To Mrs. Tiamson, in Lanark.. material testimonies of that highest human gratitude I owed them, than which nothing could have It was during
this visit to Hagley that he was given me equal pleasure, the only return I can met by Shenstone, who says, in a letter dated make them "now is, by kindness to those they left 20th September, 1947: behind them. Would to God poor Lizy had lived * As I was returning
from church; on Sunday longer, to have been a farther witness of the last, whom should I meet in a chaise, with two truth of what I say; and that I might have had horses
" lengthways, but that right friendly bard, the pleasure of seeing once more a sister, who so Mr. Thomson? I complimented him upon his truly deserved my esteem and love. But she is arrival in this country, and asked him to accomhappy, while we must toil a little longer here be- pany Mr. Lyttelton to the Leasowes, which he low: let us, however, do it cheerfully and grate- said he would with abundance of pleasure, and so fully, supported by the pleasing hope of meeting we parted." yet again on a safer shore, where to recollect the The Castle of Indolence and Coriolanus next storms and difficulties of life will not, perhaps, be occupied his attention, and the former, which inconsistent with that blissful state." You did had been in progress for nearly fifteen years, and right to call your daughter by her name; for you was originally intended to consist of a few stanzas must needs have had a particular tender friend- ridiculing the want of energy in himself and some ship for one another, endeared as you were by of his friends, appeared in about May, 1748, and nature, by having passed the affectionate years was the last production of his pen which he lived of your youth together, and by that great softener to print. The sketch of himself is extremely inand engager of hearts, mutual hardship. That teresting; though he says all, excepting the first it was in my power to ease it a little, I account line, was written by a friend, who is asserted to one of the most exquisite pleasures of my life. I have been Lord Lyttelton.
"A bard here dwell, more fat than bard bescems; fore, so that the walk runs round the hedge, Who, void of envy, guile, and lust of gain,
where you may figure me walking any time of On virtue still, and Nature's pleasing themes,
the day, and sometimes in the night. I imagine Pourd forth his unpremeditated strain; The world forsaking with a calm disdain;
you reclining under cedars, and there enjoying Here laugh'd he careless in his easy seat;
more magnificent slumbers than are known to Here quaft'd encircled with the joyous train, pale climates of the north; slumbers rendered Oft moralizing sage: his ditty sweet
awful and divine by the solemn stillness and He loated much to write, ne cared to repeat."
deep fervours of the torrid noon. At other times
I image you drinking punch in groves of lime or Of the other portraits a few only have been orange trees, gathering pineapples from hedges, identified. The sixty-sixth stanza alludes to as commonly as we may blackberries, poetising Lord Lyttelton; the sixty-seventh to Mr. Quin; under lofty laurels, or making love under full the sixty-ninth has been supposed to describe spread myrtles. But, to lower my style a little as Dr. Ayscough, his lordship’s brother-in-law, but I am such a genuine lover of gardening, why do it was clearly a picture of Dr. Murdoch, as he not you remember me in that instance, and send applies nearly the same words to him, in a letter me some seeds of things that might succeed here printed in this memoir. Another was, he says, during the summer, though they can not perfect intended for his friend, Mr. Paterson, his deputy their seed sufficiently in this, to them, uncongein the office of Surveyor General of the Leeward nial climate to propagate ? in which case is the Islands.
caliloo, which, from the seed it bore here, came The following letter is without a date, but from up puny, rickety, and good for nothing. There his stating that the Castle of Indolence would be are other things certainly with you, not yet published in a fortnight, it must have been writ- brought over hither, that might flourish here in ten about April, 1748.
the summer time, and live tolerably well, pro
vided they be sheltered in a hospitable stove, or “Dear PATERSON,
green-house, during the winter. You will give In the first place, and previous to my letter, I me no small pleasure by sending me, froin tine must recommend to your favour and protection to time, some of these seeds, if it were no more Mr. James Smith, searcher in St. Christopher's: but to amuse me in making the trial. With reand I beg of you, as occasion shall serve, and as gard to the brother gardeners, you ought to know you find he merits it, to advance him in the busi- that, as they are half vegetables, the animal part ness of the customs. He is warmly recommend of them will never have spirit enough to consent ed to me by Sargent, who, in verity, turus out to the transplanting of the vegetables into distant, one of the best men of our youthful acquaintance, dangerous climates. They, happily for them-honest, honourable, friendly, and generous. . If selves, have no other idea but to dig on here, eat, we are not to oblige one another, life becomes a drink, sleep, and kiss their wives. paltry, selfish aflair,-a pitiful morsel in a corner. “ As to more important business, I have noSargent is so happily married, that I could almost thing to write to you. You know best. Be, as say,--the same case happen to us all.
you always must be, just and honest; but if you “ That I have not answered several letters of are unhappily, romantic, you shall come home yours, is not owing to the want of friendship and without money, and write a tragedy on yourself. the sincerest regard for you; but you know me Mr. Lyttelton told me that the Grenvilles and he well enough to account for my silence, without had strongly recommended the person the govermy saying any more upon that head; besides, I nor and you proposed for that considerable office, have very little to say that is worthy to be trans- lately fallen vacant in your department, and that mitted over the great ocean. The world either there was good hopes of succeeding. He told me futilises so much, or we grow so dead to it, that also that Mr. Pitt had said that it was not to be its transactions make but feeble impressions on expected that offices such as that is, for which us. , Retirement and nature are more and more the greatest interest is made here at home, could my passion every day, and now, even now, the be accorded to your recommendation, but that as charming time comes on: Heaven is just on the to the middling or inferior offices, if there was not point, or rather in the very act, of giving earth a some particular reason to the contrary, regard green gown. The voice of the nightingale is would be had thereto. This is all that can be heard in our lane.
reasonably desired; and if you are not infected “You must know that I have enlarged my ru- with a certain Creolian distemper, whereof I am ral domain much to the same dimensions you have persuaded your soul will utterly resist the contadone yours. The two fields next to me, from gion, as I hope your body will that of the natural the first of which I have walled—no, no-paled ones, there are few men so capable of that unpein about as much as my garden consisted of be- rishable happiness, that peace and satisfaction of