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brilliant life, told me, that he had dined in company with Pope, and that after dinner the little man, as he called him, drank his bottle of Burgundy, and was exceedingly gay and entertaining.
I cannot withhold from my great friend a censure of at least culpable inattention, to a nobleman, who, it has been shewn, behaved to him with uncominon politeness. He says, “Except Lord Bathurst, none of Pope's noble friends were such as that a good man would wish to have his intimacy with them known to posterity," This will not apply to Lord Mansfield, who was not ennobled in Pope's life-time; but Johnson should have recollected, that Lord Marchmont was one of those noble friends. He includes his Lordship along with Lord Bolingbroke, in a charge of neglect of the papers which Pope left by his will ; when, in truth, as I myself pointed out to him, before he wrote that poet's life, the papers were committed to the sole care and judgement of Lord Bolingbroke, unless he (Lord Bolingbroke) shall not survive me;" so that Lord Marchmont had no concern whatever with them. After the first edition of the Lives, Mr. Malone, whose love of justice is equal to his accuracy, made, in my hearing, the same remark to Johnson; yet he omitted to correct the erroneous statement.'
ville's kindness to me, at a very early period. He was the first person of high rank that took particular notice of me in the way most flattering a young man fondly ambitious of being distinguished for his literary talents; and by the honour of his encouragement made me think well of myself, and aspire to deserve it better. He had a happy art of communicating his varied knowledge of the world, in short remarks and anecdotes, with a quiet pleasant gravity, that was exceedingly engaging. Never shall I forget the hours which I enjoyed with him at his apartments in the Royal Palace of Holy-Rood House, and at his seat near Edinburgh, which he himself had formed with an elegant taste.
! [This neglect, however, assuredly did not arise from any ill. will towards Lord Marchmont, but from inattention ; just as he
These particulars I mention, in the belief that there was only forgetfulness in my friend; but I owe this much to the Earl of Marchmont's reputation, who, were there no other memorials, will be immortalized by that line of Pope, in the verses on his Grotto: “And the bright flame was shot through Marchmont's soul.”
Various Readings in the Life of Pope. “ [Somewhat free] sufficiently bold in his criticism. " All the gay [niceties] varieties of diction.
« Strikes the imagination with far [more] greater force.
“ It is (probably] certainly the noblest version of poetry which the world has ever seen.
“Every sheet enabled him to write the next with [less trouble] more facility.
“ No man sympathizes with [vanity depressed] the sorrows 'of vanity.
“ It had been [criminal] less easily excused.
“ When he [threatened to lay down] talked of laying down his pen.
Society (is so named emphatically in opposition to] politically regulated, is a state contra-distinguished from a state of nature.
“ A fictitious life of an [absurd] infatuated scholar. “A foolish" [contempt, disregard] disesteem of Kings.
“ His hopes and fears, his joys and sorrows [were like those of other mortals] acted strongly upon his mind.
Eager to pursue knowledge and attentive to [accumulate] retain it.
neglected to correct the statement concerning the family of Thomson, the poet, after it had been shewn to be erroneous. M.]
“A mind [excursive] active, ambitious, and adventurous.
“ In its (noblest] widest searches still longing to go forward.
“ He wrote in such a manner as might expose him to few [neglects] hazards.
“ The (reasonableness] justice of my determination.
“ A [favourite] delicious employment of the poets.
“ More terrifick and more powerful [beings] phantoms perform on the stormy ocean.
“ Î'he inventor of [those] this petty [beings] nation.
“ The [mind] heart naturally loves truth."
In the Life of ADDISON we find an unpleasing account of his having lent Steele a hundred pounds, and “reclaimed his loan by an execution.” In the new edition of the Biographia Britan.rica, the authenticity of this anecdote is denied. But Mr. Malone has obliged me with the following note concerning it:
“Many persons having doubts concerning this fact, I applied to Dr. Johnson, to learn on what authority he asserted it. He told me, he had it from Savage, who lived in intimacy with Steele, and who mentioned, that Steele told him the story with tears in his eyes. -Ben Victor, Dr. Johnson said, likewise informed him of this remarkable transaction, from the relation of Mr. Wilkes the comedian, who was also an intimate of Steele’s. '-Some, in defence of Addison, have said, that “the act was done with the good-natured view of rousing Steele, and correcting that profusion which always made him necessitous. If that
1 [The late Mr. Burke informed me, in 1792, that Lady Dorothea Primrose, who died at a great age, I think in 1768, and had been well acquainted with Steele, told him the same story. M.1
were the case (said Johnson), and that he only wanted to alarm Steele, he would afterwards have returned the money to his friend, which it is not pretended he did.' - This, too (he added), might be retorted by an advocate for Steele, who might allege, that he did not repay the loan intentionally, merely to see whether Addison would be mean and ungenerous enough to make use of legal process to recover it. But of such speculations there is no end: we cannot dive into the hearts of men; but their actions are open to observation.'
“ I then mentioned to him that some people thought that Mr. Addison's character was so pure, that the fact, though true, ought to have been suppressed. He saw no reason for this. If nothing but the bright side of characters should be shewn, we should sit down in despondency, and think it utterly impossible to imitate them in any thing. The sacred writers (he observed) related the vicious as well as the virtuous actions of men ; which had this moral effect, that it kept mankind from despair, into which otherwise they would naturally fall, were they not supported by the recollection that others had offended like themselves, and by penitence and amendment of life had been restored to the favour of Heaven.' “ March 15, 1782.".
“ E. M." The last paragraph of this note is of great importance; and I request that
readers it with particular attention. It will be afterwards referred to in this work.
Various Readings in the Life of Addison. “ [But he was our first example] He was, however, one of our earliest examples of correctness.
“ And (overlook] despise their masters.
“ His instructions were such as the [state] character of his [own time] readers made [necessary] proper.
“ His purpose was to [diffuse] infuse literary curiosity by gentle and unsuspected conveyance [among] into the gay, the idle, and the wealthy.
“ Framed rather for those that [wish] are learning to write.
“ Domestick (manners] scenes.”
In his Life of Parnell, I wonder that Johnson omitted to insert an Epitaph which he had long before composed for that amiable man, without ever writing it down, but which he was so good as, at my request, to dictate to me, by which means it has been preserved.
“ Hic requiescit Thomas PARNELL, S. T. P.
“ Qui sacerdos pariter et poeta,
Utrasque partes ita implevit,
Various Readings in the Life of PARNELL. “ About three years (after] afterwards.
[Did not much want] was in no great need of improvement.
“But his prosperity did not last long was clouded with that which took away all his powers of enjoying either profit or pleasure, the death of his wife, whom he is said to have lamented with such sorrow, as hastened his end.]' His end, whatever was the cause, was now approaching.
1 I should have thought that Johnson, who had felt the severe affliction from which Parnell never recovered, would have preserved this