Obrazy na stronie

often the result of infidelity. The incidents of this tale are contrived with much ingenuity, and they form one of the most instructive lessons in the Adventurer.

We are indebted to Mr. COLMAN for the Vision in N° 90 of the Adventurer, which, though written at the age of twenty, may rank with the first papers in this elegant work. It displays a considerable acquaintance with literature, and the business of the scene is conducted with judgment and taste; the dénouement is peculiarly pleasing and impressive.

The "Elegy occasioned by shooting a Blackbird on Valentine's day," introduced into No 37, was supposed by Dr. Hawkesworth to have issued from the pen of Mr. Gilbert West, author of the "Observations on the Resurrection;" but it has since been discovered that we owe these verses to the ingenuity of the Rev. RICHARD JAGO, the friend and correspondent of Shenstone. Mr. Jago finished his education at University College, Oxford, and there took his degree of Master of Arts on July the 9th, 1739. He was Vicar, for some time, of Hanbury in Warwickshire, afterwards of Switterfield in the same county, and lastly rector of Kimcote, in Leicestershire. Several poems in the fourth and fifth volumes of Dodsley's Collection are of his composition. He was also the

author of "Labour and Genius," a poem, published separately in 1768, and of "Edge-Hill," a descriptive poem in blank verse. He died the 28th of May, 1781, and his poetry was soon after collected and published in an octavo volume by Mr. Hilton. The " Elegy on a Blackbird" is a beautiful and pathetic effusion, and the best of his productions.




IT has been already related, that, in the second

edition of the IDLER, Dr. Johnson acknowledged the contribution of twelve papers. Of the authors of those essays whose names have been disclosed, we are now, therefore, to give some account. They are, in number, three; the Rev. Thomas Warton, Sir Joshua Reynolds, and Bennet Langton, Esq.

THOMAS WARTON, B. D. the son of the Rev. Thomas Warton, vicar of Basingstoke, Hampshire, and brother of Dr. Joseph Warton, was born at Basingstoke, in the year 1728. Until his sixteenth year he was educated solely by his father, and then, on the 16th of March, 1743, sent to Oxford, where he was admitted a commoner, and soon after elected a scholar, of Trinity College.

The bias of Mr. Warton's mind towards poetry and elegant literature was carly shewn; in his ninth year, in a letter addressed to his sister, he sends her a translation from Martial; and it has been affirmed,* that in 1745, when only in his eighteenth year, he published "Five Pastoral Eclogues," the scenes of which are laid among the shepherds of Germany, ruined by the war of 1744. The authenticity of this production has, however, been much doubted by Mr. Mant, who says, "I do not learn that they ever had the name of Warton affixed to them, and can assert, on the authority of his sister, that he absolutely disclaimed them." + Yet it cannot be denied, that a vein of description runs through these Eclogues of a kind very similar to that which Mr. Warton was afterward accustomed to indulge: the following allusion, for instance, to the chivalric combat, in Eclogue the 3d, and the subsequent picture of the convent, in Eclogue the 4th, are of this cast.

The wood, whose shades the plaintive shepherd sought,
Was dark and pathless, and by neighbouring feet

Long time untrod: for there in ancient days
Two knights of bold emprize, and high renown,
Met in fierce combat, to dispute the prize

Anderson's Poets, and Biographical Dictionary.
+ Mant's Life of Warton, p. 14.

Of beauty bright, whose valiant arm should win
A virgin fair, whose far-emblazon'd charms
With equal love had smote their rival breasts.
The knight who fell beneath the victor's sword,
Unhears'd and restless, from that fatal day
Wanders the hated shades, a spectre pale;
And each revolving night, are heard to sound,
Far from the inmost bow'r of the deep wood,
Loud shrieks, and hollow groans, and rattling chains.

Dost thou remember at the river's side

Ec. 3.

That solitary convent, all behind

Hid by the covert of a mantling wood?

One night, when all was wrapt in darkness deep,
An armed troop, on rage and rapine bent,
Pour'd o'er the fields, and ravag'd all they met ;
Nor did that sacred pile escape their arms,
Whose walls the murd'rous band to ruin swept,
And fill'd its caverns deep with armed throngs
Greedy of spoil, and snatch'd their treasures old
From their dark seats: the shrieking sisters fled,
Dispers'd and naked, through the fields and woods,
While sable night conceal'd their wand'ring steps.
Part in my moss-grown cottage shelter sought,
Which haply scap'd their rage, in secret glade
Immersed deep.--I rose at early morn,
With fearful heart to view the ruin'd dome,
Where all was desolation; all appear'd

The seat of horror and devouring war.
The deep recesses and the gloomy nooks,
The vaulted aisles, and shrines of imag'd saints,

The caverns worn by holy knees appear'd,

« PoprzedniaDalej »