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would never have returned to his wife, if the money which he took with him, which was supposed to have been £1000 or £2000, had not been all spent: and he must have been a good economist, and frugal in his manner of living, otherwise his money would scarce have held out; for I imagine he had his whole fortune by him, I mean what he carried away with him in money or Lank bills, and daily took out of his bag, like the Spaniard in Gil Bias, what was sufficient for his expenses.
WILLIAM SHENSTONE. 1714—1763.
This lover of ruml life was born at the Leasowes, in Shropshire, in 1714, and was distinguished, even in childhood, for his love of reading and thirst for knowledge. He was first taught to read by an old village dame, whom he has immortalized in his poem after Spenser's manner, called "The SchoolMistress." He was sent to Pembroke College, Oxford, in 1732, where he continued his studies for ten years. Here he published, at intervals, his principal poems, which consist of elegies, odes, ballads, the "Judgment of Hercules.'' and seveml other pieces. In 1745 he went to reside on his paternal estate, to which he devoted all his time, talents, and capital, so that the Leasowes became, under his care, a perfect fairy-land. "Now," says Dr. Johnson, * was excited his delight in real pleasures, and his ambition of ruml elegance: he began from this time to point his prospects, to diversify his surface, to entangle his walks, and to wind his waters; which he did with snch judgment and snch fancy, as made his little domain the envy of the great, and the admimtion of the skilful; a place to be visited by tmvellers, and copied by designers." But all this was attended with great expense. He spent his estate in adorning it, and his death, which took place in 1703, was probably hastened by his anxieties.1
Besides his poems, he wrote "Essays on Men and Manners," which display mnch case and gmce of style, united to judgment and discrimination. *They have not the mellow ripeness of thought and learning of Cowley's essays, but they resemble them move closely than nny others inoiir language." "Ho i. - a pleasing writer," soys Campbell, "both in his lighter and gmver vein. Hia genius is not forcible, but it settles in mediocrity without meanness. But with all the beauties of the Leasowes in our minds, it may still be regretted, that, inRt#•n»t nf rie —' - '' ." - liPprhes. and projecting mottoes
^ "nl,iects, and
Deeds of ill sort, and mischievous emprize:
In every village mark'd with little spire,
Embower'd in trees, and hardly known to fame,
For unkempt hair, or task uncomi'd, are sorely shent
And all in sight doth rise a birchen tree,
Which learning near her little domo did stow;
Whilom a twig of small regard to see,
Though now so wide its waving branches flow;
And work the simple vassals mickle woe;
For not a wind might curl the leaves that blew,
But their limbs shudder'd, and their pulse beat low;
And as they look'd they found their horror grew,
And shaped it into rods, and tingled at the view.
Near to this dome is found a patch so green,
On which the tribe their gamljols do display;
And at the door imprisoning board is seen,
Lest weakly wights of smaller size should stray;
Eager, pcrdie, to bask in sunny clay!
The noises intermix'd, which thence resound,
Do learning's little tenement betray;
Where sits the dame, disguised in look profound
Her cap, far whiter than the driven snow,
And fury uncontroll'd, and chastisement unkind.
A russet stole was o'er her shoulders thrown;
A russet kirlle fenced the nipping air; 'Twas simple russet, but it was her own; Twas her own country bred the flock so fair, Twas her own labor did the fleece prepare: And, sooth to say, her pupils, ranged around, Through pious awe, did term it passing rare; For they in gaping wonderment abound, And think, no doubt, she been the greatest wight on ground.
Albeit ne flattery did corrupt her truth,
But there was eke a mind which did that litle love.
One ancient hen she took delight to feed,
The plodding pattern of the busy dame:
Which, ever and anon, impell'd by need,
Into her school, begirt with chicken;1, came;
Such favor did her past deportment claim;
And, if neglect had Iavish'd on the ground
Fragment of bread, she would collect the same;
For well she knew, nnd quaintly could expound. What sin it were to waste the smallest crumb she found. • • • • • • •
Here oft the dame, on Sabbath's decent eve,
Hymned such psalms as Stemhold forth did mete;
Uphung their useless lyres—small heart had they to sing.
For she was just, and friend to virtuous lore,
Ah! dearest Lord, forefend, thilk days should e'er return.
In elbow-chair, like that of Scottish stem
By the sharp tooth of cankering eld defaced,
But love each other dear, whatever them betide.
Right well she knew each temper to descry;
Forewarn'd, if little bird their pranks behold,
But now Dan Phoebus gains the middle sky,
Appear to British elf more gladsome than the sun.
Enjoy, poor imps! enjoy your sportive trade,
And chase gay flies, and cull the fairest flowers,
For when my bones in grass-green sods are laid;
For never may ye taste more careless hours
In knightly castles or in ladies' bowers.
O vain to seek delight in earthly thing!
But most in courts where proud ambition towers;
Deluded wight! who weens fair peace can spring
Beneath the pompous dome of kesar or of king.
ROBERT DODSLEY. 1703—17C4.
This eminent bookseller and respectable author was born at Mansfield, in 1703. Being placed as an apprentice to a stocking-weaver, and not liking his situation, he ran off to London, and took the place of a footman, and in 1732 published a volume of poems under the title of "The Muse in Livery, or the Footman's Miscellany," which attracted considerable attention. His next production was a dramatic piece called "The Toyshop," which was acted with great success, and the profits of which enabled him to set up as a bookseller. Patronized by Pope and other authors of the day, his shop in Pall Mall soon became the resort of a large literary circle; and so rapidly did his business increase, that in his latter days Dotlslcy might be considered as standing at ■the head of the bookselling trade in London. Having acquired a competent fortune by his double occupation of author and bookseller, he retired from business, to enjoy the fruits of his exertions, but died at Durham, while on a visit to a friend, September 25, 1764.
Besides the above, Dodsley wrote and published, anonymously, that well known and ingenious little work, « The Economy of Human Life," which is full of the best moral maxims. He also wrote a tragedy called "Cleone," which was well received, and a farce called "The King and the Miller of Maniflolil.'' But ho is now more known for the works which he projected ami published, than for his own productions. One of these was the » Preceptor,'' a very useful book, in 2 vols., containing treatises on various subjects, anil for which Dr. Johnson wrote a preface. Another was his "Collection of Old Plays," in 12 vols. His "Colleution of Poems in Six Volumes, by Several Hands," is still a very valuable book. But he is most known as the projector of the " Annual Register," in 1758, which still goes by his name. He also has the credit of having first encouraged the talents of Dr. Johnson, by purchasing his poem of "London," in 1738, for ten guineas, and of having, many years afterwards, been the projector of the English Dictionary.
If thy soul thirsteth for honor, if thy ear hath any pleasure in the voice of praise, raise thyself from the dust whereof thou art made, and exalt thy aim to something that is pmiseworthy.
The oak, that now spreadeth its branches towards the heavens, was once but an acorn in the bowels of the earth.
Endeavor to be first in thy calling, whatever it be; neither let any one go before thee in well-doing: nevertheless, do net envy the merits of another, but improve tlfine own talents.
Scorn also to depress thy competitor by dishonest or unworthy methods; strive to raise thyself above him only by excelling him: so shall thy contest for superiority be crowned with honor, if not with success.
By a virtuous emulation the spirit of man is exalted within him; he panteth after fame, and rejoiceth as a racer to run his course.
The examples of eminent men are in his visions by night; and his delight is to follow them all the day long. He formeth great designs; he rejoiceth in the execution thereof; and his name goeth forth to the ends of the world. But the heart of the envious man is gall and bitterness; his tongue spitteth venom; the success of his neighbor breaketh his rest.
He sitteth in his cell repining; and the good that happeneth to another is to him an evil. Hatred and malice feed upon his heart: and there is no rest in him. He feeleth in his own breast no love of goodness; and therefore believeth his neighbor is like unto himself.
He endeavors to depreciate those who excel him; and putteth an evil interpretation on all their doings.
He lieth on the watch, and meditates mischief; but the detestation of man pursueth him; he is crushed as a spider in his own web.
The nearest approach thou canst make to happiness on this side the grave, is to enjoy from heaven health, wisdom, and peace of mind. These blessings, if thou possessest, and wouldst preserve to old age, avoid the allurements of voluptuousness, and fly from her temptations.
When she spreadeth her delicacies on the board, when her wine sparkleth in the cup, when she smileth upon thee, and persuadeth thop tn L- ;—c 1 1' '» » r »