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ginks deeper into my heart.1 Many a corollary could I draw from this axiom for your use, (not for my own,) but I will leave you the merit of doing it for yourself.
TO MR. MASON, ON THE DEATH OF HIS WIFE.
I break in upon you at a moment when we least of all are permitted to disturb our friends, cnly to say, that you are daily and hourly present to my thoughts.' If the worst" be not yet past, you will neglect and pardon me: but if the last struggle be over; if the poor object of your long anxieties be no longer sensible to your kindness, or to her own sufferings, allow me (at least in idea, for what could I do were I present more than this?) to sit by you in silence, and pity from my heart not her, who is at rest, but you, who lose her. May He, who made us, the Master of our pleasures and of our pains, preserve and support you! Adieu!
I have long understood how little you had to hope.
March 2«, 1767.
TOBIAS SMOLLET. 1721—1771.
Tobias Sxoli.it was descended of a family of some note in Dumbartonshire, Scotland, and passed his earliest years along the banks of the Levee He early showed a genius for poetry, but on finishing his academical education, he was put apprentice to a surgeon, and pursued his professional studies with diligence, till the death of his grandfather, on whom he had depended, left him without the means of support, and he went to London. Not being able to get literary employment, he accepted an appointment as surgeon'smate on board a man-of-war. But his literary taste prevailed over his professional, and quitting the service he returned to London in 1746, and soon became one of the most successful authors of the day. Novels, plays, and a « History of England" were produced in rapid succession, and added largely to his income. After a life of most checkered character, having suffered long from ill health, he set out for Italy in 1770, in hope3 to receive benefit from that climate; but after a short residence in the neighborhood of Leghorn in very distressed circumstances, he died October 21, 1771.
As a novelist, Smollet's reputation, once very high, is growing less every year with the best portion of the reading world, and must continue to do so as a love of moral purity shall continue to increase: for "indecency and
1 "He BCldom mentioned hU motticr without a sigh. After his death her gowns and wearing apparel were found In a trunk in hie apartments just as she had lefttneni; It seemed as if be could never take the rcsoluUon to open It, in order to distribute them to his female relations, to whom, by hi* will, he bequeathed them."—Jflaw*.
< "As this little billet (which 1 received at the Hot Wells at Bristol) then breathed, and stiU seems to breathe, the very voice of friendship in Ita tenderest and most pathetic note, I cannot refrain from publishing It In this place. I opened it almost at the precise moment when it would necessarily be filth" pervade all his fictitious writings.1 As an historian, he writes in a clear and easy style; but neither his temper of mind nor his pursuits qualified him for an historical writer. As a poet, though he takes not a very high rank, yet the few poems which he has left have a delicacy which is not to be found in his novels.
THE TEARS OF SCOTLAND.*
Mourn, hapless Caledonia, mourn
Tho wretched owner sees afar
What boots it, then, in every clime,
The rural pipe and merry lay
Oh! baneful cause, oh I fatal morn,
1 Read—Hazliu's "English Comic Writer*," whose opinion I here quote, being happy to say that I never read but one of SmoUet't novels, and such was Its character that 1 never wish to read another.
8 These One verses were written In 1746, on the barbarities committed In the Highlands by order of the Duke of Cumberland, after the balUc of CulloJen. The dreadful cruelties practised upon t he vanquished, made his name execrated throughout Scotland, and have fixed an indelible sum upon hi* memory. Read—Chambers's "History of the Rebellion," a small work reph'tc with interest.
When Smoliet wrote this poem, he was, as mentioned in the above biographical sketch, a surgcon'snwvte, lately returned from service abroad. It Is said that he originally finished the poem In six stanzas; when, some one rcpresenUng that such a diatribe against government ml^hl Injure hut prospects, be sat down and added Uie still more pointed tnvecUvc of the seventh stanza.
The «on9 against their fathers stood,
The pious mother, doom'd to death,
While the warm blood bedews my veins,
ODE TO LEVEN-WATER.
On Leven's bank.'-, while free to rove,
Pure stream, in whose transparent wave
Still on thy banks so gayly green,
JOHN HAWKESWORTH. 1719—1773.
But little is known of the family or early history of John Hawkesworth. He was born in the year 1719, but how or where educated it is not known. His first appearance as a writer was in 1744, at the age of twenty-five, when he was engaged by the editor of the Gentleman's Magazine to succeed Dr. Johnson as compiler of the Parliamentary Debates; so that he must have had, at that time, considerable reputation as a literary character. In 1752, owing to the success which the "Rambler" had met with, he was induced to project and commence a periodical paper, under the title of "The Adventurer," baring received the promise of assistance from Johnson, Warton, and others. For a work of this kind he was eminently qualified. His learning, though not deep, was elegant and various; his style was polished, his imagination ardent, his standard of morals high, and he possessed an intimate knowledge of the world. The first number of the "Adventurer" was published on the 7th of November, 1752, and the paper was continued every Tuesday and Saturday, until the 9th of March, 1754. The name, design, and management, and the writing of seventy of the one hundred and forty numbers, are to be ascribed to Hawkesworth. The sale, during its circulation in separate papers, was very extensive; and when thrown into volumes, four large editions passed through the press in eight years. "The variety, the fancy, the taste, and practical morality, which the pages of this periodical paper exhibit, were such as to ensure popularity; and it may be pronounced, as a whole, the most spirited and fascinating of the class to which it belongs."1
The reputation which Hawkesworth had acquired induced him, at the request of Garrick, to turn his attention to the drama, and in 1760, he brought forward his first piece, called "Zimri, an Oratorio," which was tolerably well received. A few other plays followed: but as they did not meet with great success, in 1765 he undertook the office of Reviewer in the Gentleman's Magazine; which department he filled with great ability until the year 1772. In 1765 he published an edition of Swift's works, in 19 volumes, accompanied by explanatory notes, and prefixed with a well-written life.
On the return of Captain Cook from his first voyage of discovery in the South Seas, it being thought desirable, by government, to intrust the task of compiling an account of the voyage to a literary man, rather than to one of the voyagers, Dr. Hawkesworth's reputation as a beautiful and able writer obtained for him the commission. He completed his task in 1773, in 3 vols, quarto, which were illustrated by charts, maps, and engravings, executed in a very splendid manner. For this labor he received the princely remuneration of six thousand pounds. The work, however, met with very severe and deserved censure, owing to the glowing representations and the licentious pictures it presentod of the manners and customs of the islanders of the South » Seas; and to some speculations of a religious character which seemed to border upon skepticism. His enemies made the most of these defects, and hold them up to public ridicule and censure; and so keen was his sensibility, that his health was soon affected by it, and he died on the 16th of November of the same year, 1773.
Dr. Hawkesworth was certainly an elegant scholar. "His writings, with the exception of the last ill-fated work, have a tendency uniformly conducive to the interests of virtue and religion; and we may add, that the errors of
i ItfK.I, a very intercsUng memoir of Hawkesworth In the fifth volume of Drake's F.aiayi.
that unfortunate prodnction must be attributed mther to defect of judgment, than to any dereliction of principle. His imagination was fertile and brilliant, his diction pure, elegant, and unaffected. He was in a high degree charitable, humane, and benevolent; his manners were polished and affable, and his conversation has been described as uncommonly fascinating. He died, it is said, tmnquil and resigned, and, we trust, deriving hope and comfort from a firm belief in that religion which his best writings had been employed to defend."
VALUE OF FAMILIAR LETTERS.
In a series of familiar letters between the same friends for thirty years, their whole life, as it were, passes in review before us; we live with them, we hear them talk, we mark the vigor of life, the ardor of expectation, the hurry of business, the jollity of their social meetings, and the sport of their fancy in the sweet intervals of leisure and retirement; we see the scene gmdually change; hope and expectation are at an end; they regret pleasures that are past, and friends that are dead; they complain of disappointment and infirmity; they are conscious that the sands of life which remain are few; and while we hear them regret the approach of the last, it falls, and we lose them in the gmve. Such as they were, we feel ourselves to be; we are conscious to sentiments, connections, and situations like theirs; we find ourselves in the same path, urged forward by the same necessity; and the parallel in what has been, is carried on with such force to what shall be, that the future almost becomes present; and we wonder at the new power of those truths, of which we never doubted the reality and importance.
Prffaee to the Lettm of Dm Si\tl. DANGER OF RELAPSE AFTER PURPOSES OF AMENDMENT.
The dread of death has seldom been found to intrude upon the cheerfulness, simplicity, and innocence of children; they gaze at a funeral procession with as much vacant curiosity as at any other show, and see the world change before them without the least sense of their own share in the vicissitude. In youth, when all