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than five of his Adventurers, Nos. 39, 67, 74, 81, and 128*.
The next assistant in the Adventurer was Dr. Joseph Warton, to whom, in the original plan, the province of criticism and literature was consigned
This elegant scholar was born about the year 1722: his father, Thomas Warton, B.D., was Fellow of Magdalen College, Oxford, poetryprofessor from the year 1718 to 1728, and vicar of Basingstoke in Hampshire, and Cobham in Surrey. He married Elizabeth, daughter of the Rev. Joseph Richardson, Rector of Dunfold in Surrey, by whom he had three children: Joseph, the object of this article ; Thomas, the late poet and historian of English poetry, who died in 1790; and a daughter who died lately. He was the author of a volume of poems published by subscription in the year 1745, among which is the celebrated epigram on the king's sending a troop of horse to Oxford, at the same time he gave a collection of books to the University of Cambridge. This has usually been attributed to Dr. Trapp. Mr. Warton died in August, 1745, and was characterized by his sons as a man of learning, probity, and piety.
Mr. Joseph Warton was admitted a scholar into Winchester College, Aug. 2, 1736, and left it in 1740: he was admitted of Oriel College, Oxford, and determined his bachelor's degree in 1744, and was ordained, and immediately became his father's curate at Basingstoke, where
* They have been restored to Dr. Johnson's Works published in 1806.
he officiated till February, 1746. He proceeded M.A. by diploma, June 23, 1759, and B. and D.D. January 15, 1768. In May, 1766, he was elected head-master of Winchester College, which he resigned in 1793, soon after a kind of rebellion among the scholars, of the blame of which he appears to have had no share. Although long celebrated as a scholar, and living much among the patrons of the church, his
promotions were neither numerous nor very valuable. He was rector of Wickham in Hampshire, a prebendary of Winchester and of St. Paul's, and rector of Upham in Hampshire, which last he received from the Bishop of Winchester in the year 1788*
His earliest publication was a volume of Odes, in 1747. In 1756, without his name, appeared the Essay on the Writings and Genius of Pope, vol. 1; and in 1782, the second volume, of which the first two hundred pages were printed about twenty years before publication. Dr. Johnson accounted for this delay by supposing that the author was disappointed in not having been able to persuade the world to be of his opinion as to Pope. But the kindness his brother had received from Warburton is supposed, with more probability, to have delayed a work, in which Warburton was to be mentioned without much respect for his critical talents. Johnson praises it, however, as a book which teaches how the brow of criticism may be smoothed, and how she may be enabled, with all her severity, to attract and to delight.
* A more minute account of his life has lately been published by the Rev. Mr. Wooll, with a literary correspondence, a selection from his poems, &c.
In 1753 was published, The Works of Virgil in English verse; the Eneid translated by the Rev. Mr. Christopher Pitt, the Eclogues and Georgics by Mr. Joseph Warton, &c.' 4 vols. octavo; dedicated to Sir George, afterwards Lord Lyttleton. Of Dr. Warton's Georgics and Eclogues, it has been said that they convey the sense of the originals with greater exactness and perspicuity than any other translation we have; that the versification is
and harmonious, and the style correct and pure: yet that, if read for themselves, they are inferior, as pleasing poems, to the similar performances of Dryden.
In the same year, while he superintended the press during the printing of his Virgil, he was induced to engage in the Adventurer, by Dr. Johnson's persuasion. His last work, the labour of many years, an edition of the works of Pope, appeared in 1797, but the expectations of the literary world were in a great measure disappointed. It bore evident marks of haste, and the notes and illustrations were seldom new; the style was not without blemishes, and there was more of the garrulity of age than of the judicious compression of taste and genius. There was a time when, perhaps, this would have been less exceptionable, but literary history is now very generally diffused, and the public was disappointed to be told what it knew before. more serious objection was also made to the additions which this editor thought proper to admit, some of which are totally inconsistent with a respect for public decency.
It is said, Dr. Warton had made collections for a literary history of Leo X.; and proposals were in circulation for a history of poetry from Homer to Voltaire, but no part of these undertakings was discovered among his papers.
His personal character was allowed by all who knew him to rank high: he was cheerful in company, and even convivial; his conversation replete with information on the history of literature, and with classical knowledge. As a teacher he was ever highly venerated by his scholars, many of whom rose to eminent distinction both in the church and state. He died at Wickham in Hampshire, Feb. 23, 1800*.
His contributions to the Adventurer amount to twenty-four papers. Of these a few are of the humorous cast, but the greater part consist of elegant criticism; not that of cold sagacity, but warm from the heart, and powerfully addressed to the finer feelings as well as to the
* In the account of Dr. Warton, in the Gentleman's Magazine, it is said he had only one son, who disappointed his hopes : but he had two sons, one of whom, the Rev. John Warton, of Blandford died lately. To this gentleman I am indebted for a small part of a MS. diary written by his father, which has enabled me to correct the dates in this account. The other son, who died suddenly, was a very promising genius, and wrote, when at school, two poems, entitled The Pyramids of Egypt, and Rex Pluviorum Tamesis ; the first in English, and the last in Latin, both which are highly creditable to his talents. It is easy to suppose that the loss of such a youth would disappoint his father's hopes.
judgement. His critical papers on Lear have never been exceeded for just taste and discrimination. His disposition lay in selecting and illustrating those beauties of ancient and modern poetry, which, like the beauties of nature, strike and please many who are yet incapable of describing or analysing them. No. 101, on the blemishes in the Paradise Lost, is an example of the delicacy and impartiality with which writings of established fame ought to be examined. His observations on the Odyssey, Nos. 75, 80, and 83, are original and judicious, but it may be doubted whether they have detached many
scholars from the accustomed preference given to the Iliad. If any objection may be made to Dr. Warton's critical papers, it is that his Greek occurs too frequently in a work intended for domestic instruction. His style is always pure and perspicuous, but sometimes it may be discovered, without any other information, that “ he kept company with Dr. Johnson,"
The beginning of No. 139, if found detached, might have been attributed to Dr. Johnson. It has all his manner; not merely the “ contortions of the sibyl,” but somewhat of the 6 inspiration."
It only remains to be mentioned, that this author made many alterations and corrections in his papers, after the first publication; and two or three slight variations have been adopted into the present edition, from the manuscript on the margin of his own copy now in the possession of the writer of this article. On the blank leaf