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in the highest terms of applaufe; and ingly, in a short time he published his the various and peculiar excellenc is “ Apology; addreffed to the Critical of Mrs. Pritchard, virs. Cibber, and Reviewers. Whatever reasons these Mrs. Clive' were celebrated with equal gentlemen had to be dissatisfied with warmth and jultice. Excepting Nr. the prein, the players themselves were Garrick, there was not a single man, not so much offended as they had been am ngit the players of that period, with the Rosciad. The author had, who in the firit impreílion entirely indeed, treated the profesion of acting escaped the poet's satir.callash.' Those with g eat contempt; and had painted, who were the most eager in exprering in the itrongest colours, the meanne's their an, er had only the misfortune and distress of itinerant companies, and of being treated with greater severity the unhappy shifts to which they are in subsequent editions. In this respect occasionally reduced. But all this the Mr. Churchill has been blamed by London aitors regarded as a trifling some writers; and it has been said, injury, compared with the fatire which that the Kofciad was not always be- had been directed against their personal nefited by the alterations which it faults. It was, likewise, no small conreceived. Perhaps there is little foun- folation to them, that their maiter, tie dation for this aftertion: but, however mighty Rofcius himfelf, had not wholly
be, it is certain that its ex- been spared: for Mr. Garrick was cellence cnabled it firmiy to maintain certainly aimed at in the following its ground againit all opposition. lincs: Though various pamphlets and poems “ Let the vain tyrant sit amidst his guards, were published againit it in vindication His puny green-rucn uits, and renal bards, of the players, they were fo poorly Who mesily tremble at the puppet's frown, written, that they only served to swell And for a playhouse trecdom lose their own; Mr. Churchill's triumph.
In spite of new-made law's, and rew-made kirgs,
The tree-born mufe with lib'ral spiritsings. The Critical Reviewers happened to Bow ca te ye fiaves; before these idols iali; be peculiarly unfortunate in the account Let genius itoop to them who've none at all; which they gave of the Rofciad. In
Ne'er will I flatter, crii ge, or bend the knee,
To those who, llaves to all, are flaves to me.” speaking of the first inpresion of it, they ascribed it, with some degree of conti- The manager felt all the force of dence, to Mr. Lloyd; and though they these farcasic strokes, and was exwouldnotabfolu ely pretend to affert that tremely unhappy that he should have it was solely written by him, they ven- provoked so irritable and so powerful tured to affirm, that it was the produc- a writer. Accordingly, he wrote a tion, jointly or separately, of the new long letter to Churchiil
, which, besides *Triumvirate of Vits, who never let comprehending an apology for himself an opportunity flip of singing their and the players, was full of encomiums own praites. The Triumvirate here upon his uncommon vein of poetry, referred 10 confified of 'I hornton, and contained a kind of deprecation of Colman, and Lloyd. The mistake, his future wrathi. A friend, to whoin howerer, if it had been delivered in Mr. Garrick shewed the letter, enlefs ofentire terms, wa, pardonable, as tirely difapproved of it; and informed the author liad not fer his name to tie him that the author of the Kofciad, performance. When he alerted his who was a man of quick discernment claim to the work, the critics acknow- and undaunted spirit, would not think luged their error, but did not do it the better of him for his humiliations with
a very good grace, or, at least, in and flatteries. such a
manner as v as fatisfactory to Mr. Claurchill being now become so Mr. Churchill. Bulides his not being greatly celebrated, and having, at the well pleased with the account which fame time, procured a large number of had been given of his poem, he wized enemies, it was natural that researcties to add fomething further on the subject firuld be made into his fituation, conof the Rofciad, and to justif; the attack nections, and character; zud upon he had made on the players. Acceid- enquiry it was found that he was not
remarkable for the regularity of hisof by his most intimate friends. They manners, and that he particularly in- considered it as
blameable oppodulged himself in fisting up very late Sition to the decencies of life, and as over a bottle. The reproaches hence likely to be hurtful to his interest; cast upon him gave occalion to his since the abilities he was possessed of, next production, entitled “Night, and the figure he made in political an Epiitle to Robert Lloyd.” The ob- contests, would, perhaps, have recomject of this poem was to vindicate his mended him to some noble patron, conduct, or rather to avow it in the from whom he might have received a face of the public. The “ Night" valuable benefice. I remember well, was followed by the first book of “ The that he dressed his younger son in a Ghoit," a work that took its rise from Scotch plaid, like a little Highlander, a ridiculous imposture carried on in and carried him every where in that Cock-lane, near Welt-Smithfield, and garb. The boy being asked by a gento which some men of eminent abilities tleman with whom I was in company, and character paid too serious an at- why he was cloathed in such a manner, tention. Neither of these perform- answered with great vivacity, “Sir, ances being so popular as the Rofciad my father hates the Scotch, and does and the Apology, Mr. Churchill was it to plague them?”. In other respects desirous of producing something which Mr. Churchill's conduct was more than should more strongly excite the curiosity indiscreet. He plunged into various of the nation. In this he fucceeded, irregularities, and lived no longer with though we must ever lainent the subject his wife; though whether his quitting he fixed upon, and the turn of mind her was at this particular juncture we with which it is treated. Availing are not able to determine.
• Some himself of the disputes in politics, people, observes a certain writer, have which were then carried on with pe. been unkind enough to say that Mrs. culiar acrimony, and influenced by Churchill gave the first just cause of private friendship, he published his feparation. But nothing can be more * Prophecy of I amine; a Scots Pa- false than this rumour; and we can storal.” Of this piece Mr. Wilkes is assure the public, that her conduct in faid to have pronounced, before its private life, and among her acquaintappearance, that he was fure it would ance, was ever irreproachable. We take, as it was at once personal, poet- have our doubts concerning the truth ical, and political. His prediction was of what is here asserted, notwithstandaccomplished; for the poem had a very ing the positivity with which it is derapid and xtensive faie, and Churchill livered. It was always understood in was extolled by his admirers as su- Westminster, that Mrs. Churchill's imperior to :'ope. This was undoubtedly prudence kept too near a pace with
a se to an undue height that of her husband. Howerer, we do of exazociation. It cannot, however, not hence mean in the least to jutify his be deac, wat the author nas displayed disorderly and licentious manner of grettorce et abluties in the Prophecy living.
"une; though the malignity which Mr. Churchill being now embarked he tas shewn amiinit Scotland and its as a political satirist, from which chain abitants is totally inexcuseable. racter he derived great fame an ! profit, whilli the literary fame of Mr.
next drew his pen againít a man whose Churchill tiood thus high with a large genius he adınired; and with whom he part, at ica i, of the public, his personal and Mr. Wilkes had long been in the conduct was very reprehenfible. He habits of friendship, the celebrated Holaid afide all the external decorums garth. It must be acknowledged that of his profesion, diverted himself of Hogarth himfelf afforded the original his clerical habit, and appeared in caule of offence. In a print, cailed the the dress of a blue coat with metal Times, he had attacked Lord Temple buttons, a golci-iaced waistcoat, a gold. and Mr. Pitt, and soon after published laced hai, and rufles. This part of a caricature of Mr. Wilkes. This, his behaviour was whoily disapproved which was too much for Churchill io
bear, gave rise to the “ Epistle to offended Churchill, by declaring that
“ The priest, I grant, has something clever,
Let him, part, be made your pattern,
Whose muse, now Queen, and now a Nattern, should have their union dissolved, and
Trick'd out in Rosciad rules the roait, discord sown among them, by the de
Turns trapes and trollop in the Ghost, mon of politics and party.
By turns both tickles us, and warms, The poems we have hitherto spoken And, drunk or fober, has her charms." of employed Mr. Churchill in 1761, Nearly at the time when the last book 1762, and part of 1763. During the of the Ghost appeared, Mr. Churchill same time he continued to publish, at published" The Conference,” in which different intervals, “ The Ghost,” the he returned to his usual measure of fourth and concluding book of which verse, the heroic, being the measure appeared in the last of the years now wherein he most excelled; though he mentioned. The most celebrated paf. had lately begun to introduce into it fage in this work was the character of too many prosaic lines. The plan of Pomposo, intended for Dr. Johnson, the poem is similar to that of one of and which was much extelled by that Pope's fatires. A dialogue is supposed entleman's enemies. The Doctor bad to be carried on between the author
and a noble Lord, who is represented ters of the time, especially fome polias giving him much good worldly ad- tical writers. The character of kidgell, vice, to which he answers with great the informer, is drawn in a maiterly fpirit, and in his replies indulges his manner. The opinion of the Monthly satiric vein with no small degree of Reviewers concerning this poem was, freedom. One of the most striking that it was the most agreeable and the passages in the Conference is that in most unexceptionable of all Mr. which he expresses the deepest contri- Churchill's performances, whether they tion for a recent action of his life, that considered the tendency of the subject, was indeed highly to his dishonour. or the execution.
"'The interests (say He had seduced and carried off the they) of genius and learning are cordaughter of a tradesman in Weftmin- dially espoused, and powerfully fupfter. In a little more than a fortnight ported, while the contempt of proferhis passion subsided, and the young wo- sed ignorance, and the hallowness of man became very sorry for her crime. pretenders to science, are justly exAccordingly, a wise and judicious posed, and lashed by the blameless rod friend wrote for her a letter to her fa. of general satire.” Even with regard ther, expressive of her penitence, and to the fatirical strokes of a private naof her desire to return home. Her fa- ture, the critics add, that if the cen. ther, with equal tenderness and pru- fure be just they scarcely know how dence, received her into his house; and to blame it. The Critical Reviewers, me might have been fully restored to a though they had been involved in a virtuous conduct, had it not been for contest with our bard, gave a like the severity of an elder sister, who was testimony on this occasion.
" It is continually loading her with reproachbut justice (they observe) to Mr. es. Wearied with this usage, The ap- Churchill, to acknowledge that his replied to Churchill, offering to return putation as a poet seems to rise and into him again; which he thought him- crease with every performance. The felf bound to admit, by the ideas he • Conference' was much superior to the entertained of gratitude and honour. • Ghost,' and the • Author' is, in our The true point of virtue would have opinion, a better poem than the ‘Conbeen, to have provided, as amply as ference. The sentiments throughout he could, for the young woman's sup- are, for the most part, noble and manport, and to have had no criminal con- ly, the fatire finely pointed, the exnexion with her in future.
pression strong and nervous." Our author's next poem, if we mis- Churchill's poetical career for 1764 take not, was
The Duellift," in began with the first book of his “Gothree books, written in verses of eight tham,” which was considered by the syllables. The occasion of the work generality of readers as fo ftrange and is well known, being Mr. Martin's irregular a production, that they could challenge to Mr. Wilkes; and it is not not tell what judgement to form of surprising that Churchill's muse should the writer's intention. As he proceedbe awakened in the cause of his friend, ed in the work, he appeared to greater The Duellist has many poetical beau- advantage; and it became manifeít
, ties. It is more concise than the Ghost, from the second and third books, that more correct, more directly to the pur. it was his chief design, under the idea pose; though one principal object of of his being proclaimed King of Go. it was to satirize other persons, besides tham, to represent the real duty of a Mr. Martin.
monarch; in which view much good Mr. Churchill's last publication in inftruction is conveyed. This per1763 seems to have been “ The Au- formance is less satirical than most of thor,” and it is one of the most plea- our auth_r's pieces. Upon the whole, fing of his productions. The former Gotham is not one of the pleasantest part of it is not remarkably satirical; of his poems, though it contains a but, towards the conclusion, the poet number of beautiful passages. is extremely fevere against certain wri. Churchill's next production was "The 5
Candidate,” which took its title from upon, the fault of careless versification. the contest that had been carried on It contains, however, sereral ibining between the Earl of Hardwicke and potages; and a strong vein of goud the Earl of Sandwich for the high- tente runs through the whole. Much ftewardship of the University of Cam- is said in it of poets and patrons; perbridge. The beginning of the poem haps as much as the subject will well is very spirited; and the words “Come, bear. The author hath admirably rePANEGYRIC," introduce one of the presented the itriking contrast between fevereit fatires which the
an effeminate lord and himself; and ever wrote, against a nobleman who hath drawn his own picture with great has, indeed, often been the subject of humour. Independence" was folsatire; perhaps so much as to be indif- lowed by “ The Journey,” a short poferent and careless about the attacks em, which reflects no disgrace on our that are made on his character. “The author's abilities. The advice of his Candidate” was succeeded by “ The friends, and his answer to it, are well Farewell,” wherein the poet is repre- conducted. Towards the conclufion, fented as having formed a design to he indulges himself in satirizing serequit his native land, from which his ral contemporary poets. Mr. Churchfriend endeavours to diffuade him. ill's last poetical production was the Though there is much good sense in dedication of his Sermons to Bishop this performance, and several excellent Warburton, which is written with his observations on philofophy, and the usual severity against that eminent prelove of our country, it cannot be con- late. Some parts of it are very spiritfidered as one of our author's chief ed, and especially those passages which works. It is deficient in poetical fire, begin withi, “ Health to great Gloiter." and many of the lines are feeble and If the same vigour is not maintained prosaic. Partly from a confidence in through the whole, it may be observed, the good opinion of his admirers, and that, as the poem was left unfinished, partly from the neceffity of obtaining in confequence of the author's decease, Frequent pecuniary supplies, Mr. we cannot tell to what height the grave Churchill now became too negligent irony of the fatire miglit have been and rapid in his publications. In his carried. With respect to the Sermons, fuccceding production, entitled “ The which are ten in number, two upon Times,” he displays his usual vigour the nature of prayer in general, and and spirit. The characters of Faber eight ypon our Lord's Frayer, there and Apicius, whoever were intended certainly could be no other reafon for by them, are drawn with equal strength publishing them than to obtain the beand feverity. The fatire of the poem nefit of a large fubscription. The preis principally directed against an in- sent biographer, that he might be able natural vice, which is exposed with an to form an exact judgement, haih; energy and indignation that cannot pof- with exemplary patience, read them libly be exceeded. The matter is, in- all; and he is obliged to prono ince deed, carried to the very height of concerning them, that they are written extravagance;
but this extravagance with an uniform mediocrity; and if he Thews, at the same time, the wonder- were to add dullness, he would not be ful powers
of the author's mind, and far from the truth. There is no anihis just and boundless deteflation of the mation in the discourses; nor could a crime against which his poetry is le- single passage be selected froin them, yelled.
which displays the fire of genius, or Churchill's next publication was the force of imagination. The senti. “ Independence," a poem which does ments are practical, and not usually to not, in every part of it, display the be found fault with; but there is not a vigour of imagination that is apparent thought that is new, or which indiin some of his performances; and it is, cates any peculiar strength of concepallo, chargeable with the fault we have tion, The style is perfpicuous, withmore than once had occasion to touch
out the least pretensions to elegance.