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even then, for a good while, our Anglicisms will get uppermost, and betray us in writing, as our native accent does in speaking.-L.
Though the Dean is the best of company, and one of the liveliest men in England of his age, he said, (when in no ill-humour), “ the best of life is but just tolerable: 'tis the most we can make of it. He observed that it was very apt to be a misfortune to be used to the best
company : gave as a reason for his not marrying, that he had always been used to converse with women of the higher class, and that he might as well think of marrying a princess as one of them. “ A competence enables me, single as I am, to keep as good company as I have been used to ; but with a wife of this kind, and a family, what should I have done ?--Let your great endeavour be to get an independency."-L.'
There are excellent accounts also of Wycherley, Garth, Gay, Addison, Kneller, Lady Wortley Montague, &c. But there is too much of Dr Cocchi; and the author is too fond of running away to Rome to collect materials for his Polymetis, and leaving Pope and his opinions to shift for themselves. The frequent breaks and transitions in this respect from poetry to virtù, and from learning to scandal, give it the effect of cross-readings, without the witi As, however, our author was fond of getting out of this circle, so we are fond of staying in it, and cannot at present make one detour with him to the Ciceroni and academical petit-maitres of Rome and Naples. *
We shall give one or two of the most characteristic of each of the persons above mentioned, that we have marked in the margin as we read.
• Wycherley was a very handsome man. His acquaintance with the famous Dutchess of Cleveland commenced oddly enough. One day, as he passed that Dutchess's coach in the ring, she leaned out of the window, and cried out loud enough to be heard distinctly by him, “ Sir, you're a rascal ; you're à villain !” Wycherley from that instant entertained hopes. He did not fail waiting on her the next morning: and, with a very melancholy tone begged to know, how it was possible for him to have so much disobliged her Grace? They were very good friends from that time i yet, after all, what did
* We have set aside a note for the following.
• When the English were good Catholics, they usually drank the Pope's health in a full glass after dinner : au bon
pere : whence
your bumper.'-Dr Cocchi.
• I must own, that, to my taste, Correggio is the best of all our painters. His pieces are less pictures than those of Raphael himself, *
• This is better connoisseurship thani Pope's, who, " in looking at the portrait of the Pope by Carlomaratti, at Lord Burlington's, called it the best portrait in the world. I really do think him as good a painter as any of them,” were his words.
he get by her? He was to have travelled with the young Duke of Richmond : King Charles gave him now and then a hundred pounds, not often !-P.'
• We were pretty well together to the last : only his memory was so totally bad, that he did not remember a kindness done to him, even from minute to minute.' (This particular sort of forgetfulness, we suspect, is not quite so uncommon as Pope seems to imagine.] • He was peevish, too, latterly ; so that sometimes we were out a little, and sometimes in. He never did any unjust thing to me in his whole life: and I went to see him on his death-bed.P.'
• Wycherley was in a bookseller's shop at Bath, or Tunbridge, when Lady Drogheda came in and happened to inquire for the Plain Dealer. A friend of Wycherley's, who stood by him, pushed him toward her, and said, “There's the Plain Dealer, Madam, if you want him ? Wycherley made his cxcuses; and Lady Drogheda said, " that she loved plain-dealing best. He afterwards yisited that lady, and in some time after married her. This proved a great blow to his fortunes. Just before the time of his courtship, he was designed for governor to the late Duke of Richmond; and was to have been allowed fifteen hundred pounds a year from the Government. His absence from court, in the progress of this amour, and his being yet more absent after his marriage, (for Lady Drogheda was very jealous of him), disgusted his friends there so much, that he lost all his interest with them. His lady died : he got but little by her : and his misfortunes were such, that he was thrown into the Fleet, and lay there seven years. It was then that Colonel Brett got his Plain Dealer to be acted; and contrived to get the king (James the Second) to be there. The colonel attended him thither. The king was mightily pleased with the play, asked who was the author of it; and, upon hearing it was one of Wycherley's, complained that he had not seen him for so many years, and inquired what was become of him. The colonel improved this opportunity so well, that the king gave orders his debts should be discharged out of the privy purse. Wycherley was so weak as to give an account only of five hundred pounds, and so was confined aln ost half a year; till his father was at last prevailed on to pay the rest, between two and three hundred pounds more.- -Dennis.
• Dryden was generally an extreme sober man. For the last ten years of his life, he was much acquainted with Addison, and drank with him more than he ever used to do: probably so far as to hasten his end.Dennis.'
• None of our writers have a freer, easier way for comedy than Etherige and Vanbrugh. Now we have named all the best of them,' said Pope, after naming those two, Wycherley, Congreve, Fletcher, Jonson, and Shakespear.
Garth, Vanbrugh and Congreve, were the three most honesthearted, real good men, of the poetical members of the Kit-cat club. --Mr Pope and old Jacob Tonson.'
The character of Addison as a friend, or as a man, does not rise high in these Memoirs; but he appears to have been a more agreeable companion than is generally supposed. His reserve and incapacity for public speaking are confirmed; but his talents for conversation among his intimate acquaintance must have been nearly on a par with his talents for writing, This is banded down on too good authority to be doubted. Pope says of him, – Addison was perfect good company with intimates; and had something more charming in his conversation than I ever knew in any other man; but with any mixture of strangers, and sometimes only with one, he seemed to preserve his dignity much; with a stiff sort of silence.' Lady Wortley Montague (certainly a competent witness) rates him no less highly. It was my fate,' she declares, “to be much with the wits:' and then she furnishes a scale of several of them. “Ad. dison was the best company in the world--I never knew any body that had so much wit as Congreve-Sir Richard Steele was a very good-natured man--and Dr Garth a very worthy one.
• Old Jacob Tonson did not like Mr Addison. He had a quarrel with him; and after his quitting the Secretaryship, used frequently to say of him : « One day or other, you'll see that man a bishop ! I'm sure he looks that way; and indeed, I ever thought him a priest in his heart.”-P.
• Addison usually studied all the morning; then met his party at Button's; dined there; and stayed five or six hours ; and sometimes far into the night. I was of the company for about a year, but found it too much for me: it hurt my health, and so I quitted it.-P.'
• Addison passed each day alike; and much in the manner that Dryden did.-Dryden employed his mornings in writing; dined en famille; and then went to Wills's; only he came home earlier anights.-P.'
Gay was quite a natural man, wholly without art or design, and spoke just what he thought. He dangled for twenty years about a court, and at last was offered to be made Usher to the
Princesses !—Secretary Craggs made Gay a present of stock in the SouthSea
year : and he was once worth twenty thousand pounds, but lost it all again. He got about four hundred pounds by the first Beggars' Opera, and eleven or twelve hundred by the second.—He was negligent, and a bad manager, Latterly, the Duke of Queensberry took his money into his keeping, and let him have only what was necessary out of it; and as he lived with them, he could not have occasion for much.-He died worth upwards of three thousand pounds. --P.'
Prior kept every thing by him, even to all his school exercises, There is a manuscript collection of this kind in his servant Drift's hands, which contains at least half as much as all his printed works, And there are nine or ten copies of verses among them, which
thought much better than several things he himself published. In particular, I remember there was a dialogue of about two hundred verses between Apollo and Daphne, which pleased me as much as any thing of his I ever read. There are, also, four dialogues in prose between persons, of characters very strongly opposed to one another, which I thought very good. One of them was between Charles the Fifth and his tutor Adrian the Sixth-to show the different turns of a person, who had studied human nature only in his closet, and of one who had rambled all over Europe. Another between Montaigne and Locke, on a most regular and a very loose way of thinking. A third, between Oliver Cromwell and his mad Porter ; and the fourth between Sir Thomas More and the Vicar of Bray.
• Prior left most of his effects to the poor woman he kept company with, his Chloé: every body knows what a wretch she was. I think she had been a little alehouse-keeper's wife.-Pope.
The anecdotes of Sir Godfrey Kneller, are among the most amusing in the book ---some new, and others old. His character seems, however, to have been taken up in too serious a light. His vanity was no doubt gross and extravagant; but there was a strong tincture of eccentricity and whim in it; and he often exaggerated its manifestations as much to amuse and startle others, as to flatter his self-love. He belonged to a very common class of characters, which has not been very commonly understood-persons who are accessory to the ridicule thrown upon themselves, and play off their own follies in society as they might caricature an imaginary character upon the stagewho are at once the butt and the wit, the jester and the jest. To this Kneller's foreign accent and foreign notions might contribute not a little; for a foreigner, finding himself laughed at for involuntary blunders, if he is waggishly inclined, will be apt to commit voluntary absurdities to heighten the joke, and to give others something to gape at and be tickled with, while he himself may be a sharer in the mirth that is going on. Not only the egregious instances of vanity that are recorded of this artist ire to be received cum grano saliseven his gluttony and avarice might admit, to a certain degree, of a similar explanation—that is, were overacted to humour the thing, and were a sort of dramatic burlesques of his real infirmities. His good opinion of himself met on one occasion with the following very ludicrous rebuff. Mr Pope was with Sir Godfrey Kneller one 6 day, when his nephew, a Guinea trader, came in. “ Nephew," (said Sir Godfrey) “ you have the honour of seeing the two greatGo est men in the world. "_" I don't know how great you may ¢ be,” (said the Guinea-man); “ but I don't like your looks: I ¢ have often bought a man much better than both of you togek! ther, all muscles and bones, for ten guineas !-Dr Warburton,
The Duke of Marlborough is repeatedly mentioned; and his character is drawn with great minuteness and force of colouring. His ruling passion, avarice, appears to have had nothing jocular or assumed in it: it was a melancholy reality, an incurable madness. Take the following little specimen.
• In his last decline at Bath, he was playing with Dean Jones at piquet, for sixpence a game: they played a good while, and the Duke left off when winner of one game. Some time after, he desired the Dean to pay him his sixpence: the Dean said he had no silver. The Duke asked him for it over and over; and at last desired that he would change a guinea to pay it him, because he should want it to рау
the chair that carried him home. The Dean, after so much pressing, did at last get change ; paid the Duke his sixpence; observed him a little after leave the room, and declares, that (after all the bustle that had been made for his sixpence) the Duke actually walked home, to save the little expense a chair would have put him to.P.'
Mr Spence himself gives rather a lively account of Lady Wortley Montague, whom he met at Rome in 1740.
• I always desired, he says, to be acquainted with Lady Mary, and could never bring it about, though we were so often together in London: soon after we came to this place, her Ladyship.came here, and in five days I was well acquainted with her. She was married young, and she told me, with that freedom much travelling gives, that she was never in so great a hurry of thought, as the month before she was married: she scarce slept any one night that month. You know she was one of the most celebrated beauties of her day, and had a vast number of offers; and the thing that kept her awake was who to fix upon. She was determined as to two points from the first, that is, to be married to somebody, and not to be married to the man her father advised her to have. The last night of the month she determined ; and in the morning left the husband of her father's choice buying the wedding-ring, and scuttled away to be married to Mr Wortley."
We must conclude with some particulars of Mr Pope's death, which are mostly new, and all very interesting.
• Here am I, like Secrates, distributing my morality among my friends, just as I am dying.-P.' [This was said on his sending about some of his Ethic Epistles as presents, about three weeks before we lost him. I replied, “I really had that thought several times, when I was last at Twickenham with you ; and was apt, now and then, to look upon myself like Phædo. 'That might be, (said he); but you must not expect me now to say any thing like Socrates.']
• One of the things that I have always most wondered at is, that there should be any such thing as human vanity. If I had any, I had enough to mortify it, a few days ago : for I lost my mind for a whole day.-P.' [This was said on the 10th of May; and the day