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THE LIFE OF BROOME.
W:LLIAM BROOKE was born in Cheshire, as is said, of very mean parents. Of the time and place of his birth, or 'the early part of his life, no intelligence is to be found. He was educated upon the foundation at Eton, and had the misfortune of being captain of the school for one whole year, 1707, without any vacancy, by which he night have obtained a scholarship in King's College, Oxford.
Being by this delay, fach as has happened but four times in 160 years, in 1619, 1653, 1707, and 1956, superannuated, his friends sent him to St. Juhn's College, where, by their allistance, and a Imall exhibition, he was maintained till be entered into orders.
At his college he had the reputation of being an excellent Greek fcholar and a skilful versifier, but he is described, as being a contracted scholar, and a mere verlifier, unacquainted with life, and unkilful in conversation. He was so much addided to versifying, that his companions familiarly called him Poot. When he had opportunities of mingling with mankind, he cleared himself, it is said, from great part of his scholastic rust.
He appeared early in the world as a translator of the " Iliad" into profe, in conjunction with Ozell and Oldisworth ; but his hare in that version, which is now neglected, is not known. He was introduced to Pope, who was then upon a visit to Sir John Cotton at Madingley near Cambridge, and gained so much of his esteem, that he was employed with Jortin to make extracts from Euftathius for the notes to the tranllation of the" iliad;" and in the second volume of “ Miscellaneous Poems, Translations, and Imitations," published by Lintot, commonly called “Pope's Miscellanics," twelve of his early pioces were inserted. That he furnished" the greater part of the Remarks from Eustathius,” together with several excellent observations, is acknowledged by Pope ; who, it has veen said, promised him a handsome gratuity for his trouble ; and, when the work was finished, barrelded with him, and disappointed him of the promised reward. It is certain that Broome thus epresented thc story to his friends; yet, in a letter to Lord Hervey from Pope, who had been harged with “ selling Broome's works, printed with Pope's name," he tells his Lordship he printd not his name before a line of the person's his Lordfhip mentions; besides, my Lord, when you tid 1 fold another man's works, you ought in justice to have added that I bougbt them, which very ruch alters the case. What I gave was 500l.; his receipt can be produced to your Lordship."
Ruffhead relates that Broome, in conjunction with Fenton, had formed a design of traplating le Coalley, while Pope was employed upon the “Iliad," and went through several books of e Odyssey, which they desired him to peruse; and having made a considerable progress in the anflacion himself, adopted what he found thus ready for the advancement of his work. It is some confirmation of what is thus related, that among the poems in “ Pope's Miscellany" ere is one To a Gentlemen wbo.corrected fome of my Virfes, the ticle of which he afterwards thus anged, To Mr. A. Pope, wbo.correfled my Verses. That' the ver Gon of the Ody Fey was not wholly Pope's was always known. He had men. ned the affiftance of two friends in his proposals ; and at the end of the work fome account is sen hy Broome of their different parts, which, however, mentions only five books as written by : coadjutors; the fourth and twentieth by Fenton, the Sixth, the eleventh, and cighteenth, by nfelf; though Pope, in an advertisement prefixed afterwards to a new volume of his works,
med only twelve. The books allotted to Penton were the firt, the fourth, the nineteenth, and the twentieth; to
lot of Broome fell the second, Czth, eighth, elcveath, twelfth, fixentb, eighteeth, and twenty, :d, wish all the noios.
The price at which Pope purchased this alistance was 300 l. co Fenton, and 500 l. to Brookie, with as many copies to his friends as made one hundred more. The payment made to Fenton is not certainly known. Lord Orrery says “it was an errant trifle :" Broome's is very diftin&ly told by Pope in the notes to the “ Dunciad."
It is evident, that, according to Pope's own estimate, Broome was unkindly treated. If foar books could mcrit’zcol.'eight and all the notes, equivalent at leaf to four, had certainly a right to more than fix.
Broome, probably finding that Pope got more than either of them expected, was desirous of : Share; but though Pope was not generous on this occasion, if Broome received what they agreed for, there seems no just ground of complaint.
There was for some time, from whatever cause, more than coldness between Broome and his employer. He always spoke of Pope, as did his friend Fenton, as too much a lover of money, and Pope pursued him with avowed hoftilies; for he not only named him disrespe&fully in the "Duciad,” but quoted him more than once in the “ Bathos" as a proficient in the “ Art of Sinking;" ad in his enumeration of the different kinds of poets distinguished for the profound, he reckons Broom among " the parrots who repeat anather's words in such a hoarse odd tone as makes them lecz Cheir owp."
It appears by a letter from Pope to Broome, in 1730, in which he communicated to him a account of the death of Fenton, which is noticed in the life of that amiable and clegant poet, tha they were afterwards reconciled, but their peace was probably without friendfhip.
In 1927, he published his Poems or Several Occasions, with a dedication to Lord Townshend, dasid Jan, 16. 1726; being at that time rector of Sturlton in Suffolk, and chaplain to Charles Land (afterward Earl) Cornwallis.
At Sturston he married a widuw lady who had a good fortune, which enabled him to take the degree of Doctor of Laws, when the king went to Cambridge, April 25. 1728.
Upon his resignation of the living of Sturlton, he was presented by the Crown to the rectory a Pulham in Norfolk, in August 1933, which he held with Oakley Magna in Suffolk, given him by Lord Cornwallis, who added the vicarage of Eye in Suffolk; he then religned Pulham, and retaz cd the other two till his death.
Towards the latter end of his life, he amused himself with translating Odes of Ang creon, which published in the “Gentleman's Magazine," under the signature of Cheffer.
He died at Bath, November 16. 1745, and was buried in che Abbey Church, by Dr Gooch bikes of Norwich. He left an only son, Charles, who died of the small-pox in 1747, an under gradu: of St. John's College, Cambridge.
His Peems on Several Occafions were reprinted in $739, and again in 1750, with several additii and variations, which are retained in the present edition.
The character of Broome, though he never rose to a very high dignity in the church, seems have been amiable and respectable. At college he was universally beloved; and in more advanced life he was distinguished by his exemplary observance of the social and domestic duties, and his pien and diligence in the exercise of his paftoral function. He is mentioned by Shuckford (Sacred as Profane Kisory Connected, vol. iii. p. 60.) under the title of “ the ingenious Annotator on the Eat lish Homer, whose real worth, as well as learning, makes it a pleasure to me to say, that I hava friend
As a poet, his compositions are characterised by correctness of judgment, clegance of dition, and as mony of numbers, rather than by force of genius, or grace of fancy; neither of which, however, : wanting. To examine his performances one by one, would be tedious. One of his pieces is iacituled, Xlancholy; an Ode, occafioned by tbe Death of a beloved Daughter, 1723; but it is not quite certain that is ws written on a daughter of his own. His Verses or the Deatb of a Friend, which were printed in 1787, mer! afterwards very happily enlarged, and applied to Fenton, who died in 1730. His Perses sa Mr. Elizabeth Townsend, or ber Picture at Rainbam, are elegant and poetical in a high degree. Oft Paraphrafes from Scripture, nothing very favourable can be said ; yet the third stapler of Habatkut, and the Parapbrafes from fob and Ecclefiafticus, have merit; the language not being deficient either is trength or melasy. His Tranflations are smooth, clasical, and spirited; and more of his erigital
pieces have something to be praised, either in the thought or the expression. Dr. Wartoa thinks the rooks he tranflated for Pope, in the Odylley, are inferior to Fenton's; but it is no small honour to
lim, chat the seaders of poetry have never been able to distinguish his books from those of Fenton and Pope. .." Of Broome,” says Dr. Johnson, “ though it cannot be said that he was a great poet, it would e unjust to deny that he was an excellent versifier ; his lines are smooth and sonorous, and his dicion is seled and elegant. His rhymes are sometimes unsuitable. In his Melancboly he makes breath hyme to birth in one place, and to cartb in another. Those faults occur but seldom; and he had uch power of words and numbers, as fitted him for trandation ; but in his original works, recol-dion seems to have been his business more than inventìon. His imitations are so apparent, that it 3 part of his reader's employment to recal the verses of some former poet. Sometimes he copies the -host popular writers; for he seems scarcely to endeavour at concealment; and sometimes picks up Lagments ia obscure corners." His lines to Fenton,
Serene the sting of pain thy thoughts beguile,
And make affli&ions objects of a smile, rought to my mind some lines on the death of Queen Mary, written by Barnes, of whom I should ot have expected to find an imitation,
But thou, O muse! whose sweet Nepenthean tongue
Make pains and tortures objects of a smile. “To detea his imitations, were tedious and useless. What he takes he seldom makes worse ; and je cannot be thought a mean man, whom Pope chose for an associate; and whose co-operation was confidered by Pope's enemies as so important, that he was attacked by Henley with this ludicrous Lidich."
Pope came off clean with Homer; but they say,
To the Right Honourable
CHARLES LORD VISCOUNT TOWNSHEND;
Late one of his Majesty's Principal Secretaries of State, and Knight of the Most
Noble Order of the Garter, doc. MY LORD, lec leave to publish the following poems under
Spreads its wide liquid plain ; now stands un. ir patronage : a present, I confess, unworthy
flects s, and of little value, excepting what gratitude
“ Pure as th' expanse of heaven, and heaven re. es it : but, I fear, it may be esteemed a boast • From its broad-glittering mirror; now with ier than an acknowledgment, or at best an ntatious kind of gratitude, to tell the world
+ Curl'd gently by the breeze, falutes the flowers : I have received the highest obligations from
“ That grace its banks! in state the snowy swans Lord Townshend : it is an honour to be re
“ Arch their proud necks, and fowls of various led by a person of so distinguished a character : a proud of it, and, not being of a nature to be " Innumerous, native or exotic, cleave [lawns ent with a silent gratitude, am not deterred
“ The dancing wave! while o'er th' adjoining nowning it, thongh it be liable to be miscalled " Obverted to the southern suns, the deer ity.
“ Wide-spreading graze, or starting bound away 'ou have, my Lord, the happiness to enjoy “ Io crowds, then turning, silent sand and gaze! it that great statesman Wallingham, who held “ Such are thy beauties Rainham, such the haunts same office which you fill with so much ho
“ Of angels in primaval guiltless days, Tg frequently wished, but never obtained: a “ When man imparadis'd convers'd with God." rement from business in the declension of life,
This, my Lord, is but a faint picture of the njoy age in peace and tranquillity: this last place of your retirement, which no one ever enon speaks you truly great; for that person who joyed more elegantly: no part of your life lies 1 voluntary retreat, could indußriously re- heavy upon you; there is no uneasy vacancy in ice all the grandeur of the world, must evi- it; it is all filled up with Audy, exercise, or po. ly have a soul above it.
lite amusement : here you shine in the most agreeully in his Tusculum was never more happy, able, though not most strong and dazzling light: the Lord Townshend in his Rainham :
in your public station you commanded admiration “Where majestically plain
and honour; in your private, you attract love and are nature reigns, where varied views from esteem: the nobler parts of your life will be the u views
(wonds, subject of the historian; and the actions of the flusive prospects yield * : here laggd with great ftatesinan and patriot will adorn many pages ere rich with harvest, and there white with of our future annals : but the affectionate father, “ flocks,
che indulgent mafter, the condelcending and bend all the gay horizon (miles around
nevolent friend, patron, and companion, can only Il of thy genius! Lo! between yon groves
be described by those who have the pleasure and e dome with easy grandeur, like the soul happiness to see you act in all thofe relations: [ its great matter, rising overlooks
could with delight enlarge upon this amiable part e subject regions, and commands the charms of your character ; but am fenfible that no portion many a pleasing landscape, to the eye of your time is so ill spent as in reading what I rightful change! here groves of loftieft shade write. I will therefore only beg the honour to ve their proud tops, and form of stateliest view fubscribe myself, ylvan theatre! while nature's hand (lawn, My Lord, irs forth profufe, o'er hill, o'er vale, o'er
Your Lordship's most obliged, choicest blessings: see! where yonder lake
And most obediene servant,
William BROOME, et Mr. Thomfon's excellent foems,
Pulbam in Norfolk, 1739.