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was now a prospect of ease and plenty; for Fenton had merit, and Craggs had generosity: but the small-pox suddenly put an end to the pleasing expectation. • When Pope, after the great success of his Iliad, undertook the Odysey, being, as it seems, weary of translating, he determined to engage auxiliaries. Twelve books he took to himself, and twelve he distributed between Broome and Fenton: the books allotted to Fenton were the first, the fourth, the nineteenth, and the twentieth. It is obfervable that he did not take the eleventh, which he had before translated into blank verse, neither did Pope claim it, but committed it to Broome. How the two associates
performed their parts is well known to the readers of poetry, who have never been able to distinguish their books from those of Pope.
In 1723 was performed his tragedy: of Marianne ; to which Southerne, at whose house it was written, is said to have contributed such hints as his theatrical experience supplied. When it was shewn to Cibber it was rejected by him, with the additional infolence of advising Fenton to engage himself in fome employment of honest labour, by which he might obtain that support which he could never hope from his poetry. The play was acted at the other theatre, and the brutal petulance of Cibber was confuted, though perhaps not Thamed, by:
general applause. Fenton's profits are said to have amounted to near a thousand pounds, with which he discharged a debt contracted by his attendance at court.
Fenton seems to have had some peculiar system of versification. Alariamne is written in lines of ten syllables, with few of those redundant terminations which the drama not only admits but requires, as more nearly approaching to real dialogue. The tenor of his verse is so uni. form that it cannot be thought casual, and yet upon what principle he so constructed it, is difficult to discover. .
The mention of his play brings to my mind a very trifling occurrence: Fenton was one day in the company of Broome his associate, and Ford a clergyman, at that time too well known, whose abilities, instead of furnishing convivial merriment to the voluptuous and diffolute, might have enabled him to excel among the virtuous and the wife. They determined all to see the Merry Wives of Windsor, which was acted that night; and Fenton, as a dramatick poet, took them to the stage-doğr; where the doorkeeper enquiring who they were, was told that they were three very necessary men, Ford, Broome, and Fenton. The name in the play, which Pope restored
to Brook, was then Broome. .::... " · It was perhaps after his play that he
undertook to revise the punctuation of Milton's Poems, whichi, as the author neither wrote the original copy nor cor
rected the press, was supposed capable of amendment. To this edition he prefixed a short and elegant account of Milton's life, written at once with tenderness and integrity.
He published likewise (1729) a very fplendid edition of Waller, with notes often useful, often entertaining, but too much extended by long quotations from Clarendon. Illustrations drawn from a book so eafily consulted should be made by reference rather than transcription.
The latter part of his life was calm and pleasant. The relict of Sir William
Trumbal invited him, by Pope's reconimendation, to educate her son ; whom he first instructed at home, and then attended to Cambridge. The lady afterwards