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Poems in a very extraordinary manner, by publishing his story in the Plain Dealer * with some affecting lines, which he asserts to have been written by Mr. Savage upon the treatment received by him from his mother, but of which he was himself the author, as Mr. Savage afterwards declared.
These lines, and the paper in which they were inserted, had a very powerful effect upon all but his mother, whom, by making her cruelty more public, they only hardened in her aversion.
Mr. Hill not only promoted the subscription to the Miscellany, but furnifhed likewise the greatest part of the Poems of which it is composed, and particularly The Happy Man, which he published as a specimen.
The subscriptions of those whom these papers should influence to patronize merit in distress, without any other solicitation, were directed to be left at Button's coffee
* The Plain Dealer was a periodical paper, written by Mr. Hill and Mr. Bond, whom Mr. Savage called the two contending powers of light and darkness. They wrote by turns each fix Essays; and the character of the work was observed regularly to rise in Mr. Hill's weeks, and fall in Mr. Bond's.
house; and Mr. Savage going thither a few days afterwards, without expectation of any effect from his proposal, found to his surprise seventy guineas *, which had been sent him in consequence of the compassion excited by Mr. Hill's pathetic representation.
To this Miscellany he wrote a Preface, in which he gives an account of his mother's cruelty in a very uncommon strain of humour, and with a gaiety of imagination, which the success of his subscription probably produced.
The Dedication is addressed to the Lady Mary Wortley Montague, whom he flatters without reserve, and, to confess the truth, with very little t art. The same observation
may * The names of those who fo generously contributed to his relief, having been mentioned in a former account, ought not to be omitted here. They were the Dutchess of Cleveland, Lady Cheyney, Lady Castlemain, Lady Gower, Lady Lechmere, the Dutchess Dowager and Dutchess of Rutland, Lady Strafford, the Countess Dowager of Warwick, Mrs. Mary Floyer, Mrs. Sofuel Noel, Duke of Rutland, Lord Gainsborough, Lord Millington, Mr. John Savage. + This the following extract from it will prove.
Since our country has been honoured with the glory of “ your wit, as elevated and immortal as your soul, it no
may be extended to all his Dedications: his compliments are constrained and violent, heaped together without the
of order, or the decency of introduction: he seems to have written his Panegyrics for the perusal only of his patrons, and to have imagined that he had no other task than to pamper them with praises however gross, and that flattery would make its way to the heart, without the assistance of elegance or invention.
Soon afterwards, the death of the king furnished a general subject for a poetical contest, in which Mr. Savage engaged, and is allowed to have carried the prize of honour from his competitors; but I know not whether he gained
“ longer remains a doubt whether your sex have strength of “ mind in proportion to their sweetness. There is something " in your verses as distinguished as your air. They are as " ftrong as truth, as deep as reason, as clear as innocence, “ and as smooth as beauty-They contain a nameless and * peculiar mixture of force and grace, which is at once są “ movingly serene, and so majestically lovely, that it is too “ amiable to appear any where but in your eyes and in your “ writings.
“ As fortune is not more my enemy than I am the enemy “ of flattery, I know not how I can forbear this application “ to your Ladyship, because there is scarce a posibility that “ I should say more than I believe, when I am speaking of your Excellence.' "
by his performance any other advantage than the 'increase of his reputation; though it must certainly have been with farther yiews that he prevailed upon hiinself to attempt a species of writing, of which all the topics had been long before exhausted, and which was made at oncé difficult by the multitudes that had failed in it, and those that had fuc'ceeded.
He was now advancing in reputation, and though frequently involved in very distressful perplexities, appeared however to be gaining upon
mankind, when both his fame and his life were endangered by an event, of which it is not yet determined, whether it ought to be mentioned as a crime or a calamity.
On the 20th of November 1727, Mr. Savage came from Richmond, where he then lodged, that he might pursue his studies with less interruption, with an intent to discharge another lodging which he had in Westminiter; and accidentally meeting two gentlemen his acquaintances, whose names were Merchant and Gregory, he went in with them to a neighbouring coffee-house, and fat
drinking till it was late; it being in no time of Mr. Sayage’s life-any part of his character to be the first of the company that der fired to separate. He would willingly have gone to bed in the same house ;. but there was not room for the whole company, and therefore they agreed to ramble about the streets, and divert themselves with such amusements as should offer themselves till morning.
In this walk they happened unluckily to discover“ a light in Robinson's coffee-house, near Charing-cross, and therefore went in. Merchant, with some rudeness, demanded a room, and was told that there was a good fire in the next parlour, which the company were about to leave, being then paying their reckoning. Merchant, not satisfied with this answer, rushed into the room, and was followed by his companions. He then petulantly placed himself between the company and the fire, and foon after kicked down the table. This produced a quarrel, fwords were drawn on both lides, and one Mr. James Sinclair was killed. Savage, having wounded likewise ja maid that held him, forced Q 4