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sted by Othello; but the reflections, the incidents, he diction, are original. The moral observations are roduced, and so expressed, as to have all the novelty can be required. Of the Brothers I may be allowed
y nothing, since nothing was ever said of it by the ick.
must be allowed of Young's poetry, that it abounds fought, but without much accuracy or selection. When ays hold of an illustration, he pursues it beyond extation, sometimes happily, as in his parallel of Quicker with Pleasure, which I have heard repeated with robation by a lady, of whose praise he would have been tly proud, and which is very ingenious, very subtile, and nost exact: but sometimes he is less lucky, as when, in
Night 'Thoughts, having it dropped into his mind, that > orbs floating in space might be called the cluster of eation, he thinks of a cluster of grapes, and says, that ey all hang on the great vine, drinking the “ nectareous ice of immortal life.” His conceits are sometimes yet less valuable. In the ast Day he hopes to illustrate the reassembly of the toms that compose the human body at the “ trump of loom” by the collection of bees into a swarm at the tinkling of a pan.
The prophet says of Tyre, that “ her merchants are princes.” Young says of Tyre, in bis Merchant,
Her merchants princes, and each deck a throne. Let burlesque try to go beyond him.
He has the trick of joining the turgid and familiar: to buy the alliance of Britain, “ Climes were paid down.” Antithesis is his favourite: “They for kindness hate ;” and, “ because she's right, she's ever in the wrong.”
His versification is his own: neither his blank nor his rhyming lines have any resemblance to those of former writers; he picks up no hemistichs, he copies no favourite expressions; he seems to have laid up no stores de or diction, but to owe all to the fortuitous suggesties is present moment. Yet I have reason to believe that once he had formed a new design, he then laboured it very patient industry; and that he composed v labour and frequent revisions.
i See Mrs. Piozzi's Anecdotes, 162.
His verses are formed by no certain model; be a more like himself in his different productions than a like others. He seems never to have studied prise nor to have had any direction but from his own ear. with all his defects, he was a man of genius and a po
avid Mallet, having no written memorial, I am able e no other account than such as is supplied by the horised loquacity of common fame, and a very slight nal knowledge.
was, by his original, one of the Macgregors, a clan became, about sixty years ago, under the conduct of n Roy, so formidable and so infamous for violence robbery, that the name was annulled by a legal aboli; and when they were all to denominate themselves 1, the father, I suppose, of this author, called himself loch. David Malloch was, by the penury of his parents, com.ed to be janitor of the high school at Edinburgh; a an office, of which he did not afterwards delight to hear. the surmounted the disadvantages of his birth and tune ; for, when the duke of Montrose applied to the lege of Edinburgh for a tutor to educate his sons, Malh was recommended ; and I never heard that he disnoured his credentials. When his pupils were sent to see the world, they were atrusted to his care; and, having conducted them round le common circle of modish travels, he returned with hem to London, where, by the influence of the family in vhich he resided, he naturally gained admission to many Jersons of the highest rank, and the highest character; to wits, nobles, and statesmen.
Of his works, I know not whether I can trace the series. His first production was William and Margaretk; of which, though it contains nothing very striking or difficult, he has been envied the reputation ; and plagiarism has been boldly charged, but never proved.
Not long afterwards he published the Excursion, 1728;
* Mallet's William and Margaret was printed in Aaron Hill's Plain Dealer, No. 36, July 24, 1724. In its original state it was very different from what it is in the last edition of his works. Dr.J.
a desultory and capricious view of such scenes as his fancy led him, or his knowledge enabel describe. It is not devoid of poetical spent. the images are striking, and many of the paragas elegant. The cast of diction seems to be con Thomson, whose Seasons were then in their fels of reputation. He has Thomson's beauties and be
His poem on Verbal Criticism, 1733, was writte court to Pope, on a subject which he either did not an stand, or willingly misrepresented ; and is little mean. an improvement, or rather expansion, of a fragmentu Pope printed in a Miscellany long before he engtas into a regular poem. There is in this piece mare pe than wit, and more confidence than knowledge. To sification is tolerable, nor can criticism allos itar praise.
His first tragedy was Eurydice, acted at Drury1731 ; of which I know not the reception nor the e but have heard it mentioned as a mean performance. I was not then too high to accept a prologue and epile from Aaron Hill, neither of which can be much an mended.
Having cleared his tongue from his native produce so as to be no longer distinguished as a Scot, he seeasi clined to disencumber himself from all adherences d' original, and took upon him to change his name from San Malloch to English Mallet, without any imaginable rean of preference which the eye or ear can discover. We other proofs he gave of disrespect to his native constr, know not; but it was remarked of him, that he was to only Scot, whom Scotchmen did not commend.
About this time Pope, whom he visited familiarly, pa lished his Essay on Man, but concealed the author; and when Mallet entered one day, Pope asked him slightly, what there was new. Mallet told him, that the newest piece was something called an Essay on Man, which he bed inspected idly, and seeing the utter inability of the author. who had neither skill in writing nor knowledge of the set
ad tossed it away. Pope, to punish his self-conceit, m the secret'. new edition of the works of Bacon being prepared, for the press, Mallet was employed to prefix a life, he has written with elegance, perhaps with some afion; but with so much more knowledge of history of science, that, when he afterwards undertook the f Marlborough, Warburton remarked, that he might, aps, forget that Marlborough was a general, as he had »tten that Bacon was a philosopher. Then the prince of Wales was driven from the palace, setting himself at the head of the opposition, kept a rate court, he endeavoured to increase his popularity he patronage of literature, and made Mallet his underretary, with a salary of two hundred pounds a year: imson, likewise, had a pension ; and they were assoced in the composition of the Mask of Alfred, which, its original state, was played at Cliefden in 1740; it was erwards almost wholly changed by Mallet, and brought on the stage at Drury-lane in 1751, but with no great ccess. Mallet, in a familiar conversation with Garrick, disursing of the diligence which he was then exerting upon le life of Marlborough, let him know, that in the series of reat men quickly to be exhibited, he should find a niche or the hero of the theatre. Garrick professed to wonder y what artifice he could be introduced: but Mallet let im know, that, by a dexterous anticipation, he should ix him in a conspicuous place. “Mr. Mallet,” says Garrick, in his gratitude of exultation, “ have you left off to write for the stage ?" Mallet then confessed that he had a drama in bis bands. Garrick promised to act it; and Alfred was produced.
The long retardation of the life of the duke of Marlborough shows, with strong conviction, how little confidence can be placed in posthumous renown. When he
" See note on this passage of Pope's life in the present edition. VOL. VIIT.