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To Mary..

235

On the Death of Mrs. Throckmorton's Balfinch

237

The Poet's New Year's Gift. To Mrs. Throckmorton.. 239

To Mrs. Throckmorton, on her beautiful Transcript of

Horace's Ode, Ad Librum Suum.......................... 240

Catharina.......

241

Second Part. On her Marriage to George

Courtnay, Esq.

243

Gratitude. Addressed to Lady Hesketh..

244

To my Cousin Anne Bodham ...

246

To Mrs. King. On her kind Present to the Author..... 246

To Lady Austen.....

248

On Mrs. Montagu's Feather Hangings.........

251

To an afflicted Protestant Lady in France.....

253

To Joseph Hill, Esq.....

255

To the Rev. Mr. Newton. An Invitation into the Country 257

On his return from Ramsgate 258

To the Rev. W. Cawthorne Unwin......

258

To a Young Friend, on his arriving at Cambridge wet,

whep no Rain had fallen there.....

259

On the Burning of Lord Mansfield's Library.

On the same......

260

On the Promotion of Edward Thurlow, Esq. to the Lord

High Chancellorship of England...... ............ 261

The diverting History of John Gilpin.

262

The Yearly Distress: or, Tithing-Time at Stock in Essex 270

On the Queen's Visit to London, the Night of the 17th

of March, 1789 ........

273

Appus Memorabilis, 1789. Written in Commemoration

of his Majesty's bappy Recovery..

276

Submission..

............ 278

A Tale ......

279

A Tale, founded on a Fact, wbich happened in January,

282

On a Plant of Virgin's-Bower designed to cover a Gar-

den Seat.....

283

Epigram

284

Epitaph on Mr. Chester, of Chicheley.........

284

1779.....

THE

LIFE OF WILLIAM COWPER.

The Life of the virtuous and the unhappy WILLIAM Cowper bas employed the pen of more than one of bis immediate friends; and the narrative has been enlarged by the minuteness of its details beyond the just claims and the proper interest of its subject. The days of Cowper were those of a melancholy recluse, suffering generally under the infliction of a disordered imagination; and the display of the smaller incidents of these days cannot surely be of any moment to the public either as instruction or entertainment. It is our purpose, therefore, to satisfy the reasonable curiosity of our readers with respect to the author of "The Task,' without making any exbausting demand upon their patience or their time.

The family of William Cowper was of distinguished eminence, for by his father (who was the son of Spencer Cowper, Chief Justice of the Common Pleas, and brother to the first Earl Cowper, the Chancellor of England) he was connected with the peerage of Britain, and from his mother (a descendant of the

VOL. I.

B

celebrated Doctor Donne’s) he derived a still prouder pedigree, and the blood which had once flowed in the veins of our third Henry, and consequently in those of the first haughty Norman, who established himself on the throne of our old Saxon monarchs. Our poet was the eldest son of the Reverend Doctor John Cowper, and was born at Great Birkbampstead in Hertfordsbire, of which place his father was the rector, on the 15th of November, 1731. When he had just entered on his seventh year, he was deprived by death of his mother; and in his ninth he was placed by his father in the school of Westminster. To the roughness of a public school he was ill adapted by the delicate constitution of his mind; and it has been suggested that the first causes of that lamentable malady, which afflicted him through the several periods of bis maturer life, might be traced to his treatment by his hardier and less feeling schoolfellows in this distinguished seminary of learning. At the age of eighteen he was articled to an attorney; and, three years afterwards, he was entered at the Inner Temple. But to the study of the law he was strongly opposed by inclination; and for the active prosecution of it at the bar he was disqualified by the feebleness of his nerves. He indulged, therefore, in the fashionable dissipation of the town; and became the associate of his old schoolfellows, Colman, Bonnel Thornton, and Lloyd, in their pleasures and in some of their literary undertakings. At this season of his life also, it is said that he contemplated marriage: but that the lady, who was the object of his love, after a long encouragement of his addresses, finally disappointed them.

By the death of his father (in 1756) he came into the possession of very little, if of any fortune; and, as he could not hope for an income from the bar, it was necessary that bis friends' interest should be

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