There only Conrad can see the dancer with wild raven hair--who seems determined to drive him further into madness. The exquisite creature inflames him with desire, leaving his body racked with lust and his soul torn as he finds himself coveting her for his own. Once he returns to the brutality of his past to protect her, will he succumb to the dark needs seething inside him?
In the present day, Conrad Wroth is trying to dull his senses with whiskey when his brothers, Nikolai , Murdoch and Sebastian enter the bar. Conrad almost defeats them but, Bowen MacRieve in the bar with his wife helps and he is subdued. The Wroth Brothers take Conrad to their newly purchased mansion Elancourt. When he wakes she tries to talk to him but finds it difficult in her state and Conrad cannot see her so he assumes she is figment of his imagination. She cannot hold him and when she drops him he charges out of the house. It is day and he burns, racing toward the bayou across the road.
He is unable to reach it as when he crosses the boundary, the Witches' boundary spell traces him back to his room. The week that follows the Wroth's talk to Conrad trying to break through to him and dose him with the sedative. It is supposed to make him more sensitive to his Bride's prescense. The Wroth Brothers leave to fight for Kristoff, claiming they will be back in two or three days and they have left him blood in the fridge. Her energy restores the ballroom to the way it looked in and she dances.
Then she feels a knife stab her in the heart and twist. Conrad apologises for his rasheness and they talk more. Soon after Kaderin and Myst come to Elancourt, they argue and reveal Kristoff is holding them prisoner until they turn over Conrad. They decide not to turn Conrad over and instead attack Mt. Oblak Castle to get their husbands back. Conrad sees this and decides that he must leave, he cuts a hand off to free it from the cuffs. Conrad is furious she hid the key from him and yells at her and leaves. She uses it to call Mariketa who she heard the brothers talk about earlier. The relieve some of their sexual tension and both climax but Conrad peaks too soon.
The next day they do consumate their relationship and they settle into a routine, Conrad goes out tracking down leads on Tarut and then they go out. Conrad bites her and they fight. That night Tarut attacks Elancourt and Conrad traces outside to fight him. It is an inflated production ; but its good author fondly thought that Pindar might have envied him the honour of such a piece.
In appeared the "Epistles to Pope. For a poet, ever seeking a patron ; for a pensioner, looking for increase of income ; and for a clergyman, who was sharply inquiring after pre- ferment, there is more than an usual display of independ- ence in these poems. His Clodio, in the first epistle, is partly a reminiscence of the Duke of Wharton; but the line, " Even George's praise is dated from the Mint," may have had other application than that visible on the surface. Much that is addressed by the author to the writers of the age, is equally applicable to himself, although he deems his greater power called upon to chastise them.
He, too, when disposed to lash vice in high places, could be tamed by the bags of a state Ulysses ; and, although he was now in the vein to say, that " Christian ministers of state are few," he, too, or would he have so held fellowship with Wharton who fed, or showered praise on Walpole who fee-ed, him ] troubled himself little whether such peer or minister of state were " Turk, Pagan, or Jew.
If Young wrote these epistles to show his fitness for pre- ferment, he did not fail in his object. He had hitherto lived upon his fellowship, his annuity, his royal pension, and the proceeds of his pen. In July, , he was ren- dered more independent by being presented, on the part of his college, to the living of Welwyn, in Hertfordshire. Iv could not altogether communicate content. About this period, he wrote the following letter undated to Mrs. Abilities, good manners, service, age, want, sufferings, and zeal for His Majesty, these, Madam, are the proper points of consider- ation in the person that humbly hopes His Majesty's favour.
As to abilities, all I can presume to say is, I have done the best I could to improve them. As to good manners, I desire no favour, if any just objection lies against them. As for service, I have been near seven years in His Majesty's, and never omitted any duty in it ; which few can say. As for age, I am turned of fifty.
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As for want, I have no manner of preferment. As for sufferings, I have lost per annum, by being in His Majesty's service; as I have shown in a representation which His Majesty has been so good as to read and consider. As for zeal, I have written nothing without showing my duty to their Majesties, and some pieces are dedicated to them. This, Madam, is the short and true state of my case. They that make their court to the ministers, and not to their Majesties, succeed better. If my case deserves some consi- deration, and you can serve me in it, I humbly hope and believe you will.
It has been considered, by some, as an application to George II. But the writer speaks of having been seven years in the king's service ; and his pension could only have been in temporary peril at the accession, in , when he was but forty-seven years of age. He may have meant seven years in the royal service, that is, a writer in support of government; and that he was suspected of being as early as This would bring the date of the letter to , in which year he had " turned of fifty," and, according to one at least of his biographers, was presented to Welwyn.
It may have been just previous to this presentation that the writer who sneers at people " making court to the ministers," proffered respect and promised gratitude to the mistress! If we date this letter seven years after the king's accession, namely, , there would be no truth in the writer's assertion that he had " no manner of preferment. Welwyn sup- plied him with exactly that sum, which he is thus said to have sacrificed.
Mi union which love afterwards briefly, but bountifully, blessed. The old bachelor proved but a sorry prophet. Marriage, however, for the time, did mar Young as a poet ; and, during a happy union of ten years' continuance, he pro- duced but two pieces ; one, the " Sea Piece," dedicated to Voltaire ; the other, in , " The Foreign Address, or the best Argument for Peace," a long and wearying ode, in which he takes as long and wearying a farewell of the " shell which Clio gave, and kings applaud," never again to torture the patience of the public with parodies upon Pindar.
In the mean time, he kept in graceful retirement at Welwyn. His household lived by rule ; prayer opened and closed each passing day ; comfort was united with elegance ; and much polished courtesy was there, with something approaching to parsimony. The spirit of gravity influenced him ; but he was not indifferent to that of gaiety. In his garden he placed a sun-dial, with the inscription, Eheu, fugaces!
The thieves proved the soundness of the maxim, as he observed laughingly, by carrying off the dial soon after he had put it up. Here, also, he erected an arbour, with a painting which only looked like the seat that it was not, and which bore the admonitory or compensating motto, Invisibilia non decipiunt ; while he founded the "assembly" at Welwyn, and laid out the bowling-green, where men, and maidens too, might practise at bowls.
He was once walking in his garden at Welwyn, with Lady Betty and another lady on either side of him, when a servant summoned him into the house, where a gentleman was waiting to see him. The poet showed little inclination to go ; whereon the ladies insisted, and led him, each taking a hand, to his garden-gate. Like him I go, and yet to go am loath ; Like him I go, for angels drove us both.
Hard was his fate, but mine still more unkind : Hit Eve went with him ; but mine stays behind. Potter, the eldest son of the Arch- bishop, Young had experienced both difficulty and danger in getting over the last part of his journey : " Whose field was that I crossed]" said the poet to his host, point- ing to a peculiarly heavy and ill-drained piece of ground. We must season them with a spice of religion, to make them more palatable.
We must consider, that it is God's will that we should be content and pleased with them : and thus the thinness of the natural pleasure, by our sense of joining an obedience to Heaven to it, will become much more substantial and satisfactory. The happy home of Young at Welwyn was made tem- porarily glad, in , by the birth of a son, to whom was given the name of Frederick, in honour of the Prince of Wales, who was his god-father; but it was too soon saddened by deaths which made his hearth desolate.
His wife had a daughter, of her first marriage. This daugh- ter, whom Young "wore in his heart," was married to the Honourable Mr. Temple, son of Lord Palmerston, She had been but fifteen months married when she was attacked by consumption ; Young accompanied her on her way to Nice, where it was hoped the course of the disease might be checked ; but the young bride fell a victim to it at Lyons, ere she had reached the proposed end of her jour- ney.
She was interred, with " maimed rites," in unconse- crated ground, bigotry refusing her a more honoured grave. Her husband subsequently married the daughter of Sir John Barnard ; but he, too, died in ; and, in the suc- ceeding year, he was followed by Lady Elizabeth Young. The characters here named, however, are not strict copies of their loved originals.
Young gave scope to his mournful fancy, and, in character as well as chronology, he kept no closer to truth than he was bound to do by the elastic and liberal laws of poetry. Narcissa is, no doubt, the pale reflection of his daughter-in-law ; but not more so than Lorenzo is the " counterfeit present- ment " of Wharton.
Charles Wesley was wont to say, that no writings were so useful to him, the holy scriptures excepted. Whatever they may have taught the English poet, they did not teach him mercy. To a man who had run through such a career as the Duke of Wharton's, how applicable are most of the lines in the " Night Thoughts " which have reference to Lorenzo! For example : "Lorenzo, Fortune makes her court to thee : Thy fond heart dances while the syren sings. In thy nocturnal rove, one moment halt Twixt stage and stage of riot and cabal.
Colardeau translated the first book into French rhymed verse. Letourneur put the whole into French blank verse, which Chateaubriand says is superior to the ori- ginal! With few merits, this translation continues to be a popular work. Ill " Instinct and passions of the nobler kind Lie suffocated there. The reader is referred to the text for many other passages equally appro- priate to Wharton's career and to Young's experience of it. To return to the "Night Thoughts. Its moral was expressly directed against that of Pope in the " Essay on Man," wherein the world was taught to be content with the present, without troubling itself about the hereafter.
A great portion of Pope's poem consists merely of a versified translation of Pascal's Thoughts and Maxims ; but the sentiments of Young are, with but one or two exceptions, entirely original. Too many of the similes are drawn from the play-house and the stage ; from the actors, dressed and undressed : even Death himself, on one occasion, appears as a door-keeper.
These betray some- thing of Young's pursuits ; and they certainly too often detract from the grandeur of a sentiment wherein the poet most desired to be successful. Pope acknowledged, in rhyme, his obligation to Arbuthnot ; Young may, therefore, be excused for helping to immortalize Mead. Let us only hope that the poets paid their phy- sicians in solid gold as well as golden verse. There is scarcely a page in the mournful theme of the " Night Thoughts " that does not exhibit the author's powers and bent for satire.
This has been objected to, and, perhaps, unfairly. With greater show of reason has excep- tion been taken to the arguments respecting solitude : the sum of all shows as much against as for indulgence in soli- tude. A careful examination of the different passages, however, will show that the author has only taken a poet's licence to say, in wide and varied terms, what Dryden has expressed in brief and nervous prose : " Such only can enjoy the country who are capable of thinking when they are there : then they are prepared for solitude, and, in that, solitude is prepared for them.
We have little faith in his sincere admiration for entire soli- tude, when we find him turning away from its eulogy, in order to shower down thick and ungraceful praise upon the Duchess of Portland, who had been figuring as the Moon at a fancy-ball given by a duke. IxiU him mingling Narcissa's mournful strain with Norfolk's masquerade. It is a fact, however, that Young made melancholy " modish.
His poem is said to have induced physicians to prohibit delicate patients from perusing it. Beattie, writing to the Duchess of Gor- don, trusts that her grace will not think of reading so dull a book as Young's " Night Thoughts. He asserts, moreover, that the poet was himself too wise to be sad, and that, when he commended mournful meditation, he was himself as gay as it was his wont to be. Although Young occasionally wrote by night, he has himself told us that some of his praise of the nocturnal hour was penned in the broad sunlight of open day.
But, even if his eulogy of late hours for thought were sincere, I should still dispute its being well-founded. The conscious Moon, through every distant age, Has held a lamp to Wisdom, and let fall On Contemplation's eye a purging ray. Auspicious Midnight, hail! The moon can hold a lamp to mis- chief as well as to wisdom ; and he who watches overmuch by night will be the less fitted to work in man's and nature's hour by day. I am more disposed to accept the sentiments in the "Last Day," wherein he says, " None are supinely good ; through care, and pain, And various arts, the steep ascent we gain.
This is the scene of combat, not of rest : Man's is laborious happiness at best. On this side death his dangers never cease ; His joys are joys of conquest, not of peace. Happiness conies by labour; and, if thought helps to accomplish it, half an hour of contempla- tion, in presence of God's calm morning sky and the rising sun, is worth a whole winter of long nights spent in medita- tion with the moon. They who would see how Night may be made hideous, as easily as Young has made it attractive, should read Nahum Tate's translation of Fracastorius, wherein he paints " Night's foulest birth and terror of mankind.
Young's praise of Night, at least, wears the air of sincerity, although it may be unsound in itself, and more pleasant to read than safe to follow. In the " Night Thoughts " will be found no inconsider- able helps towards completing a portrait of the poet. There are passages scattered here and there which have especial reference to his social position, and which, much as he inculcates grateful content, show that he had little gra- tification, and less satisfaction, in being left without higher preferment than the rectory at Welwyn.
IxV of their high destiny. His religious teaching is complete, ardent, truthful, sincere, and unanswerable ; and fully proves, as he himself says, that "Important truths, in spite of verse, may please. They who contemplate the figure of the Apollo Belvidere, unconsciously assume the erectness of the statue at which they gaze but to admire ; and yet the godlike archer lacks his arrow and his bow ; So with regard to Young's great poem, though some attri- butes of poetry be now and then missing, though something be occasionally wanting to make up perfection, yet the perusal of it will impart to us a portion of the Divine spirit which it presents to the mind's eye, and enable us not only to comprehend the majesty that is before us, but also to supply that which is only suggested.
The poem had no sooner been completed than the satir- ists fell upon it with eager alacrity. A sample of the man- ner in which the mimics fastened upon it, will show, even better than criticism, the prominent faults with which it was partially disfigured. The peculiarities of the author were thus amusingly imitated by William Whitehead, son of a baker at Cambridge, and sometime poet-laureat.
The lines exist in manuscript in the British Museum ; and their circulation is said to have excited, or rather added to, the already ample wrath of the bruising Churchill. Ah, wherefore, silent goddess, shouldst thou wake My terrors thus? E'en Silence sounds alarms To me ; and Darkness dazzles my weak mind. Posts themselves can speak Death's language. Stop, O stop, insatiable worm! I fuel thy summons. Thou bidd'at me hasten. I obey thy call. And wherefore should I live? Vain Life to me Is but a tatter'd garment, a pitch'd rag, That ill defends me from the cold of age. Cramp'd are my faculties, my eyes are dim.
No music charms my ear, nor meats my taste. The females fly me! Ye fluttering, idle vanities of life, Where are ye flown? The birds, that used to sing Amid my spreading branches, now forsake The lifeless trunk, and find no shelter there. What 's Life, what 's Death, thus coveted and fear'd? Life is a fleeting shadow! Death 'a no more! Death's a dark lantern ; Life's a candle's end Stuck on a save-all, soon to end in stench.
Deatli follows Life, and stops it ere it reach The topmost spoke of Fortune's envied wheel. Life 'a a wheel ; and each man is the ass That turns it, oft receiving, in the end, But water or rank thistles for his pains. Pain is true Joy, and Want is Luxury. Vain Mirth 's an opera-tune, a tortured sigh, Groans moderated by the Tyrant's Bull, The breath of Eunuchs : it dismembers bliss, Makes man not man, and castrates real joy! Would you be merry? Give a ball to Death, A doomsday-ball, and lead up Holbein's dance. How weak, how strong, how gentle, how severe, Are Laughter's chains, that gall a willing world!
The noisy idiot shakes her bells at all : Not e'en the Bible or the ' Night Thoughts ' 'scape. Fools spare not Heaven itself, O Young, nor thee! In these lines we find a felicitous imitation of the manner in which Young could hunt a simile to death, of his violent antitheses, and of his mixture of the sublime with the ridiculous. There is scarcely a line in them the types of which my readers will not find in the poem which they so cleverly caricature. There was one other imitator of Young, however, whose mimicry of the original ringing of the changes is, perhaps, even more happy than that of Whitehead.
I allude to Kidgell, the author of "The Card. Elwes, is represented as running away from Montreuil, in company with a Madame Valence, who subsequently robs her reverend lover, and elopes with sharper Trench ; whereupon the poet thus writes : " Valence, inconstant, lovely, fair eloper, Yet why inconstant?
And can the constant mind inconstant be? As well may the great wheel of heavenly light Be motionless ; as well the fixed stars Twirl in their orbs eccentric. O Valence, Thou still art lovely then! Loveliness is the art of being loved ; And being loved, the sign of loveliness. If lovely, then beloved ; if not beloved, Not lovely : lovely not, as if one said, Beloved not.
Word of horrid emphasis! Valence, and not beloved, is not Valence. Fair fugitive, and fugitive as fair, And fair as fugitive! Alas, alas! My very mistress knows me not! But his " Reflections " on that stirring and critical year do not appear to have marred the poet's repose, or to have interfered with his enjoyments. In a letter to Richardson, of that year's date, we do indeed find him remarking, that " evils fly so near and thick about us, that I am half persuaded that we should aim at little more than negative good here, and positive in another scene.
He passed a portion of that eventful time at Tunbridge Wells ; and Mrs. Elizabeth Montagu has drawn two or three clever sketches of him that are worth reproducing. As representatives of the latter were Mrs. Montagu, Dr. Young, and Colley Gibber. Young," says that learned lady, writing to the Duchess of Portland, the Cynthia of the Third Night, "whom I disturbed in a reverie. At first he started, then bowed, then fell back into a surprise ; then began a speech, relapsed into his astonishment two or three times, forgot what he had been saying ; began a new subject, and so went on.
I told him your grace desired he would write longer letters ; to which he cried ' Ha! He has made a friendship with one person here, whom I believe you would not imagine to have been made for his bosom friend. You would, perhaps, suppose it was a bishop, or dean, a prebend, a pious preacher, a clergyman of exemplary life ; or, if a layman, of most virtuous con- versation, one that had paraphrased St.
Matthew, or wrote comments on St. Paul You would not guess that this associate of the doctor's was old Gibber! Certainly, in their religious, moral, and civil character, there is no relation ; but in their dramatic capacity there is some. Montagu, " have raised his spirits to a fine pitch, as your grace will imagine, when I tell you how sublime an answer he made to a very vulgar question.
I asked him how long he stayed at the Wells : he said, As long as my rival stayed ; as long as the sun did. You must know, Mrs. Tichborne sat next to Lady Sunderland. It would have been admira- ble to have had him finish his compliment in that manner. Montagu, " all bear the stamp of novelty, and his thoughts of sterling sense. He practises a kind of philo- sophical abstinence He carried Mrs. Rolt and myself to Tonbridge, five miles from hence, where we were to see some fine old ruins First, rode the doctor on a tall steed, decently caparisoned in dark grey; next, ambled Mrs.
Rolt on a hackney horse ; then followed your hum- ble servant on a milk-white palfrey.
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I rode on in safety, and at leisure to observe the company, especially the two figures that brought up the rear. On his head was a velvet cap, much resembling a black saucepan, and on his side hung a little basket. At last we arrived at the King's Head, where the loyalty of the doctor induced him to alight ; and then, knight-errant-like, he took his damsels from off their palfreys, and courteously handed us into the inn. I followed, gathering wisdom as I went, till I found, by my horse's stumbling, that I was in a bad road, and that the blind was leading the blind.
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So I placed my servant between the doctor and myself ; which he not per- ceiving, went on in a most philosophical strain, to the great admiration of my poor clown of a servant, who, not being wrought up to any pitch of enthusiasm, nor making any answer to all the fine things he heard, the doctor, won- dering I was dumb, and grieving I was so stupid, looked round and declared his surprise. The poets of the day were not celebrated for their exten- sively practical information.
I think it is Horace Walpole who tells how three of the great sons of song, on passing a growing crop, disputed as to whether it was wheat, oats, or barley ; and, on referring to an unlettered clown who was grinning at their elbow, found it was rye. So is there a story of Rousseau, who was, in the summer of , botanizing near Grenoble, in company with a lawyer named Bovier. As the friends stood still for a moment, Jean Jacques began plucking some berries from a shrub, and eating.
Bovier, knowing them to be poisonous, gazed on the botanist with a respectfully-silent horror. Some other friends coming up, exclaimed that the fruit was deadly; whereupon the irascible philosopher became wrathful, as was his wont, and forthwith published to the world that society had entered into a conspiracy against him, and had attempted to poison him by means of these mortal berries. In the absence of mind, or the ignorance, here displayed, there is something that reminds us of Young. The latter was essentially an absent man. It will be remembered how once, writing to Tonson and Lintot, he misdirected both letters ; and how the latter, receiving the letter intended for Tonson, found Lintot described in it as a dishonest knave with whom no author would willingly have dealings.
He has been in town, somewhere behind the Royal Exchange, for three weeks, without let- ting me know a syllable of the matter till the very day that, ready-booted, he called in Salisbury-court, leaving word I was out that he was very desirous of seeing me at Welwyn. He is an absent man, you know. Yet the facility with which this report has gained belief in the world, argues, were it not sufficiently known, that the author of the ' Night Thoughts ' bore some resem- blance to Adams. Young has published a new book, on purpose, he says himself, of telling a story he has known these forty years. Addison sent for the young Lord Warwick, as he was dying, to show in what peace a Christian could die.
He married, in , the fair Dorothy Boyle, and murdered her, by his brutality, the year after.
Dark Needs at Night's Edge
He ill-used her on the day after their wedding. He turned her mother out of his house ; and, when her father challenged him in consequence, he would gladly have killed him in a duel if he could, but mutual friends prevented the meeting. Dorothea was gentle of temper, her beauty was irresistible, her fortune large.
There is a portrait of her at Chiswick, on which is the following inscription : " Lady Dorothy Boyle, born May 14th, She was the comfort and joy of her parents, the delight of all who knew her angelic tem- per, and the admiration of all who saw her beauty. She was married October 10th, , and delivered by death from misery, May 2d, This picture was drawn, seven years after her death, from memory, by her most affec- tionate mother, Dorothy Burlington.
We are surprised, however, to find that the didactic author could write such a dedication as the one originally prefixed to this work, and addressed to Lady -. It abounds in figures of lascivious centaurs and salacious nymphs; there are laughing references to the intrigues of married gods, with allusions to ancient mytho- logy and to the prevailing manners of his own times, in which the shamelessness of the latter is demonstrated in the easy and outspoken freedom with which they are com- pared with the former.
We may not be less vicious in our generation ; but we are wiser in censuring vice without entering into details. As to the " Centaur," if we can overlook the occasional offences against good taste, the faults of a time which saw no fault in them, we shall find both profit and pleasure in perusing the brilliant wisdom with attention.
It is " morals made easy" for the especial advantage of an immoral public. It passed through many editions, and was generally regarded as one of the most effective scourges applied to the crying vices of that licen- tious age. But the author is his own best apologist : " The mixture of levity with solemnity in these Letters makes you apprehensive of its exposing the writer to censure or ridicule. Yet how is it possible to write on so dreadfully- mixed a subject as the ways of man, without being agitated by the most contradictory emotions!
His follies, fantas- tically wrong, so ludicrously absurd! So earnestly desirous I am of waking him from that dream, in which he nods on the brink of eternal ruin, that if nothing can do it but my own disgrace, my own buffoonery, as perhaps he will think it, I rejoice to fall so low. If he will but laugh with me at himself, he is freely welcome to laugh at me as much as he sees cause. It is not his applause, but his welfare, that is sought. Amendment is the point in view. He was immediately immersed in the very thickest of theatrical squabbles, to the disgrace of his clerical profession. George Anne Bellamy, that capri- cious beauty on whom the delighted town showered for- tune, who rode one day in gilded chariots, and the next was lying on the lowest of the steps at Westminster-bridge, wrapped in misery and contemplating suicide, the irre- sistible Bellamy was then the idol of the world of fashion ; and Young readily acceded to her request that she might read " The Brothers" to the players.
The request rendered Garrick furious, although it was grounded on the young lady's personal knowledge of the author. The green-room was in an uproar. Roscius claimed the principal part for Mrs. Pritchard; and, when "George Anne" poutingly offered to surrender the character assigned her by the doctor, Young vehemently opposed it with an emphatic " No, no! She expressly objected to the line, " I will speak to you in thunder," as not being in a concatenation with the delicacy that was to be expected from the fine lady who utters it.
IxXV tested that it was the most forcible line in the piece ; but Miss Bellamy thought it would be more so if it were improved by the introduction of '' lightning" as well as thunder. The good doctor was something nettled at the lady's wit; and he declared that "The Brothers" was the best piece he had ever written. But I cannot help reminding you of a tragedy called ' The Revenge. The author realized by it; to which adding, from his private purse, more, he gave the handsome sum of 1, to the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel.
The author was dis- pleased alike with the town and with the players. The truth is, however, that the fault lay as much with himself as with either. The play was not original, but taken, without acknowledgment, from various sources. A great portion is almost literally translated from the French piece, Peraee et DSmetrius.
Many of the speeches are taken, piecemeal, from Livy. The contest, in the third act, is splendidly phrased ; but the denofiment is so confused and incomplete, that Young was obliged to add an epilogue to explain what was supposed to take place at and after the fall of the curtain! Garrick substituted a coarse epilogue, which was spoken by sprightly Kitty Olive, who loved to give coarseness all its point ; but it could not save the piece, while it seriously offended the author.
It is not without its beauties ; but it does not picture the period it affects to portray. The "sir" and "madam" sound as harshly as the "citizen Agamemnon," which the French Republic introduced into Racine's plays ; and the epithets are only one degree less absurd than the Owi, Milor, which Voltaire's Beersheba addresses to King David. The four years which succeeded that in which " The Bro- thers " appeared were passed chiefly in retirement at Wel- wyn ; and, when Young was not suffering from sleepless nights, or was not low-spirited at the thoughts of his decay- ing sight, he seems to have maintained a cheerful house- hold.
His house was often full of friends ; and the com- pany was as often heterogeneously made up. Long ere this period, however, he had lost two of his dearest friends, who had first met beneath his friendly roof. I allude to Pope and Aaron Hill. The latter was one of Young's favourites. He was the architect of his own fortune. Of a good Wilt- shire family, and left destitute by an improvident father, Hill, at fifteen, left Westminster, where he enjoyed a fair reputation, and started alone for Constantinople, where he sought out Lord Paget, a distant relation, whom he had never seen, and whom his bold decision chanced to please.
Lord Paget provided him with a tutor, sent him on his travels, treated him as a son, died, and left him nothing. Hill loved work too well to be exposed to want. He became travelling tutor to Sir William Wentworth, and began a literary career by writing a very indifferent His- tory of the Ottoman Empire.
His second attempt was, at least, more profitable. His complimentary poem, " Camillus," was addressed to Lord Peterborough ; and that noble lord, in return, made the aspiring poet his pri- vate secretary. Hill subsequently wrote the tragedy of " Elfrid" for Booth, and the opera of " Rinaldo," which con- tained the first English words to which Handel wedded immortal music. IxXVU theatre, and enjoyed the usual mis-fortune of directors ; but he escaped ruin by marrying an heiress.
His next project was for raising a company, with a capital of It failed, of course, as did succeeding projects for planting Carolina, and improving the growth of timber in Scotland. He died in the very moment of the earthquake of February, Young loved the society of Hill; but death had now deprived the hearth at Welwyn not only of his presence, but of that of many a once familiar face. Troubles took their place. He had once employed, as his curate, a young man named Kidgell. They had quarrelled ; and Kidgell revenged himself, in , by publishing a novel called " The Card.
He is further described as parsimonious, and as going about in a gown which was nothing more than " a dirty remnant of tattered crape, which remembered him B. Hallows, under the name of Fusby, is depicted as an artful woman, who had mastered the doc- tor by studying his caprices and ruling them, who wished to appear younger than she was, who beat the servants, and who was accustomed to " drinking a drop of juniper by way of hartshorn.
Elizabeth Montagu. On the other hand, Mrs. Hallows is spoken of, by those who knew her, as a lady of piety, virtue, and accomplishments, respected by the doctor, and esteemed by his friends. In January, , Young proceeded to Bath, where he drank the waters, and rejoiced in " getting sleep after two sleepless months. Before he published it, he asked Eichardson if it would be mean of him to notice, in the dedication, his long services and his neglected condition.
Eichardson thought not ; but he suggested that the hint ought to be delicately carried to Leicester-House, particularly as the "Night Thoughts" contained more than one innuendo that the doctor's merits had gone unrewarded. The latter, however, lost no time in endeavouring to achieve the desired consummation ; and, a month after he had preached before the king, he applied to Dr.
Seeker, Archbishop of Canterbury. His Grace, how- ever, made answer to " good Dr. Young," that he wondered that more suitable return of his great merits had not been made by persons in power ; but that he, " Thomas Cant. The primate ends with an exquisitely acute, nay, agonizing, piece of satire, addressed to one who had, in poetry at least, asserted so withering a contempt for mere worldly greatness and advantages.
It is said to have been impeded by the poet's politi- cal leaning towards the person and party of Frederick, Prince of Wales. Ten years after the death of the latter, the princess dowager appointed the still eager candidate for advancement her " clerk of the closet. Young's impending misfortune loss of sight. You do me the honour to join me with yourself in calling him our friend. It is an honour I should be very proud of sufficient title to.
The impertinence of my frequent visits to him, however, was amply rewarded ; forasmuch as, I can truly say, he never received me but with agreeable, open complacency ; and I never left him but with profitable pleasure and improvement. I hope to hear a better account of him ; for he is a man, I think, of singular importance to the Christian world : I pray Heaven may think so too. This was the well-written Letter on "Original Composition," addressed to Richardson, at whose house Young read it in presence of Johnson, whom he met there for the first time.
In , he closed the catalogue of his works with his poem on Resignation, a production in which we shall look in vain for the beauties discerned by Johnson,t or for the great defects censured by the critics. There is Young in every stanza, such as he often was in the highest vigour. Boscawen for the death of her husband, the gallant admiral ; and there was something chivalrous in the old minstrel who somewhat feebly, yet not unmusically withal, swept the strings of his well-worn lyre, that his song might give comfort to the fair afflicted.
As Croft has tried hard to injure the memory of Young, it becomes a pleasing duty to give an extract from that part of his narrative which is devoid of palpable malignity, and which serves to neutralize many of his ungenerous innuendoes : " In , a short time before his death, Young published ' Resignation. If it shall be thought not to deserve the highest praise, by whom, on the other side of fourscore, except by Newton, and by Waller, has praise been merited? To Mrs. Montagu, the famous champion of Shak- speare, I am indebted for the history of ' Resignation.
Croft, and would have returned an answer to his letter sooner, but. In regard to ' Resignation,' the matter which gave occasion to that poem was simply this : Mrs. Montagu having observed that Mrs. Boscawen, in her great and just grief for the loss of the admiral, seemed to find some consolation in reading Dr. Young's ' Night Thoughts,' she wished to give her an opportunity of conversing with him, having herself always thought his unbounded genius appeared to greater advan- tage in the companion than the author. Boscawen and Mrs. Carter to go with her to Welwyn : it is unnecessary to add that the visit answered every expectation.
Montagu is very sorry it is not in her power to furnish Mr. Croft with any important circumstances in Dr. From others she has heard many things greatly to his credit ; particularly an act of uncommon liberality to his lady's daughter by her first husband ; but as they were delivered to her in the vague relations of common dis- course, she cannot speak of them with such certainty and precision as Mr. Croft's purpose requires. This deficiency she greatly laments, not only on account of the honour they would have done to the memory of her departed friend, but likewise for the sake of the world, to whom they would have held forth patterns of right and noble conduct.
Though right and wrong are declared and made known to us by higher wisdom than human wisdom, yet, such is tne perverseness of mankind, they are more apt to be influenced by the example of persons celebrated for their parts than by pure precept ; for the same reason, in an unbelieving age, the interests of religion are connected with the character of a man so distinguished for piety as Dr. Though unable to assist Mr.
See her amusing iccount of him at Tunbridgc Wells, in p. Young's friends concerning him, instead of collecting from the whispers of calumny idle tales by which to blast the memory of a good man, and prevent the edification of a good example. But his powers of discrimination must have been at that time greatly enfeebled : for while he considered it a grievous scandal to acknowledge his early and intimate connexion with the profligate Duke of Wharton, and on that account excluded from his collection the dedication of " Busiris " to his Grace ; he tolerated the insertion of the obscene epilogue to that tragedy, and the equally repre- hensible one suffixed to " the Revenge," two pieces which, without adverting to his own casual lapses, have proved intolerable obstructions to those benevolent biographers who are desirous of depicting him, in the decline of life, as the model of a consistent Christian and of a sound divine.
Soon after the completion of " Resignation," warnings fell thick upon the aged author. Browne, C. Hitch, and L. Hawes, A. Millar, J. Tonson, J. Rivington, S. Crowder and Co. Corbett, J. Jackson, R. Dodsley, and J. Ixxxiii earth, than to sigh, like Baxter's great adversary, John Owen, to be relieved of all service here, and be summoned hence to heaven. He had, indeed, written, in , to his friend Newcome, by an amanuensis, an assurance that he had no desire to live over again one of his past years ; but that he was not unconcerned to reckon some future years, is seen in the doubt expressed that Newcome himself had attained the advanced period of eighty-seven.
He fancied that he and Newcome were of about the same standing, and was not willing that the latter should count too fast. He could not yet be fourscore and seven : " If it be worth your while," he added, "satisfy me in that particular. Carter by his endless vivacity, is said to have passed the last three years of his life at Welwyn in much of that kind of dejection which sometimes accompanies old age. He never was cheerful after my mother's death ; and he had met with many disappointments.
Hallows reigned supreme ; but neither household nor church seemed to have profited by the ascendancy. A change of eighteen servants in one year betokens a troubled home ; and allusions made by his curate, Mr. Jones, to doubtful speculative opinions, to " strange things not greatly to his credit," to " persons here whose word and honour cannot be depended on," and to measures proposed which the very ill-paid curate could by no means approve, augur ill for the well-being of the flock.
Such was the sad condition of affairs, as depicted by Mr. Jones, when, in , Young was overtaken by his last illness. A friend chanced to speak to him of the decease of a person who had long been in a decline, and who " was quite worn to a shell before he died. The mourners were his son, his nephew, and other near relatives, most of the bearers, and the whole town of Welwyn. Hallows, with an injunction to her, as well as to his executors, to destroy all his manuscripts as soon as he was dead. He also left a legacy to his " friend, Henry Steevens, a hatter at the Temple Gate;" and the remainder of his property was given to his son.
Much vituperation has been unjustly vented against Young in reference to the treatment of his son. Yet, even with the slight information which we possess on this sub- ject, his conduct seems capable of extenuation, if not of complete exculpation. In some very respectable families, untoward events occur, more frequently the results of passion than of reason or charity, which puzzle both friends and relations ; but if a stranger attempts to intermeddle with them, he usually finds himself unable to explain their origin, and the circumstances by which they are attended, or to account for the motives by which the parties have been actuated.
Yet all such matters may be satisfactorily solved, by a philosopher, on the general principles of human nature. Let us try the experiment in this affair. Frederick is conjectured then to have been upwards of twelve years old ; and had always passed his vacations from Winchester most agreeably in the society and under the kind superintendence of his half-sister. On his next visit, he found the place of his beloved mother and sister occupied by a stranger ; an excellent maiden lady, well advanced in years, but destitute of those endearing attractions connected with affectionate relationship, which had previously enchained him to the home of his boyhood.
Youthful spirit displays itself more early in some subjects than in others ; and Frederick Young soon felt the noble blood, which he derived from his mother, stirred up to resent what he conceived to be an undue assumption of authority, by one whom he regarded in the light of a menial. The first outbreaks of insubordination were pro- bably curbed or kindly overlooked ; and a return to the duties of a public school would be hailed by him, as it has been by many others, as a happy escape from domestic tyranny. While disclosing to his companions, in the con- fidence of school-friendship, the real or supposed wrongs and insults by which he had been annoyed, he undoubtedly found many generous sympathizers, who would applaud his spirit, and provide him with weapons for future resistance.
Montagu in a preceding page, Ixxxi. The consequence was, that his son then, or soon afterwards, left his father's house, and went to reside with his cousin ; by whom and by other relations he would be commended for his conduct. No longer under parental control, the young gentleman chose gay associates, and was guilty of numerous indiscretions, which grieved his father, and served still more to alienate them from each other.
This culpable estrangement continued many years. But as doon as Frederick Young heard that his father was on his death-bed, he hastened to the rectory to entreat forgiveness. Of the result of that visit, Dr. Young's curate, whom he appointed executor to his Will, gives the follow- ing account : " I have now the pleasure to acquaint j-ou, that the late Dr.
Young, though he had for many years kept his son at a distance from him,-yet has now at last left him all his possessions, after the payment of certain legacies : so that the young gentleman, who bears a fair character and behaves well, as far as I can hear or see, will, I hope, soon enjoy and make a prudent use of a very hand- pome fortune. What is there in it which has not been the misfortune, if not the fault, of other parents, less " unaccountable " and eccentric than Young is shown by Richardson and Mrs.
Montagu to have been? Let him therefore have the benefit of being judged by the same rules, as those which we apply to other men in similar circumstances. It will then be evident, that, though a man of mighty mind, he was subject to some of the unamiable infirmities of our nature, and suf- fered himself to be unduly irritated by the waywardness of a boy, whom he had not the temper or the tact to manage. But the crowning accusation of Young's enemies is his refusal to admit his son to an interview when he was in dying circumstances. Ixxxvii on this account loaded his memory with obloquy, are greatly in error when they reason on the false assumption, that he was as capable of reflection and decision on the couch of death, as he had been in the days of his hale and mature age : whereas all existing evidence goes to the dis- proof of this surmise.
Jones the curate, who was of opinion that his son ought to have been ushered into his presence, has himself furnished us with proofs why this course would have been improper. Opiates, he says, had frequently been administered to him, during the preceding fortnight, " to render him less susceptible of pain ; though what effect the frequent use of them may by degrees have upon him, I know not. I had some talk with him on this great action. Had I deferred it to my demise, I shoitld have given away my son's money.
Having scarcely known a day's sickness during a long life, Young had at length been attacked by acute disease, which proved to be mortal. Exercised with paroxysms of strong pain, in the intervals between them he had to endure a sense of lassitude and weakness which was equally harassing. A man of eighty- five, on the verge of the grave, " the daughters of music having been brought low, and the grass-hopper itself having become a burden," might safely offer these circumstances in excuse for declining such a distressing interview as that which was proposed.
But though all this may be justly urged in favour of Young at that sad crisis, yet every right-hearted man must feel that his refusal to see his penitent child, and to whisper his dying blessing, will always be regarded by posterity as a great blemish in his character. On the contrary, no son ever showed himself more amiable than Frederick Young, when in deep sorrow he meekly accepted the tardy blessing, conveyed to him in the cold utterance of a stranger ; and then gratefully erected a tablet to the memory of his father, with the significant inscription : M.
IxXXlX nobtti, conjugi ejus prcestantissimce ; and may trace in it the natural regrets of the young gentleman, that his noble mother had not been spared to be the affectionate guide of his boyhood. The estimate of Young's religious character, and of his con- duct as a clergyman, will vary according to the differing views of those who engage in the investigation. An evangelical clergyman, of great mental vigour, has drawn the portrait of the author of " the Night Thoughts " in these colours : "Young is, of all other men, one of the most striking examples of the sad disunion of Piety from Truth.
If we read his most true, impassioned, and impressive estimate of the world and of religion, we shall think it impossible that he was uninfluenced by his subject. It is, however, a melancholy fact, that he was hunting after preferment at eighty years old, and felt and spoke like a disappointed man. The Truth [of the Gospel] was pictured on his mind in most vivid colours.
He felt it while he was writing. He felt himself on a retired spot ; and he saw Death, the mighty hunter, pursuing the unthinking world. He saw redemption its necessity and its grandeur ; and, while he looked on it, he spoke as a man would speak whose mind and heart are deeply engaged.
Notwithstanding all this, the view did not reach his heart. Had I preached in his pulpit with the fervour and interest that his Night Thoughts discover, he would have been terrified. He told a friend of mine, who went to him under religious fears, that he must go more into the world.
He was one of the class of divines who are described in the Spectator, and in other writings of those times ; and the advice which he tendered to Mr. They were men in whose orthodoxy no flaw could be detected ; but they seem never to have understood, or too soon to have forgotten, the design and tendency of the gospel, which " Lays the rough path of peevish nature even, And opens in each breast a little heaven. But we are not to depreciate the piety of our grandfathers, and of those who were their spiritual instructors, because their training and their privileges were inferior to ours.
Young had been a man of the world, and had spent the best part of his life in gay society. At the advanced age of forty seven he entered on the duties of a clergyman with appa rently very inadequate preparation for the sacred office ; yet, from youth to old age, he is represented as having ably maintained and zealously defended the essential veri- ties of the Christian religion, in all companies, and against all adversaries.
Though he cannot be said to have been in all points such a clergyman as our best wishes would have made him, yet we prefer to take our estimate of the sound- ness and maturity of his religious attainments from the very satisfactory correspondence with his friend Richard- son, from the sentiments embodied in his latest poem, on Resignation, and from the testimony of Mrs.
Mon- tagu in a preceding page, Ixxxi. Joseph Warton, who declares, " Dr. Young was one of the most amiable and benevolent of men, most exemplary in his life, and sincere in his religion. The taste of critics has also differed much, while seve- rally adjudicating upon the merits of Young as a poet and a man of genius.
Not attempting to enter on a 'discussion concerning the relative value of their contradictory opi- nions, I feel more inclined to record my assent, with a slight modification or two, to the judgment delivered by two eminent writers, in one of our most popular Maga- zines.