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satirical, cynical disposition, the fame generosity and benevolence, are the diftinguishing and characteristical features of all three; but they are far from being servile copies or imitations of each other. They differ as much as the Ajax, Diomed, and Achilles of Homer. This was undoubiedly a great etfort of genius; and the Doctor seems to have described his own character at the different stages and situations of his life. - Before he took a house at Chelsea, he attempted to settle as prace titioner of phyfic at Barh ; and, with that view, wrote a treatise on the waters * ; but was unsuccessful, chiefly because he could not render himself agreeable to the women, whose favour is certainly of great consequence to all candidates for eminence, whether in medicine or divinity. This, however, was a little extraordinary; for those who remembered Di. Smollett at that time, cannot but acknowledge that he was as graceful and handsome a man as any of the age he lived in; befides, there was a certain dignity in his air and manner which could not but inspire respect wherever he appeared. Perhaps he was too foon discoura ed; in all probability, had he perfevered, a man of his great learning, profound fagacity, and intense application, belides being endued with every other external as well as internal accomplishment, must have at last succeeded, and, had he attained to common old age, been at the head of his profession,
Abandoning phyfic altogether as a profession, he fixed his residence at Chelsea, and turned his thoughts entirely to writing. Yet, as an author, he was not near so succelsful as his happy genius and acknowledged merit certainly deserved. He never acquired a patron among the great, who, by his favour or beneficence, reliered him from the necessity of writing for a fubfittence. The truth is, Dr. Smollett por. feffed á loftiness and elevation of sentiment and character which appears to have disqualified him from currying favour among those who were able to confer favours. It would be wrong to call this disposition of his, pride, or haughtiness; for to his equals and interiors he was ever polite, friendly, and generous. Booksellers may therefore be said to have been his only patrons; and from them he had cunitant employment in translating, compiling, and reviewing. He translated Gil Blas and Don Quixote t, both so happily, that all the former translations of these excellent productions of genius are in a fair way of being superseded by his. His name likewife appears to a tranflation of Voltaire's profe works ; but little of it was done by his own hand; he only revised it, and added a few notes. He was concerned in great variety of compilations. His History of England was the principal work of that kind. It has in itself real intrinsic merit; but, considering the time and circumstances in which it was written, it is indeed a prodigy of genius, and a great effort of application. It had a molt ex
* Intitled, “ An Etay on the external Use of Water, in a Letter to 66 Dr. , with particular Remarks upon the present Method of using " the Mineral Waters at Bath, in Somersetshire, and a Plan for rendering u them more safe, agrecable, and efficaciouson Quarto. 1752.
+ Printed in 4to. 2 vols, 1755. Since his death à translation of Telemà. chus has also appeared. I First printed in 4 vols. 4to. 1757. Vol. V.
tensive tensive fale, and the Dicter is said to have received zcool. for writing it and the Continuation. He was employed, during the last years of .his life, in preparing a new edition of the Ancient and Modern Uni
verial History, greit part of which he had originally written himself, . particularly the Hikories of France, Italy, and Gerinany. He lived nearly to compleat this work, and it is faid it will soon be publiMed.
Io che year 1755 he set on foot the Critical Review, and continued .the principal manager of it, till he went abroad the first time in the year 1763. To speak impartially, he was, perhaps, too acriinonious sometimes in the condrict of thac work, and at the lame time too sore, and displayed too much fenfibility when any of the unfortunate authors . whole works he bad, it may be, juftly censured, a:tempted to re
taliae. • The writer proceeds to relate the cause and consequence of our author's dispute with Admiral Knowles, his breach with Mr. Wilkes, on account of the North Briton, &c; but of thele and our own idea of Dr. Smollet's writings and character we may 1peak hereafter.
Poems, fupposed to have been written at Bristol, by Thomas Rowley, and Others, in the Fifteenth Century; the greatest Part now firi published from the moit authentic Copies, with an engraved Sp cimen of one of the MSS. To which are adiled, a Preface, an
introductory Account of the fevral Pieces, and a Globjarg. Svo. : 6s. Payne and Son. . We have here a fingular curiosity, but whether a genuine or fi&titious remnant of antiquity, we pretend not to determine; nor can we give a more latistałtory account of it than is done by the respectable editor* in his preface ; which we therefore present entire to our readers, : “ 'The poems, which make the principal part of this collection, have
for some time excited much curioliry, as the supposed productions of "Thomas Rowler, ia priest of Buitol, in the reigns of Henry VI. and Edward IV. They are here faithfully printed from the mett authentic MSS that could be procured; of which a particular deicriprion is giren in the Introductory accort of the several pirces contained in this vilumne, subjoined to this pretace. Nothing more therefore seeniz neccflary as prcient, than to inform the Reader shortly of ihe maiiner in which These Poems were brought to lighi, and ot the authority upon which they are afcribed to the persons whofe names they bear. : “ This cannot be done to Satisfactorily as in the words of Mr. George Catcott of Bristo!, to whore very laudible zeal the public is indebted for the most confiderable part of the following collection. His account of this : ." The first discovery of certain MSS having been depolited in . The publication of this volume, we are informed, was fuperintended by -the furi:c learned gentleinan who favoured the public with the last very accurare edition of the Canterbury Tales; and who, to borrow his own expics fion, “ of all inen living, is bet qualified”, for such an undertaking. Rev.
Redclist church, above three centuries ago, was made in tle rear 1968, at the time ct opening ihe new bridge at Bristol, and was cwing to a , publication in Farley's Workly Journal, 1 October 1768, containing an
Account of the ceremonies obfirard at the opening of the old bride, taken, as it was laid, from a very ancient MS. This excited the curiotity of tome persons to enquire atrer tie original. The printer, Mr. Failey, could give no account of it, or of ihe person who brought the copy; but atcer much enquiry it was dit overed, that the perion who brought the copy was a youth, between 1 and 16 years of age, whose name was Thomas Chatterton, and whole familv had been sextons of Redclift church for near 150 years. His father, who was now dead, had allo been master of the free-school in file-street. The young man was at first very unwilling to discover from whence he had ihe original; but, after many promites made to him, he was at li prevailed oa to acknowledge, that he had received this, tezether with many other A/SS, from his father, who had found them in a large cheit in an upper room over the chapel on the north lide of Redelitt church."
* Soon after this, Mr. Catcort commenced his acquaintance with young Chatterton*, and partly as pre:ents prily as purchases, procured
* The history of this youth is so intiinateis conneEted with that of the poems now published, that the Rearler carnot be too early apprized of the principal circumstances of hii ihort life. Be was born on the 20th of November 1752, and educated at a charito Ichool on St. Auguftin's Back, where nothing more was taught than realing, writing, and accounts. Ar the age of fourteer, he was articled clerk to an attorney, with whom he . continued till he left Bristol in April 1970.
Though his education was thus continedi, le discorered an early turn towards poetry and English antiquities, particularly heraidiv. How loon he began to be an author is not known. In the Town and Country Magazine for March 1769, are two letters, probabli, from him, as they are cated at Bristol, and cubicribed with his usual tignature, D. B. The first contains fhort extracts from two MSS., “ wriilin three hundred years ago by one Rowley', a Monk,” concerning dress in the age of Henry 11.; the other, “ ETHELGAR, a Saxon poem," in bombalt profe. In the fame Magazine for May 1769, are three cominunications from Bristol, witli the same tignature, D. B. viz. Cerdick, translated from the Saron (in the same it yle with Ethelyır), p. 233.--Observations upon Saxon beraldry, with drawings of Saxon at, bievemerits, &c. p. 245.-Llenoure and Juga, written thrce hundred years ago by 'T. Rowley a fecular pries, p. 273. This last poem is reprinted in this volume, p. 19. in the fublequent months of 1769 and 1770 there are several other pieces in the same Magazine, which are undoubtedly of his compolition.
In April 1970, he left Brittol and came to London, in licpes of advancing his fortune by his talents for writing, of which, by this time, he had conceived a very high opinion. In the prosecu:ion of this schome, he appears to have almost entirely depended upon the patronage of a fet of gentlemen, whom an eminent author long ago pointed out, as not the very corfi judges or rewarders of merit, the bookleliers of this great city. At lois fi. It anis val in cod he was so unlucky as to find two of his expected Mxcenases, the one in the King's Bench, and the other in Newgate. But this little ditappointment was alleviated by the encouragement which he received from other quarters ; and on the 14th of May he writes to his mother, in high
from him copies of many of his MSS. io prose and verse. Oiher copie were disposed of, in the same way, to Mr. Willian Barrett, an eminen furgeon at Bristol, who has long been engaged in writing the history of that city. Mr. Barrett allo procured trom him several fragments, forre of a considerable length, written upon vellum*, which he asserted to be part of his original MSS. In short, in the space of a bout eighteen months, from October 1-768 to April 1770, besides the l'oems now published, he produced as many compositions, in prose and verse, under ihe naines of Rowley, Cannyage, &c. as would nearly fill such another voluine.
spirits upon the change in his situation, with the following farcastic reflection upon his former patrons at Bristol. “As to Mr. Mr. Mr.
&c. &c. they rate literary lumber fo low, that I believe an antbor, in their eftimation, must be poor indeed ! Bui bere matters are otherwise. Had Rowley been a Londoner inflead of a Bristowyan, I could bave lived by copying his works."
In a letter to his fister, dated 30 May, he informs her, that he is employed “ in writing a volumnious bistory of London, to appear in numbers ibe beginning of next winter.” In the mean time, he had written something in praise of the Lord Mayor (Beckford), which had procured him the honour of being prel need to his Lordship. In the letter just mentioned he gives the following account of his reception, with some curious observarions uponi political writing : " The Lord Mayor received me as politely as a citizen could. But the devil of the matter is, there is no money to be got of this side of the question. But he is a poor author who cannot write on both fides.-Ellays on the patriotic side will fetch no more than what the copy is fold for. As the patriots themselves are searching for a place, they have no gratuity co fpare. On the other hand, unpopular erlays will not even be accepted ; and you must pay to have them printed : but then you seldom lose by it, as courtiers are so sensible of their deficiency in merit, that they generously reward all who know how to dawb them with the appearance of it.
Notwithstanding his employment on the History of London, he continued to write inceflantly in various periodical publications. On the uth of July he tells his Gister that he had pieces last month in the Gospel Magazine ; the Town and Country, viz. Maria Friendless; False Step; Hunter of Oddi. ties; To Miss Bush, &c. Court and City í London; Politicol Register; &c. But all thcsc exertions of his genius brought in fo little profit, that he was soon reduced to real indigence, from which he was relieved by death (in what manner is not certainly known), on the 24th of August or there.. about, when he wanted near three inonths to complete his eighteenth year. The floor of his chamber was corered with written papers, which he liad torn into small pieces ; but there was no appearance (as the Editor has been credibly informed) of any writings on parchment or vellum.
* One of these fragments, by Mr. Barrett's periniffion, has been copicd in the manner of a Fac fimile, by that ingenious artist Mr. Strutt, and an engraving of it is inserted at p. 286. Two other small fragments of Poetry are printed in p. 277, 8, 9. See the Introductory Account. The fragments in profe, which are considerably larger, Mr Barrett intends to publish in his History of Bristol, which, the Editor has the fatisfaction to inform the Publick, is very far advanced. In the same work will be inserted A Discorse on Brifowe, and the other historical pieces in profe, which Charterton at different times delivered out, as copied from Rowlcy's MSS.; with such remarks by Mr. Barrett, as he of all men living is beft qualified to make, from his accurate researches into thc Antiquities of Bristol.
« In April 1770, Chatterton went to London, and died there in the August following ; so that the whole history of this extraordinary transaction cannot now probably be known with any certainty. Whai. ever may have been his part in it; whether he was the author or only che copier (as he constantly allerted) of all these productions; he appears to have kept the secret entirely to himself, and not to have put it in the power of any other perfon, to bear testimony either to his fraud or to his veracity.
* The question therefore concerning the authenticity of thefe Poems muit now be decided by an examination of the fragments upon vellum, which Mr. Barrett received from Chatterton as part of his original MSS., and by the internal evidence which the several pieces afford. If the fragments shall be judged to be genuine, it will ftill remain to be determined, how far the genuineness should serve to authenticate the rest of the collection, of which no copies, older than those made by Chatterton, have ever been produced. On the other hand, if the writing of the fragments shall be judged to be counterfeit and forged by Chauert on, it will not of necessity follow, that the matter of thein was also forged by him, and ftill less, that all the other compositions, which he professed to have copied from antient MSS., were merely inventions of his own. In either case, the decifion inaft finally depend upon the internal evidence. :
" It may be expected perhaps, that the Editor should give an opi. nion upon this important question; but he rather chooses, for many reasons, to leave it to the determination of the unprejudiced and intel. ligent Reader. He had long been defirous that thefe Poems should be printed; and therefore readily undertook the charge of superintending The edition. This he has executed in the manner, which seemed to himn best suited to such a publication ; and here he means that this talk Should end. Whether the Poems be really antient, or modern; the compofitions of Rowley, or the forgeries of Chatterton ; they must al. ways be considered as a most fingular and literary curiosity."
· The pieces themselves consist of eclogues, tales, dramatic essays, and other verses; of which the following may serve as a specimen. The Giofsary, annexed to the Eclogue, is by Chaiterton..
E.CLOGUE THE THIRD.
Haverh your mynde a lycheynge 8 of a mynde?
1 lodges, huts. 2 cottages. 3 servant, llave, peafant. 4 if. sa con. traction of chem. 6 naked, original. 7. nature. 8 liking. g might. The fensc of this line is, Would you see everything in its primæval fiate.