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of these poems which appeared in the magazines at the time. Success now attended his efforts, and hope rewarmed his heart. The great began to pay some attention to him, and Lord Chancellor Thurlow, who had neglected two of his letters, now invited him to breakfast, and, at parting, presented him with a letter which, when he opened upon his return to his lodgings, he found to be a bank note for a hundred pounds.
It was soon discovered that Mr. Crabbe's inclination led him to the church, and no sooner was it known than it was favored, and after an examination by the bishop of Norwich, he was admitted to deacon's orders, in London, December 21, 1781, and ordained priest in the following August. Immediately upon his admission to deacon's orders he repaired to Aldborough, to officiate as curate to the rector of that church. The place, however, was no longer a home for him. His former equals envied his success, his mother was no more, his father had contracted an imprudent matrimonial alliance; and after experiencing all the neglect a prophet finds in his own country, he accepted the invitation so condescendingly given by the duke of Rutland to become his domestic chaplain. This appointment was secured to Mr. Crabbe by the kindness of his great patron, Mr. Burke. At Belvoir Castle our poet was surrounded by much that would tend to make him happy. He was honored by the duke and his noble lady, and there formed an acquaintance with the duke of Queensberry, the marquis of Lothian, Dr. Watson, the celebrated bishop of Llandaff, and Dr. Glynn. These gentlemen were foremost in showing him attention.
While at Belvoir Castle he completed for the press his poem, entitled “The Village,” a production for which he procured the revision and commendation of Dr. Johnson. It was published in May, 1783. Its success was wonderful ; it was praised by the magazines, sold rapidly and extensively, and secured the author's reputation. It was about this time that he obtained the degree of LL.B. from the archbishop of Canterbury. In 1784 the duke of Rutland went to Ireland as lord lieutenant, but Mr. Crabbe preferred to remain. The duke offered him his castle as a home while he was gone, and promised to place him in an eligible situation upon his return. That event, however, never took place, as the duke's demise occurred shortly after his settlement in Ireland.
In December, 1783, Mr. Crabbe was married to Miss Elmy, so long the object of his love. Shortly after this he removed from Belvoir Castle to the obscure parsonage of Strathorn, where he resided four successive years. In 1785 he published “ The Newspaper,” a poem which fully sustained the poetical reputation he had acquired. From the publication of this poem, for the long space of twenty-two years, Mr. Crabbe retired from public life, devoting himself to his studies and the duties of a parish priest. In the meanwhile he engaged himself busily in writing. Most of the
productions, however, were never presented to the public eye. 3 His son records one instance of his making a bonfire of his manu
scripts in the open air, in which all the children assisted in bringing out the literary fuel and stirring up the fire. Among these was a valuable essay on his favorite subject, botany, which was destroyed because a pedantic university acquaintance condemned it in toto, as it was not written in Latin ! Besides that, he wrote two or three novels, some characters of which his son thought were drawn with extraordinary power; but which were destroyed soon after having been finished. We need not dwell on the minutiæ of his life while in this long seclusion; suffice it to say, that he was expanding his mind, acquiring power for other and higher poetical efforts, and blessing his fellow men by the discharge of the nobly useful, yet unobtrusive duties of a country clergyman. As we merely wish to present a sketch of his literary career, it is not necessary to dwell on these points.
In September, 1807, Mr. Crabbe broke from his seclusion, and made his reappearance as an author. He presented the public with a new edition of his former poems, to which were added “The Parish Register,” “Sir Eustace Grey," "The Birth of Flattery," and other minor pieces. The success of this work was. unprecedented. The Edinburgh Review, that severe dispenser of critical dicta, contained a very flattering notice of the poems, and two days after its appearance the whole impression was disposed of. In his “ Parish Register,” Mr. Crabbe exhibited his powers to their full extent for the first time, gave the most palpable presentation of his mental peculiarities, and assumed his appropriate place among the British poets. Complimentary letters now flocked in upon him, from former friends, from men high in literary reputation and occupying exalted places in the state. In 1810 “The Borough” made its appearance, and in six years
passed through six editions. The reviewers, almost unanimously, pronounced it an improvement upon his last effort,"containing greater beauties and greater defects than its predecessor.” We shall speak more fully of it when we come to an analysis of his works. As early as 1812 his “Tales in Verse” made their appearance, and found a more cordial welcome from the public than any of his preceding poems. They were distinct narratives, without any of the slight connection between the parts which was attempted in “The Borough.” The following year his family and himself were visited with a heavy domestic calamity, the demise of his wife. Not long after this he received, from the hands and the kindness of the duke of Rutland, the living of Trowbridge, in Wiltshire. This was a more eligible situation in many respects than the one which he formerly occupied.
In this new residence he was placed near a brother poet, Rev. W. L. Bowles; and, being in the vicinity of Bath, he was often thrown into London society. This succeeded in drawing him from his retreat to the metropolis, which he visited in the summer of 1817. At the house of Mr. Bowles he first became acquainted with the poet Rogers, whose pressing invitations to visit London he finally accepted. When he arrived in town he took lodgings near that gentleman's residence, to whose entire circle of friends he was presented, and who received him with a sincere and cordial welcome. The position Mr. Rogers held in society commanded for him the acquaintance of “almost every one distinguished in politics, fashion, science, literature, and art;" and in this brilliant constellation our poet was considered a star of no mean magnitude. His association in early life with such men as Burke and Johnson, his literary reputation, his dignified, gentlemanly bearing—which bore no vestige of his humble origin-and, above all, his warm and gentle heart, endeared him to all who had the felicity to acquire his acquaintance. These visits he repeated several successive years, always finding an increasingly cordial welcome. The journals which he kept during these visits contain many valuable remarks upon all the principal personages of the time, for there were few public men with whom he had not become acquainted. The poet Moore remarks, that “they much resemble the journalizing style of Byron." Our limits do not permit us to insert any extracts from them. They modestly show how the man was valued, and the poet caressed ; the literary of all ranks extended to him the right hand of fellowship, and he was considered a welcome visitor at the houses of the first nobility. His modesty is beautifully and strongly exhibited in the fact that upon his return from these visits he would resume his usual clerical duties as if nothing had occurred to interrupt their regularity; and his own children had no idea how much attention was paid to him until these journals came to light after his decease.
In June, 1819, the “ Tales of the Hall” were published. The original name which the poet intended for this production was, “Remembrances.” For the “ Tales of the Hall,” and the copyright of all his previous poems, the celebrated London publisher, Mr. Murray, gave him the generous sum of three thousand pounds.
From 1822, to his death in 1831, the tic-doloreux, a disease which had been for some time previously very troublesome to him, increased in the frequency of its visits and the pain it produced. But Crabbe's old age was not one of peevishness; he was no burden to his friends. The sweetness of his disposition seemed to exhibit itself more plainly as his life's sun descended, and the unanimous record of all who saw him in his green, fresh old age, is, that the remembrance of him is the picture of a sage's wisdom, sweetly blending with childhood's innocent simplicity. With his children around him, having discharged his ministerial obligations to the church; having inscribed his name in a prominent place in fame's temple; having enjoyed the respect of the world, and the love of a large circle of friends, leaving behind him the sweet savor of an industrious and pious life, with the strong confidence of a Christian's hope, he glided into eternity on the 3d of February, 1832, in the seventy-eighth year of his age.
This, then, was the career of the “poet of the poor;" his birth was humble and obscure; his boyhood studious, yet unpromising ; his youth gloomy and miserable ; his manhood dignified and happy; his old age honored and loved : his life was active, his death was peaceful.
[To be concluded in the next number. }
Art. VIII.-CRITICAL NOTICES. 1. Memorials of South Africa. By BARNABAS Shaw, Wesleyan Mis
sionary, resident in the country nearly twenty years. 12mo., pp. 317. New-York : published by G. Lane & P. P. Sandford. 1841.
This volume is itself an argument in favor of missionary efforts which cannot be successfully controverted. It contains a history of the beginning and the progress of the efforts of the Wesleyan Methodist Missionary Society in Southern Africa ; and as a collection of interesting incidents, exceeds any thing we have met with for a long time. Mr. Shaw in general speaks of what came under his own personal observation. His story is concerned with facts and not fiction, and with us this circumstance does not diminish the interest of the details. There is much in the work that is instructive, some things which are amusing; but, as a whole, it is an exhibition of the power of the gospel to tame and reclaim barbarous men, and to restore the most degraded human beings to the practice of pure religion and the enjoyment of its blessed hopes. There is in the style of the writer an elegant simplicity and a suitableness to the subject upon which he writes, which is an exhibition of great judgment and a good literary taste. We cannot attempt an adequate description of the work, but would most earnestly recommend the reader to procure and read it for himself, being certain that he will consider himself amply rewarded for his pains.
2. Scripture Views of the Heavenly World. By J. EDMONDSON, A.M.,
18mo., pp. 251. New-York: published by G. Lane & P. P. Sandford. 1841.
This manual is upon a subject at all times most welcome to the heart of the pious. This world is not our home, and the good rejoice that it is not: they “would not live always" here. Yet they are compelled to take a part in the interests of the present world while they live in it, and they engage in many interesting duties, and form very pleasant associations. Sometimes we are in danger of making too much of the world, and at others of falling into uncomfortable vexations from its changes and disappointments. Under these circumstances, especially, it is important that our minds should be directed to our eternal rest. How many, just now, stand in need of a remembrancer to direct their attention and affections to the heavenly world. They may be too deeply in love with earth. The most excellent work which we have before us will admonish them not to rest here, but to act as pilgrims seeking a city out of sight. They may be embarrassed