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Ague again. I have nothing to add. but my thanks for yours, and my desires of the Continuance of your Informations, especially if they continue so favourable, and so pleasing, Sir,
Your very affectionate,
March 15, 1741.
To the Rev. Mr. Ch. Brinsden
MR. BATES TO THE EDITOR.
The Editor is happy in being able to insert the above letter: an avowal so candid will, it is hoped, do away every unpleasant impression upon Mr. Burdon's mind. To Mr. Bates we must observe, that we did not persist in the idea of the letter on the " Blasphemy of Milton" being Mr. Burdon's, after that gentleman's public diserowal. The letter from Mr. Burdon, in the present number, which contains a postscript relative to this business, was printed before the arrival of Mr. Bates' letter; or, perhaps, in suppressing that postscript, we should but have anticipated
BY the favor of a neighbour of the wishes of Mr. Burdon himself.
MR. COBBETT AND THE LEARNED
Tuber, p. 495, "On the
mine, get a peep at your monthly publication; and I am sorry to find, in your Number for December last, that my foolish modesty, in signing only the initials of my name, should have caused an unpleasant mistake. You will oblige Learned Languages," recalled to my me by inserting this public acknow- recollection "the gauntlet of defiance" ledgment in your next. The initial thrown down by Mr. Cobbett, some letters of Mr. W. Burdon's name months since, and to which your corand mine being the same, and an respondent cursorily alludes. I reexact similarity of hand-writing, in- member the agitation of the question duced you to attribute my attempt at that time, and took some interest to vindicate Milton from the charge in it. I remember too the haughty of blasphemy, to the pen of that boast made by Mr. Cobbett, that he gentleman. I am not a little gratified would, in a certain number of coby the credit that must redound to lumns of his Register, confute all that me from your appearing to persist in could be advanced by the two Unithe opinion you had formed, viz. versities, and indeed the whole kingthat the speculation alluded to is dom, in favour of the study of the really the composition of that gen- learned languages. This was a mighty tleman. I must, however, in justice assertion, and one that excited some to him, waive modesty, and acknow- curious expectations. Not that it was ledge myself the author of it, and do supposed Mr. Cobbett could ably dishere subscribe my name and place cuss a question he was ignorant of ; of abode. I am sorry to find that for, whatever credit his partizans may Mr. W. Burdon disclaims what I had allow him in political abuse, the world presumed he possessed-a veneration would give him but small pretensions for the scriptures. I wish that that to any judgment in literature. But it respectable gentleman, who, I hear, was thought there would be some bears an excellent character in his amusement to see how so daring a neighbourhood, thought as I do about challenge would be executed. Mr. religion. It is not only a tie between Cobbett had publicly pledged himself God and man, but the great bond of to perform a certain task, and his readcivil union; and what, more than ers and the public waited to behold reason, distinguishes men from brutes. the performance. Vain expectation! Lest you should suppose from the As far as I can learn, he has never writsimilarity of our hand-writing, that ten a line upon the subject! This is it is Mr. Burdon himself who now like a man who bullies you at the theaaddresses you, I send this communi- tre, challenges you, and then gives you cation through the medium of an amanuensis. W. BATES. Hatfield Farm, near Morpeth, Jan. 12, 1808.
a false card of address. If he had any sense of shame, he would at least have attempted to make good his bragging, or have acknowledged its silliness:
I remain, &c.
but perhaps he thought that by letting Henry Kirke White was the second the question quietly drop, his own son of John and Mary White, and disgrace would be forgotten-No: was born in Nottingham, March 21, the pages of the Universal Magazine 1785. His father is a butcher. From shall record his foolish presumption, his third to his fifth year, Henry and its ridiculous consequences with learned to read at the school of a Mrs. regard to himself. Garrington; "whose name, unimCoventry, portant as it may appear," says Mr. Jan. 7, 1808. Southey, "is mentioned, because she had the good sense to perceive his MEMOIRS of HENRY KIRKE WHITE, extraordinary capacity, and spoke of of Nottingham, late of St. John's what it promised with confidence." College, Cambridge. At a very early age his love of reading HERE has not arisen, in modern became conspicuous. "I could fancy, times, a character so truly in- says his eldest sister, "I see him in teresting as the lamented subject of his little chair, with a large book upon the present article. Burns and Chat- his knee, and his mother callingterton command respect to their ge- Henry, my love come to dinner; nius; but lose it for themselves. which was repeated so often without High-gifted, endowed with powers being regarded, that she was obliged towering above the common track to change the tone of her voice beof intellect, we gaze upon them as fore she could rouse him." something more than human; but When Henry was about six, he was when we turn from the poet to the placed under the Rev. John Blanch man, we sigh to behold so little con- ard, who kept at that time the best cord between the heart and mind. school in Nottingham. Here he Not 30 with the amiable Kirke White: learned writing, arithmetic, and we admire, we idolize the poet; we French. When he was about eleven, love and reverence the man-if man he one day wrote a separate theme he may be called; nipt in the very for every boy in his class, which conbloom of youth, and when fame was sisted of about twelve or fourteen. It just ready to shed the honours o'er was deemed a happy circumstance him for which he longed so ardently. that he was at so good a school; yet Born with a genius of uncommon it was not so advantageous to him as character, inspired with an ardour for it might have been; for one whole learning, which nothing but death day in each week, and his leisure could overcome; gifted with a heart hours on the others, were employed full of the mild and liberal virtues; in carrying the butcher's basket. who does not sorrow for his early Some difference at length arose between his father and Mr. Blanchard, in consequence of which Henry was removed.
Mr. Southey has taken upon himself the affectionate office of collecting what was yet unpublished of wis He was next placed under the care extraordinary youth, and preg to of Mr. Shipley, who soon discovered the whole a "Life" of him. No man that he was a boy of quick perception was better qualified for the office, for and very great talents. About this he could sympathise with the sorrows period he began to exercise his talents; of genius: no man could have executed and wrote what he called School Lamit better. We had originally allotted poons; but these he afterwards dethe consideration of these volumes to stroyed. One of the poems written our critical department, but we found at this period has been preserved, and that the limits of that part of our work Mr. Southey has inserted it in the would not suffer us to do justice to volumes now before us: its title is, our readers, to our own feelings, to "On being confined to School one Mr. Southey, and to the memory of pleasant morning in spring." It was Henry! We shall therefore briefly written at the age of thirteen, and detail the events of his life, and pre- betrays all that tenderness of thought sent some specimens of his genius, and sweet melancholy of disposition, both from his published and, till now, that so peculiarly marked his chaunpublished poetry.
UNIVERSAL MAG. VOL. IX.
It was now resolved to breed him Beyond the Atlantic, resting on my friend. up to the hosiery trade, the staple Aye, Contemplation, ev'n in earliest youth manufacture of his native place; and I woo'd thy heavenly influence! I would at the age of fourteen, he was placed in a stocking loom, with the view, at A weary way, when all my toils were done, some future period, of getting a situ- To lay myself at night in some lone wood, And hear the sweet song of the nightination in a hosier's warehouse. "Dugale. ring the time that he was thus em- Oh, these were times of happiness, and still ployed," observes Mr. Southey, "he To memory doubly dear; for growing years might be said to be truly unhappy; Had not then taught me-man was made he went to his work with evident re- to mourn; luctance, and could not refrain from And a short hour of solitary pleasure sometimes hinting his extreme aver- Stolen from sleep, was ample recompence sion to it; but the circumstances of For all the hateful bustles of the day. his family obliged them to turn a deaf My op'ning mind was ductile then, and ear." What were his feelings at And soon the marks of care were worn away, this time (in his fourteenth year), may be known from the following pulse, lines, in an Address to Contemplation Yielding to all the fancies of the hour. and let it be remembered, that he who But it has now assumed its character, could produce such, was confined to Mark'd by strong lineaments, its haughty the drudgery of mere mechanical operation:
"Thee do I own, the prompter of my joys, The soother of my cares, inspiring peace; And I will ne'er forsake thee.Men may
And blame and censure me, that I don't tie My ev'ry thought down to the desk, and spend
While I was swayed by every novel im
Like the firm oak, would sooner break than
Yet still, Oh Contemplation! I do love
With thee alone, I know to melt and weep:
The morning of my life in adding figures
And I might taste the blessedness of wealth:
His mother was the tender and affectionate friend to whom he opened all his hopes, and told all his cares. To her he said he could not bear the Which fond remembrance cherished, and thoughts of spending seven years of [tur'd, his life in spinning and folding up Dropt from my senseless fingers as I pic- stockings; he wanted something to In my mind's eye, how, o'er the shores
I erewhile wandered with my early friends
In social intercourse. And then I'd think
How contrary pursuits had thrown us wide,
Remain'd unsettled, insecure, and veering
Yes, in the counting-house I could indulge
occupy his brain, and he should be
On his thus entering the law, it was recommended to him by his em
ployers, that he should endeavour to sending at the same time a two pound obtain some knowledge of Latin. note, as her subscription to the work. He had now only the little time which The Duchess of Devonshire was then an attorney's office, in very extensive tried, and the manuscript was left at practice, afforded; yet, under every Devonshire-house. Some time elapdifficulty, he persevered, and soon sed, and no notice was taken, and it made himself acquainted with this was at last with some difficulty that language, and added to it some know his brother, Neville White, was able ledge of Greek. He used to exercise to get it back again. A letter was himself in declining Greek nouns and then tried, and permission finally obverbs, as he was going to and from tained: the work was published, dethe office, Afterwards he acquired dicated, bound in morocco, and sent, something of Italian, Spanish, and and not a word was ever deigned in Portuguese; nor was he ignorant of reply! This was a lesson for those astronomy, chemistry, and other weak beings who advised the measure. branches of knowledge. It may be The work was reviewed by the wondered how he got so much; but Monthly Review, in a manner which every moment, when free from bu- Mr. Southey has exposed and censured siness, even at his meals, he was with just indignation. How fallen pursuing his studies. He was pas- must the writer of that article be in sionately fond of music, and could self-estimation, when he considers his play very pleasingly by ear on the own purblind attempts to degrade the piano forte, composing the bass to the genius of one, destined, in so short a air he was playing. He had a turn period, to command the admiration for mechanics, and all the fittings up of all! Among these poems, so igof his study were the work of his norantly criticised, was the following, which alone, had the rest been really trash, might have proclaimed the author's inspiration:
TO THE HERR ROSEMARY.
SWEET scented How'r! who art wont to
On January's front severe;
To waft thy waste perfume;
And as I twine the mournful wreath,
At a very early age, soon after he
Come, funeral flow'r! who lov'st to dwell
A sweet decaying smell:
So peaceful and so deep.
might, either by the success of its And hark! the wind-god, as he flies,
Henry was strongly advised to ob tain some patroness for his book, but whoever was the adviser, shewed his own ignorance of genius and a feeling mind. The Countess of Derby was first applied to, but she declined it,
Moans hollow in the forest trees,
The cold turf altar of the dead;
"Nulli negabimus, nulli differemus justitiam."
Struggles THROUGH LIFE, exem- suffer by its failure. These were scru
plified in the various Travels and Adventures in Europe, Asia, Africa, and America, of Lieutenant JOHN HARRIOTT, formerly of Rochford, in Essex; now resident Magistrate of the Thames Police. 2 vols. 1807.
have read these volumes with
ples that do honour to him; but we think the event will prove that they were groundless.
The tenor of the "Introduction" excited at first some degree of doubt upon our minds as to the authenticity of these "Struggles:" it is writ
more than common interest; boldness enough to descend to deceit, we have been anused and instructed but not resolution to palm it upon by them; and we have risen from the others: it fluctuates between half perusal with a pleasing impression of reasons why it should be believed, the author's character. The first vo- and why it should not. This doubt lume, though stamped with every was somewhat increased too by a cirappearance of truth, yet abounds so cumstance which we think wrong: in adventure, that we were scarcely Mr. Harriott never gives the names less amused than when we first read of persons with whom he has any Roderick Random. Mr. Harriott is dealings, but only their initial letter, a lively and unaffected narrator of though perhaps they are ministers or facts; and describing his own perso- secretaries to public bodies, and where nal adventures he throws an air of of course such concealment was nusincerity over them, well calculated gatory; if concealment were wishto bespeak the favour of the reader. ed. In the progress of the work, Some of the anecdotes, however, however, every feeling of doubt vawhich he relates, appear to have re- nished. ceived the embellishments of narra- In relating the events and feelings tion: we do not question the basis, of his childhood, Mr. Harriott has but we suspect that much of the fallen into an error, not very easy to ornaments and part of the superstruc- be avoided: he has transferred the ture have been added by way of giv- thoughts of manhood to the era of ing unity to the whole. Such we infancy. (See p. 5, vol. I.) The hu imagine to be the case with the anec- man mind may sometimes outstrip the dote related at p. 191, vol. I., nor do course of years; but it is difficult to we wish to insinuate that therefore fall back to the simplicity of infancy. Mr. H. is censurable; no man eyer yet related an event precisely as it happened: for, in fact, few events happen in such a manner as to possess an interest in relation: and when a lapse of years intervenes between the occurrence and the recital, we remember only the leading and general circumstances, and add at pleasure whatever may tend to heighten the effect without destroying the verisimilitude.
The work is dedicated to his children and grand-children, and here, therefore, no flattery can be sus pected. His motive for publication he states to have been to meet their wishes; and he published for himself, because no bookseller should
Our author's first bias for travelling was excited by reading Robinson Crusoe, and he went to sea when he was little more than thirteen, as midshipman, on board a man of war. There is an unaccountable omission of dates throughout the whole work, so that we know not when this happened; but from this period, however, our author underwent various adventures in each quarter of the globe. To attempt to detail occurrences so multifarious would only prove the folly of the undertaking: but, as a specimen of our author's mode of narration, we select the following "Adventure in Corsica."
"When ordered home to England, most of us quitted the Mediterranean