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eminent schoolmaster, and the intimate friend of Dean Swift-whose life he wrote with ability.

The subject of our memoirs was born at Dublin in the year 1751, and in his early years discovered no particular marks either of genius or of activity. After receiving a kind of preparatory education in his own country, he was in 1762 sent to Harrow school, where he at length unfolded himself, and attained distinction. A spirit of emulation now began to pervade his mind, and roused him from the lethargy into which he had fallen. He recollected the golden opportunities which were passing over his head. He was impressed with the absolute necessity of application to ensure any considerable progress in mental improvement. This circumstance should induce instructors of youth to be patient with respect to those of their pupils who make not an early disclosure of their powers; and should guard the young scholar against that spirit of indolence which blasts every opening prospect of fertility, IDLENESS is the Upas tree, beneath whose poisonous foliage every plant stands condemned to inevitable destruction.

From Harrow he went and entered himself at the Middle Temple--but from this period to the time of his marriage with Miss Linley, his life is involved in obscurity. His connection, however, with this lady, was preceded by a duel at Bath with a Mr. Matthews, who had published a paragraph in the papers iujurious to her reputation. The affair, at the time, occasioned much noisebut by the bestowment of the fair lady's hand, he thought himself abundantly rewarded.

Soon after his marriage Mr. S. began to employ his talents for the stage. He produced his Rivals, which was exhibited at Covent-Garden, the 17th of January, 1775. A few alterations secured to it a permanent reputation. His St. Patrick's Day, a farce, and his comic opera, the Duenna, were soon afterwards brought forward, and well received. The latter, indeed, was honoured by an uncommon degree of popularity. It had a run of seventy-five nights during the season.

On Mr. Garrick's retiring from the management of Drury-lane Theatre, the share of the patent was purchased by Mr. S. for a considerable" sum, and it now became him to put forth his dramatic ability. Agreeable to this expectation, he brought out his very celebrated comedy The School for Scandal. It was performed, for the first time, on the 8th of May, 1777, with unbounded applause. The characters are drawn with exquisite fidelity. Scandal is depicted throughout its numerous ramifications. The meanness of this vice, in all its extensive evolutions, are justly characterised and exposed. Nothing but a profound knowledge of life could have produced so faithful a picture of fashionable manners. The characters are marked by strong traits of frivolity and dissipation. The reputation of their several neighbours is torn to pieces with a merciless severity. It is impossible, indeed, to peruse, or to see drawn at length such pointed satire, without hoiding in detestation that odious vice of scandal, which thus consigns to de: struction the happiness of society.

Mr. Garrick, who wrote the prologue to this play, has thus humourously described its nature and tendency. Proud of your smiles, once lavishly hestow'd, Again our young Don Quixote takes the road ; To shew bis gratitude, he draws his pen, And seeks this bydra scandal in his den, From his fell gripe the frighted fair to save, Tho' he should fall, th' attempt must please the brave.



[No. XLVII.]


I sing the sofa. I who lately sang
Truth, Hope, and Charity, and touch'd with awe
The solemn chords, and with a trembling hand
Escap'd with pain from that advent'rous fight,
Now seeks repose upon an humbler theme;
The theme, tho' humble, yet august and proud
Th' occasion for the FAIR commands the song!


HAouched upon



the lesser pieces of our poet, we now open the Year with our entrance into his grand poem the Task, which, from its variety and beauty, will continue to amuse and edify future

erations. It is distributed into six books; and takes its name from an injunction given him by a lady to write on the sofa; which he instantly obeyed. In this first book, therefore, he traces its rise from a plain three-legged stool to its present state of perfection. He concludes this introductory part of the subject in the following humorous strains. We cannot read them without a smile : they are of a wholesome and purifying tendency.

Thus first necessity invented stools,
Convenience next suggested elbow.chairs,
And luxry th' accomplish'd sofa last.
The nurse sleeps sweetly, hired to watch the sick,
Whom snoring she disturbs. As sweetly he
Who quits the coach-box at the midnight hour,
To sleep within the carriage more secure,
His legs depending at the open door.

Sweet sleep enjoys the curate in his desk,
The tedious rector drawling o'er his head,
And sweet the clerk below. But neither sleep,
Of lazy nurse, whoʻsnores the sick man dead,
Nor his who quits the box at midnight hour,
To slumber in the carriage more secure,
Nor sleep enjoy'd by curate in his desk,
Nor yet the dosings of the clerk are sweet,
Compar'd with the repose the sofa yields !

The author then congratulates himself on his freedom from the gout, which circumstance renders the sofa less necessary to him and launches forth in praise of exercise, thus giving him an opportunity of describing the most beautiful parts of the creation. Here he meets with crazy Kate, which character he has drawn with exquisite simplicity :

There often wanders one, whom better days
Saw better clad, in cloak of sattin, trimmed
With lace, and hat with splendid ribbon bound.
A serving-maid was she, and fell in love
With one who left her, went to sea and died.
Her fancy follow'd him thro’ foaming waves,
To distant shores, and she would sit and weep
At what a sailor suffers; fancy too,
Delusive most, where warmest wishes are,
Would oft anticipate his glad return,
And dream of transports she was not to know.
She heard the doleful tidings of his death,
And never smild again! and now she roams
The dreary waste-there spends the live-long day,
And there, unless when charity forbids,
The live-long night. A tatter'd apron hides,
Worn as a cloak, and hardly hides a gown
More tatter'd still, and doth but ill conceal
A bosom heav'd with never ceasing sighs.
She begs an idle pin of all she meets,
And hoards them in her sleeve; but needful food,
Tho' press’d with hunger oft, or comelier clothes,
Tho'pinch'd with cold, asks never.-- KATE IS


With the same admirable pencil has Mr. C. drawn the Peasant's Nest, the Gipsies, and other scenes, which, had we room, we would have transcribed.

We shall only add his masterly sketch of LON. DON-it is delineated with his usual fidelity :

LONDON is, by trade and wealth proclaim'd,
The fairest capital of all the world,
By riot and incontinence the worst.
There, touch'd by Reynolds, a dull blank becomes,
A lucid mirror, in which nature sees
All her reflected features. Bacon there
Gives more than female beauty to a stone,
And Chatham's eloquence to marble lips.
Nor does the chissel occupy alone
The pow'rs of sculpture, but to style as much
Each province of her art-her equal care
With nice incision of her guided steel
She ploughs a brazen field, and clothes a soil
So sterile, with what charms so 'er she will,
The richest scen’ry and the loveliest forms.
Where finds philosophy her eagle eye
With which she gazes at yon burning disk,
Undazzled, and detects and counts his spots ?
In LONDON. Where her implements exact,
With which she calculates, computes, and scans
All distance, motion, magnitude, and now
Measures an atom, and now girds a world ?
In LONDON. Where has commerce such a mart,
So rich, so throng'd, so drain'd, and so supplied,
As LONDON--Opulent enlarg'd, and still
Increasing LONDON? Babylon of old,
Not more the glory of the earth than she
A more accomplish'd world's chief glory now!

Here the genius of our author shines forth with its accustomed splendour. In every paragraph we discern a glowing originality. In the course of our future Reflectors, we shall have to bring forward passages

from the Task which will afford the amplest entertainment and instruction.

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