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I need not tell you how much a man of his turn entertained me; but I must acquaint you there is a vivacity and gaiety of disposition, almost peculiar to him', which make it impossible to part from him without that uneasiness which generally succeeds all our pleasure.
Pope has left behind him another mention of his companion, 28 less advantageous, which is thus reported by Dr. Warburton ?:
*Rowe, in Mr. Pope's opinion, maintained a decent character, but had no heart. Mr. Addison was justly offended with some behaviour which arose from that want, and estranged himself from him; which Rowe felt very severely. Mr. Pope, their common friend, knowing this, took an opportunity, at some juncture of Mr. Addison's advancement, to tell him how poor Rowe was grieved at his displeasure, and what satisfaction he expressed at Mr. Addison's good fortune; which he expressed so naturally, that he (Mr. Pope) could not but think him sincere. Mr. Addison replied, "I do not suspect that he feigned; but the levity of his heart is such, that he is struck with any new adventure; and it would affect him just in the same manner if he heard I was going to be hanged.”---Mr. Pope said he could not deny but Mr. Addison understood Rowe well.'
This censure time has not left us the power of confirming 29 or refuting ; but observation daily shews that much stress is not to be laid on hyperbolical accusations and pointed sentences, which even he that utters them desires to be applauded rather than credited. Addison can hardly be supposed to have meant all that he said. Few characters can bear the microscopick scrutiny of wit quickened by anger; and perhaps the best advice to authors would be that they should keep out of the way of one another.
Rowe is chiefly to be considered as a tragick writer and a 30 translator. In his attempt at comedy he failed so ignominiously that his Biter 3 is not inserted in his works; and his occasional poems and short compositions are rarely worthy of either praise or censure, for they seem the casual sports of a mind seeking rather to amuse its leisure than to exercise its powers.
In the construction of his dramas there is not much art; he is 31
* Pope, in A Farewell to London, laugh all day long; he would do 1. 9 (Pope's Works (Elwin and Court nothing else but laugh.' Spence's hope), iv. 482), says:
Anec. p. 284. "To drink and
droll be Rowe allowed, 2 In Ruffhead's Pope, p. 493. Till the third watchman's toll.' Ante, ROWE, 14. Pope told Spence that 'Rowe would
not a nice observer of the Unities'. He extends time and varies place as his convenience requires. To vary the place is not, in my opinion, any violation of Nature, if the change be made between the acts, for it is no less easy for the spectator to suppose himself at Athens in the second act, than at Thebes in the first”; but to change the scene, as is done by Rowe in the middle of an act, is to add more acts to the play, since an act is so much of the business as is transacted without interruption 3. Rowe, by this license, easily extricates himself from difficulties; as in Jane Grey, when we have been terrified with all the dreadful pomp of publick execution, and are wondering how the heroine or the poet will proceed, no sooner has Jane pronounced some prophetick rhymes, than-pass and be gone—the scene
closes, and Pembroke and Gardiner are turned out upon the stage *. 32 I know not that there can be found in his plays any deep
search into nature, any accurate discriminations of kindred I
qualities, or nice display of passion in its progress; all is general and undefined. Nor does he much interest or affect the auditor, except in Jane Shore, who is always seen and heard with pitys. Alicia is a character of empty noise, with no resemblance to real sorrow or to natural madness.
Whence, then, has Rowe his reputation? From the reasonableness and propriety of some of his scenes, from the elegance of his diction, and the suavity of his verse?. He seldom moves either pity or terror, but he often elevates the sentiments; he seldom pierces the breast, but he always delights the ear, and often improves the understanding.
* For Johnson's defence of Shake 5 Ante, ROWE, 15. speare for disregarding the unities [In Jane Shore.] see Johnson's Works, v. 118.
1 Of Rowe's song Despairing ? He that can take the stage at beside a clear stream (Colin's Comone time for the palace of the Ptole- plaint, Eng. Poets, xxviii. 215) Goldmies may take it in half an hour for smith wrote: This is better than the promontory of Actium.' Ib. p. 120. anything of the kind in our language.'
3'Whenever the scene is shifted Works, iii. 439. The Despairing the act ceases.' The Rambler, No. 156. Shepherd was said to be Addison.
4 "The scene draws and discovers Post, ADDISON, 85. It was imitated a scaffold hung with black, execu by Shenstone (post, SHENSTONE, 25), tioner and guards.' After the 'pro- and quoted thrice by Johnson in his phetick rhymes' come to an end, Letters, ii. 32, 136, 139. Lady Jane goes up to the scaffold; 8 "Shakespeare has speeches, perthe scene closes. Enter Pembroke. haps sometimes scenes, which have He curses Gardiner's 'fatal arts.' all the delicacy of Rowe without his Gardiner replies, Pembroke rejoins, effeminacy.' JOHNSON, Works, v. 133. and then . Exeunt omnes.'
Gray wrote to Horace Walpole :
His translations of the Golden Verses' and of the first book of 34 Quillet's Poem” have nothing in them remarkable. The Golden Verses are tedious.
The version of Lucan is one of the greatest productions of 35 English poetry3; for there is perhaps none that so completely exhibits the genius and spirit of the original. Lucan is distinguished by a kind of dictatorial or philosophic dignity, rather, as Quintilian observes, declamatory than poetical * ; full of ambitious morality and pointed sentences, comprised in vigorous and animated lines. This character Rowe has very diligently and successfully preserved. His versification, which is such as his contemporaries practised without any attempt at innovation or improvement, seldom wants either melody or force. His author's sense is sometimes a little diluted by additional infusions, and sometimes weakened by too much expansion. But such faults are to be expected in all translations, from the constraint of measures and dissimilitude of languages. The Pharsalia of Rowes deserves more notice than it obtains, and as it is more read will be more esteemed.
Do you remember" Approchez-vous, GOLDSMITH, Works, iii. 432. Néron”? Who would not rather have Eng. Poets, xxviii. 165. thought of that half line than all
Callipaedia. . . . By the Abbot Mr. Rowe's flowers of eloquence ?' Quillet, &c. Now done into English (The line is the first in Racine's Bri verse. 1710.' It is not included in tannicus, iv. 2.) Gray's Letters, i. 154. Eng. Poets, perhaps owing to its
Dr. Warton quotes a passage from licentiousness. Walpole's Preface to The Mysterious 3 'It is,' writes Dr. Warton, one Mother, where, describing the pro of the few translations that is better gress of 'theatric genius,' he says than its original. I venture to say that "it maintained a placid pleasing the same of three more translations, kind of dignity in Rowe, and even namely of Hampton's Polybius (ante, shone in his Jane Shore. Warton, MILTON, 10], of Pitt's Vida (post, Pope's Works, iv. 198.
PITT, 5), and of Melmoth's Pliny Mrs. Oldfield [the actress] used [Boswell's Johnson, iii. 422].' Pope's to say the best school she had ever Works, 1822, vii. 139. known was only hearing Rowe read 4 'Lucanus ardens et concitatus her part in his tragedies.' Spence's et sententiis clarissimus, sed, ut Anec. p. 380.
dicam quod sentio, magis oratoribus "Rowe was only outdone by Shake quam poetis imitandus.' Inst. x. I. speare and Otway as a tragic writer; 90. See ante, MILTON, 225. he has fewer absurdities than either, 5 In Gent. Mag. 1781, p. 358, is and is perhaps as pathetic as they ; mentioned 'Bentley's harsh animadbut his flights are not so bold, nor version on Rowe's Lucan in Philhis characters so strongly marked.' eleutherus Lipsiensis, part iii.'
APPENDIX H (PAGE 67)
'Ev'n Tamerlane, whose sainted name appears
Of liberty restor'd and William born,' &c.
In Dublin ‘Nov. 4 was made a Government Night, when the Lord Lieutenant rendered the boxes free to such ladies as chose to come.' Biog. Dram. iii. 318.
Macready, in 1819, acted in the play at Covent Garden, brought out for one night early in November (no doubt the anniversary). 'It is,' he writes, 'a heavy declamatory production of the cast-iron school.' He adds that Mrs. Siddons once, acting the heroine at Drury Lane, 'gave such terrible reality to the few convulsive words she tried to utter, as she sank a lifeless heap, that the audience insisted on the manager's appearance to be assured that she was alive. They would not suffer the performance to be resumed.' Macready's Reminiscences, i. 202.
Rowe, in the Dedication, speaks of Tamerlane's 'piety, moderation, fatherly love of his people, and hate of tyranny and oppression.' Dr. Welwood describes #his noble ardour to break the chains of enslaved nations. Rowe's Lucan, Preface, p. 40. 'Except in Rowe's play on the fifth of November I did not expect to hear of Timour's amiable moderation.' GIBBON, Decline and Fall, vii. 70 n.
OSEPH ADDISON was born on the first of May, 1672,1
at Milston, of which his father, Lancelot Addison, was then rector, near Ambrosbury in Wiltshire, and appearing weak and unlikely to live he was christened the same day. After the usual domestick education, which from the character of his father may be reasonably supposed to have given him strong impressions of piety *, he was committed to the care of Mr. Naish at Ambrosbury, and afterwards of Mr. Taylor at Salisbury.
Not to name the school or the masters of men illustrious for 2 literature, is a kind of historical fraud, by which honest fame is injuriously diminished 5: I would therefore trace him through the whole process of his education. In 1683, in the beginning of his twelfth year, his father, being made dean of Lichfield, naturally
On April 11, 1780, Johnson wrote is a chain of farm-houses and little of the Lives :- Mr. Nichols holds churches all the way up it.' Rural that Addison is the most taking of Rides, 1893, i. 153. Sydney Smith's all that I have done.' John. Letters, first curacy (1794) was at Nether ï. 138.
Avon, three miles from Amesbury, Macaulay wishing to review S. J. Reid's Sydney Smith, 1884, p. 30. Aikin's Life of Addison, wrote to Wood describes Lancelot Addithe Editor of The Edinburgh Re son's zeal for the Protestant religion view:-'I look on that subject as when he was chaplain at Tangier, peculiarly my own, for I know him and his studious life at Milston. He almost by heart.' As Dante says: gives a list of the books he wrote Vagliami il lungo studio e il grande there. Ath. Oxon. iv. 518. amore
He is probably described in The Che m' han fatto cercar lo tuo vo Tatler, No. 235, as the only man lume.' Inferno, i. 83.
the writer had known who lived [ May the long zeal avail me, and with his children with equanimity the great love, that made me search and a good grace.' Nichols thinks thy volume.' Carlyle's Dante's In this paper is by Addison. The ferno, p. 8.] M. Napier Corres. p. Tatler, 1789, iv. 230. For Steele's 426.
account of the singular perfections' - He dates his poem To Mr. Dry of his four children see Addison's den, 'Mag. Coll. Oxon. June 2, Works, v. 151. Addison's sister,' 1693. The Author's Age, 22.' Works, wrote Swift (Works, ii. 57), “is a sort i. 2. According to this he was born of wit, very like him. I am not fond in 1671. [But May 1, 1672, is of her. An inscription in Lichfield the date of his birth in the Ames Cathedral (given in Biog: Brit. p. bury parish register, 'not the year 30) shows that he married twice, before as Anthony Wood and others but that his six children, two of after him relate. Gen. Dict. Hist. whom died young, were by his first and Crit. i. 262.)
wife. [See also N. & 2.5 S. vi. 350.] 3 Now Amesbury. Cobbett in 5 Post, HUGHES, Î. Ne nunc 1822 described the valley that brings quidem post tot saecula sileantur, down a little river from Amesbury. fraudenturve laude sua.' Livy, xxvii. It is a very beautiful valley. There 10.