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PREFATORY NOTE TO THE

PRESENT EDITION

THE text and notes of this edition of The Lives of the Poets are, with a few necessary exceptions, scrupulously printed as my uncle, the late Dr. Birkbeck Hill, left them. Whatever changes or additions I have made are enclosed within square brackets.

The Text is based on that of the four-volumed octavo edition of 1783-the last edition published in Johnson's lifetime. The spelling has been retained, save in a few places where obvious typographical errors have been corrected; but Johnson's punctuation, which seems to rest on no system, has been altered in accordance with modern usage, and with Dr. Birkbeck Hill's express directions.

A posthumous edition of a work must always suffer from lack of that care in revision, as it passes through the press, which the editor himself alone can bestow. Yet it has been my constant endeavour to strive, so far as was within my powers, to carry out the work as my uncle would have wished it done. There is, I believe, scarcely a quotation or a reference in the notes which has not been verified in the proofs by a comparison with the original authority.

In his work Dr. Birkbeck Hill received the assistance which happily scholars are ever ready to give to one another. I think that, in most instances, acknowledgement has been made in the notes; yet where this has not been done, as he is no longer with us to remedy the omission, I wish to express here, in his name, the sense of gratitude which he entertained to all who gave him aid. In my own portion of the work I have received the greatest help and kindness from my uncle's friends,. among whom I would particularly express my gratitude to Mr. C. E. Doble, M.A., of the Clarendon Press; Mr. G. K. Fortescue, Keeper of the Printed Books, British Museum; and Mr. Thomas Seccombe, M.A.

18 Church Row, Hampstead,

October, 1905.

HAROLD SPENCER SCOTT.

ADDENDA AND CORRIGENDA

vol. i, p. 163, 1. 16, 'Where there is,' &c., delete quotation marks.

vol. i, p. 249 n. 2, Waller was born on March 3, 1606: Amersham Parish Reg., quoted in Waller's Poems, ed. G. T. Drury, 1893, Pref. xv. n.

vol. i, p. 410 n. 7, for 1859 read 1589.

vol. i, p. 412 n. 1, for Essay of English Poesy read Essay of Dramatic Poesy.

vol. ii, p. 87 n. 5, Ante ADDISON, 22 n. 7 read 22 n. 6.

vol. ii, p. 287, l. 1, comma after 'imitated.'

vol. iii, p. 43 n. 2, for Lyons read Lyon.

vol. iii, p. 161 n. 4. For a detailed account of the early editions of Pope's Essay on Man see Mr. G. A. Aitken's communication to the Athenaeum, Jan. 28, 1905.

vol. iii, p. 228 n. 4. There is an error here. The comparison is with Dryden's second Ode for St. Cecilia's Day, Alexander's Feast, the last stanza of which ends :

vol. iii, p. 237 n.

vol. iii, p. 337 n.

'He rais'd a mortal to the skies;

She drew an angel down.'

2, for 1523 read 1723.

2, for The Poetical Character read The Poetical Calendar, vol. iii, p. 359, app. T, last line but one, for Whitfield read Whitefield.

In the Notes, all cross-references to passages in the Lives give the number of the paragraph of the Life to which allusion is made, e. g. Ante or Post MILTON 274. The paragraph numbers are printed throughout in bold italic on the outer margin of each page of the text.

In the Index, the roman numerals refer to the Volumes; the arabic figures to the Pages.

BRIEF MEMOIR OF

DR. BIRKBECK HILL

GEORGE BIRKBECK NORMAN HILL, second son of Arthur Hill and Ellen Tilt, daughter of Joseph Maurice, was born on June 7, 1835, at Bruce Castle, Tottenham, in Middlesex, at that time a quiet and picturesque village. His father was one of a band of brothers, sons of Thomas Wright Hill, of Birmingham, who, one and all treading in the footsteps of their father, a disciple of Priestley and an ardent Reformer, not only threw themselves with enthusiasm into the political movement towards Reform, of which Birmingham became the centre, but took an active part in furthering the cause of truth, justice, freedom, and social welfare according to their lights. They were free traders, condemners of the harsh penal code, haters of all religious inequality and intolerance, and earnest supporters of the anti-slavery cause. Withal they were thorough Englishmen. Never did they desire the victory of the French in the long war.

At the time of Birkbeck Hill's birth, Thomas Wright Hill and his sons were chiefly known as the founders of the Hazelwood' system of education, which with its reliance on love as the principle to which all trainers of the young should chiefly trust, its elaborate constitution of government by the boys, and its endeavour to discover each pupil's natural bent, attracted much attention in the early part of the last century, and greatly influenced general education. The other brothers, notably Rowland Hill, the Postal Reformer, and Matthew Davenport Hill, afterwards Recorder of Birmingham, had left the school before the birth of Birkbeck Hill, to devote themselves to a more public career; but Arthur Hill found his absorbing interest in education, and in 1833 became head master of the new school established at Bruce Castle to carry on the system originally founded at Birmingham. Birkbeck Hill's mother, Ellen Tilt Maurice, who died when he was only four years old, was on

1 After the name of the house in the Hagley Road, Birmingham, where the school was carried on from 1819 to 1833.

her father's side related to Frederic Denison Maurice; on the mother's side she was of Huguenot ancestry. All who knew her bear witness to the singular charm and brightness of her

nature.

Birkbeck Hill used to say that he had been brought up as a utilitarian; yet there were other influences present in his childhood and youth which served to cultivate the imaginative and literary side of his nature. The old Jacobean mansion which had inherited from far earlier times the name of Bruce Castle was destined to be his home, with a short break on his marriage, for more than forty years. 'The park,' to quote his own words, 'was but small, yet so thick was the foliage of the stately trees, and so luxuriant the undergrowth of the shrubberies, that its boundaries failed to reach the eye. Hard by the main building stood an ancient tower which was standing when Queen Elizabeth visited the mansion, and when Henry VIII met there his sister, Queen Margaret of Scotland". Furthermore his father, though deeply interested in reform in common with the rest of the 'Hill brothers,' had in his nature a strong literary bent. Injury to sight which had befallen him when still a young man, from earnest study under unfavourable conditions as he thought, raised a barrier to so full a cultivation of this side of his character as he would otherwise have enjoyed. Even with this impediment, which did much to cut him off from entering on new fields of literature, so great was his love of Shakespeare that he had stored in his retentive memory at least eight plays, which when close on eighty he could still recite by heart; while at a still greater age he was able to translate Horace's Ars Poetica into blank verse almost entirely from his recollection of the original.

Moreover, though Birkbeck Hill would sometimes regret the excessive influence of the utilitarianism with which he was surrounded in childhood and early youth, yet to much of the faith of his fathers he clung tenaciously throughout his life. From his father he inherited, in addition to a strong moral rectitude, a love of justice, a hatred of tyrannies and shams, and a sympathy with the oppressed. 'Beg of Arthur not to get over-intoxicated with the Greek news,' had been written of his father in 1829 on the tidings of the battle of Navarino. Of I Life of Sir Rowland Hill, i. 181.

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