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alteration of the plan, added new incidents, and mind the king, in the most delicate and artful introduced new characters; so that it was a new manner of continuing his pension. tragedy, not a revival of the former.
With regard to the success of this address, he Many of his friends blamed him for not mak- was for some time in suspense, but was in no ing choice of another subject; but, in vindica- great degree solicitous about it; and continued tion of himself, he asserted, that it was not his labour upon his new tragedy with great easy to find a better ; and that he thought it his tranquillity, till the friend who had for a coninterest to extinguish the memory of the first siderable time supported him, removing his tragedy, which he could only do by writing one family to another place, took occasion to dismiss less defective upon the same story; by which him. It then became necessary to inquire he should entirely defeat the artifice of the more diligently what was determined in his booksellers, who, after the death of any author affair, having reason to suspect that no great of reputation, are always industrious to swell favour was intended him, because he had not his works, by uniting his worst productions received his pension at the usual time. with his best.
It is said, that he did not take those methods In the execution of this scheme, however, he of retrieving his interest, which were most proceeded but slowly, and probably only em- | likely to succeed; and some of those who were ployed himself upon it when he could find no employed in the Exchequer, cautioned him other amusement; but he pleased himself with against too much violence in his proceedings; counting the profits, and perhaps imagined that but Mr. Savage, who seldom regulated his conthe theatrical reputation which he was about to duct by the advice of others, gave way to his acquire, would be equivalent to all that he had passion, and demanded of Sir Robert Walpole, lost by the death of his patroness.
at his lever, the reason of the distinction that He did not, in confidence of his approaching was made between him and the other pensioners riches, neglect the measures proper to secure the of the Queen, with a degree of roughness, continuance of his pension, though some of his which perhaps determined him to withdraw favourers thought him culpable for omitting to what had been only delayed. write on her death; but on her birth-day next Whatever was the crime of which he was ac.. year, he gave a proof of the solidity of his judg- cused or suspected, and whatever influence was ment, and the power of his genius. He knew employed against him, he received soon after an that the track of elegy had been so long beaten, account that took from him all hopes of regainthat it was impossible to travel in it without sing his pension; and he had now no prospect treading in the footsteps of those who had gone of subsistence but from his play, and he knew before him ; and that therefore it was necessary, no way of living for the time required to finthat he might distinguish himself from the herd ish it. of encomiasts, to find out some new walk of So peculiar were the misfortunes of this man, funeral panegyric.
deprived of an estate and title by a particular This difficult task he performed in such a law, exposed and abandoned by a mother, demanner, that his poem may be justly ranked frauded by a niother of a fortune which his faamong the best pieces that the death of princes ther had allotted him, he entered the world has produced. By transferring the mention of without a friend ; and though his abilities her death to her birth-day, he has formed a forced themselves into esteem and reputation, happy combination of topics, which any other he was never able to obtain any real advantage; man would have thought it very difficult to con- and whatever prospects arose, were always innect in one view, but which he has united in tercepted as he began to approach them. The such a manner, that the relation between them King's intentions in his favour were frustrated; appears natural; and it may be justly said, bis dedication to the Prince, whose generosity that what no other man would have thought on every other occasion was eminent, procured on, it now appears scarcely possible for any man him no reward; Sir Robert Walpole, who to miss.
valued bimself upon keeping his promise to The beauty of this peculiar combination of others, broke it to him without regret; and the images is so masterly, that it is sufficient to set bounty of the Queen was, after her death, withthis poem above censure; and therefore it is drawn from him, and from him only. not necessary to mention many other delicate Such were his misfortunes, which yet he bore, touches which may be found in it, and which not only with decency, but with cheerfulness ; would deservedly be admired in any other per- nor was his gayety clouded even by his last dis. formance.
appointments, though he was in a short time To these proofs of his genius may be added, reduced to the lowest degree of distress, and from the same poem, an instance of his pru- often wanted both lodging and food. At this dence, an excellence for which he was not so time he gave another instance of the insuroften distinguished; he does not forget to re- mountable obstinacy of his spirit: his clothes
were worn out, and he received notice, that at was to be found in the calm of a cottage, or lese a coffee house some clothes and linen were left the opportunity of listening, without intermisfor him: the person who sent them did not, I sion, to the melody of the nightingale, which believe, inform him to whom he was to be he believed was to be heard from every bramble, obliged, that he might spare the perplexity of and which he did not fail to mention as a acknowledging the benefit; but though the offer very important part of the happiness of a counwas so far generous, it was made with some try life. neglect of ceremonies, which Mr. Savage so While this scheme was ripening, his friends much resented, that he refused the present, and directed him to take a lodging in the liberties of declined to enter the house till the clothes that the Fleet, that he might be secure from his crehad been designed for him were taken away. s. ditors; and sent him every Monday a guinean,
His distress was now publicly known, and which he commonly spent before the next his friends, therefore, thought it proper to con- morning, and trusted after his usual manner, cert some measures for his relief; and one of the remaining part of the week to the bounty, them wrote a letter to him, in which he ex- of fortune, pressed his concern “ for the miserable with- He now began very sensibly to feel the mise ; drawing of his pension;" and gave him hopes, ries of dependance. Those by whom he was to that in a short time he should find-himself sup- be supported began to prescribe to him with an plied with a competence, without any depend-air of authority, which he knew not bow de
on those little creatures which we are cently to resent, nor patiently to bear; and he pleased to call the great."
soon discovered, from the conduct of most of The scheme proposed for this happy and inde his subscribers, that he was yet in the hands of pendent subsistence was, that he should retire “ Jittle creatures.' into Wales, and receive an allowance of fifty Of the insolence that he was obliged to suffer pounds a year, to be raised by a subscription, he gave many instances, of which none appeared on which he was to live privately in a cheap to raise his indignation to a greater height, than place, without aspiring any more to affluence, the method which was taken of furnishing him or having any farther care of reputation.
with clothes. Instead of consulting him, and This offer Mr. Savage gladly accepted, though allowing him to send a tailor his orders for with intentions very different from those of his what they thought proper to allow him, they friends ; for they proposed that he should con- proposed to send for a tailor to take his meatinue an exile from London for ever, and spend sure, and then to consult how they should equip all the remaining part of his life at Swansea ; him. but he designed only to take the opportunity,
This treatment was not very delicate, nor was which their scheme offered him, of retreating it such as Savage's humanity would have sugfor a short time that he might prepare his play gested to him on a like occasion ; but it had for the stage, and his other works for the press, scarcely deserved mention, had it not, by affectand then return to London to exhibit his tra- ing him in an uncommon degree, shown the gedy, and live upon the profits of his own peculiarity of his character. Upon hearing the labour.
design that was formed, he came to the lodging With regard to his works, he proposed very of a friend with the most violent agonies of great improvements, which would have required rage; and, being asked what it could be that much time or great application ; and, when he gave him such disturbance, he replied with the had finished them, he designed to do justice to utmost vehemence of indignation, " That they his subscribers, by publishing them according to had sent for a tailor to measure him.” his proposals.
How the affair ended was never inquired, for As he was ready to entertain himself with fear of renewing his uneasiness. It is probable future pleasures, he had planned out a scheme that, upon recollection, he submitted with a of life for the country, of which he had no good grace to what he could not avoid, and that knowledge but from pastorals and songs.
He he discovered no resentment where he had no imagined that he should be transported to scenes power. of flowery felicity, like those which one poet He was, however, not humbled to implicit has reflected to another; and had projected a and universal compliance; for when the gentleperpetual round of innocent pleasures, of which man, who had first informed him of the design he suspected no interruption from pride, or ig- to support him by a subscription, attempted to brutality.
procure a reconciliation with the Lord TyrWith these expectations he was so enchanted, connel, he could by no means be prevailed upon that when he was once gently reproached by a to comply with the measures that were pro friend for submittiug to live upon a subscrip- posed. tion, and advised rather by a resolute exertion A letter was written for him* to Sir William of his abilities to support himself, he could not bear to debar himself from the happiness which
* By Mr. Pope.—Dr. I.
Lemon, to prevail upon him to interpose his effected by application and interest; and Savage good offices with Lord Tyrconnel, in which he had a great number to court and to obey for a solicited Sir William’s assistance “ for a man pension less than that which Mrs. Oldfield paid who really needed it as much as any man could him without exacting any servilities. well do;" and informed him, that he was retir- Mr. Savage, however, was 'satisfied, and ing for ever, to a place where he should no willing to retire, and was convinced that the more trouble his relations, friends, or enemies;" allowance, though scanty, would be more than he confessed that his passion had betrayed him sufficient for him, being now determined to to some conduct, with regard to Lord Tyreon- commence a rigid economist, and live according nel, for which he could not büt heartily ask his to the exactest rules of frugality; for nothing pardon; and as he' imagined Lord Tyrconnel's was in his opinion more contemptible than a passion might yet be sn high that he would not man, who, when he knew his income, exceeded ce receive a letter from him," begged that Sirit; and yet he confessed that instances of such William would endeavour to soften him; and folly were too common, and lamented that expressed his hopes that he would comply with some men were not to be trusted with their his request, and that "
so small a relation would own money. mot harden bis heart against him."
Full of these salutary resolutions, he left Lon. That any man should presume to dictate a don in July 1739, having taken leave with great letter to him, was not very agreeable to Mr. tenderness of his friends, and parted from the Savage; and therefore he was, before he had | Author of this narrative with tears in his eyes. opened it, not much inclined to approve it. He was furnished with fifteen guineas, and inBut when he read it, he found it contained sen- formed that they would be sufficient, not only timents entirely opposite to his own, and, as he for the expense of his journey, but for his supasserted, to the truth, and therefore, instead of port in Wales for some time; and that there recopying it, wrote his friend a letter fult of mas- mained but little more of the first collection." culine resentment and warm expostulations. He promised a strict adherence to his maxims He very justly observed, that the style was too of parsimony, and went away in the stagesupplicatory, and the representation too'abject, coach; nor did his friends expect to hear from and that he ought at least to have made him him till he informed them of his arrival at complain with “ the dignity of a gentleman in Swansea." distress." He declared that he would not write But, when they least expected, 'arrived a letthe paragraph in which he was to ask Lord ter dated the fourteenth day after his departure,
Tyrconnels pardon ; for, “ he despised his par- in which he sent them word, that he was yet don, and therefore could not heartily, and would upon the road, and without money; and that not hypocritically, ask it.” He remarked that he therefore could not proceed without a remithis friend made a very unreasonable distinction tance. They then sent him the money that between himself and him; “ for,” says he was in their hands, with which he was enabled “ when you mention men of high rank in your to reach Bristol, from whence he was to go to own character, they are those little creatures Swansea by water. whom we are pleased to call the great ;' but when you address them in mine, no servility is shipping, so that he could not immediately obsufficiently humble.” He then with great pro- tain a passage; and being therefore obliged to priety explained the ill consequences which stay there for some time, he with might be expected from such a letter, which his licity ingratiated himself with many of the relations would print in their own defence, and principal inhabitants, was 'invited to their which would for ever be produced as a full an- houses, distingu mward that
at their public feasts, swer to all that he should allege against them; treated
gratifiedh his vanity, for he always intended to publish a minute ac- and therefore easily engaged his affection. count of the treatment which he had received. He began very early after his retirement to It is to be remembered, to the honour of the complain of the conduct of his friends in Longentleman by whom this letter, was drawn up, don, and irritated many of them so much þy that he yielded to Mr. Savage's reasons, and his letters, that they withdrew, however hoagreed that it ought to be suppressed.
nourably, their contributions; and it is believed After many alterations and delays, a subscrip- | that little more was paid him than the twenty tion was at length raised, which did not amount pounds a year, which were allowed him by the to fifty pounds a year, though twenty were gentleman who proposed the subscription. paid by one gentleman ;* such was the genero
After some stay at Bristol he retired to Swansity of mankind, that what had been done by a sea, the place originally proposed for his replayer without solicitation, could not now be sidence, where he lived about a year, very much
dissatisfied with the diminution of his salary;
but contracted, as in other places, acquaintance • Mr. Pope.-R.
with those who were most distinguished in that
his usual fe
country, among whom he has celebrated Mr. his conduct, and this is the worst charge that Powel and Mrs. Jones, by some verses which can be drawn up against him, did them no real he inserted in “ The Gentleman's Magazinc.”* injury, and that it therefore ought rather to
Here he completed his tragedy, of which two have been pitied than resented ; at least, the reacts were wanting when he left London ; and sentment it might provoke ought to have been was desirous of coming to town, to bring it up- generous and manly; epithets which his conon the stage. This design was very warmly duct will hardly deserve, that starves the man opposed; and he was advised by his chief bene- whom he has persuaded to put himself into his factor, to put it into the hands of Mr. Thomson power, and Mr. Mallet, that it might be fitted for the It might have been reasonably demanded by stage, and allow his friends to receive the pro- Savage, that they should, before they had taken fits, out of which an annual pension should be away what they promised, have replaced him in paid him.
his former state, that they should have taken no This proposal he rejected with the utmost advantages from the situation to which the apcontempt. He was by no means convinced that pearance of their kindness had reduced him, the judgment of those, to whom he was required and that he should have been recalled to London to submit, was superior to his own. He was before he was abandoned. He might justly now determined, as he expressed it, to be “ no represent, that he ought to have been conlonger kept in leading strings,” and had no ele- sidered as a lion in the toils, and demand to vated idea of " his bounty, who proposed to be released before the dogs should be loosed pension him out of the profits of his own la- upon him. bours.”
He endeavoured, indeed, to release himself, He attempted in Wales to promote a subscrip- and, with an intent to return to London, went tion for his works, and had once hopes of suc- to Bristol, where a repetition of the kindness cess; but in a short time afterwards formed a which he had formerly found invited him to resolution of leaving that part of the country, stay. He was not only caressed and treated, to which he thought it not reasonable to be con- but had a collection made for him of about fined, for the gratification of those who having thirty pounds, with which it had been happy if promised him a liberal income, had no sooner he had immediately departed for London ; but banished him to a remote corner, than they re- his negligence did not suffer him to consider, duced his allowance to a salary scarcely equal to that such proofs of kindness were not often to the necessities of life.
be expected, and that this ardour of benevolence His resentment of this treatment, which, in was in a great degree the effect of novelty, and his own opinion at least, he had not deserved, might, probably, be every day less; and therewas such, that he broke off all correspondence fore he took no care to improve the happy time, with most of his contributors, and appeared to but was encouraged by one favour to hope for consider them as persecutors and oppressors; another, till at length generosity was exhausted, and in the latter part of his life declared, that and officiousness wearied. their conduct towards him since his departure Another part of his misconduct was the from London “ had been perfidiousness im- practice of prolonging his visits to unseasonable proving on perfidiousness, and inhumanity on hours, and disconcerting all the families into inhumanity.
which he was admitted. This was an error in It is not to be supposed that the necessities of a place of commerce, which all the charms of Mr. Savage did not sometimes incite him to sa- his conversation could not compensate ; for tirical exaggerations of the behaviour of those what trader would purchase such airy satisfacby whom he thought himself reduced to them. tion by the loss of solid gain, which must be But it must be granted, that the diminution of the consequence of midnight merriment, as his allowance was a great hardship, and that those hours which were gained at night were those who withdrew their subscriptions from a generally lost in the morning ? man, who, upon the faith of their promise, had Thus Mr. Savage, after the curiosity of the gone into a kind of banishment, and abandoned inhabitants was gratified, found the number of all those by whom he had been before relieved his friends daily decreasing, perhaps without in his distresses, will find it no easy task to vin- suspecting for what reason their conduct was dicate their conduct.
altered; for he still continued to harass, with It may be alleged, and perhaps justly, that he his nocturnal intrusions, those that yet counwas petulant and contemptuous; that he more tenanced him, and admitted him to their houses. frequently reproached his subscribers for not But he did not spend all the time of his regiving him more, than thanked them for what sidence at Bristol in visits or at taverns; for he he received ; but it is to be remembered, that sometimes returned to his studies, and began
several considerable designs. When he felt an
inclination to write, he always retired from • Reprinted in the late Collection.
the knowledge of his friends, and lay hid in an
obscure part of the suburbs, till he found him at others continued or enlarged his epistolary self again desirous of company, to which it is correspondence; nor was he ever so far dejected likely that intervals of absence made him more as to endeavour to procure an increase of his al. welcome.
lowance by any other methods than accusations He was always full of his design of returning and reproaches. to London, to bring his tragedy upon the stage; He had now no longer any hopes of assistance but, having neglected to depart with the money from his friends at Bristol, who as merchants, that was raised for him, he could not after- and by consequence sufficiently studious of prowards procure a sufficient to defr the ex- fit, cannot be supposed to have looked with penses of his journey; nor perhaps would a much compassion upon negligence and extravafresh supply have had any other effect, than, by gance, or to think any excellence equivalent to putting immediate pleasures into his power, to a fault of such consequence as neglect of econohave driven the thoughts of his journey out of my. It is natural to imagine, that many of his mind.
those who would have relieved his real wants, While he was thus spending the day in con- were discouraged from the exertion of their betriving a scheme for the morrow, distress stole nevolence by observation of the use which was upon him by imperceptible degrees. His con- made of their favours, and conviction that reduct had already wearied some of those who lief would only be momentary, and, that the were at first enamoured of his conversation; same necessity would quickly return. but he might, perhaps, still have devolved to At last he quitted the house of his friend, and others, whom he might have entertained with returned to his lodging at the inn, still intendequal success, had not the decay of his clothes ing to set out in a few days to London ; but on made it no longer consistent with their vanity the 10th of January, 1742-3, having been at to admit him to their tables, or to associate with supper with two of his friends, he was at his him in public places. He now began to find return to his lodgings arrested for a debt of every man from home at whose house he called; about eight pounds, which he owed at a coffeeand was therefore no longer able to procure the house, and conducted to the house of a sheriff's riecessaries of life, but wandered about the officer, The account which he gives of this town, slighted and neglected, in quest of a din- misfortune, in a letter to one of the gentlemen ner which he did not always obtain.
with whom he had supped, is too remarkable to To complete his misery, he was pursued by be omitted. the officers for small debts which he had con “ It was not a little unfortunate for me, that tracted; and was therefore obliged to withdraw I spent yesterday's evening with you; because from the small number of friends from whom the hour hindered me from entering on my new he had still reason to hope for favours. His lodging ; however, I have now got one, but such custom was, to lie in bed the greatest part of a one as I believe nobody would choose. the day, and to go out in the dark with the ut- “ I was arrested at the suit of Mrs. Read, most privacy, and, after having paid his visit, just as I was going up stairs to bed, at Mr. return again before morning to his lodging, Bowyer's; but taken in so private a manner, which was the garret of an obscure inn. that I believe nobody at the White Lion is ap
Being thus excluded on one hand, and con-prised of it: though I let the officers know the fined on the other, he suffered the utmost ex- strength, or rather the weakness, of my pocket, tremities of poverty, and often fasted so long yet they treated me with the utmost civility ; that he was seized with faintness, and had lost and even when they conducted me to confinehis appetite, not being able to bear the smell of ment, it was in such a manner, that I verily bemeat, till the action of his stomach was restored lieve I could have escaped, which I would raby a cordial.
ther be ruined than have done, notwithstand. In this distress he received a remittance of ing the whole amount of my finances was but, five pounds from London, with which he pro- threepence halfpenny. vided himself a decent coat, and determined to “ In the first place, I must insist, that you go to London, but unhappily spent his money will industriously conceal this from Mrs. at a favourite tavern. Thus was he again con- s- -s, because I would not have her goodfined to Bristol, where he was every day hunted nature suffer that pain, which I know she by bailiffs. In this exigence he once more would be apt to feel on this occasion. found a friend, who sheltered him in his house, “ Next, I conjure you, dear Sir, by all the though at the usual inconveniences with which ties of friendship, by no means to have one unhis company was attended; for he could neither easy thought on my account; but to have the be persuaded to go to bed in the night, nor to same pleasantry of countenance and unruffled rise in the day.
| serenity of mind, which (God be praised !) I It is observable, that in these various scenes have in this, and have had in a much severer of misery he was always disengaged and cheer- calamity. Furthermore, I charge you, if you ful: he at some times pursued his studies, and value my friendship as truly as I do yours, not