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HISTORICAL AND BIOGRAPHICAL
THE ADVENTURE R.
THE ADVENTURER was planned by Dr. JOHN HAWKESWORTH soon after the conclusion of the Rambler, in conjunction with Dr. Johnson. The first number was published on Tuesday, Nov. the 7th, 1752, in the folio size, and quantity of the Rambler, and at the same price. The days of publication were Tuesday and Saturday, and a period was put to the work in N° 140, Satur day, March 9, 1754.
John HAWKÉSWORTH, L. L. D. was born in 1715, or, according to another account, in 1719. His parents were dissenters, probably in humble life. It has been asserted that he was brought
up to a mechanical employment, but Sir J. Hawkins says that he was in his youth a hired clerk to an attorney—a situation scarcely superior to the former. By some means, however, he fitted himself for the profession of a man of letters; and about 1744 was Dr. Johnson's successor in the office of compiler of the parliamentary debates for the Gentleman's Magazine To that publication he contributed during some successive years several pieces of poetry, some of them under the signature H. Greville. We find him, between his thirtieth and fortieth year, residing at Bromley in Kent, where his wife kept a boarding-school for young ladies. In 1752 he began to publish 6 The Adventurer,” which was continued to the one hundred and fortieth number, and then collected into four volumes 12mo. Of these, one half, or seventy numbers, were of his own composition. He had for his coadjutors Johnson, Bathurst, and Warton, and there were a few other occasional contributors. The “ Adventurer” was favourably received by the public, and merited its success by the purity of its morals, the elegance of its critical disquisitions, and the acquaintance it displayed with life and manners. The papers of Hawkesworth resemble in style the Ramblers of Johnson, though with somewhat less pomp of diction. Those among them which have been most admired consist of eastern tales, and of stories in domestic life; in the former of which he exhibits a fine imagination, and in the latter a considerable knowledge of the human heart. Both of them convey the most instructive lessons of conduct. Archbishop Herring so much approved the moral and religious tenor of these papers, that he conferred upon their author the degree of doctor of civil law. From some circumstance, this acquisition of dignity lost Dr. Hawkesworth the friendship of Johnson (who had not then obtained a similar honour), and they appear never again to have associated together. That Hawkesworth was weakly elated by his new title, appears from the intention with which it inspired him of assuming the profession of a civilian, and practising in the ecclesiastical courts; but, after some preparatory studies, the opposition he met with obliged him to desist from his purpose. In 1756, at the desire of Garrick, he altered for the stage Dryden's comedy of Amphytrion. His oratorio of “ Zimri,” performed at Covent-garden in 1760, displayed no mean talents for poetical composi
tion; and his “Edgar and Emmeline,'' a dramatic entertainment, called “a Fairy Tale," brought out at Drury-lane in 1761, was a very elegant fancy-piece. In the same year he published “ Almoran and Hamet,” an Oriental tale, two volumes 12mo. which possesses much merit as a romance of the serious and dignified class. He was the editor about this time of a collection of the works of Dean Swift, to which he prefixed a life of that extraordinary person. The mention made of this performance by Dr.
Johnson, in his Lives of the English Poets, is . too valuable a biographical record of our author to be omitted : “An account of Dr. Swift has been already collected with great diligence and acuteness by Dr. Hawkesworth, according to a scheme which I laid before him in the intimacy of our friendship. I cannot, therefore, be expected to say much of a life, concerning which I had long since communicated my thoughts to a man capable of dignifying his narration with so much elegance of language and force of sentiment.” In 1766 Dr. · Hawkesworth was the editor of three volumes of “Letters of Dr. Swift and several of his Friends, published from the Originals, with Notes explanatory and historical.” A “ Trans
BIOGRAPHICAL PREFACE. Fy lation of Telemachus," quarto, 1768, exhibited to great advantage the beauties of Hawkes worth's style, which was peculiarly adapted to represent the rich description and sentimental glow of the admired original; and he was allowed to have left all former translators of this work far behind him. The reputation he had now acquired as a writer obtained for him, in 1772, the lucrative and distinguished task of compiling into one narrative an account of all the voyages of discovery made by command of his present majesty, to that period of his reign. This work was published in three volumes 4to. magnificently adorned with charts, maps, views, &c. and comprising the materials of the jour. nals kept by commodore Byron, captains Wallis and Carteret, and lieutenant Cook, in their respective voyages to the Southern hemisphere and Pacific ocean. Dr. Hawkesworth received the very munificent reward of six thousand pounds; and his execution of the task obtained the praise of lively and elegant narration, and of sufficient fidelity as to matters of fact. Yet the author by profession, the speculatist and philosopher, too much appeared amidst the simple relations of sea officers and navigators; and the colouring of his style produced a similar