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The Poet's life, during the first ten years of his rectorship at Welwyn, flowed on in an even tenor. He was regular in his conduct, happy in his family, diligent in his pastoral duties, and easy in his fortune. His preaching was popular and useful. His studies were principally connected with his own profession, and yielded him a growing satisfaction. An anonymous writer in the Gentleman's Magazine for 1782, who seems to have been intimate with him, thus describes him :

-“ The dignity of a great and good mind appeared in all his actions, and in all his words. He conversed on religious subjects with the cheerfulness of virtue ; his piety was undebased by gloom or enthusiasm ; he was regular in the performance of all its duties, both in public and in private. In his domestic character he was amiable as he was venerable in the Christian. His politeness was such as I never saw equalled : it was invariable to his superiors in rank; to his equals and to his inferiors it differed only in degrees of elegance. I never heard him speak with roughness to the meanest servant. In conversation upon lively subjects he had a brilliancy of wit which was peculiar to himself; I know not how to describe it but by saying that it was both heightened and softened by the amiable qualities of his soul. I have seen him ill and in pain, yet the serenity of his mind remained unruffled. I never heard a peevish expression fall from his lips.” Few of his brilliancies are preserved, since, unfortunately, he had no Boswell attached to his heels. But one or two of the sayings that have floated down to us are singularly characteristic. On one very stormy night Young went out to his garden, and remained some time. When he returned, one expressed wonder why he had stayed so long in such an evening. “Oh,” he replied, “it is a very fine night; the Lord is abroad." He was very fond of a garden, and inscribed on the wall of his summer-house the words, Ambulantes in horto audiebant vocem Dei (Walking in the garden, they heard the voice of God). He had also erected a dial with the inscription, Eheu fugaces ! which, he said with a smile to Mr Langton, “ was sadly verified, for by the next morning my dial had been carried off.” Though sometimes melancholy, he was disposed to encourage mirth in others, and established an assembly and bowlinggreen in his parish.

. And had this been all—had Young continued to pursue such an even, equable course—he had been by this time wellnigh forgotten; for we do not think that either his satires or plays would of themselves have preserved his name. But it was decreed that grief should co-operate with disappointment in unfolding the full riches of his mind. Antæus was strongest when he touched the ground. Job was never so eloquent till he was prostrated on his dunghill. And, in order to be able to write the “ Night Thoughts,” Young must be plunged in the deepest gloom of affliction—" Thrice flew the shaft, and thrice his peace was slain.” In 1736, a daughter of his wife, by a former husband, died. This was Mrs Temple, the Narcissa of his great poem. Her disease was a lingering one. Young accompanied her to Lyons, where she died, and where her remains were brutally denied sepulture, as the dust of a Protestant. Her husband, Mr Temple, or Philander, died four years later; and in 1741, Young's wife, or Lucia, also expired. He now felt himself alone, and blasted in his solitude. But his grief did not sink into sullen inactivity. He made it oracular, and distilled his tears into song. The “ Night Thoughts were immediately commenced, and published between 1742 and 1744. This marvellous poem was all composed either at night, or when riding on horseback—an exercise, by the way, which gives a sense of mastery and confidence, stirs the blood, elevates the animal spirits, and has been felt by many to be eminently favourable to thought and mental composition. It inspired, we know, such men as Burns, Byron, Shelley, and Delta. We love to think of Young riding through the green lanes of his parish, and cooing out to himself his plaintive minstrelsies. We love better still to watch his lonely lamp shining at midnight, like a star, through the darkness, and seeming to answer the far signal of those mightier luminaries which are burning above in the Great Bear and Orion—the poet the while now dipping his pen to indite his ardent immortalities—now leaning his head on his widowed arm, and surrendering himself to paroxysms of uncon

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trollable anguish—and now looking out upon the Night as the " Lord is abroad" on the wings of the tempest, or as He is silently shining out his name in suns and galaxies—those unwearied “ Watchers ” and unbaptized“ Holy Ones.”

In 1745, Young wrote “Reflections on the Public Situation of the Kingdom ”—a production which made no impression at the time, and is now entirely forgotten. He did not include it in the collection of his works. In 1753, the tragedy of “ The Brothers," which had lain past for thirty years, was produced on the stage. Young gave the profits of the play, and several hundreds from his own pocket, amounting to a thousand pounds in all, to the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel-an act which surely balances the stories usually told of his love of money and thirst for preferment.

His next work was, “ The Centaur not Fabulous, in Six Letters to a Friend.” Its subjects were, the infidelity and licentiousness of that age. It is a pity that this book has fallen into oblivion, as it is a very rich and powerful piece of writing.

It is full of clear, sharp, sententious truth. Its style palpitates with energy, and glitters with poetic image. We wish we saw it reprinted in a cheap form; for, although infidelity and pleasure have both materially changed their phases, there is much in Young's little work that has an imperishable application, and that would be even yet eminently useful. The character of Altamont is supposed to represent Lord Euston—a nobleman notorious for his vices. The age in which Young's lot was cast was characterised by a low, sneering scepticism, and his earnest and awful letters were treated with ridicule. Many pronounced him mad, others whispered about dotage. Now, the book seems replete with wisdom, and burning almost with prophetic fire.

Young, in fact, was not generally appreciated during his lifetime. Tried by the Boileau and Pope standard, his writings were pronounced turgid, strained, and extravagant. Even Warburton, who should have known better, passed a severe judgment on the “ Night Thoughts.” He had, however, his warm admirers, prominent among whom was the amiable and learned Joseph Warton. He dedicated to Young his “Essay

on Pope”—an essay containing the first sober and discriminating estimate of that most artificial of true poets, and with the opinions expressed in which Young is supposed to have coincided; for, although he admired, and too often imitated, Pope's brilliant point and antithesis, he was aware of far higher models, and found Homer, Milton, and Job far more congenial companions in his studious midnights. In 1758, he published a short and in nowise remarkable sermon, preached before the King at Kensington.

Richardson, the novelist, was one of Young's greatest friends. Their views on moral and religious subjects were identical ; and in gravity of tone, and severity of genius, they resembled each other-Richardson being a duller Young, and Young a more elastic and brilliant Richardson. Although both lived in a most depraved age, neither catered to its tastes. To Richardson, Young addressed, in 1759, a letter on Original Composition, which betrays no symptoms of senility, but is full of vigorous and striking remark. In 1762, when upwards of eighty, he wrote his last and worst poem. It is entitled Resignation,” and requires, on the part of the reader, considerable exercise of that grace. It has very little of Young's peculiar power, and is chiefly filled with weak and toothless abuse of his old acquaintance Voltaire. It was written, it appears, at the instance of Mrs Boscawen—the widow of the Admiral--who, having found consolation from the “ Night Thoughts,” visited Young, and was still more captivated by his conversation.

During the latter years of his life, he is said to have fallen too much under the dominion of his housekeeper, Mrs Hallowes, the widow of a clergyman, who is reported to have ruled him with a rod of iron. Ere his death he revised his printed works, and gave charges in his will that all his MSS. should be burned. He applied, when past eighty, to Archbishop Secker for promotion, and was appointed Clerk of the Closet to the Princess-Dowager of Wales. In April 1765, at the age of eighty-four, he breathed his last. He had been previously unable to perform duty for three or four years, but retained his faculties to the last. He left his property princi

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pally to his son, who was found by Johnson and Boswell, in 1781, residing at Welwyn, and cherishing the memory of his father.

Young was unquestionably a neglected man. Out of all sight the greatest genius then connected with the ministry of the Church of England, he never mounted one step higher than the rectorship his own college had conferred on him. Many reasons have been assigned for this. Some say that it was because he had attached himself to the side of Frederick, Prince of Wales, and had preached an obnoxious sermon at St James's; others, that it was because he had received a pension through Sir Robert Walpole. We think that the real cause lay in the vulgar and senseless prejudice which prevailed then, and in some measure prevails still, against a literary divine, as if he were a hybrid, or centaur, not fabulous."

Let us not blame that age so long as we remember the burning shame reflected on ours by the fact that the gifted and high-charactered author of Salathiel, and Paris in 1815, is still only the rector of St Stephen's, Walbrook, while many younger men, who in comparison with him are of little mark, have reached the episcopal bench. Probably Young felt himself consoled for his bad success, by the knowledge that his name and great poem had travelled to foreign lands, and that Madame Klopstock was wonderinggood, simple soul !—that her husband's idol and her own, had not been made Archbishop of Canterbury.

Very little beyond what we have mentioned has been left on record about his private habits and manners. It was his custom, when well pleased with a passage in the course of his reading, to double down the leaf—when particularly gratified, to mark it by two folds; and some favourite works, such as The Rambler, had so many of these marks of approbation that they would not shut. On one occasion, in replying to Tonson and Lintot, who were both candidates for printing one of his works, he misdirected the letters ; and when Lintot opened his, he found it begun—" Bernard Lintot is so great a scoundrel,” &c. Young was proverbial for absence of mind, and sometimes forgot whether he had dined or not. Yet in

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