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Freebooter Life in the Forest, from 'Maid Marian,'
JOHN FENIMORE COOPER,
The World was Made with a Benevolent Design,
Account of his Connexion with the Edinburgh Review, &c. 696
LORD JEFFREY, .
The Universality of the Genius of Shakspeare,
Genius not a Source of Unhappiness to its Possessor,
75 Autograph of Wordsworth,
Portrait of Dr Benjamin Franklin,
Autograph of Crabbe,
Portrait of William Wordsworth,
a Ruined Castle,
View of Burns's House, Dumfries,
Portrait of George Colman, the
Portrait of James Morier,
Autograph of Morier,
Portrait of Theodore Hook,
Portrait of Mrs Trollope,
View of Moore's Cottage, near De-
CYCLOPEDIA OF ENGLISH LITERATURE.
HE fifty-three 3 years between 1727 and 1780, comprehending the reign of George II., and a portion of that of George III, produced more men of letters, as well as more men of science, than any epoch of similar extent in the literary history of England. It was also a time during which greater progress was made in diffusing literature among the people at large, than had been made, perhaps, throughout all the ages that went before it. Yet while letters, and the cultivators of letters, were thus abundant, it I must be allowed that, if we keep out of view the rise of the species of fiction called the novel (including the delineation of character, and not merely incidents), the age was not by any means marked by such striking features of originality or vigour as some of the preceding eras.
For about a third of this period Pope lived, and his name continued to be the greatest in English poetry. The most distinguished of his contemporaries, however, adopted styles of their own, or at least departed widely from that of their illustrious master. Thomson (who survived Pope only four years) made no attempt to enter the school of polished satire and pungent wit. His enthusiastic descriptions of nature, and his warm poetical feeling, seemed to revive the spirit of the elder muse, and to assert the dignity of genuine inspiration. Young in his best performances -his startling denunciations of death and judgment, his solemn appeals, his piety, and his epigram-was equally an original. Gray and Collins aimed at the dazzling imagery and magnificence of lyrical poetry -the direct antipodes of Pope. Akenside descanted on the operations of the mind, and the associated charms of taste and genius, in a strain of melodious and original blank verse. Goldsmith blended mora
lity and philosophy with a beautiful simplicity of expression and numbers, pathetic imagery, and natural description. Beattie portrayed the romantic hopes and aspirations of youthful genius in a style formed from imitation of Spenser and Thomson. And the best of the secondary poets, as Shenstone, Dyer, and Mason, had each a distinct and independent poetical character. Johnson alone, of all the eminent authors of this period, seems to have directly copied the style of Pope and Dryden. The publication of Percy's Reliques, and Warton's History of Poetry, may be here adverted to, as directing public attention to the early writers, and to the powerful effects which could be produced by simple narrative and natural emotion in verse. It is true that few or none of the poets we have named had much immediate influence on literature: Gray was ridiculed, and Collins was neglected, because both public taste and criticism had been vitiated and reduced to a low ebb. The spirit of true poetry, however, was not broken; the seed was sown, and in the next generation, Cowper completed what Thomson had begun. The conventional style was destined to fall, leaving only that taste for correct language and versification which was established by the example of Pope, and found to be quite compatible with the utmost freedom and originality of conception and expression.
be necessary to include all the names that have In describing the poets of this period, it will not shall omit none whose literary history is important, descended to us dignified with this title. But we singular, or instructive.
RICHARD SAVAGE is better known for his misfor tunes, as related by Johnson, than for any peculiar
novelty or merit in his poetry. The latter rarely rises above the level of tame mediocrity; the former were a romance of real life, stranger than fiction. Savage was born in London in 1698, the issue of an adulterous connexion between the Countess of Mac