of his money, and gave it to him as he wanted it, But it is supposed that the discountenance of the court sunk deep into his heart, and gave him more discontent than the applauses or tenderness of his friends could overpower. He soon fell into his old distemper, an habitual cholic, and languished, though with many intervals of ease and cheerfulness, till a violent fit at last seized him, and hurried him to the grave, as Arbuthnot reported, with more precipitance than he had ever known. He died on the 4th of December, 1732, and was bu ried in Westminster Abbey. The letter which brought an account of his death to Swift was laid by for some days unopened, because when he received it he was impressed with the preconception of some misfortune.

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After his death, was published a second volume. of "Fables," more political than the former. His opera of "Achilles" was acted, and the profits were given to two widow sisters, who inherited what he left, as his lawful heirs; for he died without a will, though he had gathered+ three thousand pounds. There have appeared likewise under his name a comedy called "The Distressed Wife," and "The Rehearsal at Gotham," a piece of hu


The character given him by Pope is this: that "he was a natural man, without design, who spoke what he thought, and just as he thought it;" and that "he was of a timid temper, and fearful of giving offence to the great;" which caution, however, says Pope, was of no avail.

As a poet, he cannot be rated very high. He was, as I once heard a female critic remark, "of a lower order." He had not in any great degree the mens divinior, the dignity of genius. Much however must be allowed to the author of a new

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species of composition, though it be not of the highest kind. We owe to Gay the ballad opera; a mode of comedy which at first was supposed to delight only by its novelty, but has now by the experience of half a century been found so well accommodated to the disposition of a popular audience, that it is likely to keep long possession of the stage. Whether this new drama was the product of judgment or of luck, the praise of it must be given to the inventor; and there are many wri ters read with more reverence, to whom such merit of originality cannot be attributed.

His first performance, "The Rural Sports," is such as was easily planned and executed; it is never contemptible nor ever excellent. The "Fan" is one of those mythological fictions which antiquity delivers ready to the hand, but which, like other things that lie open to every one's use, are of little value. The attention naturally retires from a new tale of Venus, Diana, and Minerva.

His "Fables" seem to have been a favourite work; for, having published one volume, he left another behind him. Of this kind of fables, the authors do not appear to have formed any distinct or settled notion. Phædrus evidently confounds them with tales; and Gay both with tales and allegorical prosopopeias. A fable or apologue, such as is now under consideration, seems to be, in its genuine state, a narrative in which beings irrational, and sometimes inanimate, arbores lo quuntur, non tantum feræ, are, for the purpose of moral instruction, feigned to act and speak with human interests and passions. To this description the compositions of Gay do not always conform. For a fable he gives now and then a tale, or an abstracted allegory; and from some, by whatever name they may be called, it will be difficult to extraet any moral principle. They are, however, told with liveliness; the versification is smooth; and the diction, though now and then a little con

strained by the measure or the rhyme, is generally

To "Trivia" may be allowed all that it claims;
it is sprightly, various, and pleasant. The subject
is of that kind which-Gay was by nature qualified
to adorn; yet some of his decorations may be
justly wished away. An honest blacksmith might
have done for Patty what is performed by Vulcan.
The appearance of Cloacina is nauseous and super-
fluous; a shoe-boy could have been produced by
the casual cohabitation of mere mortals. Horace's
rule is broken in both cases.; there is no dignus
vindice nodus, no difficulty that required any su-
pernatural interposition. A patten may be made
by the hammer of a mortal; and a bastard may
be dropped by a human strumpet. On great occa-
sions, and on small, the mind is repelled by use
less and apparent falsehood.

Of his little poems the public judgment seems to
be right; they are neither much esteemed nor to-
tally despised. The story of the apparition is
borrowed from one of the tales of Poggio. Those
that please least are the pieces to which Gulliver
gave occasion; for who can much delight in the
echo of unnatural fiction?

"Dione" is a counterpart to "Amynta" and
"Pastor Fido," and other trifles of the same kind,
easily imitated, and unworthy of imitation. What
the Italians call comedies from a happy conclusion,
Gay calls a tragedy from a mournful event; but
the style of the Italians and of Gay is equally tra
gical. There is something in the poetical arcadia
so remote from known reality and speculative pos-
sibility, that we can never support its representa-
tion through a long work. A pastoral of a hun-
dred lines may be endured; but who will hear of
sheep and goats, and myrtle bowers and purling
rivulets, through five acts? Such scenes please bar-
barians in the dawn of literature, and children in
the dawn of life; but will be for the most part

thrown away, as men grow wise, and nations grow learned.


P GEORGE GRANVILLE, or, as others write Greenville, or Grenville, afterwards Lord Landsdown, of Bideford in the county of Devon, less is known than his name and high rank might give reason to expect. He was born about 1667, the son of Bernard Greenville, who was entrusted by Monk with the most private transactions of the Restoration, and the grandson of Sir Bevil Greenville, who died in the King's cause, at the battle of Landsdowne.

His early education was superintended by Sir William Ellis; and his progress was such, that be fore the age of twelve he was sent to Cambridge, where he pronounced a copy of his own verses to the Princess Mary d'Este of Modena, then duchess of York, when she visited the University.

At the accession of King James, being now at eighteen, he again exerted his poetical powers, and addressed the new monarch in three short pieces, of which the first is profane, and the two others such as a boy might be expected to produce; but he was commended by old Waller, who perhaps was pleased to find himself imitated in six lines,

To Trinity College. By the University register it appears that he was admitted to his master's of degree in 1679; we must, therefore, set the year his birth some years back.-H.

which, though they begin with nonsense and end
with dulness, excited in the young Author a rap-
ture of acknowledgment.

In numbers such as Waller's self might use.

It was probably about this time that he wrote the poem to the Earl of Peterborough, upon his accomplishment of the Duke of York's marriage with the Princess of Modena, whose charms appear to have gained a strong prevalence over his ima gination, and upon whom nothing ever has been charged but imprudent piety, an intemperate and misguided zeal for the propagation of popery.

However faithful Granville might have been to the King, or however enamoured of the Queen, he has left no reason for supposing that he approved either the artifices or the violence with which the, King's religion was insinuated or obtruded. He endeavoured to be true at once to the King and to the church.

Of this regulated loyalty he has transmitted to
posterity a sufficient proof, in the letter which he
wrote to his father about a month before the Prince
of Orange landed.

"Mar, near Doncaster, Oct. 6, 1688.
"To the Honourable Mr. Barnard Granville, at
the Earl of Bathe's, St. James's.


"Your having no prospect of obtaining a commission for me can no way alter or cool my desire at this important juncture to venture my life, in some manner or other, for my King and my country.

"I cannot bear living under the reproach of lying obscure and idle in a country retirement, when every man, who has the least sense of honour, should be preparing for the field.

"You may remember, Sir, with what reluctance

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