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ries to be converted into (I believe, no inconfiderable sums of) money? And is the mother and filter's share to be five guineas?

Either mean envy of C.'s extraordinary gea nius, or manly abhorrence of his detestable death, leads almost every person, who talks or writes about this boy, to tell you of his shocking profigacy and his total want of principle. One reverend antiquarian of Cambridge has gone so far as to tell those of whom he has made enquiries concerning him, that his death was of little consequence, since he could not long have escaped hanging. C. never did any thing which merited hanging, half so much as is merited by that doctor of the charitable religion of Christ, who can dare to advance such an uncharitable affertion without a shadow of probability. Who knows but

a this venerable feer, in his next vifion, may choose to discover that I shall live to be hanged ; may see your H. gibbeted in perspective; because my indignation rescues fuch-a 'villain as poor Chatterton from his monkish bigotry? When C. left this world in August 1770,

he wanted as many months as intervene between August and November to compleat his 18th year. Ifinto fo fmall a space he had contrived to croud much profligacy and much' want of principle,


Come perhaps may be ascribed to his youth, and fome to want of friends. Johnson, I remember, defends even the life of Savágs, which differed:

from Chatterton's in more circumstances than its length, by fome such observation as this ; that the sons of aMuence are improper judges of his conduct, and that few wise men will venture to affirm they should have lived better than Savage in Savage's fituation. Do profligate and renprincipled, some of the tendereft epithets vouchsafed poor Chatterton, mean difhoneft or undutiful, an unkind brother or an unfeeling child? The dullest enemies of his genius can produce no proofs of any such crime. Some papers I shall send you will contain the fullest proof of the negative. Do they mean that, being a young man, "he was addicted to women; that, being a youth of such an imagination, he was addicted to women like all youths of strong iinaginations? Do the epithets mean that he exhibited those damnable proofs of his crimes which Bougainville exported into the country of Omiah? The proofs fif there were any, which his bed fellow at his first foulging in town denies) only show he was untucky. The crimes must be admitted. Do they mean that, writing to procure bread for hina(ef, his mother and his fifter, he wrote on agy N


faile and on any fubje& which would afford bread? The crime must perhaps be admitted. Yet, let sot older men, who may possibly themselves, in this sense of the words, be a little unprincipled, a little profligate, head the advanced guard of veterans who are to attack this infant Hercules in his cradle. And let it be remembered that, in the “ Memoirs of a Sad Dog,” signed Harry Wildfire, inserted in the Town and Country Magazine, where Chatterton evidently fate to his own pencil for two or three features, there is this passage---

** As I know the art of Curlism pretty well, 1 make a tolerable hand of it. But, Mr. Printer, the late prosecution against the booksellers having frightened them all out of their patriotism, I am neceffitated either to write for the entertainment of the public, or in defence of the ministry. As I have some little remains of conscience, the latter is not very agreeable. Political writing of either side is of little service to the entertainment or instruction of the reader. Abuse and scurrility are generally the chief figures in the language of party. I am not of the opinion of those aathors who deem every man in place a rascal, and every man out of place a patriot.”

In the preface to Chatterton's Miscellanies, we are even assured that “ his profligacy was at least -

as conspicuous as his abilities." p. 18. Indeed ! Then do I believe he was the moft proAigate mortal of his age (I had almoft said, of any age) that ever exifted. The admirable Chrich


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10M (Adventurer, N. 81) bears no comparison with C. either as to the forwardness or the greato' ness of his abilities ; ftill lefs in point of education, for he studied at St. Andrew's in Scotland

, till he was above three years older than C. was* at the time of his death.

. The infinuations thrown out by the editor of Chatterton's Miscellanies, and even by Mr. Warton against the elegant writer at Strawberryhill, are certainly not founded.

To impute Chatterton's death, in 1770, to the person who in 1768 refused to believe that some of his compositions had been written 300 years before, were to treat others ftill more uncharitably, if it be poffible, than Chatterton has been treated. Mr. Walpole is by no means blameable for the life or the death of Chatterton*.

* Yet even Mr. Walpole cannot help regretiing that he was not better acquainted with Chatterton's “ fierce and untameable « spirit, his consciousness of superior abilities, his inattention to " worldly discretion, his scorn of owing subsistence or reputation k to any thing but the ebullitions of his own genius,” (“ a let" ter to the editor of Chatterton's Miscellanies," printed at. Strawberry-hill, 1779) Even he cannot help lamenting that he did not “ contribute to rescue such a spirit from itself, its worst " enemy." Still, this writer, no less humane than elegant, joins the general cry against the morals of Chatterton But were or were not all the crimes which can be proved against this poor boy any thing more than the universal foibles of youth? To persist N2


Has the reverend Mr. Thomas Warton any thing to urge against the vanity or the presumption of this poor boy? He fhould surely have re

membered therefore to charge him with those crimes, is it any thing more, than to accuse him of his youth? And pure should be that mouth of age which ventures such an accusation, for it may be remenibered (the editor protests he means not the most distant applicasion in the present day) that when, in the year 1740, on the sea. men's bill, Mr.Horace Walpole reflected upon the youth of Pitt, that great man replied, he would not undertake to determine whether, youth might justly be imputed as a reproach ; but this he would affirm, that the wretch, whose age has only added obltinacy to Aupidity, is surely the object of either abhorrence or contempty and deferves not that his grey hairs should protect him from in fults : that much more is he to be abhorred, who, as he has advanced in age, has receded from virtue, and becomes more wicked with less temptation --Stiff', this patron of Onián, and rejectori of Chatterton, does not hefitate to affirm, rather barply, that • all of the house of forgery are relations ; and that, though it; “ be just to Chaiterton's memory to say his poverty never made « him claim kindred with the richest or molt enriching branches,

that his ingenuity in counterfeiting styles, and, he (W) be-? " leves, hands, might easily have led him to those more facile “ imitations of prose, promisory notes." But surely it thould have been remembered that, in the preface to the first edition of the Capic of Otranto, not a boy's production, we are rolehinly told it was found in the library of an ancient catholic family-in the of north ot England, and was printed at Naples, in the black let

ter, in the year 1529;" that we are toll, in the preface to the second edition, the honourable author factors himself “ he “ Mall appear excufeable for having offered his work to the world

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