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collection of poems, which he printed at Edinburgh, under the title of the Union, and interspersed with some of his own pieces. But his observations upon Spenser's Fairy Queen, published in 1754, in one volume, and to which he subsequently added another, considerably augmented his literary reputation. The work was very popularly received, and in addition to the wreath of poetry merited him great critic and antiquarian honours.
Such proofs of extensive and various talent did not go long unrewarded ; and in 1757, he was elevated to the chair of poetry professor at Oxford, a post which his father had occupied before him with great credit to himself. In this office, which he administered for the usual period of ten years, few professors have enjoyed more undisputed supremacy; and he displayed so much elegance of taste, and such a depth of research in his discourses, that his lecture-room was constantly crowded with admiring hearers. During his poetical incumbency at Oxford, he furnished his contributions to the IDLER. In 1758 he exhibited his profound knowledge in classical antiquities, in a publication entitled, * Inscriptionum Romanarum Metricarum Delectus.' It is a collection of select Latin epigrams and incriptions, intermingled with some imitations by modern hands, five of which are from his own pen. In 1760, he supplied a Memoir of the life of Sir Thomas Pope, for the Biographia Britannica, which he subsequently published in a separate form, with many alterations and additions, in 1772 and 1780. This
year, also, he wrote a humorous quiz upon the Oxford Guide, which was extensively circulated and caused much merriment. His next performance, the Life and Literary Remains of Dr. Bathurst,' is an esteemed piece of Biography. The marriage of GEORGE III. and the birth of the Prince of WALES were next successively celebrated, and his verses on these occasions are preserved in the University collection. In 1764, he became the editor of the · OXFORD SAUSAGE,' and enriched that celebrated miscellany with several original articles. In 1766, he superintended a new edition of the Anthology of CEPHALUS, at the Clarendon-press, and added greatly to the value of that collection by an admirable critical introduction. His edition of TheoCRITUS, in two volumes quarto, which made its appearance in 1770, not only crowned his reputation at home, but extended his fame as a commentator and a classic, over all the continent.
Dr. WARTON was admitted to the degree of Bachelor in Divinity, in 1761; and about ten years afterwards the Earl of LICHFIELD, while he was chancellor of the university, presented him to the rectory of Kiddington, in Oxfordshire, a living of inconsiderable value. It is not known at what time he first began to busy himselfabout his great work, the History of English Poetry, the first volume of which, in quarto, he presented to the public about three years after ħis institution to Kiddington. Probably, his attention was directed to that object, during his occupation of the poetry-chair at Oxford. Å si
milar work is said to have been contemplated by Pope, who was not ill qualified by taste for such an undertaking, but barely possessed the requisite erudition. After him, GRAY, in conjunction with Mason, entertained the same project, and no one was more competent in every sense to carry it into full execution; but when he heard that WARTON had actually embarked in its accomplishment, he gladly abandoned a task which appeared to teem with many formidable difficulties. In 1778, he brought out a second volume of these laborious researches, and in 1781, a third. But the work had now far exceeded the limits of his original estimate, and began to hang heavy upon his hands. He never executed more than a few sheets of the fourth volume, and he saw the completion of his design, which was to terminate with the age of ANNE, yet far in perspective.
The History of English Poetry' is WARTON's Herculean labour. It has been objected that he dwells too minutely upon its infant stages, when the divine art was rather an embryo, than tangibly existing in this country ; and that he has been too lavish in the transcription of old specimens, which antiquity, and not talent, has consecrated. But it must be remembered that the work was projected on an ample plan, and that this seeming disproportion would be symmetry in the completed design. Dr. JOSEPH WARTON once raised expectations thas he would continue his brother's History,' at least through the fourth volume; but he broke the word of promise to our hopes. Industrious and extensive reading, a'most refined taste, and extraordinary critical acumen, are displayed in abundant evidence throughout these volumes. It is true, some incorrectnesses have been brought to light, and some imperfections noted ; as, indeed,
-Opere in longo fas est obrepere somnum : but, as a piece of literary antiquarianism,'a repository of olden reliques, the work is of great interest and value.
After this, WARTON's publications were neither numerous
nor important. He undertook a county-history of Oxfordshire, in 1781, and published a topographical account of his own parish as a specimen ; but he found it too ponderous and irksome for a continu
His pamphlet on the Rowleian Controversy, which this year agitated the literary world, must be mentioned with great praise. Well qualified as he was, by his intimacy with ancient legends, and all the lore and language of eld, to determine such a question, it is almost unnecessary to say that he pronounced CHATTERTON to be the fabricator of these wonderful forgeries. About this time he received an accession to his income, by the presentation to a small donative in Somersetshire; but he never much ambitioned ecclesiastical emoluments or honours. In 1785, he succeeded Sir WILLIAM Scott, brother to the present Lord Chancellor, in the place of Camden-Professor of History at Oxford; but he had scarcely delivered his inaugural lecture,
when by the express desire of his MAJESTY, on the death of the poet-laureate WhiteHEAD, he was invested with the vacant laurel.
WARTON is one of those who have conferred a dignity upon this ignoble employment. • He varied the monotony of anniversary court compliment by retrospective views of the splendid periods of English history, and the glories of chivalry, and by other topics adapted to poetical description, though little connected with the proper theme of the day; and though his lyric strains underwent some ridicule on that account, they in general enhanced the literary valuation of laureat odes.'
The poets of England will rise in their own esteem, when this degrading service shall cease to set a blot on the fraternity.
An edition of the juvenile poems of MILTON, , in 1785, was WARTON's last production. It was enriched with many critical and explanatorý notices, the illustrations of a luminous perception and nice inquiry. He meditated similar editions of the Paradise Regained, and the Sampson Agonistes ; but Death, the unrespecting intruder, came between him and his plans. "On Thursday, May 20, 1790, he passed the evening in the common-room of his college, and was for some time more cheerful than usual. Between ten and eleven o'clock he was struck with the palsy, and continued insensible to his death, which happened the next day at two o'clock. On the 27th, his remains were interred in Trinity-College Chapel, with all the respect due to one who