Page images

or H.

important part of that popular work. He did not confine himself to this alone, he contributed largely to the original poetry of the Magazine for the years 1746, 1747, 1748, and 1749. The pieces he wrote may be found in the several poetical indices for those years, under the title of poems by H. Greville; and a list of them has been given on the authority of the Rev. Mr. Duncombe, in which there are some errors, arising from the circumstance of his having confounded them with others by a different pen, and signed J.G. though there is certainly some resemblance in the subjects and style. There is no difficulty in referring to the poems written by Hawkes, worth; in the indices for 1746, 1747, and 1748, they are classed together and described as by Mr. Greville: in the index for 1749 they are not classed together, but arranged under their several titles; they are however in every instance described as written by Mr, or H. Greville. What share he took in the

prose department of the magazine at this time, or whether he took any, is not known; later in his life he was considered the principal conductor of it, and it is probable that during these years, some of the prose essays were written by him.

At this period Mr. Hawkesworth was a married

man ; his wife's name was Brown, who, with her mother, kept a boarding-school at Sydenham, where he officiated as writing master; when he married we are ignorant, but they afterwards removed to his native town of Bromley. Some of his biographers assert that his pecuniary means in the early part of life were confined; this may be doubted: from the time of his marriage he was certainly a resident at Bromley, which from its vicinity to London afforded him the means of ready

[ocr errors]

communication with the press; his wife's school, which she continued there, we are informed, was in a flourishing state; he was regularly employed by the booksellers, and it does not appear that he was burthened with the support of a family. In a letter addressed by him to Mr.Highmore the painter, now before the writer, of the date of 1757, is the following passage:

6. The house in which I now live at this place, is lately sold with the estate to which it belongs, and I shall be obliged to quit it in about eight months; it will be some disadvantage to me to quit the place in which I have many of those social attachments that sooth the solicitudes, and reward the labours of my life; yet there is not a house within a mile of me that I can hire, and I must leave my

friends with whatever reluctance, if I cannot get a house built to keep me among them: now I believe I could get a house built if a little spot of ground could be purchased to build upon.”—He proceeds to point out a convenient spot, and requests his friend Highmore to use hís interest with the proprietor, to induce him to dispose of a space

sufficient for the purpose ;-—"as much as will be sufficient for a little house and a little garden, even one acre will be enough."-At this time then it is evident that Hawkesworth had been long resident at Bromley, and was in circumstances to purchase land and build a house.

When Dr. Johnson's Rambler ceased to be published as a periodical work, Hawkesworth projected a successor to it, and commenced in 1752 a series of

essays under the title of the Adventurer, which were published twice in the week, during that and the two succeeding years. We will not occupy our pages with the history or character of this well known and justly appreciated

Work; it will be sufficient to remark that it established the author's fame as a man of letters, and procured him wealth, friends, rank, and employment.

There is one circunstance connected with this publication, and the private life of Hawkesworth, upon which we have it in our power to throw some light. Dr. Drake asserts that "One object which Hawkesworth had in view in the composition of his Adventurers, was that of proving to the world how well adapted he was, in point of moral and religious principle, for the superintendence of the school which his wife had opened for the education of young ladies. This object was fully attained, for the seminary rapidly increased, and finally became a very lucrative undertaking." Mr. Chalmers has a similar remark. At this time his wife kept a school for the education of young ladies, and his ambition was to demonstrate by his writings how well qualified he was to superintend a seminary of that kind."-Both these writers are probably mistaken; it

may very justly be presumed that Hawkesworth had not personally employed himself in teaching young ladies at any period of time, and that before the commencement of the Adventurer, the ladies' school bad ceased to exist. The compiler of the Biographia Dramatica, a better authority than either of these writers,

* It must be admitted that they have the authority of Sir J. Hawkins, a contemporary, and in a certain degree an associate of Hawkeswortb's : who asserts that his zeal in conducting the Adventurer, was excited by a motive far more strong than any which actuated his coadjutors, a desire of ad. vantage in his then profession, which ostensibly was that of governor of a school for the education of young females, by making himself known as a judge of life and manners, and capable of qualifying those of riper years for the important

because a contemporary, asserts that Hawkesworth

-"resided at Bromley in Kent, where his wife kept a boarding school, which they relinquished in order to accommodate two women of fortune who came to reside with them.”—The following extract from a letter addressed by Hawkesworth to the Rev. John Duncombe, of the date of Feb. 10th, 1758, is now before the writer..

I would sooner have acknowledged the favour of your's of the 3d of Feb. which however did not reach me here 'till the 8th, if it had not been for the loss of a most tender, faithful, and intimate friend, who has been domestic with us more than ten years. The loss of those who perfectly know, and yet perfectly love us, is irreparable, and such a loss we have now sustained. Those who do not perfectly love us, our infirmities may gradually alienate, as they are gradually discovered ; those who do perfectly know us, it is odds but they bave in some degree alienated already: but such was the kindness of the friend we have lost, that she was in every respect another self; whose pleasures which be- . came double by being shared between Mrs.Hawkesworth and myself, became treble to both by being shared also with her. Instead of this pleasure, I have now the

relations of domestic society."-By favor of this elegant writer, we would presume rather that Hawkesworth’s “then proféssion" was "ostensibly” that of an author:~that it is not usual in Great Britain to have male “governors” of “female," or to speak more correctly and gallantly, of ladies' schools ;and that the composition of one of the most elegant collections of essays in any language, was a strange method for a governor of a school to make choice of, as' the means of displaying his talents for qualifying " young females" for the “ relations of domestic life.” The whole account is absurd, and Hawkes. werth's inducement for undertaking the Adventurer obvious.

soothing remembrance of having long sheltered the gentle and blameless life of a most amiable woman from the insults of those who are without virtue, and the neglect of those that are without feeling. I yesterday followed her to the grave,--and those who can follow her beyond it will be happy !” —

If this lady were one of those alluded to by the writer of the Biographia Dramatica, Mrs. Hawkes. worth must have resigned her school previously to the year 1748, and four years at least before the commencément of the Adventurer.

By the favor of the same kind friend who furnished us with the above extract, three letters are now on our table written by Miss Highmore, afterwards better known as the wife of the Rev. J. Duncombe, to her father and Mrs. Elizabeth Carter, during a residence in the family of Dr. Hawkesworth, in the summer of the year 1759. Nothing is said in any part of these of the existence of the school, and it is reasonable to infer from such silence that it did not then exist.* The following extracts from these letters, display the private character of Dr. Hawkesworth and his lady, to great advantage. In the first, dated July 25th, Miss Highmore remarks to her father“My friends are so kind as to express themselves obliged by your consenting without limits to my continuance among them, but I must set bounds to their indulgence, and resolve on leaving them after I have made a decent second visit here.-Miss H.

* From private information of unquestionable authority, we have been since assured that Mrs. Hawkesworth, after the death of her mother, kept a boarding house for ladies, rather than a boarding school for children, to the latter of which, although of a superior order, the Doctor always expressed a great dislike, and never interfered in the management of it. ,

« PreviousContinue »