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which is the best authority we have, in 1715, but most of his biographers fix the date of his birth later by four years. His family was of the Presbyterian sect, and he was himself in the early part of his life a member of Bradbury's congregation, a celebrated preacher of that time, from which he is said to have been expelled for some irregularity. Whatever may have been his original destination, it is asserted by Sir John Hawkins, that he was a hired clerk with Mr. Harwood, an attorney in the Poultry; this assertion is in some degree confirmed by the character of his hand-writing, which is decidedly that of a law-writer, and it is most probable that his employment in the office was merely that of a transcriber, which may account for the term hired, as applied to his clerkship. It is certain that this occupation did not satisfy him, and that he took the earliest opportunity that offered to resign it, for the more con genial pursuits of literature. Of his education we know nothing; he was probably taught Latin and French, both of which languages are to be found in his communications to the Gentleman's Magazine, Sir John Hawkins, in his life of Johnson, gives the following account of his literary attainments. “He was a man of fine parts, but no learning : his reading had been irregular and desultory: the knowledge he had acquired, he, by the aid of a good memory, retained, so that it was ready at every call; but on no subject had he ever formed a system. All of ethics that he knew, he had got from Pope's Essay on Man, and Epistles; he had read the modern French writers, and more particularly the poets; and with the aid of Keill's Introduction, Chamber's Dictionary, and such other common books, he had attained such an insight into
physics, as enabled him to talk on the subject. In the more valuable branches of learning he was deficient. His office of curător of the Magazine, gave him great opportunities of improvement, by an extensive corres-pondence with men of all professions : it increased his little stock of literature, and furnished him with more than a competent share of that intelligence which is necessary to qualify a man for conversation. He had. a good share of wit, and a vein of humour.”
This summary way of deciding upon the attainments of an author by profession, and presuming to point out the very books from which he drew the information he possessed, shews a degree of arrogance in the writer which may reasonably lead us to doubt the correctness of his assertion. Hawkesworth had indeed no pretension to the charaeter of a learned man, if by a learned man be meant: one whose memory is loaded with all the literary lumber of schools; but that he derived from nature the finest capacity, that he had read much.. and observed more, is amply proved by the number, variety, and the excellence of his productions. Whatever may have been his qualifications, it is certain that he considered himself possessed of a competent stock to commence the
arduous career of an author, and it is probable that in • the early part of his life he subsisted upon the produc
tions of his pen, part of which may, perhaps, have been of the mere mechanical kind.
His talents however, if not his learning, led him into the best literary society : he associated with Johnson and his friends, became a member of the club in Ivy-Lane, and in the year 1744 succeeded Johnson in the employment of compiliny the Parliamentary Debates for the Gentleman's Magazine, then considered the most
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 Hawkesworth; 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 ar e 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 con
be doubted: from the time of his marriage be was certainly a resident at Bromley, which from its vicinity to London afforded him the means of ready
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: “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 his 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 circumstance connected with this pub. lication, 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 ada pted 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 bis 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 bimself in teaching young ladies at any period of time, and that before the commencement of the Adventurer, the ladies' school had 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 Hawkesworth's: who asserts that bis zeal in conducting the Adventurer," was excited by a motive far more strong than any which actuated his coadjutors, a desire of advantage 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