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Among his peculiarities was a very unskilful and inarticulate manner of pronouncing any lofty or solemn coinposition. He was once reading to Dodington, who, being himself a reader eminently elegant, was so much provoked by his odd utterance, that he snatched the paper from his hands, and told him that he did not understand his own verses.
The biographer of Thomson has remarked, that an author's life is best read in his works: his obserration was not well-timed. Savage, who lived much with Thomson, once told me, how he heardi a lady remarking, that she could gather from his works three parts of his character, that he was "a great lover, a great swimmer, and rigorously absti. nent;" but, said Savage, “he knows not any love but that of the sex; he was perhaps never in cold water in his life; and he indulges himself in all the luxury that comes within his reach." Yet Savage always spoke with the most eager praise of his social qualities, his warmth and constancy of friendship, and his adherence to his first acquaintance when the advancement of his reputation had left them behind him.
As a writer, he is entitled to one praise of the highest kind : his mode of thinking and of expressing his thoughts is original. His blank verse is no more the blank verse of Milton, or of any other poat, than the rhymes of Prior are the rhymes of Cowley, His numbers, his pauses, his diction, are of his own growth, without transcription, with out imitation. He thinks in a peculiar train, and he thinks always as a man of genius: he looks round on Nature and on life with the eye which Nature bestows only on a poet; the eye that distinguishes, in every thing presented to its view, whatever there is on which imagination can delight to be detained, and with a mind that at once comprehends the vast, and attends to the minute. The reader of the Seasons" wonders that he never saw before
there, his love of mankind, country, and his friends; his devotion to the Supreme Being; and his humanity anů benevolence, shine out in every page.
what Thomson shows him, and that lie never yet has felt what Thomson impresses.
His is one of the works in which blank verse seems properly used. Thomson's wide expansion of general views, and his enumeration of circuri. stantial varieties, would have been obstructed and embarrassed by the frequent intersections of the sense, which are the necessary effects of rhyme.
His descriptions of extended scenes and general effects, bring before us the whole magnificence of nature, whether pleasing or dreadful. The gayety of Spring, the splendor of Summer, the tranquillity of Autumn, and the Horror of Winter, take in their turns possession of the mind. The poet leads us through the appearances of things, as they are successively varied by the vicissitudes of the year, and imparts to us so much of his own enthusiasın, that our thoughts expand with his imagery, and kindle with his sentiments. Nor is the naturalist without his part in the entertainment; for he is assisted to recollect and combin.?; to arrange his discoveries, and to amplify the sphere of his contemplation.
His diction is in the highest degree florid and luxuriant, such as may be said to be to his images and thoughts “both their lustre and their shacie." such as invest them with splendir, through which perhaps they are not always easly discerned. is too exuberant, and sometimes may be charged with filling the ear more than the mind,
The highest praise which he lins received onght not to be suppressed; it is said by Lord Lyttleton, in the prologue to his posthumus play, that his works contained
"No line which, dying, hi could wish to blot."
At the west end of the north aisle of Richmond
Church is a brass tablet, which contains the following lines :
In the earth below this tablet
are the remains of
Author of the beautiful poems, entitled
Who died at Richmond on the 27th day of August, and was buried here on the 29th, old style, 1748
The Earl of Buchan, unwilling that so good a man and sweet a poet should be without a memorial,
has denoted the place of his interinent
in the year of our Lord 1792.
Father of light and life! Thou good Supreme!
The subject proposed. Inscribed to the Countess of
Hartford. The season is described as it affects the various parts of nature, ascending from the lower to the higher ; with digressions arising from the subject. Its influence on inanimate mat. ter. On vegetables. On brute animals. And last, on man. Concluding with a dissuasive from the wild and irregular passion of love, opposch to that of a pure and happy kind.