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Maid, which appeared weekly from November, 1755, to July, 1756 ; Miss Jane Marshall, an Edinburgh lady, of whom there remain the novels of Clarinda Cathcart and Alicia Montague, which had considerable success on their first appearance, in 1765 and 1767, and the comedy of Sir Harry Gaylove, printed in 1772, although never acted, but whose most interesting production is a Series of Letters, in two volumes, Edinburgh, 1788, in which she gives a naïve and lively account of the mischances of her literary career; Mrs. Lennox (originally Miss Charlotte Ramsay, a native of New York), whose Memoirs of Harriet Stuart appeared in 1751, her Female Quixote, or Adventures of Arabella, to which Johnson wrote the dedication, in 1752, her Shakespeare Illustrated in 1753, her novel of Sophia in 1761, her comedy of The Sister in 1769, and who did not cease to write till near the end of the century; Miss Sophia Lee, whose two first performances, her amusing comedy of The Chapter of Accidents, and her popular romance of The Recess, were produced, the former in 1780, the latter in 1783; and Miss Frances Burney, afterwards Madame D'Arblay, whose two first novels of Evelina and Cecilia appeared, the former in 1777, the latter in 1782. To these names may be added, as distinguished in other kinds of writing, blind Anna Williams, Dr. Johnson's friend, whose volume of Miscellanies in prose and verse was published in 1766; the learned Miss Elizabeth Carter, whose translation of Epictetus, however, and we believe all her other works, had appeared before the commencement of the reign of George III., although she lived till the year 1806; her friend Miss Catherine Talbot, the writer of a considerable quantity both of prose and verse, now forgotten ; Mrs. Montagu (originally Miss Elizabeth Robinson), the pupil of Dr. Conyers Middleton, and the founder of the Blue Stocking Club, whose once famous Essay on the Writings and Genius of Shakspeare was published in 1769, and who survived till the year 1800 ; Mrs. Chapone (Miss Hester Mulso), another friend of Miss Carter, and the favourite correspondent of Samuel Richardson, whose Letters on the Improvement of the Mind appeared in 1773;. Mrs, Macaulay (originally Miss Catherine Sawbridge, afterwards Mrs. Graham), the notorious republican historian and pamphleteer, whose History of England from the Accession of James 1. to the Restoration was published in a succession of volumes between the years 1763 and 1771, and then excited much attention, though now neglected ; and the other female democratic writer, Miss Helen Maria Williams, who did not, however, begin to figure as a politician till after the French Revolution, her only publications that fall to be noticed in this place being some volumes of verse which she gave to the world in 1782 and the two or three following years. Mrs. Hannah More, Mrs. Barbauld, Mrs. Charlotte Smith, Mrs. Inchbald, and some other female writers who did not obtain the height of their reputation till a later date, had also entered upon the career of authorship within the first quarter of a century of the reign of George III. And to the commencement of that reign is to be assigned perhaps the most brilliant contribution from a female pen that has ever been added to our literature, the collection of the Letters of Lady Mary Wortley Montagu, which, although written many years before, were first published in 1763, about a year after Lady Mary's death. The fourth volume, indeed, did not appear till 1767.
To the latter part of the reign of George II. belongs the revival of the Periodical Essay, which formed so distinguishing a feature of our literature in the age of Anne. Political writing, indeed, in this form had been carried on from the era of the Examiner, and the Englishman, and the Freeholder, and Defoe's Review and Mercator, and the British Merchant, with little if any
intermission, in various publications; the most remarkable being The Craftsman, in which Bolingbroke was the principal writer, and the
papers of which, as first collected and reprinted in seven volumes, extend from the 5th of December, 1726, to the 22nd of May, 1731; nor was the work dropped till it had gone on for some years longer. Some attempts had even been made during this interval to supply the place of the Tatler, Spectator, and Guardian, by periodical papers, ranging, in the same strain, over the general field of morals and manners : Ambrose Philips, for instance, and a number of his friends, in the year 1718 began the publication of a paper entitled “The Free-thinker, or Essays on Ignorance, Superstition, Bigotry, Enthusiasm, Craft, &c., intermixed with several pieces of wit and humour designed to restore the deluded part of mankind to the use of reason and common sense,' which attracted considerable attention at the time, and was kept up till the numbers made a book of three volumes, which were more than once reprinted. The Museum was another similar work, which commenced in 1746, and also ran to three volumes --Horace Walpole, Akenside, the two Wartons, and other eminent writers being among the contributors; but nothing of this kind that was then produced has succeeded in securing for itself a permanent place in our literature. The next of our periodical works after The Guardian that is recognised as one of the classics of the language is The Rambler, the first number of which appeared on Tuesday, the 20th of March, 1750, the last (the 208th) on Saturday, the 14th of March, 1752, and all the papers of which, at the rate of two a-week, with the exception only of three or four, were the composition of Samuel Johnson, who may be said to have first become generally known as a writer through this publication. The Rambler was succeeded by The Adventurer, edited and principally written by Dr. Hawkesworth, which was also published twice a-week, the first number having appeared on Tuesday, the 7th of November, 1752, the last (the 139th) on Saturday, the 9th of March, 1754. Meanwhile The World, a weekly paper, had been started under the conduct of Edward Moore, the author of the Fables for the Female Sex, the tragedy of The Gamester, and other dramatic productions, assisted by Lord Lyttelton, the Earls of Chesterfield, Bath, and Cork, Horace Walpole, Soame Jenyns, and other contributors: the first number appeared on Thursday, the 4th of January, 1753; the 209th, and last, on the 30th of December, 1756. And contemporary with The World, during a part of this space, was The Connoisseur, established and principally written by George Colman, in conjunction with Bonnell Thornton, a writer ossessed of considerable wit and humour, which, how
ever, he dissipated for the most part upon ephemeral topics, being only now remembered for his share in a translation of Plautus, also undertaken in concert with his friend Colman, the first two volumes of which were published in 1766, two years before his death, at the age of forty-four. The Connoisseur was, like The World, a weekly publication, and it was continued in 140 numbers, from Thursday, the 31st of January, 1754, to the 30th of September, 1756.
We have already mentioned Mrs. Frances Brooke's weekly periodical work entitled The Old Maid, which subsisted from November, 1755, to July in the following year ; but it is not usually admitted into the collections of the English essayists. The next publication of this class which can be said still to hold a place in our literature is Johnson's Idler, which appeared once a-week from Saturday, the 15th of April, 1758, to Saturday, the 5th of April, 1760. And with The Idler closes what may be called the second age of the English periodical essayists, which commences with The Rambler, and extends over the ten years from 1750 to 1760, the concluding decade of the reign of George II. After this occurs another long interval, in which that mode of writing was dropped, or at least no longer attracted either the favour of the public or the ambition of the more distinguished literary talent of the day; for no doubt attempts still continued to be made, with little or no success, by obscure scribblers, to keep up what had lately been so popular and so graced by eminent names: thus, Hugh Kelly, the author of The School for Wives, and some other second-rate dramas, produced during this interval a series of papers in a flashy, juvenile style, under the title of The Babbler, which