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        O Gower! through all that destined space
        What breath the pow'rs allot to me
        Shall sing the virtues of thy race,
        United and complete in thee.

Fancy the unfortunate bard exhausting
his lungs until the day of his death, in one
unceasing pæan of praise of the Right
Honourable John Lord Gower! The Ode ends
with a description of "Honour's Bright
Dome," where

        Phocion, Lælius, Capel, Hyde,
        With Falkland seated near his side,

prophesy the happier fame of his Lordship;
while the muse to receive his radiant name,
selects a whiter space.

The Ode to Lord Gower, I opine, can only
be called the next to Alexander's Feast
upon the principle that when there are two
boys in a class and one is at the top of it, the
second boy is the next to him.

Mr. Pope's friendship soon afterwards
showed itself to Elijah in recommending him
to the notice of Mr. Secretary Craggs, who
engaged him as a sort of half-secretary, half-
literary companion. The poet had now had
some prospect of ease and plenty, for, to
quote Johnson again, "Fenton had merit, and
Craggs had generosity;" which is as much
as to say that Fenton had feet and Craggs
boots; or Fenton a stomach and Craggs beef.
But Fate never seemed tired of making Elijah
a rival of Murad the unlucky; for, Mr. Craggs
besides having generosity had also the small
poxof which he died, leaving Mr. Pope's
unfortunate friend stranded again.

Mr. Pope, untiring in his friendship, soon
afterwards set Fenton hard at work in
translating the Odyssey, in which he had for
coadjutor another friend of Mr. PopeMr.
Broome. Fenton translated four books;
Broome translated eight, besides writing all
the notes, "The judges of poetry," says
Johnson "have never been able to distinguish
their books from those of Pope." Lucky
Fenton and Broome! if they had not had the
advantage of Mr. Pope's friendship, or had
failed in their translations, I wince to think
what pitiable figures Mr. Pope's friends would
have cut in Mr. Pope's Dunciad. Gildon's
debts and Dennis's want of dinners would
have been as nothing compared to the
scarifications they would have received.

In seventeen twenty-three, Fenton did
what most dull men, and all unlucky men,
do. You may think I mean that he
married. Not exactly that, but he wrote a play.

It was a ponderous productiona tragedy
founded upon the story of Herod and
Mariamne, related in the Spectator, and taken
from Josephus. Marianme is written in lines
of ten syllables. It is long, slow, lazy, dull,
uniforma very Bridgewater canal of a play.
Fenton is said to have been assisted by
Southerne, with many hints as to incident and
stage effect; the navigation of the canal was
not much improved thereby, however.

When Mariamne was presented to Colley
Cibber, the monarch of the stage not only
rejected it, but added insolence to illiberality,
advising the author to direct his attention to
some industrious pursuit, in order to obtain
that subsistence which he in vain expected
from his poetical efforts. I suppose he
advised Fenton to turn to bellows-mending for
a livelihood. The manager was insolent, as
managers ordinarily are; but not altogether
wrong. Managers seldom are.

However, Mariamne, produced at the
rival theatre, succeeded, even beyond its
author's expectations; the profits accruing
from it amounted to nearly a thousand pounds.

Here we have at last, Elijah Fenton, the
favourite of fortune. After ignoring his
existence for years, the fickle goddess at length
smiled upon him. A thousand golden
pounds! What did Elijah with his lump of
money? Did he purchase an annuity; did he
invest his capital in South Sea Stocklike
Gayand win or lose more thousands; did
he lend it out at usury, or hide it in a hole in
the ground? Alas! no. Fortune threw the
lump of gold at him much as one pelts a
dog with marrow-bones. She hurt him while
he enriched him. The thousand pounds were
not destined to become the foundation of a
plum or even to be modestly put out at
interest to gild the tops of the trees of honest
Elijah's winter. It is recorded that our
author appropriated the sum to the
discharge of a debt, incurred by purchasing
many expensive articles, for supporting an
appearance necessary for his attendance at
court.

Oh vanity! Oh fallacy of human wishes,
hopes, and labours! Oh gold, turned to dry
leaves! A few glass coaches, full bottomed
wigs, silver hilted swords, clouded canes, and
red heeled shoes; a diamond snuff-box,
perhaps; a china monster or two, given as
presents to Lady Bab or the Honourable
Miss Betty; a ride in my Lord's chariot; a
card for my Lady's Drum; a night at the
Groom-porters'; a squeeze at St. James's at
a birthday drawing-room; and Elijah's only
windfall had taken to itself wings, and flown
away!

In vain, Elijah, didst thou afterwards edit an
edition of Milton's Poems, with a biography
of the poet, written with tenderness and
integrity. In vain didst thou publish an
elegant edition of Waller, with notes so
drearily extended by long quotations from
Clarendon, bringing upon thee in after years
the censure of the stern critic who wrote
Rasselas; and who says grimly that,
"illustrations drawn from a book so easily
consulted, should be made by reference rather
than transcription." Fast wert thou sinking
into the miserable condition of a bookseller's
hack; when the friendly Pope once more
stepped forth, only indeed to rescue thee from
Grub Street, by restoring thee to the quondam
profession of bear-leader.

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