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Universities, on the marriage of the Prince of Wales. But his first poem, which attracted any attention, was his epistle, "On the Danger of Writing Verse," which may indeed be said to point its own moral, and belongs to that class of composition of which Dr. Johnson has observed, that he would rather praise than read.

We hear, however, that it was generally admired, and that Pope himself spoke of it with commendation. Smooth verse of average merit, from a very young man at College, striving by his pen to supply his necessities, was not likely to provoke hostile criticism, especially when there was nothing in it bold, new, or heterodox, to jar against prevailing tastes and prejudices; and imitation is flattery so delicate and sincere, that Pope would doubtless encourage even a faint echo of his own matchless lines from an admirer and disciple.

In 1739 he took his Bachelor's degree. In 1742 he was elected a Fellow of his College, and the following year was made Master of Arts. It was now his intention to take orders. That he was about to embrace this profession with no higher motive than a wish to gain a competence, which might enable him to pursue his literary avocations, we have some reason to believe. He was actuated by no very high or holy impulse, for he speaks, in a fragment of verse to a friend, with great levity of his professional prospects:

"Whether in wide-spread scarf and rustling gown,
My borrow'd Rhetoric soothes the saints in Town,
Or makes in country pews soft matrons weep,
Gay damsels smile and tir'd Churchwardens sleep."

Before, however, he took this step, he was offered by Lord Jersey the place of domestic tutor to his son, Lord Villiers. He not only relinquished, at Lord Jersey's request, all idea of entering on the clerical profession, but he ultimately gave up his Fellowship, in order to keep his

position in that family. After the publication of his poem, "On the Danger of Writing Verse," he was not idle with his pen, but gave to the world, in 1743, "Atys and Adrastus," "A Letter of Anne Boleyn to Henry VIII.,” and "An Essay on Ridicule.” There is a manifest improvement in all these on his first production. After all, however, he but feebly imitates Pope. Some who lack originality, seem to atone for it by the force of their language. By this they cheat the indiscriminating, and therefore the majority of readers, into admiration. But this showy talent, much at a premium in these days, Whitehead, in his poems, does not display. His thoughts are not original, and they are expressed in obscure, meagre, and sometimes ungrammatical language.

He now entered the family of Lord Jersey, and at this time he appears to have been a frequent habitué of theatres, and to have turned his thoughts to dramatic composition. His first production was a ballad farce, called "The Edinburgh Ball," in which the young Pretender is ridiculed. Had it ever seen the light, posterity might have been tempted to connect with this triumph over the fallen, his appointment to the laurel, but it was neither printed nor performed. He next employed himself on a tragedy, and produced "The Roman Father," in imitation of Corneille's "Les Horaces." Mr. Campbell observes "that Mason has employed a good deal of criticism to show that the piece would have been better if the artist had bestowed more pains upon it." It turns on the wellknown story, told with such graphic power in the first book of Livy. Those who remember that beautiful narrative, will feel convinced that no drama could place it in a clearer or more picturesque light before them. In the tale itself there is not material for a five act play; and where Whitehead has added or altered, he has not improved.

The scene is laid at Rome. There are six dramatis persona; only two women, Horatia and a confidential friend, Valencia. The armies are encamped opposite to each other. Horatia is full of apprehension for her lover, Curiatius, one of three twin Alban brethren, and distracted between her duty to her betrothed and her brother Horatius. Meanwhile, the encamped hosts lay aside their arms and conclude a truce, but as glory must have its victims, the contest is to lie between three of either army. The Horatii and Curiatii are represented as personal friends, and, during the truce, joking amicably in each other's tents. The lots are cast. The three twin brothers are to be arrayed against each other. News first reaches Horatia and her father that the Horatii are chosen as the champions of their country. He rejoices; she is full of fears for her brother. Next arrives the intelligence that the Curiatii are to do battle on the Alban side. The agony of Horatia may be well imagined and might have been finely described. The father arms his son Horatius, and sends him forth with prayers for victory. His sister supplicates him to decline the conflict. Its results are well known. After her lover's death, Horatia provokes her brother by her taunts until he draws his sword and wounds her; and these taunts are so violent that his conduct appears almost excusable. This is neither true to the story nor natural. There is something superromantic in her wishing to die by the hand that had slain her lover, when that hand is her brother's. She, however, does not die by the wound inflicted; but, as Mr. Campbell tells us, directions are given in one edition, for stripping the bandages from off her wounds, and she perishes from loss of blood. This is assuredly a stage horror which Horace would have prescribed, as certainly as he did the banquets of Thyestes, or the butcheries of Medea.

There are very few lines in the play worthy of extract.

It is tolerably well adapted for acting, but we may owe this to Garrick almost as much to the author, for when he accepted the play, he exercised his discretion very freely, and was unsparing in his use of the knife. On the stage it was fairly successful.

The following year, 1750, he published his "Hymn to the Bristol Spring," an imitation of some of the hymns of Homer and Callimachus. It is written in blank verse, and is better than the heroics he had given to the world while at Cambridge.

At the same time appeared "The Sweepers." This is a dismal attempt at a humorous poem in blank verse, into which is introduced a pathetic tale of seduction. A very beautiful maiden, who delights in the name of Lardella (one much better used in "The Rehearsal"), is a sweeper in Seven Dials. She aspires to a crossing in Whitehall, and having attained the object of her ambition, she there attracts the gaze of a licentious lordling, by whom she is ruined, deserted; and we are told that

"In bitterness of soul she cursed in vain :

Her proud betrayer, curs'd her fatal charms,
And perish'd in the streets from which she sprang.”

There are, doubtless, seducers among the aristocracy; but Lardella's sad history, if not ludicrously improbable, is, at any rate, ludicrously told.

In addition to his dramatic and poetic compositions, he appears, at this time, to have written three papers for "The World." This periodical numbered among its contributors, Lord Chesterfield, Lord Bath, Sir Charles Hanbury, Horace Walpole, Soame Jennings, Mr. Cambridge, Mr. Coventry; its editor was Mr. Thomas Moore. The first of Whitehead's is humorous, and in ridicule of the prevalent taste of that day for Chinese articles of every kind. The second is on "Contemporary Romances," which he lashes severely for their shallow pretensions, their

inaccuracy, and indecency. The third laments the effeminacy of the age.

Encouraged by the success of his former drama, he employed himself on one which very much exceeds it in merit. As in a former case, he had grounded his play on one written by another. So now, too timid to construct a new plot, he therefore took his subject from the "Ion" of Euripides; "and," as Mr. Campbell says, "with bold and sometimes interesting alterations." Whitehead himself says of it: "The subject of the following scenes is so ancient, so slightingly mentioned by the historians, and so fabulously treated by Euripides in his tragedy of ‘Ion,' that the author thought himself at liberty to make the story his own. Some glaring circumstances he was obliged to adhere to, which he has endeavoured to render probable."

The "Ion," though it has incurred the critical censure of Schlegel for some improbabilities and repetitions, is one of the most beautiful of the dramas of Euripides. A short account of that play in connection with the "Creusa" of Whitehead, may not prove unacceptable to the reader-the coincidence of the name, and our admiration of it as perhaps the most beautiful classical drama in the language, will compel us also to pay a passing tribute to the "Ion" of Sir Thomas Talfourd. The story, as told by Euripides, runs thus:-Creusa, daughter of Erectheus, King of Athens, falls a victim to the licentious passion of Apollo, and bears a child, whose birth she conceals, and whom she exposes. He is, however, found, and brought up as servant to the god at the temple. After this, Creusa is married to Xuthus, a military stranger. They are childless, and go to the Oracle at Delphi to make inquiries (v. 66.):

ἡκουσι πρὸς μαντεί ̓Απόλλωνος τάδε,
ἔρωτι παίδων: Λοξίας δὲ τὴν τύχην

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