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French frigate of 32, Paul Jones Serapis all aft from the main hatchstarted on a marauding expedition, way, gave the victory to the Bon only differing from that of White Homme. For this success they were haven as being on a larger scale. It indebted to the officer and party of was his intention to amerce our north their marines. Seated out on the eastern ports in heavy pecuniary rana yard, grenades were handed along, soms, or to destroy the shipping and dropped by the officer into the hatchbuildings as far as could be effected. way of the Serapis, and at last caught He had intelligence, or believed so, to some ammunition. of the exact number of troops sta- Paul Jones, crippled and afflicted tioned in these different places. Leith with the gout, was seated during the was the first great object. Entering affair in a chair on the quarter deck. the Firth they seized upon a Scotch Dale boarded the Serapis with a few fishing boat. The owner was refrac- As he made his way aft he tory, but they terrified him into the saw a solitary person leaning on the office of pilot. The wind became tafferil in a melancholy posture, his adverse; they reached Inchkeith, but face resting upon his hands. It was could not weather it, and had to Capt. Pearson. He said to Dale, stand out again. Making the land “ The ship has struck.” While next to visit Whitby and Hull, they hurrying him on, an officer came from fell in with a large convoy, which below and observed to Capt. Peardispersed while the ships of war son, that the ship alongside was go(Serapis 44, Capt. Pearson, and Per- ing down. “ We have got three cy 20 guns, Capt. Piercy) which pro- guns clear, Sir, and they'll soon send tected it, stood right out to engage her to the devil.” The Captain rethem. The determination was mu- plied, " It's too late, Sir, call the men tual; there was a deal of hailing off, the ship has struck." from the Serapis to the really strange below, Sir, and call them off immediship which approached her. They ately;” and he was about to descend, closed, and the Bon Homme, by when Dale interfering said, “ No, Jones's order, was made fast to the Sir, if you please you'll come Serapis. While these were thus board with me." Dale told me, that closely engaged the Alliance worked if he had let that officer go below he round the two ships, pouring in rak- feared that he would have sunk them, ing broadsides, which Paul Jones as the Bon Homme was old, settling finding equally injurious to his own in the water, and in fact went to the ship, as intended for the Serapis, put bottom that night. an end to by ordering the Alliance Paul Jones was, in Commodore off, and she lay by during the rest Dale's opinion, a very skilful enterof the action, while the Pallas was en- prizing officer, but harsh and overgaged with the British sloop of war. bearing in disposition. The cannonade was to the advantage He was afterwards, as your corof the Serapis, and gradually silenced respondent in the last number has the fire of the Bon Homme. The related, taken into the service of the latter wished and expected once to Empress of Russia, and was to have be boarded, the British boarders were had an important command against about to enter, but returned deterred the Turks. Greig, however, and at the superior number lying wait- the other British officers in her sering for them, and purposely con- vice, memorialled against it. They cealed as far as might be under the would neither associate nor serve gangway. Lieutenant Dale, on go- with him, and, if she had not got rid ing below, found two of the three of him, would have left her fleets. guns on the fighting side silenced, Wherever Paul Jones was born, and the crew of the other vying with I have understood, from what I the crew of a British gun opposite thought good authority, that he was which should fire first. The British apprentice in a coal vessel, in the
ckest, and that gun was employ of Mr. Wilson at Whiteknocked over also. He returned haven. It is told of him, that quarslightly wounded and much fatigued relling with a fellow apprentice, he to the upper deck, and was seated took an opportunity to anoint the on the windlass, when the explosion lad's head with a tar brush, and then which blew up the upper deck of the set it on fire.
THE LIFE OF THOMAS CHATTERTON. If it were allowable for one who availed herself to lead him on to an professes to write the lives of Eng- acquaintance with the alphabet ; and lish poets to pass the name of Chat- from hence proceeded to teach him terton in silence, I should think the to read in an old Testament or Bible literature of our country more ho- in the black letter. Doctor Gregory, noured by the concealment of his one of his biographers, justly obfate than by the record of his genius. serves, that it is not unreasonable to - Yet from his brief story, the young suppose his peculiar fondness for anwill learn that genius is likely to tiquities to have originated in this lead them into misery, if it be not incident. accompanied by something that is It is related on the testimony of better than genius; and men, whom his sister, as a mark of his early birth and station have rendered emi- thirst for distinction, that being ofnent, may discover that they owe fered a present of china-ware hy a some duty to those whom nature has potter, and asked what device he made more than their equals; and would have painted on it, he rewho
plied, “ Paint me an angel with Beneath the good tho' far-are far above wings, and a trumpet to trumpet
my name about the world.” It is so
usual with those who are fondly atThomas Chatterton was born in tached to a child to deceive themthe parish of St. Mary Redcliffe, at selves into a belief, that what it has Bristol, on the twentieth of Novem- said on the suggestion of others, has ber, 1752. His father, who was of proceeded from its own mind, that the same name, and who died about much credit is seldom due to such three months before the birth of his marvels. son, had been writing-master to a A little before he had attained his classical school, singing-man in Bris- eighth year, he was admitted into tol cathedral, and master of the Colston's charity school in Bristol, free-school in Pyle-street in that an institution in some respects simicity; and is related to have been in- lar to that excellent one of Christ's clined to a belief in magic, and Hospital in London, the boys being deeply versed in Cornelius Agrippa. boarded and cloathed as well as inHis forefathers had borne the humble structed in the house. In two years office of sexton to St. Mary Redcliffe his dislike to reading was so thochurch for a century and a half, till roughly overcome, that he spent the the death of John Chatterton, great pocket-money allowed him by his uncle of the poet.
mother in hiring books from a circu. From what is recorded of the in- lating library. He became reserved, fancy of Chatterton, parents may be thoughtful, and at times melancholy; satisfied that an inaptness to learn mixed little in childish sports; and in childhood, is far from being a between his eleventh and twelfth prognostic of future dullness. At years had made a catalogue of the the age of five years, he was sent to books he had read to the number of the school of which his father had seventy. It is to be regretted, that been master, and was found so in- with a disposition thus studious, he corrigibly stupid, that he was re- was not iustructed in any language jected by the teacher, whose name but his own. The example of one was Love, as incapable of profiting of the assistants in the school, named
His mother, as Thomas Phillips, spread a poetical most mothers would have done in emulation among the elder boys, of the like case, bitterly lamented her whom Thistlethwaite, Cary, and son's untowardness; when an old Fowler, figured in the periodical musical manuscript in French coming publications of the day. Chatterton in his way, he fell in love, as she did not escape the contagion; and a expressed it, with the illuminated pocket-book presented to him by his capitals. Of this fancy she eagerly sister as a new-year's gift was re
turned at the end of the year filled His chief employment was the copywith his writing, chiefly in verse. ing of precedents, with which he Phillips is probably the person whose filled a folio book of 344 pages skill in poetry is extolled by Chat- closely written. terton in an elegy on the death of his At the beginning of October, 1768, acquaintance of that name, which the new bridge at Bristol was comhas some stanzas of remarkable pleted; and about the same time beauty.
there appeared in the Bristol Journal, Soon after his confirmation by the a paper purporting to be a descripbishop at twelve years of age, he tion of the Fryars first passing over was prompted by the serious re- the old bridge, taken from an anflexions which the performance of cient manuscript, and signed Dunthat ceremony had awakened in him, helmus Bristoliensis. By this the to compose some lines on the Last public curiosity was excited; and Day, and a paraphrase of the ninth the printer not being able to satisfy chapter of Job, and of some chapters the inquiries that were made conin Isaiah. Had his life been pro- cerning the quarter from whence he tracted, there is every reason to be- had received the communication, it lieve from the process which usually was with some difficulty traced to takes place in minds constituted like Chatterton.
To the menaces of his, that after an interval of scép- those, who first roughly demanded ticism, these feelings of piety would from him an account of the means have returned in their full force. At by which the paper had come into the same time he indulged himself in his hands, he refused to give any -satirical effusions on his master, and reply; but on being more mildly such of his school-fellows as had questioned, after some prevaricating, provoked either his resentment or said, that he had got it, together his ridicule.
with several other manuscripts, that On the first of July, 1767, he was had been in the possession of his taken from school and apprenticed father, by whom they were found in for seven years to Mr. John Lambert, a large box in an upper room over attorney, of Bristol, to be instructed the chapel on the north side of Redin the art of a scrivener. The ap- cliffe church. That some old parchprentice fee was only ten pounds; ments had been seen by him in his he slept in the room with the foot mother's house is nearly certain ; boy, and was confined to the office nor is it at all improbable that they from eight o'clock in the morning, might have been discovered in a nega with the usual interval for dinner, lected coffer in the church, according till the same hour at night. His to the account he gave of them. But conduct was such as left his master that either the description of the Fryno room for blame. He never ex- ar's passage over the bridge, or the ceeded the hours limited for his ab- most considerable of the poems attrisence, except on one occasion, when buted to Rowley were among them, he had been to spend an evening in can scarcely be credited. The des the company of his mother and some lusion supposed to have been pracfriends. Once only he incurred cor- tised on the public by Macpherson, rection. His old schoolmaster had re- and that acknowledged to have been ceived an abusive anonymous letter; so by Walpole, in passing off the and Lambert having discovered from Castle of Otranto for a translation the hand-writing, which was ill-dis- from the Italian, were then recent ; guised, and by the paper which was the and these examples might have easily same as that used in his office, that engaged Chatterton to attempt a Chatterton was the writer, thought fraud, which did not seem likely to it necessary to check so mischievous be more injurious in its consequences a propensity, by inflicting on him than either of them. one or two blows. Though he was About the same time he became compelled to pass so large a portion known to a Mr. Catrott, and to a of time in confinement, he had much Mr. Barrett, a chirurgeon at Bristol, leisure left him, as his master's bu- who intended to publish a history of siness frequently did not occupy that city, and was then collecting more than two hours in the day. materials for the purpose,
former he showed the Bristowe Tra- his poems; in reply to which, Chatgedie, the Epitaph on Robert Can- terton took occasion to represent his ynge, and some other short pieces; own situation, that he was the son to the latter several fragments, some of an indigent widow, and clerk to of considerable length, affirming them an attorney, but that his inclinations to be portions of the original manu- led him to more elegant pursuits ; scripts which had fallen into his and he intimated a hope that Walhands. From both he received at pole would assist in placing him where different times some pecuniary re- he might be able to gratify such proward for these communications, and pensities. His letter was accompawas favoured by the loan of some nied by more of the Rowleian poems, books. Among those which he bor- and contained an assurance, that the rowed of Mr. Barrett, there were person who had lent them to him to several on medical subjects; and transcribe, possessed other valuable from him he obtained also some in- relics of ancient poetry. Some instructions in chirurgery. He is re- quiries which Walpole made, conpresented by one of his companions firmed the account given by Chatto have extended his curiosity at terton of himself; but in answer to this time to many other objects of his solicitation for patronage, Walinquiry; and to have employed him- pole declared that he had not the self not only in the lighter studies of means of exerting it; and recomheraldry and English antiquities, but mended a sedulous attention to busiin the theory of music, mathematics, ness, as the most certain way of remetaphysics, and astronomy, compensing his mother for her care,
He now became a contributor of and of securing his own independprose and verse to the Magazines. ence. He mentioned that more Among the acknowledgments to cor- competent judges than he pretended respondents in the Town and Country to be, were not satisfied of the maMagazine for November, 1768, one nuscripts being genuine ; and at the of his letters appears to be no- same time stated their reasons for ticed; but nothing of his writing in concluding them to be of another that miscellany, the first with which age than that to which they were he is known to have corresponded, assigned. Shortly after, Chatterton has been discovered before the Fe- wrote to him two letters, which, bruary of the following year. though querulous, are not disrespect
The attention he had drawn to ful. In the first, while he thanks his himself in his native city soon in- correspondent for the advice he had duced him to aspire after higher given him, he professes his resolunotice. In March he addressed the tion “to go a little beyond it, by following letter to the Honourable destroying all his useless lumber of Horace Walpole :
literature, and never using his pen Şir,--Being versed a little in antiquities, again but in the law;" and in the I have met with several curious manu- other, declaring his settled convicscripts, among which the following may be of tion that the papers of Rowley were service to you in any future edition of your genuine, he asks him to return the truly entertaining Anecdotes of Painting. copy which had been sent him. In correcting the mistakes (if any) in the Owing to the absence of Walpole notes, you will greatly oblige
who was then in Paris, some time Your most humble servant, THOMAS CHATTERTON. taken of this request; and on his
elapsed without any notice being Bristol, March 25th, Corn Street.
return Walpole found the following This was accompanied by a manu- letter which he terms singularly imscript, entitled “ The Ryse of Peyne- pertinent. teyne in Englande, wroten by T. Rowleie, 1469, for Mastre Canynge:”
Sir, I cannot reconcile your behaviour to which Chatterton had annexed
to me with the notions I once entertained his own remarks. Walpole returned did you not know my circumstances, you
of I think myself injured, Sir; and a polite answer, and asked for fur- would not dare to treat me thus. I have ther communications. On the re
sent for a copy of the M.S. No answer ceipt of a second letter from Chat- from you. An explanation or excuse for terton, Walpole repeated his wish to your silerce would oblige know more concerning Rowley and July 24th. THOMAS CHATTERTON. The manuscripts and letters were when he thus speculated on his fuall returned in a blank cover, on the ture proceedings, his mind had been fourth of August, and here the inter- strongly tainted with infidelity.course was at an end. Gray and Towards the conclusion of April, he Mason were the friends whom Wal- set forth on bis ill-omened journey. pole had consulted about the manu- He had never yet gone farther than scripts, and they had no hesitation a Sunday's walk from his native city ; in pronouncing them to be forgeries. and at the age of seventeen, equally It may seem strange, that with such inexperienced and confident, without men, the uncommon beauty of the a friend or a guide, and with prin· poetry they contained did not create ciples shaken and perverted, he was some interest for the author. But about to enter on a new and perilous Gray was now in a state of health theatre; nor could it have been difthat, perhaps, left him little power of ficult to divine what the event must being interested in any thing; or the soon be. On the 26th of April, wonder may resolve itself into that 1770, immediately after his arrival blindness which poets, no less than in London, he writes to his mother, patrons, too frequently discover for and speaks in high spirits of the enthe excellence of their contempo- couragement he has met with from the raries. Chatterton himself spoke booksellers to whom he has applied, with contempt of the productions of “who,” says he, "all approve of my Collins. As to Walpole he had no design." On the sixth of the next doubt more pleasure in petting the month, he informs her that “ he gets lap-dog that was left to his care by four guineas a month by one magathe old blind lady at Paris, than he zine, and that he shall engage to could ever have felt in nursing the write a history of England and other wayward genius of Chatterton. pieces, which will more than double
During his residence in Lambert's that sum.” “ Mr. Wilkes had known house, his constitutional reserve had him by his writings, since he first assumed an air of gloomy sullenness: corresponded with the booksellers. he had repeatedly betrayed to the He is to visit him the following week, servants an intention of committing and by his interest would ensure suicide ; and at length a paper, en- Mrs. Ballance the Trinity House." titled the last Will and Testament of In short he is in raptures at the Thomas Chatterton, which was found change in his condition and views; lying on his desk, manifested a de- and talks as if his fortune were al sign of perpetrating this act on the ready made. He now inhabited the ensuing day, Easter Sunday, April house of Walmsley, a plasterer, in 15th, 1770. On so unequivocal a Shoreditch, where his kinswoman proof as this appeared to be of his Mrs. Ballance also lived. desperate resolution, his master no The other letters to bis mother and longer thought it safe to retain him. sisters betray the same intoxication.
A few months before, he had At the Chapter Coffee-house, he written letters to several booksellers meets with a gentleman “ who would and printers in London, and from have introduced him as a companion them received assurances of pro- to the young Duke of Northumbertection and employment if he should land in his intended general tour, remove to the capital. This decided had he not been unluckily incapacihim as to his future course. When tated for that office by his ignorance he was questioned by Thistlethwaite of any tongue but his own. His as to the plan of life" he intended to present profession obliges him to pursue, if the prospect which was frequent places of the best resort. thus held out, should fail him, he He employs his money in fitting himanswered : “ The promises I have self fashionably, and getting into had are sufficient to dispel doubt; good company; this last article albut should I be deceived, I will turn ways brings him in good interest. Methodist preacher. Credulity is as He has engaged to live with a potent a deity as ever, and a new gentleman, the brother of a lord (a sect may easily be devised. But if Scotch one indeed) who is going to that too should fail me, my last and advance pretty deeply into the bookfinal resource is a pistol." ' It is al- selling branches, and is to have most unnecessary to observe, that lodging and boarding, genteel and