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POETICAL WORKS

JAMES THOMSON.

PASTORAL, DRAMATIC, LYRICAL, AND DIDACTIC POEMS,

A FEW OF HIS JUVENILE PRODUCTIONS.

A LIFE OF THE AUTHOR
BY THE REV. PATRICK MURDOCH, D.D., F.R.S.

DULCES ANTE OMNIA MUSA-VIRGILTUS.

LONDON:
WILLIAM TEGG AND CO., CHEAPSIDE.

HARVARD COLLEGE LIBRARY

GIFT OF
MARY E. HAVEN
JULY 2, 1914,

LONDON:

PRINTED BY JAMES NICHOLS,

HOXTON-SQUARE.

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HARVARD COLLEGE LIBRARY

GIFT OF MARY E. HAVEN JULY 2, 1914,

sequently

Is the present edition of the “ Seasons," that of 1746 has been faithfully copied. I know of only one passage in which I have swerved from it. In “Spring,” verse 800, I have adopted Murdoch's reading of rapt, as the most correct :

And oft, in jealous maddening fancy rapt ; and have ventured to suggest, that in some passages Thomson has improperly employed wrapt for rapt. Of this apparently improper use of the word an instance sub

occurs in verse 988:

Wrapt in gay visions of unreal bliss : where, though the true reading is evidently rapt, I have preserved wrapt, as I had no authority for the change.

In all Murdoch's editions, and in some others, the following false reading is found :

Nor hears the rein, nor heeds the sounding thong.
But the true reading seems to be, -

Nor heeds the rein, nor hears the sounding thong.

LONDON

Though the verse in this form has the authority of only one edition, yet it receives confirmation from Thomson's edition of 1738, which has “the sounding whip.” Thus thong and whip are determined to have been synonymous in our poet's mind at the time when he wrote ; and as the epithet sounding was applied both to thong and to whip, either of them must have been heard under ordinary circumstances, while the horse would heed the reins. The

currus habenas, which Thomson undoubtedly had in his recollection, may with some show of reason be adduced in support of the first of these conflicting readings.

a 2

PRINTED BY JAMES NICHOLS,

HOXTON-SQUARE.

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lu the rest of the Medical Works, I have followed Murdua vita v 1704, compared with those of 1766 and lain, bui bave added the five lines which he omitted, Yunpeeting by Tin or Sir Isaac Newton by Conduit, as they COMMute part of the poem at the poet's decease. In all (dou w doubt, reference has been had to as many of the prerus salicions es contained copies of Thomson's minor produktu: especially to his works in 2 vols. 4to, 1730 ti: ruls Svo. 1738 ; and 2 vols. 8vo. 1744. Aare also adhered to Murdoch in the “ Castle of Indo

with the exception of stanza lxxiii. in the first Via and stanzas lv. and Ivi. in the second canto; all of which he had omitted, for some reason unexplained. Stanza lxxiii. commences thus :

One nymph there was, methought, in bloom of May,

On whom the idle tiend glanced many a look, &c. Rospecting this fine stanza Sir N. H. Nicolas asserts, that it was first “introduced in the edition of 1746.” A copy of that date I have never seen ; but it is supposed to have been nothing beyond a small impression of copies for presentation, before the work had received the last touches of the author. This stanza was understood to contain a description of Lady Lyttelton, who, as well as her noble spouse, is represented to have been impervious to the fascinations of Indolence, and in vain solicited to become an inmate of his enchanted Castle. In consequence of the premature death of this amiable lady, it was omitted in the quarto edition of 1748; the sorrowing author of the “Monody to her Memory” accounting the publication of this recent piece of innocent pleasantry inconsistent with his lacerated feelings. The octavo edition of 1748 does not contain it; but as it is occasionally found in other impressions of high character, the editors must have had access to one of the early presentation-copies, and transferred the stanza into their own pages. Ther two very charming stanzas in the second canto

n Lord 'yttelton's edition of 1750, and in

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