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haust likewise be confessed, that few would have been exposed who received punctually fifty pounds á year ; a falary which, though by no means equal to the demands of vanity and luxury, is yet found sufficient to fupport families above want, and was undoubtedly more than the neceffities of life require.
But no sooner had he received his penfion, than he withdrew to his darling privacy, from which he returned in a fhort time to his former distress, and for some part of the year generally lived by chance, eating only when he was invited to the tables of his acquaintances, from which the meanness of his dress often excluded him, when the politeness and variety of his conversation would have been thought a sufficient recompence for his entertaintment.
He lodged as much by accident as he dined, and passed the night sometimes in mean houses, which are set open at night to any casual wanderers, sometimes in cellars, among the riot and filth of the meanest and most profligate of the rabble ; and sometimes, when he had not money to support even the expences of these receptacles, walked about the streets till he was weary, and lay down in the summer upon a bulk, or in the winter, with his atlociates in poverty, among the ashes of a glass-house.
In this manner were passed those days and those nights which nature had enabled him to have employed in elevated speculations, useful studies, or pleasing conversation. On a bulk, in a cellar, or in a glasshouse, among thieves and beggars, was to be found the Author of the The Wanderer, the man of exalted sen. timents, extensive views, and curious observations ; the man whose remarks on life might have affifted the
statesman, whose ideas of virtue might have enlighte ened the moralist, whose eloquence might have inflų. enced serates, and whose delicacy might have polished courts,
It cannot but be imagined that such necessities might fometiines force him upon disreputable practices; and it is probable that these lines in The Wanderer were occasioned by his reflections on his own conduct :
Though misery leads to happiness, and truth,
Whoever was acquainted with him was certain to be solicited for small fums, which the frequency of the request made in time considerable, and he was therefore quickly shunned by those who were become familiar enough to be trusted with his necessities; but his rambling manner of life, and constant appearance at houses of public refort, always procured him a new succession of friends, whose kindness had not been exhaused by repeated requests; so that he was seldom abfolutely without resources, but had in his utmost exigences this confort, that he always imagined himself sure of speedy relief.
It was observed, that he always asked favours of this kind without the least fubmiffion or apparent conscioufrefs of dependence, and that he did not seem to look upon a compliance with his request as an obligation that deserved any extraordinary acknowledgements ; but a refusal was resented by him as an affront, or complained of as an injury; nor did he readily re
concile himself to those who either denied to lend, or gave him afterwards any intimation that they expected to be repaid.
He was foinetimes so far compassionated by those who knew both his merit and distresses, that they received him into their families, but they soon discovered him to be a very incommodious inmate; for, being always accustomed to an irregular manner of life, he could not confine himself to any stated hours, or pay any regard to the rules of a family, but would prolong his conversation till midnight, without considering that business might require his friend's application in the morning; and, when he had persuaded himself to retire to bed, was not, without equal difficulty, called up to dinner; it was therefore impossible to pay him any distinction without the entire subversion of all economy, a kind of establishment which, wherever he went, he always appeared ambitious to overthrow.
It must therefore be acknowledged, in justification of mankind, that it was not always by the negligence or coldness of his friends that Savage was distretted, but because it was in reality very difficult to preserve him long in a state of ease. To fupply him with money, was a hopeless attempt; for no sooner did he fee himself master of a fum fufficient to fet him free from care for a day, than he became profuse and luxurious. When once he had entered a tavern, or engaged in a fcheme of pleasure, he never retired tiil want of money obliged him to some new expedient. If he was entertained in a family, nothing was any longer to be regarded there but amusements and jollity ; wherever Savage entered, he immediately expected that order and business laould fly before him, that all should
thenceforward be left to hazard, and that no dull prin. ciple of domestic manageinent flould be opposed to his inclination, or intrude upon his gaiety,
His distresses, however afflictive, never dejected him; in his lowest state he wanted not spirit to assert the natural dignity of wit, and was always ready to repress that insolence which superiority of fortune incited, and to trample on that reputation which rose upon any other basis than that of merit : he never admitted any gross familiarities, or submitted to be treated otherwise than as an equal. Once, when he was without lodging, meat, or clothes, one of his friends, a man not indeed remarkable for moderation in his prosperity, lefra message, that he desired to see him about nine in the morning. Savage knew that his intention was to affist hiin; but was very much disgusted that he should presume to prescribe the hour of his attendance, and, I believe, refused to visịt him, and rejected his kindness.
The same invincible temper, whether firmness or obftinacy, appeared in his conduct to the Lord Tyrconnel, from whom he very frequently demanded, that the allowance which was once paid him should be restored ; but with whom he never appeared to entertain for a moment the thought of soliciting a reconciliation, and whom he treated at once with all the haughtiness of superiority, and all the bitterness of re, fentment. He wrote to him, not in a style of fupplication or respect, but of reproach, menace, and contempt; and appeared determined, if he ever regained his allowance, to hold it only by the right of conqueft.
As many more can discover, that a man is richer than that he is wiser than themselves, superiority of
understanding is not fo readily acknowledged as that of fortune; nor is that hạughtiness, which the consciousness of great abilities incites, borne with the same submission as the tyranny of affluence; and therefore Savage, by asserting his claim to deference and regard, and by treating those with contempt whom better fortune animated to rebel against him, did not fail to raise a great number of enemies in the different classes of mankind. Those who thought themselves raised above him by the advantages of riches, hated him because they found no protection from the petulance of his wit, Those who were esteemed for their writings feared him as a critic, and maligned him as a rival, and almost all the smaller wits were his professed enemies,
Among these Mr. Miller so far indulged his refentment as to introduce him in a farce, and direct him to be personated on the stage, in a dress like that which he then wore; a mean insult, which only insi, nuated thar Savage had but one coat, and which was therefore despised by him rather than resented ; for though he wrote a lampoon against Miller, he never printed it: and as no other person ought to prosecutę that revenge from which the person who was injured defifted, I shall not preserve what Mr. Savage suppressed; of which the publication would indeed have been a punishment too severe for so impotent an affault,
The great hardships of poverty were to Savage nog the want of lodging or of food, but the neglect and contempt which it drew upon him, He complained, that as his affairs grew desperate, he found his re. putation for capacity visibly decline; that his opinion in questions of criticism was no longer regarded, when his coat was out of fashion; and that those who,