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natural for him to take care of those effects, which by her death were, as he imagined, become his own; he therefore went to her house, opened her boxes, and examined her papers, among which he found fome letters written to her hy the Lady Mafon, which informed him of his birth, and the reafons for which it was concealed.
He was now no longer fatisfied with the employment which had been allotted him, but thought he had a right to fhare the affluence of his mother; and therefore without fcruple applied to her as her fon, and made use of every art to awaken her tenderness, and attract her regard. But neither his letters, nor the interpofition of those friends which his merit or his diftrefs procured him, made any impreffion upon her mind: She still refolved to neglect, though fhe could no longer disown him.
It was to no purpofe that he frequently folicited her to admit him to see her; fhe avoided him with the most vigilant precaution, and ordered him to be excluded from her house, by whomfoever he might be introduced, and what reafon foever he might give for entering it.
Savage was at the fame time fo touched with the discovery of his real mother, that it was his frequent practice to walk in the dark evenings for feveral hours before her door, in
See the PLAIN DEALER.
hopes of seeing her as the might come by accident to the window, or crofs her apartment with a candle in her hand.
But all his affiduity and tenderness were without effect, for he could neither foften her heart, nor open her hand, and was reduced to the ut most miseries of want, while he was endeavouring to awaken the affection of a mother: He was therefore obliged to feek fome other means of fupport; and, having no profeflion, became by neceffity an author.
At this time the attention of all the literary world was engroffed by the Bangorian controverfy, which filled the prefs with pamphlets, and the coffee-houfes with difputants. Of this fubject, as most popular, he made choice for his first attempt, and without any other knowledge: of the question, than he had cafually collected from converfation, published a poem against the bishop.
What was the fuccefs or merit of this performance, I know not; it was probably loft among the innumerable pamphlets to which that difpute› gave occafion. Mr. Savage was himfelf in a little: time afhamed of it, and endeavoured to fupprefs it, by deftroying all the copies that he coulda collect.
He then attempted a more gainful kind of writing, and in his eighteenth year offered to Jacob's Lives of Dramatic Poets.
the stage a comedy borrowed from a Spanish plot, which was refused by the players, and was therefore given by him to Mr. Bullock, who, having more intereft, made fome flight alterations, and brought it upon the stage, under the title of WOMAN'S A RIDDLE, but allowed the unhappy author no part of the profit.
Not difcouraged however at his repulfe, he wrote two years afterwards Love IN A VEIL, another comedy, borrowed likewife from the Spanish, but with little better fuccefs than before; for though it was received and acted, yet it appeared fo late in the year, that the author obtained no other advantage from it, than the acquaintance of Sir Richard Steele, and Mr. Wilks; by whom he was pitied, careffed, and relieved.
Sir Richard Steele, having declared in his favour with all the ardour of benevolence which conftituted his character, promoted his intereft with the utmost zeal, related his misfortunes, applauded his merit, took all the opportunities of recommending him, and afferted, that +" the "inhumanity of his mother had given him a " right to find every good man his father."
This play was printed first in 8vo; and afterwards in 12mo, the fifth edition.
Nor was Mr. Savage admitted to his acquaintance only, but to his confidence, of which he fometimes related an instance too extraordinary to be omitted, as it affords a very juft idea of his patron's character.
He was once defired by Sir Richard, with an air of the utmost importance, to come very early to his house the next morning. Mr. Savage came as he had promised, found the chariot at the door, and Sir Richard waiting for him, and ready to go out. What was intended, and whither they were to go, Savage could not conjecture, and was not willing to enquire; but immediately feated himself with Sir Richard; the coachman was ordered to drive, and they hurried with the utmost expedition to HydePark Corner, where they stopped at a petty tavern, and retired to a private room. Sir Richard then informed him, that he intended to publish a pamphlet, and that he had defired him to come thither that he might write for him. They foon fat down to the work. Sir Richard dictated, and Savage wrote, till the dinner that had been ordered was put upon the table. Savage was furprized at the meanness of the entertainment, and after fome hesitation ventured to ask for wine, which Sir Richard, not without reluctance, ordered to be brought.. They then finished their dinner, and proceeded in
in their pamphlet, which they concluded in the afternoon.
Mr. Savage then imagined his tafk over, and expected that Sir Richard would call for the reckoning, and return home; but his expectations deceived him, for Sir Richard told him, that he was without money, and that the pamphlet must be fold before the dinner could be paid for; and Savage was therefore obliged to go and offer their new production to fale for two guineas, which with fome difficulty he obtained. Sir Richard then returned home, having retired that day only to avoid his creditors, and compofed the pamphlet only to difcharge his reckoning.
Mr. Savage related another fact equally uncommon, which, though it has no relation to his life, ought to be preferved. Sir Richard Steele having one day invited to his houfe a great number of perfons of the first quality, they were furprized at the number of liveries which furrounded the table; and after dinner, when wine and mirth had fet them free from the obfervation of rigid ceremony, one of them enquired of Sir Richard, how fuch an expenfive train of domestics could be confiftent with his fortune. Sir Richard very frankly confeffed, that they were fellows of whom he would very willingly be rid. And being then asked, why