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It is concluded by the wise Ulysses with this speech:
Fate holds the strings, and men like children move
At the accession of queen Anne, having his fortune improved by bequests from his father, and his uncle the earl of Bathe, he was chosen into parliament for Fowey. He soon after engaged in a joint translation of the Invectives against Philip, with a design, surely weak and puerile, of turning the thunder of Demosthenes upon the head of Lewis.
He afterwards (in 1706) had his estate again augmented by an inheritance from his elder brother, Sir Bevil Granville, who, as he returned from the government of Barbadoes, died at sea. He continued to serve in parliament; and in the ninth year of queen Anne was chosen knight of the shire for Cornwall.
At the memorable change of the ministry (1710), he was made secretary at war, in the place of Mr. Robert Walpole.
Next year, when the violence of party made twelve peers in a day, Mr. Granville became Lord Landsdowne, Baron Biddeford, by a promotion justly Temarked to be not invidious, because he was the heir of a family in which two peerages, that of the earl of Bath and lord Granville of Potheridge, had lately become extinct. Being now high in the Queen's favour, he (1712) was appointed comptroller of the household, and a privy counsellor; and to his other honours were added the dedication of Pope's Windor Foresi. He was advanced next year to be treasurer of the household.
Of these favouis he soon lost all but his title; for at the accession of king George his place was given to the earl of Cholmondeley, and he was persecuted with the rest of his party. Having protested against the bill for attainting Ormond and Boling broke, he was, after the insurrection in Scotland, seized Sept. 26, 1715, as a suspected man, and confined in the Tower till Feb. 8, 1717, when he was ar last released, and restored to his seat in parliament; where (1719) he made a very ardent and animated speech against the repeal of the bill to prevent Occasional Conformity, which, however, though it was then printed, he has not inserted it into his works,
Some time afterwards (about 1722), being perhaps embarrassed by his profusion, he went into foreign courtries, with the usual pretence of recovering luis health. In this state of leisure and retirement, he received the first volume of Burnet's History, of which he cannot be supposed to have ape proved the general 'tendency, and where he thought himself. able to detect some particular salsehoods. He therefore undertook the vindication of general Monk from some calumnies of Dr. Burnet, and some misrepresentations of Mr. Echard. This was answered civilly by Mr. Thomas Burnet and Oldmixon; and more roughly by Dr. Colbatch.
His other historical performance is a defence of his relation Sir Richard Greenville, who.n loid Clarendon has shewn in a form very unamiable. So inuch is urged in this apology, to justify many actions that have been represented as culpable, and to palliate the rest, that the reader is reconciled for the greater part; and it is made very probable that Clarendon was by ,personal enmity disposed to think the worst of Greenville, as Greenville was also very willing to think the worst of: Clarendon. These pieces were published at his return to England.
Being now desirous to conclude his labours, and enjoy his reputation, he published (1732) a very beautiful and splendid edition of his works, in which he omitted what he disapproved, and enlarged what seemed deficient.
He now went to Court, and was kindly received by queen Caroline; to whom and to the princess Anne he presented his works, with verses on the blank leaves, with which he concluded his poetical labours.
He died in Hanover-square, Jan. 30, 1735, having a few days before buried his wife, the lady Anne Villers, widow to Mr. Thynne, by whom he had four daughters, but no son.
Writers commonly derive their reputation from their works ; but there are works which owe their reputation to the character of the writer. The publick sometimes has its favourites, whom it rewards for one species of excellence with the honours due to another. From him whom we reverence for his beneficence we do not willingly withhold the praise of genius; a, man of exalted merit becomes at once an accomplished writer, as a beauty finds no great difficulty in passing for a wit.
Granville was a man illustrious by his birth, and therefore attracted notice: since he is by Pope styled “the polite," he must be supposed elegant in his manners, and generally loved; he was in times of contest and turbulence. steady to his party, and obtained that esteem which is always conferred on firmness and consistency. With those advantages, having learned the art of versifying, he declared himself a poet; and the claim to the laurel was allowed.
But by a critick of a later generation who takes up his book without any favourable prejudices, the praise already received will be thought sufficient; for his works do not shew him to have had much comprehension from nature, or illumination from learning. He seems to have had no ambition above the imitation of Waller, of whom he has copied the faults, and very little more.
He is for ever amusing himself with the puerilities of mythology; his King is Jupiter, who, if the Queen brings no children, has a barren Juno. The Queen is compounded of Juno, Venus, and Minerva. His poem on the dutchess of Grafton's lawsuit, after having rattled a while with Juno and Pallas, Mars and Alcides, Cassiope, Niobe, and the Propetides, Hercules, Minos, and Rhadamanthus, at last concludes its folly with, profaneness.
His verses to Mira, which are most frequently mentioned, have little in them of either art or nature, of the sentiments of a lover, or the language
of a poet : there may be found now-and-then a happier effort ; but they are commonly fecble and unaffecting, or forced and extravagant.
His little pieces are seldom either sprightly' or elegant, either keen or weighty. They are trifles written by idleness, and published by vanity. But his Prologues and Epilogues have a just claim to praise.
The Progress of Beauty seems one cf his most elaborate pieces, and is net deficient in splendour and gaiety ; but the merit of original thought is wanting. Its highest praise is the spirit with which he celebrates king Janes's consort, when she was queen no longer.
The Essay on unnatural Flights in Poetry is not inelegant nor injudicious, and has something of vigour beyond most of his other performances : his precepts are just, and his cautions proper; they are indeed not new, but in a didactic poem novelty is to be expected only in the ornaments and illustrations. His poetical precepts are accompanied with agreeable and instructive notes.
The Masque of Peleus and Thetis has here and there a pretty line ; but it is not always melodious, and the conclusion is wretched.
In his Eritish Enchanters he has bidden defiance'to all chronology, by confounding the inconsistent manners of different ages; but the dialogue has often the air of Dryden's rhyming plays; and the songs are lively, though not very correct. This is, I think, far the best of his works; for if it has many faults, it has likewise passages which are at least pretty, though they
rise to any high degree of excellence.
Y AL DE N.
was born in the city of Exeter in 1671. Having been educated in the graminar-school belonging to Magdalen College in Oxford, he was in 1690, at the age of nineteen, admitted commoner of Magdalen Hall, under the tuition of Josiah Pullen, a man whose name is still remembered in the university. He became next year one of the scholars of Magdalen College, where he was distinguished by a lucky accident.
It was his-turn, one day, to pronounce a declamation ; and Dr. Hough, the president, happening to attend, thought the composition too good to be the speaker's. Some time after, the doctor finding him a little irregularly busy in the library, set him an exercise for punishment; and that he mighi, not be deceived by any artifice, locked the door. Yalden, as it happened, had been lately, reading on the subject given, and produced with little difficulty a composition which so pleased the president, that he told him his former suspicions, and promised to favour him.
Anong bis contemporaries in the college were Addison and Sacheverell, men who were in those times friends, and who both adopted Yalden to their intimacy. Yalden continued, throughout his life, to think as probably he thought at first, yet did not lose the friendship of Addison.
When Namur was taken by king William, Yalden made an ode. There was never any reign more celebrated by the poets than that of William, who had very little regard for song himself, but happened to employ ministers who pleased themselves with the praise of patronage.
Of this ode mention is made in an humorous poem of that time, called The Oxford Laureat; in which, after many claims had been made and rejected, Yalden is represented as demanding the laurel, and as being called to his trial, instead of receiving a reward.
His crime was for being a felon in verse,
And presenting his theft to the king;
Yet what he had stol’n was so little worth stealing,
They forgave him the damage and cost :
They had fined him but ten-pence at most.
The poet whom he was charged with robbing was Congreve.
In 1710 he became fellow of the college ; and next year, entering into orders, was presented by the society with a living in Warwickshire, consistent with the fellowship, and chosen lecturer of moral philosophy, a very honourable office.
On the accession of queen Anne he wrote another poem ; and is said, by the author of the Biographia, to have declared himself of the
who had the honourable distinction of High-church men. : . In 1706 he was received into the family of the duke of Beaufort. Next year he became doctor in divinity, and soon after resigned his fellowship and lecture ; and, as a token of his gratitude, gave the college a picure of their founder.
He was made rector of Chalton and Cleanville, two adjoining towns and benefices in Hertfordshire; and had the prebends, or sinecurės, of Deans, Hains, and Pendles, in Devonshire. He had before * been chosen, in 1698, preacher of Bridewell Hospital, upon the resignation of Dr. Atterbury 1.
From this time he seems to have led a quiet and inoffensive life, till the clamour tas raised about Atterbury's plot. Every loyal eye was on the watch for abettors or partakers of the horrid conspiracy; and Dr. Yalden, having some acquaintance with the bishop, and being familiarly conversant with Kelly his secretary, fell under suspicion, and was taken into custody.
Upon his examination he was charged with a dangerous correspondence with Kelly. The correspondence he acknowledged; but maintained, that it had no treasonable tendency. His papers were seized; but nothing was found that could fix a crime upon him, except two words in his pocket-book, thorough-paced doctrine. This expression the imagination of his examiners bad impregnated with treason, and the doctor was enjoined to explain them. Thus pressed, he told them that the words had lain unheeded in his pocketbook from the time of queen Anne, and that he was ashamed to give an account of them : but the truth was, that he had gratified his curiosity one day, by hearing Daniel Burgess in the pulpit, and those words was a memorial hint of a remarkable sentence by which he warned his congregation to “ beware of” thorough-paced doctrine, “ that doctrine which coming « in at one ear, paces through the head, and goes out at the other."
* Not ti]] long after. N.
Dr. Atterbury retained the office of preacher at Bridewell, till his promotion co the Bishoprick of Rochester. Ds. Yalden succeeded him as preacher in June, 1713. N.