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notice with rude contempt, and swallowed his own medicine, which, in July, 1710, brought him to the grave. He was buried at Gartham. Many years afterwards, Ducket communicated to Oldmixon, the historian, an account pretended to have been received from Smith, that Clarendon's History was, in its publication, corrupted by Aldrich, Smalridge, and Atterbury; and that Smith was employed to forge and insert the alterations.
This story was published triumphantly by Oldmixon, and may be supposed to have been eagerly received; but its progress was soon checked for, finding its way into the Journal of Trévoux, it fell under the eye of Atterbury, then an exile in France, who immediately denied the charge, with this remarkable particular, that he never in his whole life had once spoken to Smith;* his company being, as must be inferred, not accepted by those who attended to their characters.
The charge was afterwards very diligently refuted by Dr. Burton of Eton, a man eminent for literature; and, though not of the same party with Aldrich and Atterbury, too studious of truth to leave them burdened with a false charge. The testimonies which he has collected have convinced mankind that either Smith or Ducket was guilty of wilful and malicious falsehood.
This controversy brought into view those parts of Smith's life, which, with more honour to his name, might have been concealed.
Of Smith I can yet say a little more. He was a man of such estimation among his companions, that the casual censures or praises | which he dropped in conversation were considered, like those of Scaliger, as worthy of preservation.
He had great readiness and exactness of criticism, and by a cursory glance over a new composition would exactly tell all its faults and beauties.
He was remarkable for the power of reading with great rapidity, and of retaining, with great fidelity, what he so easily collected.
He therefore always knew what the present question required; and, when his friends expressed their wonder at his acquisitions, made in a state of apparent negligence and drunkenness, he never discovered his hours of reading or method of study, but involved himself in affected silence, and fed his own vanity with their admiration.
One practice he had, which was easily observed: if any thought or image was presented
See Bishop Atterbury's " Epistolary Correspendence," 1799, vol. III. p. 126. 133. In the same work, vol. I. p. 325, it appears that Smith was at one time suspected to have been author of the "Tale of a Tub."N.
to his mind that he could use or improve, he did not suffer it to be lost: but, amidst the jollity of a tavern, or in the warmth of conversation, very diligently committed it to paper.
Thus it was that he had gathered two quires of hints for his new tragedy; of which Rowe, when they were put into his hands, could make, as he says, very little use, but which the collector considered as a valuable stock of materials.
When he came to London, his way of life connected him with the licentious and dissolute; and he affected the airs and gayety of a man of pleasure: but his dress was always deficient; scholastic cloudiness still hung about him; and his merriment was sure to produce the scorn of his companions.
With all his carelessness and all his vices, he was one of the murmurers at fortune; and wondered why he was suffered to be poor, when Addison was caressed and preferred; nor would a very little have contented him; for he estimated his wants at six hundred pounds a year.
In his course of reading, it was particular that he had diligently perused, and accurately remembered, the old romances of knight-errantry.
He had a high opinion of his own merit, and was something contemptuous in his treatment of those whom he considered as not qualified to oppose or contradict him. He had many frailties; yet it cannot but be supposed that he had great merit who could obtain to the same play a prologue from Addison and an epilogue from Prior; and who could have at once the patronage of Halifax and the praise of Oldisworth.
For the power of communicating these minute memorials, I am indebted to my conversation with Gilbert Walmsley, late registrar of the ecclesiastical court of Lichfield, who was acquainted both with Smith and Ducket; and declared, that, if the tale concerning Clarendon were forged, he should suspect Ducket of the falsehood; for Rag was a man of great veracity.
Of Gilbert Walmsley, thus presented to my mind, let me indulge myself in the remembrance. I knew him very early; he was one of the first friends that literature procured me, and I hope that at least my gratitude made me worthy of his notice.
He was of an advanced age, and I was only not a boy; yet he never received my notions with contempt. He was a whig, with all the virulence and malevolence of his party; yet difference of opinion did not keep us apart. J honoured him, and he endured me.
He had mingled with the gay world, without exemption from its vices or its follies, but had never neglected the cultivation of his mind; his belief of revelation was unshaken; his learn
ing preserved his principles; he grew first re- | aliquando oden hanc ad te mitto sublimem, tegular, and then pious.
His studies had been so various, that I am not able to name a man of equal knowledge. His acquaintance with books was great; and what he did not immediately know, he could at least tell where to find. Such was his amplitude of learning, and such his copiousness of communication, that it may be doubted, whether a day now passes in which I have not some advantage from his friendship.
neram, flebilem, suavem, qualem demum divi. nus (si Musis vacaret) scripsisset Gastrellus: adeo scilicet sublimem ut inter legendum dormire, adeo flebilem ut ridere velis. Cujus elegantiam ut melius inspicias, versuum ordinem et materiam breviter referam. Imus. versus de duobus præliis decantatis. 2dus. et 3us. de Lotharingio, cuniculis subterraneis, saxis, ponto, hostibus, et Asiâ. 4tus. et 5tus. de catenis, subdibus, uncis, draconibus, tigribus, et crocodilis. 6us. 7us. 8us. 9us. de Gomorrhâ, de Babylone, Babele, et quodam domi suæ pere10us. aliquid de quodam Pocockio. llus. 12us. de Syriâ, Solymâ. 13us. 14us. de Hoseâ, et quercu, et de juvene quodam valde 15us. 16us. de Ætnâ, et quomodo Ætna Pocockio fit valde similis. 17us. 18us. de tubâ, astro, umbrâ, flammis, rotis, Pocockio non neglecto. Cætera de Christianis, Ottomanis, Babyloniis, Arabibus, et gravissimâ agrorum melancholiâ; de Cæsare Flacco,* Nestore, et miserando juvenis cujusdam florentissimi fato, anno
At this man's table I enjoyed many cheerful and instructive hours, with companions such as are not often found; with one who has length-grino. ened and one who has gladdened life; with Dr. James, whose skill in physic will be long remembered, and with David Garrick, whom I hoped to have gratified with this character of our common friend: but what are the hopes of man! I am disappointed by that stroke of death which has eclipsed the gayety of nations, and impoverished the public stock of harmless plea
In the Library at Oxford is the following lu- ætatis suæ centesimo præmaturè abrepti. Quæ dicrous Analysis of Pocockius:
omnia cum accuratè expenderis, necesse est ut oden hanc meam admirandâ planè varietate constare fatearis. Subitò ad Batavos proficiscor, lauro ab illis donandus. Prius verò Pembrochienses voco ad certamen Poeticum. Vale. Illustrissima tua deosculor crura.
OF Mr. RICHARD DUKE I can find few memorials. He was bred at Westminster* and Cambridge; and Jacob relates, that he was some time tutor to the Duke of Richmond.
He appears from his writings to have been not ill qualified for, poetical compositions; and, being conscious of his powers, when he left the University, he enlisted himself among the wits. He was the familiar friend of Otway; and was engaged, among other popular names, in the translations of Ovid and Juvenal. In his "Review," though unfinished, are some vigorous lines. His poems are not below mediocrity; nor have I found much in them to be praised.†
He was admitted there in 1670; was elected to Trinity College, Cambridge, in 1675; and took his master's degree in 1682.-N.
They make a part of a volume published by Ton08.0.1717, containing the poems of the Earl of
With the wit he seems to have shared the dissoluteness of the times; for some of his compositions are such as he must have reviewed with detestation in his later days, when he published those Sermons which Felton has commended.
Perhaps, like some other foolish young men, he rather talked than lived viciously, in an age when he that would be thought a wit was afraid to say his prayers; and, whatever might have been bad in the first part of his life, was surely condemned and reformed by his better judgment.
Roscommon, and the Duke of Buckingham's Essay on Poetry; but were first published in Dryden's Miscellany, as were most, if not all, of the poems in that collection.-H.
• Pro Flacco, animo paulo attentiore, scripsissem Marone.
In 1683, being then master of arts and fellow of Trinity College, in Cambridge, he wrote a poem on the marriage of the Lady Anne with George, Prince of Denmark.
In 1710, he was presented by the Bishop of Winchester to the wealthy living of Witney, in Oxfordshire, which he enjoyed but a few months. On February 10, 1710-11, having returned from an entertainment, he was found dead the next morning. His death is mention
He then took orders;* and, being made prebendary of Gloucester, became a proctor in convocation for that church, and chaplain to Queened in Swift's Journal. Anne.
WILLIAM KING was born in London, in 1663; the son of Ezekiel King, a gentleman. He was allied to the family of Clarendon.
From Westminster-school, where he was a scholar on the foundation under the care of Dr. Busby, he was at eighteen elected to Christchurch, in 1681; where he is said to have prosecuted his studies with so much intenseness and activity, that before he was eight years standing he had read over, and made remarks upon, twenty-two thousand odd hundred books and manuscripts. The books were certainly not very long, the manuscripts not very difficult, nor the remarks very large; for the calculator will find that he despatched seven a day for every day of his eight years; with a remnant that more than satisfies most other stu
This book offended Prince George; and the Danish minister presented a memorial against it. The principles of its author did not please Dr. King; and therefore he undertook to confute part, and laugh at the rest. The controversy is now forgotten; and books of this kind seldom live long, when interest and resentment have ceased.
In 1697, he mingled in the controversy between Boyle and Bentley; and was one of those who tried what wit could perform in opposition to learning, on a question which learning only could decide.
In 1699, was published by him "A Journey to London," after the method of Dr. Martin Lister, who had published" A Journey to Paris." And, in 1700, he satirized the Royal So
dents. He took his degree in the most expen-ciety, at least Sir Hans Sloane, their presi
sive manner, as a grand compounder; whence it is inferred that he inherited a considerable fortune.
In 1688, the same year in which he was made master of arts, he published a confutation of Varillas's account of Wickliffe; and engaging in the study of the civil law, became doctor in 1692, and was admitted advocate at Doctors Commons.
He had already made some translations from the French, and written some humorous and satirical pieces; when, in 1694, Molesworth published his "Account of Denmark," in which he treats the Danes and their monarch with great contempt; and takes the opportunity of insinuating those wild principles, by which he supposes liberty to be established, and by which his adversaries suspect that all subordination and government is endangered.
He was presented to the rectory of Blaby, in Leicestershire, in 1687-8; and obtained a prebend at Gloucester, in 1688.-N.
This appears by his "Adversaria," printed in his works, edit. 1776, 3 vols.-C.
dent, in two dialogues, entitled "The Transactioner."
Though he was a regular advocate in the courts of civil and canon law, he did not love his profession, nor indeed any kind of business which interrupted his voluntary dreams, or forced him to rouse from that indulgence in which only he could find delight. His reputation as a civilian was yet maintained by his judgments in the courts of delegates, and raised very high by the address and knowledge which he discovered in 1700, when he defended the Earl of Anglesea against his lady, afterwards Dutchess of Buckinghamshire, who sued for a divorce, and obtained it.
The expense of his pleasures and neglect of business had now lessened his revenues; and he was willing to accept of a settlement in Ireland, where, about 1702, he was made judge of the Admiralty, commissioner of the prizes, keeper of the records in Birmingham's tower, and vicar-general to Dr. Marsh, the primate.
But it is vain to put wealth within the reach of him who will not stretch out his nand to take it. King soon found a friend, as idle and
thoughtless as himself, in Upton, one of the judges, who had a pleasant house called Mountown near Dublin, to which King frequently retired; delighting to neglect his interest, forget his cares, and desert his duty.
Here he wrote "Mully of Mountown," a poem; by which, though fanciful readers in the pride of sagacity have given it a political interpretation, was meant originally no more than it expressed, as it was dictated only by the Author's delight in the quiet of Mountown.
In 1708, when Lord Wharton was sent to govern Ireland, King returned to London with his poverty, his idleness, and his wit, and published some essays, called "Useful Transactions." His "Voyage to the Island of Cajamai" is particularly commended. He then wrote "The Art of Love," a poem remarkable, notwithstanding its title, for purity of sentiment; and in 1709 imitated Horace in an "Art of Cookery." which he published, with some letters to Dr. Lister.
In 1710, he appeared as a lover of the church, on the side of Sacheverell; and was supposed to have concurred at least in the projection of "The Examiner." His eyes were open to all the operations or whiggism; and he bestowed some strictures upon Dr. Kennet's adulatory sermon at the funeral of the Duke of Devonshire. "The History of the Heathen Gods," a book composed for schools, was written by him in 1710. The work is useful, but might have been produced without the powers of King. The next year, he published Rufinus," an historical essay; and a poem, intended to dispose the nation to think as he thought of the Duke of Marlborough and his adherents.
In 1711, competence, if not plenty, was again put into his power, He was, without the trouble of attendance, or the mortification of a request, made gazetteer. Swift, Freind, Prior, and other men of the same party, brought him the key of the gazeteer's office. He was now again placed in a profitable employment, and again threw the benefit away. An act of insolvency made his business at that time particularly troublesome; and he would not wait till hurry should be at an end, but impatiently resigned it, and returned to his wonted indigence and amusements.
One of his amusements at Lambeth, where he resided, was to mortify Dr. Tenison, the archbishop, by a public festivity on the surrender of Dunkirk to Hill; an event with which Tenison's political bigotry did not suffer him to be delighted. King was resolved to counteract his sullenness, and at the expense of a few barrels of ale filled the neighbourhood with honest merriment.
In the autumn of 1712, his health declined; he grew weaker by degrees, and died on Christmas-day. Though his life had not been without irregularity, his principles were pure and orthodox, and his death was pious.
After this relation, it will be naturally supposed that his poems were rather the amusements of idleness than the efforts of study; that he endeavoured rather to divert than astonish; that his thoughts seldom aspired to sublimity: and that, if his verse was easy and his images familiar, he attained what he desired. His purpose is to be merry; but, perhaps, to enjoy his mirth, it may be sometimes necessary to think well of his opinions.*
THOMAS SPRAT was born in 1696, at Tallaton, in Devonshire, the son of a clergyman; and having been educated, as he tells of himself, not at Westminster or Eton, but at a little school by the church-yard side, became a commoner of Wadham College, in Oxford, in 1651; and, being chosen scholar next year, proceeded through the usual academical course; and, in 1657, became master of arts. He obtained a fellowship, and commenced poet.
In 1659, his poem on the death of Oliver was published, with those of Dryden and Waller. In his dedication to Dr. Wilkins, he appears a very willing and liberal encomiast, both of the
living and the dead. He implores his patron's excuse of his verses, both as falling "so infinitely below the full and sublime genius of that excellent poet who made this way of writing free of our nation," and being "so little equal and proportioned to the renown of a prince on whom they were written; such great actions
* Dr. Johnson appears to have made but little use of the Life of Dr. King, prefixed to his " Works, in 3 vols." 1776, to which it may not be impertinent to refer the reader. His talent for humour ought to be praised in the highest terms. In that at least he yielded to none of his contemporaries.-C.
and lives deserving to be the subject of the noblest pens and most Divine phansies." He proceeds; "Having so long experienced your care and indulgence, and been formed as it were, by your own hands, not to entitle you to any thing which my meanness produces would be not only injustice, but sacrilege.”
He published, the same year, a poem on the "Plague of Athens;" a subject of which it is not easy to say what could recommend it. To these he added afterwards a poem on Mr. Cowley's death.
After the Restoration he took orders, and by Cowley's recommendation was made chaplain to the Duke of Buckingham, whom he is said to have helped in writing "The Rehearsal." He was likewise chaplain to the King.
As he was the favourite of Wilkins, at whose house began those philosophical conferences and inquiries which in time produced the Royal Society, he was consequently engaged in the same studies, and became one of the fellows; and when, after their incorporation, something seemed necessary to reconcile the public to the new institution, he undertook to write its history, which he published in 1667. This is one of the few books which selection of sentiment and elegance of diction have been able to preserve, though written upon a subject flux and transitory. "The history of the Royal Society," is now read, not with the wish to know what they were then doing, but how their transactions are exhibited by Sprat.
In the next year he published "Observations on Sorbiere's Voyage into England, in a Letter to Mr. Wren." This is a work not ill performed; but perhaps rewarded with at least its full proportion of praise.
In 1668, he published Cowley's Latin poems, and prefixed in Latin the Life of the Author, which he afterwards amplified, and placed before Cowley's English works, which were by will committed to his care.
Ecclesiastical benefices now fell fast upon him. In 1668, he became a prebendary of Westminster, and had afterwards the church of St. Margaret, adjoining to the Abbey. He was, in 1680, made canon of Windsor; in 1683, dean of Westminster; and in 1684, bishop of Rochester.
The court having thus a claim to his diligence and gratitude, he was required to write the history of the Rye-house Plot; and in 1685, published "A true Account and Declaration of the horrid Conspiracy against the late King, his present Majesty, and the present Government;" a performance which he thought convenient, after the Revolution, to extenuate and excuse.
The same year, being clerk of the closet to the King, he was made dean of the chapel-royal; and, the year afterwards, received the last proof of his master's confidence, by being appointed
one of the commissioners for ecclesiastical affairs. On the critical day when the Declaration distinguished the true sons of the church of England, he stood neuter, and permitted it to be read at Westminster; but pressed none to violate his conscience; and when the Bishop of London was brought before them, gave his voice in his favour.
Thus far he suffered interest or obedience to carry him; but further he refused to go. When he found that the powers of the ecclesiastical commission were to be exercised against those who had refused the Declaration, he wrote to the lords, and other commissioners, a formal profession of his unwillingness to exercise that authority any longer, and withdrew himselt from them. After they had read his letter, they adjourned for six months, and scarcely ever met afterwards.
When King James was frighted away, and a new government was to be settled, Sprat was one of those who considered, in a conference, the great question, whether the crown was vacant, and manfully spoke in favour of his old master.
He complied, however, with the new establishment, and was left unmolested; but, in 1692, a strange attack was made upon him by one Robert Young and Stephen Blackhead, both men convicted of infamous crimes, and both, when the scheme was laid, prisoners in Newgate. These men drew up an association, in which they whose names were subscribed declared their resolution to restore King James, to seize the Princess of Orange, dead or alive, and to be ready with thirty thousand men, to meet King James when he should land. To this they put the names of Sancroft, Sprat, Marlborough, Salisbury, and others. The copy of Dr. Sprat's name was obtained by a fictitious request, to which an answer in his own hand was desired. His hand was copied so well, that he confessed it might have deceived himself. Blackhead, who had carried the letter, being sent again with a plausible message, was very curious to see the house, and particularly importunate to be let into the study; where, as is supposed, he designed to leave the association. This, however, was denied him; and he dropped it in a flower-pot in the parlour.
Young now laid an information before the privy-council; and, May 7, 1692, the Bishop was arrested, and kept at a messenger's under a strict guard eleven days. His house was searched, and directions were given that the flowerpots should be inspected. The messengers, however, missed the room in which the paper was left. Blackhead went therefore a third time; and, finding his paper where he had left it, brought it away.
The Bishop, having been enlarged, was, on June the 10th and 13th, examined again before