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notice with rude contempt, and swallowed his to his mind that he could use or improve, he own medicine, which, in July, 1710, brought did not suffer it to be lost : but, amidst the jolhim to the grave. He was buried at Gartham. lity of a tavern, or in the warmth of conversa
Many years afterwards, Ducket communi- tion, very diligently committed it to paper. cated to Oldmixon, the historian, an account Thus it was that he had gathered two quires pretended to have been received from Smith, of hints for his new tragedy ; of which Rowe, that Clarendon's History was, in its publica- when they were put into his hands, could tion, corrupted by Aldrich, Smalridge, and At- make, as he says, very little use, but which the terbury; and that Smith was employed to forge collector considered as a valuable stock of maand insert the alterations.
terials. This story was published triumphantly by When he came to London, his way of life Oldmixon, and may be supposed to have been connected him with the licentious and dissolute; eagerly received; but its progress was soon and he affected the airs and gayety of a man of checked : for, finding its way into the Journal pleasure : but his dress was always defieient; of Trévoux, it fell under the eye of Atterbury, scholastic cloudiness still hung about him; and then an exile in France, who immediately de- his me. Timent was sure to produce the scorn of nied the charge, with this remarkable particu- his companions. lar, that he never in his whole life had once With all his carelessness and all his vices, he spoken to Smith;* bis company being, as must was one of the murmurers at fortune; and be inferred, not accepted by those who attended wondered why he was suffered to be poor, to their characters.
when Addison was caressed and preferred; nor The charge was afterwards very diligently would a very little have contented him; for refuted by Dr. Burton of Eton, a man eminent he estimated his wants at six hundred pounds for literature; and, though not of the same par
a year. ty with Aldrich and Atterbury, too studious of In his course of reading, it was particular truth to leave them burdened with a false that he had diligently perused, and accurately charge. The testimonies which he has collect- remembered, the old romances of knight-ered have convinced mankind that either Smith rantry. or Ducket was guilty of wilful and malicious He had a high opinion of his own merit, and falsehood.
was something contemptuous in his treatment This controversy brought into view those of those whom he considered as not qualified to parts of Smith's life, which, with more honour oppose or contradict him. He had many frailto his name, might have been concealed.
ties; yet it cannot but be supposed that he had Of Smith I can yet say a little more. He great merit who could obtain to the same play was a man of such estimation among his com- a prologue from Addison and an epilogue from panions, that the casual censures or praises Prior; and who could have at once the patronwhich he dropped in conversation were con- age of Halifax and the praise of Oldisworth. sidered, like those of Scaliger, as worthy of pre- For the power of communicating these miservation.
nute memorials, I am indebted to my conversaHe had great readiness and exactness of cri. tion with Gilbert Walmsley, late registrar of ticism, and by a cursory glance over a new the ecclesiastical court of Lichfield, who was composition would exactly tell all its faults and acquainted both with Smith and Ducket; and beauties.
declared, that, if the tale concerning Clarendon He was remarkable for the power of reading were forged, he should suspect Ducket of the with great rapidity, and of retaining, with falsehood; for Rag was a man of great vegreat fidelity, what he so easily collected. racity.
He therefore always knew what the present Of Gilbert Walrosley, thus presented to my question required; and, when bis friends ex- mind, let me indulge myself in the remempressed their wonder at his acquisitions, made brance. I knew him very early; he was one in a state of apparent negligence and drunken- of the first friends that literature procured me, ness, he never discovered his hours of reading and I hope that at least my gratitude made me or method of study, but involved himself in af- worthy of his notice. fected silence, and fed his own vanity with He was of an advanced age, and I was only their admiration.
not a boy; yet he never received my notions One practice he had, which was easily ob- with contempt. He was a whig, with all the served : if any thonght or image was presented virulence and malevolence of his party; yet dif
ference of opinion did not keep us apart. I
honoured him, and he endured me. Kee Bishop Atterbury's Epistolary Corres. pendence,” 1799, vol. III. p. 126. 133. In the same
He had mingled with the gay world, without vork, vol. I. p. 325, it appears that Smith was at
exemption from its vices or its follies, but had one time suspected to have been author of the “ Tale never neglected the cultivation of his mind; his of a Tub."--N.
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.
neram, flebilem, suavem, qualem demum divi. His studies had been so various, that I am nus (si Musis vacaret) scripsisset Gastrellus: not able to name a man of equal knowledge. adeo scilicet sublimem ut inter legendum dorHis acquaintance with books was great; and mire, adeo Aebilem ut ridere velis. Cujus elewhat he did not immediately know, he could at gantiam ut melius inspicias, versuum ordinem least tell where to find. Such was his ampli- et materiam breviter referam. Imus. versus de tude of learning, and such his copiousness of duobus præliis decantatis. 2dus. et 3us. de Locommunication, that it may be doubted, whe-tharingio, cuniculis subterraneis, saxis, ponto, ther a day now passes in which I have not some hostibus, et Asiâ. 4tus: et 5tus. de catenis, advantage from his friendship.
subdibus, uncis, draconibus, tigribus, et crocoAt this man's table I enjoyed many cheerful dilis. 6us. 7us. Sus. Sus. de Gomorrhå, de and instructive hours, with companions such as Babylone, Babele, et quodam domi suæ pereare not often found; with one who has length- grino. 10us. aliquid de quodam Pocockio. ened and one who has gladdened life; with Dr. llus. 12us. de Syriâ, Solymâ. 13us. 14us. de James, whose skill in physic will be long re-Hoseâ, et quercu, et de juvene quodam valde membered, and with David Garrick, whom I sene. 15us. 16us. de Ætnâ, et quomodo Ætna hoped to have gratified with this character of Pocockio fit valde similis. 17us. 18us. de tubâ, our common friend : but what are the hopes of astro, umbrâ, flammis, rotis, Pocockio non negman! I am disappointed by that stroke of death lecto. Cætera de Christianis, Ottomanis, Babywhich has eclipsed the gayety of nations, and loniis, Arabibus, et gravissimâ agrorum melanimpoverished the public stock of harmless plea- choliâ ; de Cæsare Flacco, * Nestore, et miser
ando juvenis cujusdam florentissimi fato, anno 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 EX AUTOGRAPHO.
constare fatearis. Subitò ad Batavos proficiscor, (Sent by the Author to Mr. Urry.) lauro ab illis donandus. Prius verò PembroOPUSCULUM hoc, Halberdarie amplissime, in chienses voco ad certamen Poeticum. Vale. lucem proferre hactenus distuli, judicii tui acu- Illustrissima tua deosculor crura. men subveritus magis quam bipennis. Tandem
OF Mr. RICHARD Duke I can find few me- With the wit he seems to have shared the dismorials. He was bred at Westminster* and soluteness of the times; for some of his comCambridge; and Jacob relates, that he was positions are such as he must have reviewed some time tutor to the Duke of Richmond. with detestation in his later days, when he
He appears from his writings to have been published those Sermons which Felton has not ill qualified for, poetical compositions; and, commended. being conscious of his powers, when he left the Perhaps, like some other foolish young men, University, he enlisted himself among the wits. he rather talked than lived viciously, in an age He was the familiar friend of Otway; and was when he that would be thought a wit was engaged, among other popular names, in the afraid to say his prayers; and, whatever might translations of Ovid and Juvenal. In his “ Re- have been bad in the first part of his life, was view,” though unfinished, are some vigorous surely condemned and reformed by his better lines. His poems are not below mediocrity; judgment. vor have I found much in them to be praised.t
• He was admitted there in 1670 ; was elected to Trinity College, Cambridge, in 1075; and took his master's degree in 1682.-N.
+ They make a part of a volume published by Tonsuri la 810. 1717, contaising the poems of the Earl of
Roscommon, aud 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, scripsicsem Marone.
In 1683, being then master of arts and fellow In 1710, he was presented by the Bishop of of Trinity College, in Cambridge, he wrote a Winchester to the wealthy living of Witney, in poem on the marriage of the Lady Anne with Oxfordshire, which he enjoyed but a few George, Prince of Denmark.
months. On February 10, 1710-11, having reHe then took orders ;* and, being made pre- turned from an entertainment, he was found bendary of Gloucester, became a proctor in con- dead the next morning. His death is mentionvocation for that church, and chaplain to Queen ed in Swift's Journal. Anne.
WILLIAM KING was born in London, in 1663 ; This book offended Prince George; and the the son of Ezekiel King, a gentleman. He Danish minister presented a memorial against was allied to the family of Clarendon.
it. The principles of its author did not please From Westminster-school, where he was a Dr. King; and therefore he undertook to conscholar on the foundation under the care of Dr. fute part, and laugh at the rest. The controBusby, he was at eighteen elected to Christ-versy is now forgotten; and books of this kind church, in 1681 ; where he is said to have pro- seldom live long, when interest and resentment secuted his studies with so much intenseness have ceased. and activity, that before he was eight years In 1697, he mingled in the controversy bestanding he had read over, and made remarks tween Boyle and Bentley; and was one of those
r upon, twenty-two thousand odd hundred books who tried what wit could perform in opposition and manuscripts.f The books were certainly to learning, on a question which learning only not very long, the manuscripts not very diffi- could decide. cult, nor the remarks very large; for the calcu- In 1699, was published by him “ A Journey lator will find that he despatched seven a day to London,” after the method of Dr. Martin for every day of his eight years; with a rem- Lister, who had published “ A Journey to Panant that more than satisfies most other stu- ris.” And, in 1700, he satirized the Royal Sodents. He took his degree in the most expen- ciety, at least Sir Hans Sloane, their presisive manner, as a grand compounder; whence dent, in two dialogues, entitled “ The Transit is inferred that he inherited a considerable actioner.” fortune.
Though he was a regular advocate in the In 1688, the same year in which he was made courts of civil and canon law, he did not love master of arts, he published a confutation of his profession, nor indeed any kind of business Varillas's account of Wickliffe; and engaging which interrupted his voluntary dreams, or in the study of the civil law, became doctor in forced him to rouse from that indulgence in 1692, and was admitted advocate at Doctors which only he could find delight. His reputaCommons.
tion as a civilian was yet maintained by his He had already made some translations from judgments in the courts of delegates, and raised the French, and written some humorous and very high by the address and knowledge which satirical pieces; when, in 1694, Molesworth he discovered in 1700, when he defended the published his “ Account of Denmark,” in Earl of Anglesea against his lady, afterwards which he treats the Danes and their monarch | Dutchess of Buckinghamshire, 'who sued for a with great contempt; and takes the opportunity divorce, and obtained it. of insinuating those wild principles, by which The
expense of his pleasures and neglect of he supposes liberty to be established, and by business had now lessened his revenues ; and he which his adversaries suspect that all subordi- was willing to accept of a settlement in Ireland, nation and government is endangered.
where, about 1702, he was made judge of the
Admiralty, commissioner of the prizes, keeper • He was presented to the rectory of Blaby, in
of the records in Birmingham's tower, and viLeicestershire, in 1687-8; and obtained a prebend at car-general to Dr. Marsh, the primate. Gloucester, in 1688.-N.
But it is vain to put wealth within the reach + This appears by his “ Adversaria," printed in
of him who will not stretch out his nand to his works, edit. 1776, 3 vols.-C.
take it. King soon found a wriend, as idle and
thoughtless as himself, in Upton, one of the In 1711, competence, if not plenty, was again judges, who had a pleasant house called Moun- put into his power, He was, without the trouble town near Dublin, to which King frequently of attendance, or the mortification of a request, retired; delighting to neglect his interest, for- made gazetteer. Swift, Freind, Prior, and get his cares, and desert his duty.
other men of the same party, brought him the Here he wrote “ Mully of Mountown,” a key of the gazeteer's office. He was now again poem; by which, though fanciful readers in the placed in a profitable employment, and again pride of sagacity have given it a political inter- threw the benefit away. An act of insolvency pretation, was meant originally no more than it made his business at that time particularly expressed, as it was dictated only by the Author's troublesome; and he would not wait till hurry delight in the quiet of Mountown.
should be at an end, but impatiently resigned it, In 1708, when Lord Wharton was sent to and returned to his wonted indigence and a govern Ireland, King returned to London with musements. his poverty, bis idleness, and his wit, and pub- One of his amusements at Lambeth, where lished some essays, called “ Useful Transac- be resided, was to mortify Dr. Tenison, the tions. His “ Voyage to the Island of Caja- archbishop, by a public festivity on the surrendma:” is particularly commended. He then er of Dunkirk to Hill; an event with which wrote “ The Art of Love," a poem remark- Tenison's political bigotry did not suffer him to able, notwithstanding its title, for purity of be delighted. King was resolved to countersentiment; and in 1709 imitated Horace in an act his sullenness, and at the expense of a few “ Art of Cookery.” which he published, with barrels of ale filled the neighbourhood with honsome letters to Dr. Lister.
est merriment. In 1710, he appeared as a lover of the church, In the autumn of 1712, his health declined; on the side of Sacheverell; and was supposed to he grew weaker by degrees, and died on Christhave concurred at least in the projection of mas-day. Though his life had not been with“ The Examiner.” His eyes were open to all out irregularity, his principles were pure and the operations of whiggism ; and he bestowed orthodox, and his death was pious. some strictures upon Dr. Kennet's adulatory After this relation, it will be naturally supsermon at the funeral of the Duke of Devonshire. posed that his poems were rather the amuse
“ The History of the Heathen Gods," a book ments of idleness than the efforts of study ; that momposed for schools, was written by him in he endeavoured rather to divert than astonish; 1710. The work is useful, but might have been that his thoughts seldom aspired to sublimity : produced without the powers of King. The and that, if his verse was easy and his images next year, he published “ Rufinus,” an histori. | familiar, he attained what he desired. His cal essay; and a poem, intended to dispose the purpose is to be merry; but, perhaps, to enjoy nation to think as he thought of the Duke of his mirth, it may be sometimes necessary to Marlborough and his adherents.
think well of his opinions. *
THOMAS Sprat was born in 1696, at Tallaton, | living and the dead. He implores his patron's in Devonshire, the son of a clergyman; and excuse of his verses, both as falling “ so infihaving been educated, as he tells of himself, not nitely below the full and sublime genius of that at Westminster or Eton, but at a little school excellent poet who made this way of writing by the church-yard side, became a commoner of free of our nation,” and being “ so little equal Wadham College, in Oxford, in 1651; and, be- and proportioned to the renown of a prince on ing chosen scholar next year, proceeded through whom they were written; such great actions the usual academical course; and, in 1657, became master of arts. He obtained a fellowship, and commenced poet.
• Dr. Johnson appears to have made but little use
of the Life of Dr. King, prefixed to his “ Works, in In 1659, his poem on the death of Oliver was
3 vols.” 1776, to which it may uot be impertinent to published, with those of Dryden and Waller.
refer the reader. His talent for humour ought to be In his dedication to Dr. Wilkins, be appears a praised in the highest terms. In that at least he very willing and liberal encomiast, both of the yielded to none of his contemporaries.-C.
3ud lives deserving to be the subject of the no- one of the commissioners for ecclesiastical affairs. hlest pens and most Divine phansies.” He On the critical day when the Declaration dis proceeds ; “ Having so long experienced your tinguished the true sons of the church of Engcare and indulgence, and been formed as it land, he stood neuter, and permitted it to be were, by your own hands, not to entitle you to read at Westminster; but pressed none to vioany thing which my meanness produces would late his conscience; and when the Bishop of be not only injustice, but sacrilege.”
London was brought before them, gave his voico He published, the same year, a poem on the in his favour. “ Plague of Athens ;” a subject of whicl: it is Thus far he suffered interest or obedience to not easy to say what could recommend it. To carry him ; but further he refused to go. When these he added afterwards a poem on Mr. Cow- he found that the powers of the ecclesiastical ley's death.
commission were to be exercised against those After the Restoration he took orders, and by who had refused the Declaration, he wrote to Cowley's recommendation was made chaplain the lords, and other commissioners, a formal to the Duke of Buckingham, whom he is said profession of his unwillingness to exercise that to have helped in writing “ The Rehearsal." authority any longer, and withdrew himselt He was likewise chaplain to the King.
from them. After they had read his letter, they As he was the favourite of Wilkins, at whose adjourned for six months, and scarcely ever met house began those philosophical conferences and afterwards. inquiries which in time produced the Royal So- When King James was frighted away, and a ciety, he was consequently engaged in the same new government was to be settled, Sprat was studies, and became one of the fellows; and one of those who considered, in a conference, when, after their incorporation, something the great question, whether the crown was vaseemed necessary to reconcile the public to the cant, and manfully spoke in favour of his old new institution, he undertook to write its his- master. tory, which he published in 1667. This is one He complied, however, with the new estabof the few books which selection of sentiment lishment, and was left unmolested; but, in 1692, and elegance of diction have been able to pre- a strange attack was made upon him by one serve, though written upon a subject flux and Robert Young and Stephen Blackhead, both transitory. " The history of the Royal So- men convicted of infamous crimes, and both, ciety," is now read, not with the wish to know when the scheme was laid, prisoners in Newwhat they were then doing, but how their trans- gate. These men drew up an association, in actions are exhibited by Sprat.
which they whose names were subscribed deIn the next year he published “ Observations clared their resolution to restore King James, on Sorbiere's Voyage into England, in a Letter to seize the Princess of Orange, dead or alive, to Mr. Wren.” This is a work not ill per- and to be ready with thirty thousand men, to formed; but perhaps rewarded with at least its meet King James when he should land. To full proportion of praise.
this they put the names of Sancroft, Sprat, MarlIn 1668, he published Cowley's Latin poems, borough, Salisbury, and others. The copy of and prefixed in Latin the Life of the Author, Dr. Sprat’s name was obtained by a fictitious rewhich he afterwards amplified, and placed be- quest, to which an answer in his own hand was fore Cowley's English works, which were by desired. His hand was copied so well, that he will committed to his care.
confessed it might have deceived himself. BlackEcclesiastical benefices now fell fast upon head, who had carried the letter, being sent him. In 1668, he became a prebendary of West- again with a plausible message, was very curiminster, and had afterwards the church of St. ous to see the house, and particularly importuMargaret, adjoining to the Abbey. He was, nate to be let into the study; where, as is supin 1680, made canon of Windsor; in 1683, dean posed, he designed to leave the association. of Westminster; and in 1684, bishop of Ro- This, however, was denied him; and he dropchester.
ped it in a flower-pot in the parlour. The court having thus a claim to his diligence Young now laid an information before the and gratitude, he was required to write the bis- privy-council; and, May 7, 1692, the Bishop tory of the Rye-house Plot; and in 1685, pub- was arrested, and kept at a messenger's under a lished “ A true Account and Declaration of the strict guard eleven days. His house was searchhorrid Conspiracy against the late King, his ed, and directions were given that the flowerpresent Majesty, and the present Government;" | pots should be inspected. The messengers, howa performance which he thought convenient, ever, missed the room in which the paper was after the Revolution, to extenuate and excuse. left. Blackhead went therefore a third time;
The same year, being clerk of the closet to the and, finding his paper where he had left it, King, he was made dean of the chap-l-royal; brought it away. .and, the year afterwards, received the last proof The Bishop, having been enlarged, was, on of his master's confidence, by being appointed June the 10th and 13th, examined again before