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the privy-council, and confronted with his ac- | Sprat preached, be likewise was honoured with the like animating hum; but he stretched out his hand to the congregation, and cried, "Peace, peace, I pray you peace."
cusers. Young persisted with the most obdurate impudence, against the strongest evidence; but the resolution of Blackhead by degrees gave way. There remained at last no doubt of the Bishop's innocence, who, with great prudence and diligence, traced the progress and detected the characters of the two informers, and published an account of his own examination and deliverance; which made such an impression upon him, that he commemorated it through life by a yearly day of thanksgiving.
With what hope, or what interest, the villains had contrived an accusation which they must know themselves utterly unable to prove, was never discovered.
This I was told in my youth by my father, an old man, who had been no careless observer of the passages of those times.
Burnet's sermon, says Salmon, was remarkable for sedition, and Sprat's for loyalty. Burnet had the thanks of the house; Sprat had no thanks, but a good living from the King, which, he said, was of as much value as the thanks of the Commons.
The works of Sprat, besides his few poems, age, "The History of the Royal Society," "The Life of Cowley,' "The Answer to Sor
After this, he passed his days in the quiet ex-biere," "The History of the Rye-house Plot," ercise of his function. When the cause of Sacheverell put the public in commotion, he honestly appeared among the friends of the church. He lived to his seventy-ninth year, and died May 20, 1713.
Burnet is not very favourable to his memory; but he and Burnet were old rivals. On some public occasion they both preached before the House of Commons. There prevailed in those days an indecent custom: when the preacher touched any favourable topic in a manner that delighted his audience, their approbation was expressed by a loud hum, continued in proportion to their zeal or pleasure. When Burnet preached, part of his congregation hummed so loudly and so long, that he sat down to enjoy it, and rubbed his face with his handkerchief.
"The Relation of his own Examination," and a volume of sermons. I have heard it observed, with great justness, that every book is of a different kind, and that each has its distinct and characteristical excellence.
My business is only with his poems. He considered Cowley as a model; and supposed that, as he was imitated, perfection was approached. Nothing, therefore, but Pindaric liberty was to be expected. There is in his few productions no want of such conceits as he thought excellent and of those our judgment may be settled by the first that appears in his praise of Cromwell, where he says, that Cromwell's "fame, like man, will grow white as it grows old."
THE Life of the EARL of HALIFAX was properly that of an artful and active statesman, employed in balancing parties, contriving expedients, and combating opposition, and exposed to the vicissitudes of advancement and degradation; but in this collection, poetical merit is the claim to attention: and the account which is here to be expected may properly be proportioned not to his influence in the state, but to his rank among the writers of verse.
CHARLES MONTAGUE was born April 16, 1661, at Horton, in Northamptonshire, the son of Mr. George Montague, a younger son of the Earl of Manchester. He was educated first in the country, and then removed to Westminster, where, in 1677, he was chosen a king's scholar,
and recommended himself to Busby by his felicity in extemporary epigrams. He contracted a very intimate friendship with Mr. Stepney; and, in 1682, when Stepney was elected at Cambridge, the election of Montague being not to proceed till the year following, he was afraid lest by being placed at Oxford he might be separated from his companion, and therefore solicited to be removed to Cambridge, without waiting for the advantages of another year.
It seems indeed time to wish for a removal; for he was already a school-boy of one-andtwenty.
His relation, Dr. Montague, was then master of the college in which he was placed a fellowcommoner, and took him under his particular care. Here he commenced an acquaintan
with the great Newton, which continued through his life, and was at last attested by a legacy.
chequer; and, after inquiry concerning a grant of Irish crown-lands, it was determined by a vote of the Commons, that Charles Montague, Esq. had deserved his Majesty's favour. In 1698, being advanced to the first commission of the Treasury, he was appointed one of the regency in the King's absence: the next year he was made auditor of the Exchequer, and the
In 1685, his verses on the death of King Charles made such an impression on the Earl of Dorset, that he was invited to town, and introduced by that universal patron to the other wits. In 1687, he joined with Prior in "The City Mouse and the Country Mouse," a bur-year after created Baron Halifax. He was, lesque of Dryden's " Hind and Panther." He signed the invitation to the Prince of Orange, and sate in the convention. He about the same time married the Countess Dowager of Manchester, and intended to have taken orders; but afterwards, altering his purpose, he purchased for 1,500l. the place of one of the clerks of the council.
After he had written his epistle on the victory of the Boyne, his patron, Dorset, introduced him to King William, with this expression: -" Sir, I have brought a mouse to wait on your Majesty." To which the King is said to have replied, "You do well to put me in the way of making a man of him ;" and ordered him a pension of five hundred pounds. This story, however current, seems to have been made after the event. The King's answer implies a greater acquaintance with our proverbial and familiar diction than King William could possibly have attained.
In 1691, being member of the House of Commons, he argued warmly in favour of a law to grant the assistance of counsel in trials for high treason; and, in the midst of his speech falling into some confusion, was for awhile silent; but, recovering himself, observed, "how reasonable it was to allow counsel to men called as criminals before a court of justice, when it appeared how much the presence of that assembly could disconcert one of their own body."
After this he rose fast into honours and employments, being made one of the commissioners of the Treasury, and called to the privy-council. In 1694, he became chancellor of the Exchequer; and the next year engaged in the great attempt of the recoinage, which was in two years happily completed. In 1696, he projected the general fund, and raised the credit of the Ex
*Mr. Reed observes that this anecdote is related by Mr. Walpole, in his "Catalogue of Royal and Noble Authors," of the Earl of Shaftesbury, author of the "Characteristics;" but it appears to me to be a mistake, if we are to understand that the words were spoken by Shaftesbury at this time, when he had no seat in the House of Commons; nor did the bill pass ut this time, being thrown out by the House of Lords. It became a law in the 7th William, when Halifax and Shaftesbury both had seats. The edi
tors of the "Biographia Britannica" adopt Mr. Walpole's story, but they are not speaking of this period. The story first appeared in the Life of Lord Halifax, published in 1715.-C.
however, impeached by the Commons; but the articles were dismissed by the Lords.
At the accession of Queen Anne he was dismissed from the council: and in the first parliament of her reign was again attacked by the Commons, and again escaped by the protection of the Lords. In 1704, he wrote an answer to Broomley's speech against occasional conformity. He headed the inquiry into the danger of the church. In 1706, he proposed and negotiated the Union of Scotland; and when the Elector of Hanover had received the garter, after the act had passed for securing the protestant succession, he was appointed to carry the ensigns of the order to the electoral court. He sate as one of the judges of Sacheverell; but voted for a mild sentence. Being now no longer in favour, he contrived to obtain a writ for summoning the Electoral Prince to parliament as Duke of Cambridge.
At the Queen's death he was appointed one of the regents; and at the accession of George I. was made earl of Halifax, knight of the garter, and first commissioner of the treasury, with a grant to his nephew of the reversion of the auditorship of the Exchequer. More was not to be had, and this he kept but a little while; for, on the 19th of May, 1715, he died of an inflammation of his lungs.
Of him, who from a poet became a patron of poets, it will be readily believed that the works would not miss of celebration. Addison began to praise him early, and was followed or accompanied by other poets: perhaps by almost all, except Swift and Pope, who forebore to flatter him in his life, and after his death spoke of him, Swift with slight censure, and Pope, in the character of Bufo, with acrimonious contempt.
He was, as Pope says, " fed with dedications;" for Tickell affirms that no dedication was unrewarded. To charge all unmerited praise with the guilt of flattery, and to suppose that the encomiast always knows and feels the falsehoods of his assertions, is surely to discover great ignorance of human nature and human life. In determinations depending not on rules, but on experience and comparison, judgment is always, in some degree, subject to affection. Very near to admiration is the wish to admire.
Every man willingly gives value to the praise which he receives, and considers the sentence passed in his favour as the sentence of discern
ment. We admire in a friend that understand- | perhaps the pride of patronage may be in timo ing which selected us for confidence; we ad- so increased, that modest praise will no longer mire more, in a patron, that judgment which, please. instead of scattering bounty indiscriminately, directed it to us; and, if the patron be an author, those performances which gratitude forbids us to blame, affection will easily dispose us to exalt.
To these prejudices, hardly culpable, interest adds a power always operating, though not always, because not willingly, perceived. The modesty of praise wears gradually away; and
Many a blandishment was practised upon Halifax, which he would never have known, had he no other attractions than those of his poetry, of which a short time has withered the beauties. It would now be esteemed no honour, by a contributor to the monthly bundles of verses, to be told, that in strains either familiar or solemn, he sings like Montague.
THOMAS PARNELL was the son of a commonwealthsman of the same name, who, at the Restoration, left Congleton, in Cheshire, where the family had been established for several centuries, and settling in Ireland, purchased an estate, which, with his lands in Cheshire, descended to the poet, who was born in Dublin, in 1679; and, after the usual education at a grammar-school, was, at the age of thirteen, admitted into the College, where, in 1700, he became master of arts; and was the same year ordained a deacon, though under the canoni cal age, by a dispensation from the Bishop of Derry.
About three years afterwards he was made a priest; and in 1705, Dr. Ashe, the bishop of Clogher, conferred upon him the archdeaconry of Clogher. About the same year he married Mrs. Anne Minchin, an amiable lady, by whom se had two sons, who died young, and a daughter who long survived him.
At the ejection of the whigs, in the end of Queen Anne's reign, Parnell was persuaded to change his party, not without much censure from those whom he forsook, and was received by the new ministry as a valuable reinforcement. When the Earl of Oxford was told that Dr. Parnell waited among the crowd in the outer room, he went, by the persuasion of Swift, with his treasurer's staff in his hand, to inquire for him, and to bid him welcome; and, as may be inferred from Pope's dedication, admitted him as a favourite companion to his convivial hours; but, as it seems often to have happened in those times to the favourites of the great, without attention to his fortune, which, however, was in no great need of improve
Parnell, who did not want ambition or vanity, was desirous to make himself conspicuous, and to show how worthy he was of high preferment. As he thought himself qualified to become a popular preacher, he displayed his elocution with great success in the pulpits of London; but the Queen's death putting an end to his expectations, abated his diligence; and Pope represents him as falling from that time into intemperance of wine. That in his latter life he was too much a lover of the bottle, is not denied; but I have heard it imputed to a cause more likely to obtain forgiveness from mankind
the untimely death of a darling son; or, as others tell, the loss of his wife, who died (1712) in the midst of his expectations.
He was now to derive every future addition to his preferments from his personal interest with his private friends, and he was not long unregarded. He was warmly recommended by Swift to Archbishop King, who gave him a prebend in 1713; and in May, 1716, presented
him to the vicarage of Finglass, in the diocese of Dublin, worth four hundred pounds a year. Such notice, from such a man, inclines me to believe, that the vice of which he has been accused was not gross, or not notorious.
But his prosperity did not last long. His end, whatever was its cause, was now approaching. He enjoyed his preferment little more than a year; for in July, 1717, in his thirty-eighth year, he died at Chester, on his way to Ireland. He seems to have been one of those poets who take delight in writing. He contributed to the papers of that time, and probably published more than he owned. He left many compositions behind him, of which Pope selected those which he thought best, and dedicated them to the Earl of Oxford. Of these Goldsmith has given an opinion, and his criticism it is seldom safe to contradict. He bestows just praise upon "The Rise of Woman," "The Fairy Tale," and "The Pervigilium Veneris;" but has very properly remarked, that in "The Battle of Mice and Frogs," the Greek names have not in English their original effect.
He tells us, that "The Book-Worm" is borrowed from Beza; but he should have added, with modern applications: and, when he discovers that "Gay Bacchus" is translated from Augurellus, he ought to have remarked that the latter part is purely Parnell's. Another poem, "When Spring comes on," is, he says, taken from the French. I would add, that the description of barrenness, in his verses to Pope, was borrowed from Secundus: but, lately searching for the passage, which I had formerly
read, I could not find it. on Death" is indirectly preferred by Goldsmith to Gray's "Church-Yard:" but, in my opinion, Gray has the advantage of dignity, variety, and originality of sentiment. He observes, that the story of the "Hermit" is in More's "Dialogues" and Howell's "Letters," and supposes it to have been originally Arabian.
Goldsmith has not taken any notice of the "Elegy to the old Beauty," which is perhaps the meanest; nor of the "Allegory on Man," the happiest of Parnell's performances; the hint of the "Hymn to Contentment" I suspect to have been borrowed from Cleiveland.
The general character of Parnell, is not great extent of comprehension, or fertility of mind. Of the little that appears still less is his own. His praise must be derived from the easy sweetness of his diction: in his verses there is more happiness than pains; he is sprightly without effort, and always delights, though he never ravishes; every thing proper, yet every thing seems casual. If there is some appearance of elaboration in the "Hermit," the narrative, as it is less* airy, is less pleasing. Of his other compositions it is impossible to say whether they are the productions of nature, so excellent as not to want the help of art art so refined as to resemble nature.
This criticism relates only to the pieces published by Pope. Of the large appendages, which I find in the last edition, I can only say, that I know not whence they came, nor have ever inquired whither they are going. They stand upon the faith of the compilers.
SAMUEL GARTH was of a good family in Yorkshire, and from some school in his own country became a student at Peterhouse, in Cambridge, where he resided till he became doctor of physic on July 7th, 1691. He was examined before the College, at London, on March the 12th, 1691-2, and admitted fellow June 26th, 1693. He was soon so much distinguished by his conversation and accomplishments, as to obtain very extensive practice; and, if a pamphlet of those times may be credited, had the favour and confidence of one party, as Radcliffe had of the other.
He is always mentioned as a man of benevolence; and it is just to suppose that his desire of helping the helpless disposed him to so much
zeal for the Dispensary; an undertaking, of which some account, however short, is proper to be given.
Whether what Temple says be true, that physicians have had more learning than the other faculties, I will not stay to inquire; but, I believe, every man has found in physicians great liberality and dignity of sentiment, very prompt effusion of beneficence, and willingness to exert a lucrative art where there is no hope of lucre. Agreeably to this character, the Col. lege of Physicians, in July, 1687, published an edict, requiring all the fellows, candidates, and
Dr. Warton asks, "less than what?"-E.
licentiates, to give gratuitous advice to the dour, but soon remitted, and at last died gradually away.
This edict was sent to the court of aldermen ; and, a question being made to whom the appellation of the poor should be extended, the College answered, that it should be sufficient to bring a testimonial from the clergyman officiating in the parish where the patient resided.
After a year's experience, the physicians found their charity frustrated by some malignant opposition, and made, to a great degree, vain by the high price of physic; they therefore voted, in August, 1688, that the laboratory of the College should be accommodated to the preparation of medicines, and another room prepared for their reception; and that the contributors to the expense should manage the charity.
It was now expected, that the apothecaries would have undertaken the care of providing medicines; but they took another course. Thinking the whole design pernicious to their interest, they endeavoured to raise a faction against it in the College, and found some physicians mean enough to solicit their patronage, by betraying to them the counsels of the College. The greater part, however, enforced by a new edict, in 1694, the former order of 1687, and sent it to the mayor and aldermen, who appointed a committee to treat with the ColLege, and settle the mode of administering the charity.
It was desired by the aldermen, that the testimonials of churchwardens and overseers should be admitted; and that all hired servants, and all apprentices to handicraftsmen, should be considered as poor. This likewise was granted by the College.
It was then considered who should distribute the medicines, and who should settle their prices. The physicians procured some apothecaries to undertake the dispensation, and offered that the warden and company of the apothecaries should adjust the price. This offer was rejected; and the apothecaries who had engaged to assist the charity were considered as traitors to the company, threatened with the imposition of troublesome offices, and deterred from the performance of their engagements. The apothecaries ventured upon public opposition, and presented a kind of remonstrance against the design to the committee of the city, which the physicians condescended to confute; and at last the traders seem to have prevailed among the sons of trade; for the proposal of the College having been considered, a paper of approbation was drawn up, but postponed and forgotten.
The physicians still persisted; and in 1696 a subscription was raised by themselves, according to an agreement prefixed to the Dispensary. The poor were, for a time, supplied with medicines; for how long a time I know not. medicinal charity, like others, began with ar
About the time of the subscription begins the action of "The Dispensary." The poem, as its subject was present and popular, co-operated with the passions and prejudices then prevalent, and with such auxiliaries to its intrinsic merit, was universally and liberally applauded. It was on the side of charity against the intrigues of interest, and of regular learning against licentious usurpation of medical authority, and was therefore naturally favoured by those who read and can judge of poetry.
In 1697, Garth spoke that which is now called the Harveian Oration; which the authors of the "Biographia" mention with more praise than the passage quoted in their notes will fully justify. Garth, speaking of the mischiefs done by quacks, has these expressions:-" Non tamen telis vulnerat ista agyrtarum colluvies, sed theriaca quadam magis perniciosa, non pyrio, sed pulvere nescio quo exotico certat, non globulis plumbeis, sed pilulis æque lethalibus interficit.” This was certainly thought fine by the author, and is still admired by his biographer. In October, 1702, he became one of the censors of the College.
Garth, being an active and zealous whig, was a member of the Kit-cat club, and, by consequence, familiarly known to all the great men of that denomination. In 1710, when the government fell into other hands, he writ to Lord Godolphin, on his dismission, a short poem, which, was criticised in the " Examiner," and so successfully either defended or excused by Mr. Addison, that, for the sake of the vindication, it ought to be preserved.
At the accession of the present family his merits were acknowledged and rewarded. He was knighted with the sword of his hero, Marlborough; and was made physician in ordinary to the King, and physician general to the army. He then undertook an edition of Ovid's Metamorphoses," translated by several hands, which he recommended by a preface, written with more ostentation than ability: his notions are half-formed, and his materials immethodically confused. This was his last work. He died Jan. 18, 1717-18, and was buried at Harrow-on-the-hill.
His personal character seems to have been social and liberal. He communicated himself through a very wide extent of acquaintance; and though firm in a party, at a time when firmness included virulence, yet he imparted his kindness to those who were not supposed to favour his principles. He was an early encourager of Pope, and was at once the friend of Addison and of Granville. He is accused of voluptuousness and irreligion; and Pope, who says, "that if ever there was a good Christian, with. out knowing himself to be so, it was Dr.