Page images



rank might give reason to expect. He was born when every man, who has the least sense, of about 1667, the son of Bernard Greenville, who honour, should be preparing for the field. was entrusted by Monk with the most private “ You may remember, Sir, with what reluce transactions of the Restoration, and the grand- tance I submitted to your commands upon Monson of Sir Bevil Greenville, who died in the inouth's rebellion, when no importunity could King's cause, at the battle of Landsdowne.

prevail with you to permit me to leave the His early education was superintended by Sir academy: I was too young to be hazarded; but, William Ellis; and his progress was such, that give me leave to say, it is glorious at any age to before the age of twelve he was sent to Cam- die for one's country; and the sooner the nobler bridge,* where he pronounced a copy of his own the sacrifice. verses to the Princess Mary d'Este of Modena, “I am now older by three years. My uncle then Dutchess of York, when she visited the Bathe was not so old when he was left among University.

the slain at the battle of Newbury; nor yet At the accession of King James, being now at yourself, Sir, when you made your escape from eighteen, he again exerted his poetical powers, your tutor’s, to join your brother at the defence and addressed the new monarch in three short of Scilly. pieces, of which the first is profane, and the two “. The same cause has now come round about others such as a boy might be expected to pro. again. The King has been misled ; let those duce; but he was commended by old Waller, who have misled him be answerable for it. who perhaps was pleased to find himself imitat- Nobody can deny but he is sacred in his own ed in six lines, which, though they begin with person ; and it is every honest man's duty to nonsense, and end with dulness, excited in the defend it. young Author a rapture of acknowledgment. “ You are pleased to say, it is yet doubtful if In numbers such as Waller's self might use.

the Hollanders are rash enough to make such

an attempt; but be that as it will, I beg leave It was probably about this time that he wrote to insist upon it, that I may be presented to his the poem to the Earl of Peterborough, upon his Majesty, as one whose utmost ambition it is to accomplishment of the Duke of York's marriage devote his life to his service, and my country's, with the Princess of Modena, whose charms after the example of all my ancestors. appear to have gained a strong prevalence over “ The gentry assembled at York, to agree his imagination, and upon whom nothing ever upon the choice of representatives for the county, has been charged but imprudent piety, an in- have prepared an address, to assure his Majesty temperate and misguided zeal for the propaga- they are ready to sacrifice their lives and fortion of popery.

tunes for him upon this and all other occasions; However faithful Granville might have been but at the same time they humbly beseech him to the King, or however enamoured of the to give them such magistrates as may be agree Queen, he has left no reason for supposing that able to the laws of the land ; for, at present, he approved either the artifices or the violence there is no authority to which they can legally with which the King's religion was insinuated submit. or obtruded. He endeavoured to be true at “ They have been beating up for volunteers at once to the King and to the Church.

York and the towns adjacent, to supply the Of this regulated loyalty he has transmitted regiments at Hull; but nobody will list. to posterity a sufficient proof, in the letter which - By what I can hear, every body wishes well he wrote to his father about a month before the to the King ; but they would be glad his minisPrince of Orange landed.

ters were hanged.

“ The winds continue so contrary, that no “ Mar, near Doncaster, Oct 6, 1688. landing can be so soon as was apprehended; “ To the Honourable Mr. Barnard Granville, therefore I may hope, with your leave and asat the Earl of Bathe's, St. James's. sistance, to be in readiness before any action can

begin. I beseech you, Sir, most humbly and “ Your having no prospect of obtaining a most earnestly to add this one act of indulgenc3 commission for me can no way alter or cool my more to so many other testimonies which I have desire at this important juncture to venture my constantly received of your goodness ; and be life, in some manner or other, for my king and pleased to believe me always, with the utmost my country.

duty and submission, Sir, I cannot bear living under the reproach of

“ Your most dutiful son, lying obscure and idle in a country retirement,

“ And most obedient servant,

“ Geo. GRANVILL E." * To Trinity College. By the University register it appears that he was admitted to his master's de- Through the whole reign of King William he gree in 1679 ; we must, therefore, set the year of his is supposed to have lived in literary retirement, birth some years back.-H.

and indeed had for some time few other please

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

at sea.

ures but those of study in his power. He was,

He continued to serve in parliament; as the biographers observe, the younger-son of a and in the ninth year of Queen Anne was younger brother; a denomination by which our ;

chosen knight of the shire for Cornwall. ancestors proverbially expressed the lowest state At the memorable change of the ministry of penury and dependence. He is said, how-(1710) he was made secretary at war, in the ever, to have preserved himself at this time from place of Mr. Robert Walpole. disgrace and difficulties by economy, which he Next year, when the violence of party made forgot or neglected in life more advanced and in twelve peers in a day, Mr. Granville became better fortune.

Lord Lansdown Baron Bideford, by a promoAbout this time he became enamoured of the tion justly remarked to be not invidious, beCountess of Newburgh, whom he has celebrated cause he was the heir of a family in which two with so much ardour by the name of Mira. peerages, that of the Earl of Bath and Lord He wrote verses to her before he was three-and- Granville of Potheridge, had lately become extwenty, and may be forgiven if he regarded the tinct. Being now high in the Queen's favour, face more than the mind. Poets are sometimes he (1712) was appointed comptroller of the in too much haste to praise.

household, and a privy counsellor, and to his In the time of his retirement it is probable other honours was added the dedication of Pope's that he composed his dramatic pieces, the “ She

“ Windsor Forest." He was advanced next Gallants” (acted 1696), which he revised and year to be treasurer of the household. called “ Once a Lover and always a Lover;"

Of these favours he soon lost all but his title ; “The Jew of Venice,” altered from Shak- for at the accession of King George bis place speare's “ Merchant of Venice” (1698); “ He- was given to the Earl of Cholmondeley, and he roic Love," a tragedy (1701); “ The British was persecuted with the rest of his party. HavEnchanters” (1706), a dramatic poem; and ( ing protested against the bill for attainting Or“ Peleus and Thetis," a mask, written to ac- mond and Bolingbroke, he was, after the insurcompany “ The Jew of Venice.”

rection in Scotland, seized Sept. 26, 1715, as a The comedies, which he has not printed in suspected man, and confined in the Tower till his own edition of his works, I never saw ; Feb. 8, 1717, when he was at last released, and “ Once a Lover and always a Lover” is said restored to his seat in parliament; where (1719) to be in a great degree indecent and gross. he made a very ardent and animated speech Granville could not admire without bigotry; against the repeal of the bill to prevent occahe copied the wrong as well as the right from sional conformity, which, however, though it his masters, and may be supposed to have was then printed, he has not inserted into his learned obscenity from Wycherley, as he learned works. mythology from Waller.

Some time afterwards, (about 1722) being In his “ Jew of Venice,” as Rowe remarks,' përhaps embarrassed by his profusion, he went the character of Shylock is made comic, and we

into foreign countries, with the usual pretence are prompted to laughter instead of detestation. of recovering his health. In this state of leisure

It is evident that “ Heroic Love” was writ- and retirement he received the first volume of ten and presented on the stāge before the death Burnet's History, of which he cannot be supof Dryden. It is a mythological tragedy, upon posed to have approved the general tendency, the love of Agamemnon and Chryseis, and and where he thought himself able to detect therefore easily sunk into neglect, though some particular falsehoods. He therefore unpraised in verse by Dryden, and in prose by dertook the vindication of General Monk from Pope.

some calumnies of Dr. Burnet, and some mis

This was It is concluded by the wise Ulysses with this representations of Mr. Echard. speech :

answered civilly by Mr. Thomas Burnet and

Oldmixon; and more roughly by Dr. ColFate holds the strings, and men like children move

batch. But as they're led; success is from above.

His other historical performance is a defence At the accession of Queen Anné, having his of his relation Sir Richard Greenville, whom fortune improved by bequests from his father, Lord Clarendon has shown in a form very unand his uncle the Earl of Bath, he was chosen amiable. So much is urged in this apology to into parliament for Fowey. He soon after en- justify many actions that have been represented gaged in a joint translation of the “ Invectives as culpable, and to palliate the rest, that the against Philip,” with a design, surely weak reader is reconciled for the greater part; and it and puerile, of turning the thunder of Demos- is made very probable that Clarendon was by thepes upon the head of Louis.

personal enmity disposed to think the worst of He afterwards (in 1706) had his estate again Greenville, as Greenville was also very willing augmented by an inheritance from his elder to thing the worst of Clarendon. These pieces brother, Sir Bevil Grenville, who, as he re- were published at his return to England. turned from the government of Barbadoes, died Being now desirous to conclude his labours



and enjoy his reputatiin, ne published (1732) a (Juno, Venus, and Minerva. His poem on the very beautiful and splendid edition of his works, Dutchess of Grafton's law-suit, after having in which he omitted what he disapproved, and rattled awhile with Juno and Pallas, Mars and enlarged what seemed deficient.

Alcides, Cassiope, Niobe, and the Propetides, He now went to court, and was kindly re- Hercules, Minos, and Rhadamanthus, at last ceived by Queen Caroline; to whom and to the concludes its folly with profaneness. Princess Anne he presented his works, with His verses to Mira, which are most frequentverses on the blank leaves, with which he con- ly mentioned, have little in them of either art cluded his poetical labours.

or nature, of the sentiments of a lover or the He died in Hanover-square, Jan. 30, 1735, language of a poet: there may be found, now having a few days before buried his wife, the and then, a happier effort; but they are comLady Anne Villiers, widow to Mr. Thynne, by monly feeble and unaffecting, or forced and whom he had four daughters, but no son. extravagant.

Writers commonly derive their reputation His little pieces are seldom either sprightly or from their works; but there are works which elegant, either keen or witty. They are trifles owe their reputation to the character of the written by idleness and published by vanity. writer. The public sometimes has its favourites But his prologues and epilogues have a just whom it rewards for one species of excellence claim to praise. with the honour due to another. From him The “ Progress of Beauty" seems one of his whom we reverence for his beneficence, we do most elaborate pieces, and is not deficient in not willingly withhold the praise of genius: a splendour and gayety; but the merit of original man of exalted merit becomes at once an accom- thought is wanting. Its highest praise is the plished writer, as a beauty finds no great diffi- spirit with which he celebrates King James's culty in passing for a wit.

consort, when she was a queen no longer. Granville was a man illustrious by his birth, The “Essay on unnatural Flights in Poetry" and therefore attracted notice; since he is by is not inelegant nor injudicious, and has some Pope styled “ the polite,” he must be supposed thing of vigour beyond most of his other perelegant in his manners, and generally loved; he formances : his precepts are just, and his cauwas in times of contest and turbulence steady to tions proper; they are indeed not new, but in a his party, and obtained that esteem which is al- didactic poem novelty is to be expected only in ways conferred upon firmness and consistency. the ornaments and illustrations. His poetical With those advantages, having learned the art precepts are accompanied with agreeable and inof versifying, he declared himself a poet : and stractive notes. his claim to the laurel was allowed.

The Mask of " Peleus and Thetis" has here But by a critic of a later generation, who takes and there a pretty line; but it is not always up his book without any favourable prejudices: melodious, and the conclusion is wretched. the praise already received will be thought suffi- In his “ British Enchanters" he has bidden cient; for his works do not show him to have defiance to all chronology, by confounding the had much comprehension from nature or illu- inconsistent manners of different ages ; but the mination from learning. He seems to have had dialogue has often the air of Dryden's rhyming no ambition above the imitation of Waller, of plays : and his songs are lively, though not very whom he has copied the faults, and very little correct. This is, I think, far the best of his

He is for ever amusing himself with works; for, if it has many faults, it has likepuerilities of mythology; his King is Jupiter; wise passages which are at least pretty, though who, if the Queen brings no children, has a they do not rise to any high degree of excelbarren Juno. The Queen is compounded of lence.



THOMAS YALDEN, the sixth son of Mr. John | under the tuition of Josiah Pullen, a man whose Yalden, of Sussex, was born in the city of Exe- name is still remembered in the University. He ter, in 1671. Having been educated in the became next year one of the scholars of Magdagrammar school belonging to Magdalen College, len College, where he was distinguished by a in Oxford, he was, in 1690, at the age of nine- lucky accident. teer, admitted commoner of Magdalen Hall, It was his turn, one day, to pronounce a de

[ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small]

clamation : and Dr. Hough, the president, hap- gratitude, gave the College a picture of their
pening to attend, thought the composition too founder.
good to be the speaker's. Some time after, the He was made rector of Chalton and Clean-
Doctor finding him a little irregularly busy in ville,* two adjoining towns and benefices in
the library, set him an exercise for punishment; Hertfordshire; and had the prebends, or sine-
and, that he might not be deceived by any arti- cures, of Deans, Hains, and Pendles, in Devon-
fice, locked the door.' Yalden, as it happened, shire. He had beforet been chosen, in 1698,
had been lately reading on the subject given, preacher of Bridewell Hospital, upon the resig-
and produced with little difficulty a composition nation of Dr. Atterbury. I
which so pleased the president, that he told From this time he seems to have led a quiet
him his former suspicions, and promised to and inoffensive life, till the clamour was raised
favour him.

about Atterbury's plot. Every loyal eye was Among his contemporaries in the College were on the watch for abettors or partakers of the Addison and Sacheverell, men who were in those horrid conspiracy; and Dr. Yalden, having times friends, and who both adopted Yalden to some acquaintance with the bishop, and being their intimacy. Yalden continued, throughout familiarly conversant with Kelly, his secrehis life, to think as probably he thought at first, tary, fell under suspicion, and was taken into yet did not forfeit the friendship of Addison. custody.

When Namur was taken by King William, Upon his examination he was charged with a Yalden made an ode. There never was any langerous correspondence with Kelly. The correign more celebrated by the poets than that of respondence he acknowledged ; but maintained William, who had very little regard for song that it had no treasonable tendency. His papers himself, but happened to employ minísters who were seized; but nothing was found that could pleased themselves with the praise of patronage. fix a crime upon him, except two words in his

Of this ode mention made in a humorous pocket-book, thorough-paced doctrine. This expoem of that time, called “ The Oxford Lau- pression the imagination of his examiners had reat :” in which, after many claims had been impregnated with treason, and the Doctor was made and rejected, Yalden is represented as de- enjoined to explain them. Thus pressed, he manding the laurel, and as being called to his told them that the words bad lain unheeded in trial, instead of receiving a reward :

his pocket-book from the time of Queen Anne,

and that he was ashamed to give an account of His crime was for being a felon in verse,

them; but the truth was, that he had gratified And presenting his theft to the King ;

his curiosity one day, by hearing Daniel BurThe first was a trick not uncommon or scarce.

gess in the pulpit, and those words were a meBut the last was an impudent thing; Yet what he had stolen was so little worth stealing, he warned his congregation to “ beware of

morial hint of a remarkable sentence by which They forgave him the damage and costs, Had he ta'en the whole ode, as he took it

thorough-paced doctrine, that doctrine which,


coming in at one ear, passes through the head, They had fined him bnt ten-pence at most.

and goes out at the other.”

Nothing worse than this appearing in his The poet whom he was charged with robbing papers, and no evidence arising against him, he was Congreve.

was set at liberty. He wrote another poem, on the death of the It will not be supposed that a man of this Duke of Gloucester.

character attained high dignities in the church; In 1700 he became fellow of the College; and but he still retained the friendship and frenext year, entering into orders, was presented quented the conversation of a very numerous by the society with a living in Warwickshire, * and splended set of acquaintance. He died July consistent with his fellowship, and chosen 16, 1736, in the 66th year of his age. lecturer of moral philosophy, a very honourable Of his poems, many are of that irregular kind office.

which, when he formed his poetical character, On the accession of Queen Anne he wrote was supposed to be Pindaric. Having fixed his another poem; and is said, by the author of the attention on Cowley as a model, he has at“ Biographia,” to have declared himself of the tempted in some sort to rival him, and has party wbo had the honourable distinction of High-churchmen. In 1706 he was received into the family of

• This preferment was given him by the Duke of the Duke of Beaufort. Next year he became

Beaufort.-N. doctor in divinity, and soon after resigned his

+ Not long after. fellowship and lecture, and, as a token of his

Dr. Atterbury retained the office of preacher at

Bridewell till his promotion to the bishopric of • The vicarage of Willoughby, which he resigned Rochester. Dr. Yalden succeeded lim as preacher, in 1708.-N.

[ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small]

in June, 1713.-N.


[ocr errors]

written a “ Hymn to Darkness,” evidently as a And again, at the conclusion: counterpart to Cowley's “ Hymn to Ligbt."

Illa suo senium secludit corpore toto This Hymn seems to be his best performance, Haud numerans jugi fugientia secula lapsu, and is, for the most part, imagined with great Ergo ubi postremum mundi con page soluth vigour and expressed with great propriety. I Hanc rerum molem suprema absumpserit hora will not transcribe it. The seven first stanzas

Ipsa leves cineres nube amplectetur opaca, are good ; but the third, fourth, and seventh,

Et prisco imperio rursus dominabitur UMBRA. are the best; the eighth seems to involve a con- His “Hymn to Light” is not equal to the other. tradiction ; the tenth is exquisitely beautiful; He seems to think that there is an east absoluta the thirteenth, fourteenth, and fifteenth, are and positive where the morning rises. partly mythological and partly religious, and In the last stanza, having mentioned the sudtherefore not suitable to each other: he might den irruption of new-created light, he says, better have made the whole merely philosopbi

Awhile the Almighty wondering stood. There are two stanzas in this poem where He ought to have remembered that infinite Yalden may be suspected, though hardly con- knowledge can never wonder. All wonder is victed, of having consulted the “ Hymnus ad the effect of novelty upon ignorance. Umbram” of Wowerus, in the sixth stanza, Of his other poems it is sufficient to say, that which answers in some sort to these lines ; they deserve perusal, though they are not always Illa suo præest nocturnis numine sacris

exactly polished, though the rhymes are somePerque vias errare novis dat spectra figuris,

times very ill sorted, and though his faults seem Manesque excitos medios ululare per agros

rather the omissions of idleness than the negli. Sub noctem, et questi notos complere penates. gences of enthusiasm.


[blocks in formation]


THOMAS TICKELL, the son of the Reverend Let joy salute fair Rosamonda's shade, Richard Tickell, was born in 1686, at Bride- And leaves of myrtle crown the lovely maid. kirk, in Cumberland; and in April, 1701, be

While now perbaps with Dido's ghost she roves came a member of Queen's College, in Oxford; And hears and tells the story of their loves :

Alike they mourn, alike they bless their fate in 1708 he was made master of arts; and, two

Since love, which made them wretched, made them years afterwards, was chosen fellow; for which,

great ; as he did not comply with the statutes by taking Nor longer that relentless doom bemoan, orders, he obtained a dispensation from the Which gaiu'd a Virgil and an Addison. He held his fellowship till 1726, and

Tickell. then vacated it, by marrying, in that year, at Dublin.

Tben future ages with delight shall see

How Plato's, Bacon's, Newton's, looks agree ; Tickell was not one of those scholars who

Or in fair series laurelled bards be shown, wear away their lives in closets; he entered A Virgil there, and here an Addison. early into the world, and was long busy in

Pope. public affairs, in which he was initiated under the patronage of Addison, whose notice he is He produced another piece of the same kind said to have gained by his verses in praise of at the appearance of “ Cato,” with equal skill, “ Rosamond.”

but not equal happiness. To those verses it would not have been just to When the ministers of Queen Anne were nedeny regard, for they contain some of the most gotiating with France, Tickell published “ The elegant encomiastic strains; and, among the in- Prospect of Peace,”, a poem, of which the tennumerable poems of the same kind, it will be dency was to reclaim the nation from the pride hard to find one with which they need to fear a of conquest to the pleasures of tranquillity. comparison. It may deserve observation, that, How far Tickell, whom Swift afterwards menwhen Pope wrote long afterwards in praise tioned as Whiggissimus, had then connected him. of Addison, he has copied, at least has re- self with any party, I know not; this poem cersembled, Tickell :

tainly did not flatter the practices or promote

« PreviousContinue »