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to these compositions. No author ever kept his verse and his prose at a greater distance from each other. His thoughts are natural, and his style has a smooth and placid equability, which has never yet obtained its due commendation. Nothing is far sought, or hard-laboured; but all is easy without feebleness, and familiar without grossness.

It has been observed by Felton, in his Essay on the Classics, that Cowley was beloved by every muse that he courted; and that he has rivalled the ancients in every kind of poetry but tragedy.

It may be affirmed, without any encomiastic

fervour, that he brought to his poetic labours a mind replete with learning, and that his pages are embellished with all the ornaments which books could supply; that he was the first who imparted to English numbers the enthusiasm of the greater ode, and the gayety of the less; that he was equally qualified for sprightly sallies, and for lofty flights; that he was among those who freed translation from servility, and instead of following his author at a distance, walked by his side; and that if he left versification yet improvable, he left likewise from time to time such specimens of excellence as enabled succeeding poets to improve it.

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OF SIR JOHN DENHAM very little is known but what is related of him by Wood, or by himself.

He was born at Dublin in 1615;* the only son of Sir John Denham, of Little Horseley, in Essex, then chief baron of the Exchequer in Ireland, and of Eleanor, daugh of Sir Garret More, baron of Mellefont.

Two years afterwards, his father, being made one of the barons of the Exchequer in England, brought him away from his native country, and educated him in London.


In 1631 he was sent to Oxford, where he w considered “as a dreaming young man, given more to dice and cards than study:" and therefore gave no prognostics of his future eminence; nor was suspected to conceal, under sluggishness and laxity, a genius born to improve the literature of his country.

When he was, three years afterwards, removed to Lincoln's Inn, he prosecuted the common law with sufficient appearance of application; yet did not lose his propensity to cards and dice; but was very often plundered by game


Being severely reproved for this folly, he pro

* In Hamilton's Memoirs of Count Grammont, Sir John Denham is said to have been 79 when he married Miss Brook, about the year 1664: according to which statement he was born in 1585. But Dr. Johnson, who has followed Wood, is right. He entered Trinity College, Oxford, at the age of 16, in 1631, as appears by the following entry, which I copied from the matriculation book:

Trin. Coll. "1631. Nov. 18. Johannes Denham, Essex, filius J. Denham, de Horsley parva in .com. prædict. militis annos natus 16."-Malone.

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fessed, and perhaps believed, himself reclaimed ; and, to testify the sincerity of his repentance, wrote and published "An Essay upon Gaming."

He seems to have divided his studies between law and poetry: for, in 1636, he translated the second book of the Eneid.

Two years after, his father died; and then, notwithstanding his resolutions and professions, he returned again to the vice of gaming, and lost several thousand pounds that had been left him. In 1642, he published "The Sophy." This seems to have given him his first hold of the public attention; for Waller remarked, “ That he broke out like the Irish rebellion, threescore thousand strong, when nobody was aware, or in the least suspected it; an observation which could have had no propriety, had his poetical abilities been known

He was after that pricked for sheriff of Surry, and made governor of Farnham Castle for the King; but he soon resigned that charge, and retreated to Oxford, where, in 1643, he published "Cooper's Hill.”

This poem had such reputation as to excite the common artifice by which envy degrades excellence. A report was spread, that the performance was not his own, but that he had bought it of a vicar for forty pounds. The same attempt was made to rob Addison of Cato, and Pope of his Essay on Criticism.

In 1647, the distresses of the royal family required him to engage in more dangerous employments. He was entrusted by the Queen with a message to the King; and, by whatever means, so far softened the ferocity of Hugh Peters, that by his intercession admission was


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He was afterwards employed in carrying on the King's correspondence; and, as he says, discharged this office with great safety to the royalists: and, being accidentally discovered by the adverse party's knowledge of Mr. Cowley's hand, he escaped happily both for himself and his friends.

He was yet engaged in a greater undertaking. In April, 1648, he conveyed James the duke of York from London into France, and delivered him there to the queen and prince of Wales. This year ne he published his translation of "Cato




He now resided in France as one of the followers of the exiled king; and to divert the melancholy of their condition, was sometimes enjoined by his master to write occasional verses; one of which amusements was probably his ode or song upon the Embassy to Poland, by which he and Lord Crofts procured a contribution of ten thousand pounds from the Scotch that wandered over that kingdom. Poland was at that time very much frequented by itinerant traders, who, in a country of very little commerce and of great extent, where every man resided on his own estate, contributed very much to the accommodation of life, by bringing man's house those little necessaries which it was very inconvenient to want, and very troublesome to fetch. I have formerly read, without much reflection, of the multitude of Scotchmen that travelled with their wares in Poland; and that their numbers were not small, the success of this negotiation gives sufficient evidence.ipes +μ 599%


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uncertain; a second marriage brought upon him so much disquiet, as for a time disordered his understanding; and Butler lampooned him for his lunacy. I know not whether the malignant lines were then made public, nor what provocation incited Butler to do that which no provocation can excuse.

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His frenzy lasted not long ;* and he seems to have regained his full force of mind; for he wrote afterwards his excellent poem upon the death of Cowley, whom he was not long to survive; for on the 19th of March, 1668, he was buried by his side.

Denham is deservedly considered as one of the fathers of English poetry. "Denham and Waller," says Prior, "improved our versification, and Dryden perfected it." He has given specimens of various composition, descriptive, ludicrous, didactic, and sublime.

He appears to have had, in common with almost all mankind, the ambition of being upon proper occasion "a merry fellow," and in common with most of them to have been by nature, or by early habits, debarred from it. Nothing is less exhilarating than the ludicrousness of Denham; he does not fail for want of efforts : he is familiar, he is gross; but he is never merry, unless the "Speech against Peace in the close Committee" be excepted. For grave burlesque, however, his imitation of Davenant shows him to be well qualified.

Of his more elevated occasional poems, there is perhaps none that does not deserve commendation. In the vesses to Fletcher, we have an image that has since been often adopted †zed

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Of the next years of his life there is no account. At the restoration he obtained that which For every author would his brother kill. h many missed—the reward of his loyalty; being made surveyor of the king's buildings, and dignified with the order of the Bath. He seems now to have learned some attention to money; for Wood says, that he got by this place seven thousand pounds. dr svonte (in 9JES #

After the restoration, he wrote the poem on Prudence and Justice, and perhaps some of his other pieces and, as he appears, whenever any terious question comes before him, to have been aman of piety, he consecrated his poetical powers to religion, and, made a metrical version of the Psalms of David. In this attempt he has failed; but in sacred poetry who has succeeded?!T It might be hoped that t

of his mas

ter, and esteem of the public, ould now make him happy. But human felicity is short and

bigos 49 Smp (**, c£ 9lqu za 1697, YM. 1590 godf Should uld such a man too fond to rule alone, sauum Bear, like the Turk, no brother near the throne.

But this is not the best of his little pieces: it is excelled by his poem to Fanshaw, and his Elegy on Cowley.

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In Grammont's Memoirs, many circumstances are related, both of his marriage and his frenzy, Very little fa favourable to his character.-R. + It is remarkable that Johnson should not have recollected, that this image is to be found in Bacon. Aristoteles more othomannoram, regna: re se haud tuto posse putabat, nisi fratres suus, omnes contra udasset.-De angment, scient. lib. iii. 46490

His praise of Fanshaw's version of Guarini clously collected, and every mode of excellence contains a very sprightly and judicious character separated from its adjacent fault by so nice a of a good translator: I bor yatbostenybare line of limitation; the different parts of the sen

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Not the effect of poetry, but pains
Cheap vulgar arts, whose narrowness affords H
No flight for thoughts, but poorly stick at words.
A new and nobler way thou dost pursue, any.

tence are so accurately sted; and the flow


Jonyliso od did a tog woad I 72800l zu That servile path thou nobly dost decline, of the last couplet is so 14W 29511 and sweet; that Of tracing word rd by word and line by line. the passage, however celebrated, has n not been Those are the labour'd birth of slavish brains, praised above its merit. It has beauty peculiar to itself, and must be numbered among those felicities which cannot be produced at will CRETORS AWAY wit and labour, but must arise unexpectedly in some hour propitious t to poetry. 0996909 197 287 911 He appears to have been one of the first that understood the necessity of emancipating translation from the drudgery of counting lines and much this ser

To make translations and translators too.
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They but preserve the ashes; thou the flame,

True to his sense, but truer to his fame.


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II His poem on the death of Cowley was his last, and, among his shorter works, his best perform

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St Cooper's Hill" is the work that confers upon him the rank and dignity of an original author. He seems to have been, at least among us, the author of a species of composition that may be denominated local poetry, of which the funda




works forw qualified, not only by critical knowledge, but by poetical genius, enius, who yet, by a mistake's t ambition of exactness, originals and themselves. et moyo groz 10 abo Denham saw the better etter way, but has not purironbaring na His versions of

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retrospection or incidental meditation.imam) To trace a new scheme of poetry, has in it self a very high claim to praise, and its praise is yet more when it is apparently copied by Garth and Pope *Tafter whose names little will que gained by an enumeration of smaller poets, that have left scarcely a corner of the island not dig+ nified either by rhyme or blank verse.

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"Cooper's Hill," if it be maliciously inspected, will not be found without its faults. The digressions are too long, the morality too frequent, and the sentiments sometimes such as will not bear a rigorous inquiry• od ved serM

The four verses, which, since Dryden has commended them, almost every writer for a century past has imitated, are generally known:

Lw us bid vedenie STE BISCI

O could I flow like thee, and make thy streamTM
My great example, as it is my theme!
Though deep, yet clear; though gentle, yet not dull;
Strong without rage, without o'erflowing fullod

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Though with those streams he no resemblance hold,
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His genuine and less guilty wealth t'explore,nobiva
Search not his bottom; but survey his shore, nodi
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His wisdom such, at once it did appear 9ıl „bnolgad
Three kingdoms' wonder, and three kingdoms' fearid
While single he stood forth, and seem'd, although
Each had an army, as an equal toe, A

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To wish, for the defence, the crime their own. W xo?
Now private pity strove with public hate baseuodt
Reason with rage, and eloquence with fate. A
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Who in the dark our fury did escape,
Returning, know our borrow'd arms, and shape,
And differing dialect; then their numbers swell
And grow upon us; first Chorobeus fell
Before Minerva's altar: next did bleed
Just Ripheus, whom no Trojan did exceed
In virtue, yet the gods his fate decreed.
Then Hypanis and Dymas, wounded by
Their friends; nor thee, Pantheus, thy piety,
Nor consecrated mitre, from the same
Ill fate could save, my country's funeral flame
And Troy's cold ashes I attest, and calliqi
To witcess for myself, that in their fall
No foes, no death, nor danger, I declin❜d,
Did, and deserved no less, my fate to find.


From this kind of concatenated metre he afterwards refrained, and taught his followers the art of concluding their sense in couplets; which has perhaps been with rather too much ɔidng sà Esas constancy pursued.

This passage exhibits one of those triplets which are not unfrequent in this first essay, but which it is to be supposed his maturer judgment disapproved, since in his latter works he has totally forborn them. 2009. li tud

His rhymes are such as seem found with

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By any power, by this right hand it show'd.
-And though my outward state misfortune hath
Deprest thus low, it cannot reach my faith. Hođ
-Thus, by his fraud and our own faith o'ercome,

A feigned tear destroys us, against whom
Tydides nor Achilles could prevail,

Nor ten years conflict, nor a thousand sail."

He is not very careful to vary the ends of his verses; in one passage the word die rhymes three couplets in six.

Most of these petty faults are in his first productions, where he was less skilful, or at least less dexterous in the use of words; and though 11they had been more frequent, they could only have lessened the grace, not the strength, of his composition. He is one of the writers that improved our taste, and advanced our language; and whom we ought therefore to read with gratitude, though, having done much, he left much to do.

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dort eid: tod a THE life of Milton has been already written in so many forms, and with such minute inquiry, that I might perhaps more properly have contented myself with the addition of a few notes on Mr. Fenton's elegant Abridgment, but that a new narrative was thought necessary to the uniformity of this addition.d: 17 15

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His grandfather, John, was keeper of the forest of Shotover, a zealous papist, who disinherited his son because he had forsaken the religion of his ancestors.

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His father, John, who was the son disinherited, had recourse for his support to the profession of a scrivener. He was a man eminent for JOHN MILTON was by birth a gentleman, de- his skill in music, many of his compositions bescended from the proprietors of Milton, nearing still to be found; and his reputation in his Thame, in Oxfordshire, one of whom forfeited his estate in the times of York and Lancaster. Which side he took I know not; his descendant Jaberited no veneration for the White Rose.

profession was such, that he grew rich, and retired to an estate. He had probably more than common literature, as his son addresses him in one of his most elaborate Latin poems. Pulla

married a gentlewoman of the name of Caston, a Welch family, by whom he had two sons, John, the poet, and Christopher, who studied the law, and adhered, as the law taught him, to the King's party, for which he was a while persecuted; but having, by his brother's interest, obtained permission to live in quiet, he supported himself so honourably by chamber-practice, that, soon after the accession of King James, he was knighted, and made a judge; but, his constitution being too weak for business, he retired before any disreputable compliances became ne«OJASIN si amutspree cessary.

eye; but they raise no great expectations; they r would in any numerous school have obtained praise, but not excited wonder, mon egere doidw

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Many of his elegies appear to have been writ={ ten in his eighteenth year, by which it appears o that he had then read the Roman authors with it very nice discernment. b once heard Mr. Hampton, the translator of Polybius, remark,” what I think is true, that Milton was the first t Englishman who, after the revival of letters, wrote Latin verses with classic elegance. If any exceptions can be e made, they every few Haddon and Ascham, the pride of Elizabeth s He had likewise a daughter, Anne, whom he reign, however they have succeeded in prose, no married with considerable fortune to Edward sooner attempt verse than they provoke deri Philips, who came from Shrewsbury, and rose sion. If we produced any thing worthy of not in the Crown-office to be secondary: by him tice before the elegies of Milton, it was perhaps she had two sons, John and Edward, who were Alabaster's Roxana.61 en ebog 943 194„autuv al educated by the poet, and from whom is derived Of the exercises which the rules of the Unithe only authentic account of his domestic man-versity required, some were published by him cuss an equah wa baba 6 in his maturer years. They had been undoubtedly applauded, for they were such as few can perform; yet there is reason to suspect that he was regarded in his college with no great fondThat he obtained no fellowship is certain; but the unkindness with which h he was treated was not merely negative. I am ashamed to relate, what I fear is true, that Milton was one of the last students in either University that suffered the public indignity of corporal correction. vas


John, the poet, was born in his father's house, at the Spread Eagle, in Bread-street, Dec. 9, 1608, between six, and seven in the morning. His father appears to have been very solicitousness. about his education; for he was instructed at first by private tuition, under the care of Thomas Young, who was afterwards chaplain to the English merchants at Hamburgh, and of whom we have reason to think well, since his scholar considered him as worthy of an epistolary elegy. hợp đặt tru

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He was then sent to St. Paul's School, under the care of Mr. Gill; and removed, in the beginning of his sixteenth year, to Christ's College, in Cambridge, where he entered a sizar,"

Feb. 12, 1624.

He was at this time eminently skilled in the Latin tongue; and he himself, by annexing the dates to his first compositions, a boast of which the learned Politian had given him an example, seems to commend the earliness of his own proficiency to the notice of posterity. But the products of his vernal fertility have been surpassed by many, and particularly by his contemporary Cowley. Of the powers of the mind it is difficult to form an estimate: many have excelled Milton in their first essays, who never rose to works like Paradise Lost.

At fifteen, a date which he uses till he is sixteen, he translated or versified two Psalms, 114 and 136, which he thought worthy of the public

In this assertion Dr. Johnson was mistaken. Milton was admitted a pensioner, and not a not a sizar, as will appear by the following extract from the College Register: "Tohanues Milton Londinensis, filius Johannis, institutus fuit in literarum elementis sub Mag'ro Gill Gymnasii Paulini, præfecto; admis sus est Pensionarius Minor Feb. 120, 1624, sub Miro Chappell, solvitq. pro Ingr. 04, 10s. Od."-R

vididas gpuzzag Pid’T It was, in the violence of controversial hostil ity, objected to him, that he was expelled: this he steadily denies, and it was apparently not true; but it seems plain, from his own v own verses to Diodati, that he had incurred rustica

rustication, a temporary dismission into the country, with perhaps the loss of a term:

Me tenet urbs refluâ quam Thamesis alluit undâ,

Jam nec arundiferum mihi cura revisere Camum,
Meque nec invitum patria dulcis habet...........
Nec dudum vetiti me laris angit amor.-
Nec duri libet usque minas perferre magistri,
Caeteraque ingenio non subeunda meo.

Si sit hoc exilium patrios addiise penates,
Et vacuum curis otia grata sequi,
Non ego vel profugi nomen sortemve recuso

Lætus et exilii conditione fruor.

I cannot find any

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even kindness and reverence can give the term
vetiti laris, "a habitation from which he is exclud
ed" or how exile can be otherwise interpreted.
He declares yet more, that he is weary of endur-*
ing the threats of a rigorous master, and some
thing else, which a temper like his cannot undergo.
What was more than threat was probably pun-
ishment. This poem, which mentions his exile,
proves likewise that it was not perpetual; for
concludes with a resolution of returning some
to somit 983 mi 908)29 Pid
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Published 1632.-R.

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