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and sometimes steps forth in the confidence of and connexions, and sometimes descends too reason. She wears a thousand dresses, and in much to the language of conversation ; yet if all is pleasing.
his language had been less idiomatical, it might Mille habet ornatus, mill» decenter hubel. have lost somewhat of its genuine Anglicism. His prose is the model of the middle style ; on What he attempted, he performed: he is never grave subjects not formal, on light occasions feeble, and he did not wish to be energetic ;* he not grovelling; pure without scrupulosity, and is never rapid, and he never stagnates.
His exact without apparent elaboration ; always sentences have neither studied amplitude nor equable and always easy, without glowing words affected brevity: his periods, though not dilior pointed sentences. “Addison never deviates gently rounded, are voluble and easy. Whoever froin his track to snatch a grace: he seeks no wishes to attain an English style, familiar, but ambitious ornaments, and tries no hazardous in. not coarse, and elegant, but not ostentations, novations. His page is always luminous, but must give his days and nights to the volumes of never hlazes in unexpected splendour.
Addison. It was apparently his principal endeavour to avoid all harshness and severity of diction; he
* But, says Dr. Warton, he sometimes is so ; and in is therefore sometimes verbose in his transitions another Ms. note he adds, aften so.-C.
JOHN Hughes, the son of a citizen in Lon-Stationers' Hall; and he wrote afterwards sís don, and of Anne Burgess, of an ancient family cantatas, which were set to music by the greatin Wiltshire, was born at Marlborough, July 29, est master of that time, and seemed intended to 1677. He was educated at a private school; oppose or exclude the Italian opera, an exotic and though his advances in literature are, in the and irrational entertainment, which bas been “ Biographia,” very ostentatiously displayed, the always combated, and always has prevailed. name of his master is somewhat ungratefully His reputation was now so far advanced, that concealed. *
the public began to pay reverence to his name; At nineteen he drew the plan of a tragedy; and he was solicited to prefix a preface to the and paraphrased, rather too profusely, the ode translation of Boccalini, a writer whose satirical of Horace which begins Integer Vilæ. To poetry vein cost him his life in Italy, and who never, I he added the science of music, in whien die seems believe, found many readers in this country, even to have attained considerable skill, together though introduced by such powerful recomwith the practice of design, or rudiments of mendation. painting.
He translated Fontenelle's “ Dialogues of the His studies did not withdraw him wholly Dead ;” and his version was perhaps read at from business, nor did business hinder him from that time, but is now neglected; for by a book study. He had a place in the office of ordnance; not necessary, and owing its reputation wholly and was secretary to several commissions for to its turn of diction, little notice can be gained purchasing lands necessary to secure the royal but from those who can enjoy the graces of the docks at Chatham and Portsmouth; yet found original. To the “Dialogues ” of Fontenelle time to acquaint himself with modern lan- he added two composed by Tumself; and, though guages.
not only an honest but a pious man, dedicated In 1697, he published a poem on the “Peace his work to the Earl of Wharton. He judged of Ryswick :” and in 1699, another piece, called skilfully enough of his own interest ; for Whar. “The Court of Neptune," on the return of ton, when he went lord-lieutenant to Ireland, King William, which he addressed to Mr. offered to take Hughes with him and establish Montague, the general patron of the followers him: but Hughes, having hopes, or promises, of the Muses. The same year be produced a from another inan in power, of some provision song on the Duke of Gloucester's birtiriav. more suitable to his inclination, declined Whar.
He did not contine himself to poetry, but cul- ton's offer, and obtained nothing from the other. tivated other kinds of writing with great suc- He translated the “Miser" of Moliere, which cesz; and about this time showed his knowledge he never offered to the stage; and occasionally of human nature by an “Essay on the Plea- amused himself with making versions of favour. surs of being Deceived." In 1702, he published, ite scenes in other plays. 0.7 the death of King William, a Pindarie ode, Being now received as a wit among the wits, called “The House of Nassau ;” and wrote an- he paid liis contributions to literary undertako other paraphrase on the Olium Divos of Horace. ings, and assisted both the "Tatler,” “Spec. bu 1703, his (de on Music was performed at tator,” and “Guardian.” In 1712, he trans.
lated Vertot's “ History of the Revolution of * Ha was educated in a disserting academy, of which Portugal,” produced an “Ode to the Creator The Rev. Thom.iz Rowe wax unor and was a fellow, I of the World, from the Fragments of Orpheus," cother persons of eminence. In the Hore Lyric.e', of and brought upon the stage an opera called Do. Walls, is a poena Lu the memory of Mr. Rowe.--H. Calypso and Telemachus," intended to show
mat the English langunge might bc very happily on the stage, and of which it is unnecessary to adapted to music. This was impudently op- add a private voice to such continuance of apposed by those who were employed in the Italian probation, is not acted or printed according to opera; and, what cannot be told without indig- the author's original draught or bis settled innation, the intruders had sach interest with the tention. He had made Phocyas apostatize liom Duke of Shrewsbury, then lord-chamberlain, his religion ; after which ihe abhorrence of who had married an Italian, as to obtain an ob- Eudocia would have been reasonable, his misery struction of the profits, though not an inhibition would have been just, and the horrors of his reof the performance
pentanco exemplary. The players, however, There was at this time a project formed by required that the guilt of Phocyas should ter Toason for a translation of the " Pharsalia" by minate in desertion to the enemy; and Hughes, 8:veral hands : and Hughes Englished the tenth unwilling that his relations should lose the benebook. But this design, as must often happen fit of his work, complied with the alteration. when the concurrence of many is necessary, fell He was now weak with a lingering consumpto the ground; and the whole work was after-tion, and not able to attend the rehearsal, yet wards performed by Rowe.
was so vigorous in his faculties that only ien His acquaintance with the great writers of days before his death he wrote the dedication to his time appears to have been very general ; but his patron, Lord Cowper. On February 17, of his intimacy with Addison there is a remark- 1719-20, the play was represented, and the able proof. It is told, on good anthority, that author died. He lived to hear that it was well "Caio” was finished and played by his persua- received ; but paid no.regard to the intelligence, sion. It had long wanted the last Act, which being then wholly employed in the meditations he was desired by Addison to supply. 'If the of a departing Christian. request was sincere, it proceeded from an opinion, A man of his character was undoubtedly rewhatever it w.s, that did not last long; for gretted; and Stcele devoted an essay, in the when Hughes came in a week to show him his paper called “The Theatre,” to the memory first attempt, he found half an act written by of his virtues. His life is written in the Addison himself.
“ Biographia” with some degree of favourable Heafterwards published the works of Spenser, partiality; and an account of him is prefixed to with his life, a glossary, and a Discourse on his works by his relation the late Mr. DunAllegorical Poetry; a work for which he was combe, a man whose blameless elegance deservwell qualificd as a judge of the beauties of writed the same respect. ing, but perhaps wanted an antiquary's know- The character of his genius I shall transcribe ledge of the obsolete words. He did not much from the correspondence of Swift and Pope. sevive the curiosity of the public; for near “A month ago," says Swift, “were sent me thirty years elapsed before his edition was re- over, by a friend of mine, the works of John printed. The same year produced his "Apollo Hughes, Esquire. They are in prose and verse. and Daphne," of which the success was very I never heard of the man in my life, yet I find earnestly promoted by Steele, who, when the your name as a subscriber. He is too grave a rage of party did not misguide him, seems to poet for me, and I think among the mediucrists have been a man of boundless benevolence. in prose as well as verse."
Hughes had hitherto suffered the mortifica- To this Pope returns: “To answer your questions of a narrow fortune ; but in 1717 the Lord. tion as to Mr. Hughes: what he wanted in Chancellor Cowper set him at ease, by making genius, he made up as an honest man ; but he him secretary to the commissions of the peace; was of the class you think him."* in which he afterwards, by a particular request, In Spence's Collection, Pope is made to speak desired his successor Lord Parker to continue of him with still le s respect, as having no claim hiin. He had now affluence; but such is to poetical reputation but from his tragedy. hunan life, that he had it when his declining health could neither allow him long possession * This, Dr. Warton asserts, is very unjust censure : not quick enj”yment.
and, in a note in his late edition of Pope's Works, asks His last wo k was his tragedy, “Tho Siege if the Author of such a tragedy as The Siege of of Damascus," after which a Siege became a Pope seem not to recollect the value and rank of an popular title. This play, which still continues | author who could write such a tragedly.”--C.
DUKE OF BUCKINGHAMSHIRE.
JOHN SHEFFIELD, descended from a long se- that he got rid of him in a short time, and at an des of illnet jous ancestors, was born in 1649, age not exceeding twelve years resolved to eduthe son of Edmund, carl of Mulgrave, who died cate himself. Such a purpose, formed at such in 1658. The young lord was put into the hands an age, and successfully prosecuted, delights, as of a tutor with whom he was so little satisfied, it is strange, and instructs, as it is real.
His literary acquisitions are more wonderful, he was yet not twenty years old, his recommen. as those years in which they are commonly made dation advanced Dryden to the laurel. were spent by him in the tumult of a military 'The Moors having besicged Tangier, he was life, or the gayety of a court. When war was sent (1680) with two thousand men to its relief declared against the Dutch, he went, at se- A strange story is told of the danger to which venteen, on board the ship in which Prince he was intentionally exposed in a leaky ship, to Rupert and the Duke of Albemarle sailed, gratify some resentful jealousy of the King, with the command of the feet: but by con- whose health he therefore would never permit trariety of winds they were restrained from at his table till he saw himself in a safer place. action. His zeal for the King's service was His voyage was prosperously performed in three recompensed by the command of one of the weeks; and the Moors without a contest retired independent troops of horse, then raised to pro- before him. tect the coast.
In this voyage he composed “The Vision,” a Next year he received a summons to parlia- licentious poein; such as was fashionable in ment, which, as he was then but eighteen years those times, with little power of invention or old, the Earl of Northumberland censured as at propriety of sentiment. least indecent, and his objection was allowed. At his return he found the king kind, who He had a quarrel with the Earl of Rochester, perhaps had never been angry; and he conti. which he has perhaps too ostentatiously related, nued å wit and a courtier as before. as Rochester's surviving sister, the Lady Sand- At the succession of King James, to whom he wich, is said to have told him with very sharp was intimately known, and by whom he thought reproaches.
himself beloved, he naturally expected still When another Dutch war (1672) broke out, brighter sunshine; but all know how soon that he went again a volunteer in the ship which the reign began to gather clouds. His expectations celebrated Lord Ossory commanded; and there were not disappointed; he was immediately admade, as he relates, two curious remarks: mitted into the privy-council, and made lord.
“I have observed two things which I dare chamberlain. He accepted a place in the high affirm, though not generally believed. One was, commission, without knowledge, as he declared that the wind of a cannon bullet, though Aying after the Revolution, of its illegality: Having pever so near, is incapable of doing the least few religious scruples, he attended the King to harm; and indeed, were it otherwise, no man mass, and kneeled with the rest, but had no disabove deck would escape. The other was, that position to receive the Romish faith, or to force a great shot may be sometimes avoided, even as it upon others; for when the priests, encouraged it flies, by changing one's ground a little ; for, by his appearances of compliance, attempted to when the wind sometimes blew away the smoke, convert him, he told them, as Burnet has reit was so clear a sunshiny day, that we could corded, that he was willing to receive instrnceasily perceive the bullets (that were halt spent) tion, and that he had taken much pains to befall into the water, and from thence bound up lieve in God who had inade the world and all again among us, which gives sufficient time for men in it; but that he should not be easily making a step or two on any side ; though in persuaded that man was quits, and made God so swift a motion, it is hard to judge well in again. what line the bullet comes, which, if mistaken, A pointed sentence is bestowed by successive may by removing cost a man his lite, instead of transmission to the last whom it will fit : this saving it."
censure of transubstantiation, whatever be its His behaviour was so favourably represented value, was uttered long ago by Anne Askew, by Lord ('ssory, that he was advanced to the one of the first sufferers for the protestant relicommand of the Catherine, the best second-rate gion, who, in the time of Henry VIII. was torship in the navy.
tured in the Tower ; concerning which there is He afterwards raised a regiment of foot, and reason to wonder that it was not known to the commanded it as colonel. The land-forces were historian of the Reformation. sent ashore by Prince Rupert; and he lived in In the Revolution he acquiesced, though he the camp very familiarly with Schomberg. He did not promote it. There was once a design of was then appointed colonel of the old Holland associating him in the invitation of the Prince regiment, together with his own, and had the of Orange; but the Earl of Shrewsbury dispromise of a garter, which he ob ained in his couraged the attempt, by declaring that Mul. twenty-fifth year. He was likewise made gen- grave would never concur. This King William tleman of the bedchamber. He afterwards afterwards told him; and asked him what he went into the French service to learn the art of would have done if the proposal had been made: war under Turenne, but stayed only a short “Sir,” said he, “I would have discovered it to time. Being by the Duke of Monmouth opposed the King whom I then served.” To which King in his pretensions to the first troop of horse. William replied, “ I cannot blame you." guards, he, in return, made Monmouth suspected Finding King James irremediably excluded, by the Duke of York. He was not long after, he voted for the conjunctive sovereignty, upon when the unlucky Monmouth fell into disgrace, this principle, that he thought the title of the recompensed with the lieutenancy of Yorkshire Prince and his Consort equal, and it would and the government of Hull.
please the prince, their protector, to have a share Thus rapidly did he make his way both to in the sovereignty. This vote gratified King military and civil honours and employments; yet, William ; yet, either by the king's distrust, or busy as he was, he did not neglect his studies, his own discontent, he lived some years without but at least cultivated poetry; in which he must employment. He looked on the king with bave been early considered as uncommonly malevolence, and, if his verses or his prose may skilful, if it be true, which is reported, that when I be credited, with contempt. He was, notwith. standing this aversion ou indifference, made that sometimes glimmers, but rarely shines, seemarquis of Norma..by, (1694,) but still opposed bly laborious, and at best but pretty. His songs tre court on some important questions; yet at are upon common topics ; he hopes, and grieves, last he was received into the cabinet-councii, anni repents, and despairs, and rejoices, like with a pension of three thousand pound:. any other maker of little stanzas : to be great,
At the accession of Queen Anne, whom he is he hardly tries ; to be gay, is hardly in his said to have courted when they were both young, power. tre was highly favoured. Before her coronation In his “Essay on Satire,” he was always 237 (1702), she inade hi.n lord privy-seal, and soon posed to have had the help of Dryden. Hins after lord-lieutenant of the northriding of Essay on Poetry” is the great work for whic'? Yorkshire. He was then named commissioner he was praised by Roscommon, Dryden, ani for treating with the Scots about the Union ; Pope ; and doubtless by many more v hose euand was made next year, first, Duke of Norman logies have perished. by, and then of Buckinghamshire, there being Upon this piece he appears to have set a high suspected to be somewhere a latent clain to the value ; for he was all his lifetime improving it title of Fuckingham.
by successive revisals, so that there is scarcely Soon after, bceoming jealous of the Duke of any poem to be found of which the last edition Marlborough, he resigned the privy-geal, and dillers more from the first. Amongsi other joined the discontented lories in a motion, ex- changes, mention is made of some compositions tremely offensive to the Queen, for inviting the of Dryden, which were written afier the first Princess Sophia to England. The Queen court appearance of the essay: ed him back with an offer no less than that of At the time when this work first appeared, the chancello ship; which he refused. He now Milton's fame was not yet fully established, and retired from business, and built that house in the therefore Tasso and Spenser were set before Park which is now the Queen's, upon ground him. The two last lines were these. The epic granted by the crown.
poet, says he, When ihe ministry was changed, (1710,) he Must above Milton's lofty flight prevail, was made lord-chamberlain of the household, Succeed where great Torquato, and where greater and concurred in all transactions of that time,
Spenser fail. except that he endeavoured to protect the Cata- The last line in succeeding editions was shortlans. After the Queen's death he became a ened, and the order of names continued : but constant opponent of the court; and, having no now Milton is at last advanced to the highest public business, is supposed to have amused place, and the passage thus adjusted : hinself by writing his two tragedies. He died February 24, 1720-21.
Must above Tasso's Jofty flights prevail,
Succeed where Spenser, and er'n Milton fail. He was thrice married: by his two first wives he had no children; by his third, who was the Amendments are seldom made without some daughter of King James by the Countess of token of a rent ; lofty does not suit Tasso so Dorchester, and the widow of the Earl of And well as Milton. glesey, he had, besides other children that died
One celebrated line seems to be borrowed. early, a son, born in 1716, who died in 1735, The Essay calls a perfect character and put an end to the line of Sheffield. It is ob- A faultless monster which the world ne'er saw. servable, that the Duke's three wives were all Scaliger, in his poems, terms Virgil sine labe widows. The dutchess died in 1742. His character is not to be proposed as worthy to have read Scaliger's poetry ; perhaps he
monstrum. Sheffield can scarcely be supposed of imitation. His religion he may be supposed found the words in a quotation. to have learned from Hobbes; and his morality was such as naturally proceeds from loose opi- highly, it may be justly said that the precepis
Of this Essay, which Dryden has exalted so nions. His sentiments with respect to women he picked up at the court of Charles ; and his expressed ; but there are, after all the einenda.
are judicious, sometimes new, and often happily principles conceruing property were such as a gaining-table supplies.
cions, many weak lines, and some strange ap
He was censured as covetous, and has been defended by an instance pearances of negligence : as when he gives the of inattention to his affairs, as if á man might coherence ; without which, says he,
laws of elegy, he insists upon connexion and not at once be corrupted by avarice and idleness. He is said, however, to have had much tender- 'Tis epigram, 'lis point, 'tis what you will : ness, and to have been very ready to apologize But not an elegy, nor writ with skill, for his violences of passion.
No Panegyric, nor a Ccoper's Hill. He is introduced into this collection only as Who would not suppose that Waller's “ Panea poet; and if we credit the testimony of his gyric” and Denham's “Cooper's Hill” were contemporaries, he was a poet of no vulgar rank. clegies ? Bat favour and flattery are now at an end; cri- His verses are often insipid, but his memoirs Licism is no longer sofiened by his bounties, or are lively and agreeable ; he had the perspicuity awed by luis splendour, and, being able to take aand elegance of an historian, but not ihe firo more steady view, discovers him to be a writer and fancy of a poet.
MATTIEW Prior is one of those that has burst envy raised by superior abilities every day gra. ne from an obscure original to great eminence. tified: when they are attacked, every one hopes Ile was born July 21, 1664, according to some, to see them humbled : what is hoped is readily at Wimburn, in Dorsetshire, of I know not what believed, and what is believed is confidently parents; o:hers say, that he was the son of a told. Dryden had been more accustomed to joiner of London, he was perhaps willing hostilities than that such enemies should break envugh to leave his birth unsettled, * in hope, his quiet ; and if we can suppose him vexed, it like Don Quixote, that the historian of his ac- would be hard to deny him sense enough to tions might find him some illustrious alliance. conceal his uneasiness.
He is supposed to have fallen, by his father's The “City Mouse and Country Mouse" prodeath, into the hands of his uncle, a vintner,t cured its authors more solid advantages than the near 'Charing Cross, who sent him for some pleasure of fretting Dryden ; for they were both time to Dr. Busby, at Westminster ; but, not speedily preferred. Montague, indeed, obtained intending to give him any education beyond the first notice, with some degree of discontent, that of the school, took him, when he was well as it seems, in Prior, who probably knew that advanced in literature, to his own house, where his own part of the performance was the best. the Earl of Dorset, celebrated for patronage of He had not, however, much reason to complain ; genius, found him by chance, as Burnet relates, for he came to London, and obtained such noreading Horace, and was so well pleased with tice, that (in 1691) he was sent to the Conhis proficiency, that he undertook the care and gress at the Hague as secretary to the embassy. cost of his academical education.
In this assembly of princes and nobles, to which He entered his name in St. John's College, al Europe has perhaps scarcely seen any thing Cambridge, in 1682, in his eighteenth year; equal, was formed the grand alliance against and it may be reasonably supposed that he was Louis, which at last did not produce effects prodistinguished among his contemporaries. He portionate to the magnificence of the transaction. became a bachelor, as is usual, in four years ;I The conduct of Prior in this splendid initiaand two years afterwards wrote the poem on tion into public business, was so pleasing to the “ Deity,” which stands first in his volume. King William, that he made him one of the
It is the established practice of that College, gentlemen of his bedchamber; and he is sup10 send every year to the Earl of Exeter some posed to have passed some of the next years in poems upon sacred subjects, in acknowledg- the quiet cultivation of literature and poetry. nent of a benefaction enjoyed by them from The death of Queen Mary (in 1695) produced ile bounty of his ancestor. On this occasion a subject for all the writers'; perhaps no funeral were those verses written, which, though no- was ever so poetically attended. Dryden, inhing is said of their success, seem to have re- deed, as a man discountenanced and deprived, commended him to some notice ; for his praise was silent ; but scarcely any other maker of of the Countess's music, and his lines on the verses omitted to bring his tribute of tuneful famous picture of Seneca, afford reason for ima- sorrow. An emulation of elegy was universal. gining ihat he was more or less conversant Maria's praise was not confined to the English with that family.
language, but fills a great part of the “Musæ The same year he published the "City Mouse Anglicanæ." ind Country Mouse,”. to ridicule Dryden's Prior, who was both a poet and a courtier, * Hind and Panther,” in conjunction with Mr. was too diligent to miss this opportunity of reMontague. There is a story of great pain spect. He wrote a long ode, which was preuffered, and of tears shed, on this occasion, by sented to the King, by whom it was not likely Dryden, whɔ thought it hard that" an old man to be ever read. hould be so treated by those to whom he had
In two years he was secretary to another emlways been civil.” By tales like these is the bassy, at'ihe treaty of Ryswick, (in 1697 ; ID.
and next year had the same office at the court of * The difficulty of settling Prior's birthplace is great. France, where he is said to have been consi. ĩ the Register of his College lie is called, at his admis: dered with great distinction. ion by the President, Matthew Prior, of Winburn, in As he was one day surveying the apartments Aiddle sex; by himself, next day, Matthew Prior of Dor. at Versailles, being shown the victories of Louis, ir Winborne, as it stands in the Villare, is found: painted by Le Brun, and asked whether the When he stood candidate for his fellowship, five years King of England's palace had any such decora. uterwards, he was regidered again by himself as of tions: “The monuments of my master's actions,” AlinlesexThe last record ought to be preserred, be said he, “ are to be seen every where but in his ut ise it was marle upon oath. It is observable, that as u native of Winborne, he is styled Flius Georgii Prior,
own house." enerosi ; not consi-tently with the common account or The pictures of Le Brun are not only in
themselves sufficiently ostentatious, but were Samuel Prior kept the Rummer Tavern, near Cha. ing Cross, in Usi. The annual feast of the nobility explained by inscriptions so arrogant, that Boi and gentry living in the parish of St. Martin in the Fiel:ls was held at his house, October 14, that year.--N.
He was admitted to his bachelor's degree in 1655 ; || He received, in September, 1697, a present of 200 and to his master's, by mandate, in 170).--.
guineas from the lords justices, for his trouble in bring & Spenca.
ing over the treaty of peace. -N.
he meapness of his birth. Dr. J.