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by the Lord Chamberlain ; and he was forced “Fan” is one of those mythological fictions to recompense his repulse by a subscription, which antiquity delivers ready to the hand, but which is said to have been so liberally bestowed, which, like other things that lie open to every that what he called oppression ended in profit. one's use, are of little value. The attention naThe publication was so much favoured, that turally retires from a new tale of Venus, Diana, though the first part gained him four hundred and Minerva. pounds; near thrice as much was the profit of His “Tables" seem to have been a favourite the second.
work; for, baving published one volume, he He received yet another recompense for this left another behind him. Of this kind of fables, supposed hardship in the affectionate attention the authors do not appear to bave formed any of the Duke and Dutchess of Queensberry, into distinct or settled notion. Phædrus evidently whose house he was taken, and with whom he confounds them with tales; and Gay both with passed the remaining part of his life. The Duke, tales and allegorical prosopopeias. A fable, or considering his want of economy, undertook the apologue, such as is now under consideration, management of his money, and gave it to bit seems to be in its genuine state, a narrative in as he wanted it.* But it is supposed that the which beinys irrational, and sometimes inanidiscountenance of the court sunk' deep into his maie, arbores loquuntur, non tantum feræ, are, for heart, and gave him more discontent than the the purpose of moral instruction, feigned to act applauses or tenderness of his friends could and speak with human interests and passions. overpower. He soon fell into his old distemper, To this description the compositions of Gay do an habitual colie, and languished, though with not always conform. For a fable he gives now many intervals of ease and cheerfulness, till a and then a tale, or an abstracted allegory; and violent fit at last seized him, and hurried him to from some, by whatever name they may be the grave, as Arbuthnot reported, with more called, it will be difficult to extract any moral precipitance than he had ever known. He died principle. They are, however, told with livelion the 4th of December, 1732, and was buried ness: the versification is smooth; and the dicin Westminster Abbey. The letter which tion, though now and then a little constrained brought an account of his death to Swist was by the measure or the rhyme, is generally happy. laid by for some days unopened, because when To “ Trivia ” may be allowed all that it he received it he was impressed with the precon- claims ; it is sprightly, various, and pleasant. ception of some misfortune.
The subject is of that kind which Gay was by After his death, was published a second vo- nature qualified to adorn; yet some of his de lume of “Fables," more political than the for-corations may be justly wished away. An mer. His opera of “Achilles” was acted, and honest blacksmith might have done for Patty the profits were given to two widow sisters, what is performed by Vulcan. The appearance who inherited what he left, as his lawful heirs; of Cloacina is nauseous and superfluous; a for he died without a will
, though he had ga- shoe-boy could have been produced by the casual thered* three thousand pounds. There have cohabitation of mere mortals. Horace's rule is appeared likewise under his name a comedy broken in both cases ; there is no dignus vindice called “The Distressed Wife,” and “The Rénodus, no difficulty that required any superhearsal at Gotham," a piece of humour. natural interposition. A patten may be made
The character given him by Pope is this: that by the hammer of a mortal; and a bastard may she was a natural man, without design, who be dropped by a human strumpet. On great spoke what he thought, and just as he thought occasions, and on small, the mind is repelled by it;" and that “ he was of a timid temper, and useless and apparent falsehood. fearful of giving offence to the great ;"* which Of his little poems the public judgment seems caution, however, says Pope, was of no avail. to be right; they are neither much esteemed
As a poet, he cannot be rated very high. He nor totally despised. The story of the appariwas, as I once beard a female critic remark, tion is borrowed from one of the tales of Poggio,
of a lower order.” He had not in any great Those that please least are the pieces to which degree the mens divinior, the dignity of genius. Gulliver gave occasion ; for who can much Much however must be allowed to the author delight in the echo of unnatural fiction? of a new species of composition, though it be not “ Dione” is a counterpart to “ Amynta” and of the highest kind. We owe to Gay the ballad "Pastor Fido,” and other trifles of the same opera ; & mode of comedy which at first was kind, easily imitated, and unworthy of imitation, supposed to delight only by its novelty, but has What the Italians call comedies from a happy now by the experience of half a century been conclusion, Gay calls a tragedy from a mournful found so well accommodated to the disposition event; but the style of the Italians and of Gay of a popular audience, that it is likely to keep is equally tragical. There is something in the long possession of the stage. Whether this new poetical arcadia so remote from known reality drama was the product of judgment or of luck, and speculative possibility, that we can never the praise of it must be given to the inventor; support its representation through a long work. and there are many writers read with more reve- A pastoral of a hundred lines may be enduredį rence, to whom such merit of originality cannot but who will hear of sheep and goats, and be attributed.
myrtle bowers and purling rivulets, through His first performance, “The Rural Sports,” five acts? Such scenes please barbarians in the is such as was easily planned and executed; it dawn of literature, and children in the dawn is never contemptible nor ever excellent. The of life ; but will be for the most part thrown
away, as men grow wise, and nations grow • Spence.
OF GEORGE GRANVILLE, or, as others write when every man who has the least sense of Greenville or Grenville, afterwards Lord Lands- honour should be preparing for the field. down, of Bideford in the county of Devon, less “ You may remember, sir, with what relucis known than his name and high rank might tance I submitted to your commands upon Mongive reason to expect. He was born about mouth's rebellion, when no importunity could 1667, the son of Bernard Greenville, who was prevail with you to permit me to leave the acaentrusted by Monk with the most private trans- demy: I was too young to be hazarded; but, actions of the Restoration, and the grandson of give me leave to say, it is glorious at any age to Sir Bevil Greenville, who died in the King's die for one's country; and the sooner the nobler cause, at the battle of Landsdown.
the sacrifice. His early education was superintended by Sir “I am now older by three years. My uncle William Ellis ; and his progress was such, that Bathe was not so old when he was left among before the age of twelve he was sent to Cam- the slain at the battle of Newbury; nor yet bridge,* where he pronounced a copy of his own yourself, sir, when you made your escape from verses to the Princess Mary d'Este of Modena, your tutor's, to join your brother at the defence then Dutchess of York, when she visited the of Scilly. University.
“The same cause has now come round about At the accession of King James, being now at again. The King has been misled ; let those eighteen, he again exerted his poetical powers, who have misled him be answerable for it. and addressed the new monarch in three short Nobody can deny but he is sacred in his own pieces, of which the first is profane, and the two person; and it is every honest man's duty to others such as a boy might be expected to pro- defend it. duce; but he was commended by old Waller, “You are pleased to say, it is yet doubtful if who perhaps was pleased to find himself imitated the Hollanders are rash enough to make such in six lines, which, though they begin with non- an attempt ; but be that as it will, I beg leave sense and end with dulness, excited in the young to insist upon it, that I may be presented to his Author a rapture of acknowledgment.
Majesty, as one whose utmost ambition it is to In numbers such as Waller's self might use.
devote his life to his service, and my country's,
after the example of all my ancestors. It was probably about this time that he wrote “The gentry assembled at York, to agree the poem to the Earl of Peterborough, upon his upon the choice of representatives for the county, accomplishment of the Duke of York's marriage have prepared an address, to assure his Majesty with the Princess of Modena, whose charms they are ready to sacrifice their lives and forappear to have gained a strong prevalence over tunes for him upon this and all other occasions ; his imagination, and upon whom nothing ever but at the same time they humbly beseech him has been charged but imprudent piety, an intem- to give them such magistrates as may be agreeperate and misguided zeal for the propagation of able to the laws of the land; for, at present, popery.
there is no aut ity to which they can legally However faithful Granville might have been submit. to the King, or however enamoured of the
“They have been beating up for volunteers Queen, he has left no reason for supposing that at York and the towns adjacent, to supply the he approved either the artifices or the violence regiments at Hull; but nobody will list. with which the King's religion was insinuated “By what I can hear, every body wishes well or obtruded. He endeavoured to be true at to the King; but they would be glad his minisonce to the King and to the Church.
ters were hanged. Of this regulated loyalty he has transmitted “The winds continue so contrary, that no to posterity a sufficient proof, in the letter which landing can be so soon as was apprehended; he wrote to his father about a month before the therefore I may hope with your leave and asPrince of Orange landed.
sistance, to be in readiness before any action
can begin. I beseech you, sir, most humbly and “Mar, near Doncaster, Oct. 6, 1688.
most earnestly to add this one act of indulgence "To the Honourable Mr. Barnard Granville, more to so many other testimonies which I have
at the Earl of Bathe's, St. James's. constantly received of your goodness; and be “Sir, “Your having no prospect of obtaining a duty and submission, sir,
pleased to believe me always, with the utmost commission for me can no way alter or cool my “ Your most dutiful son, desire at this important juncture to venture my
“ And most obedient servant, life in some manner or other, for my king and
“Geo. GRANVILLE." my country.
* I cannot bear living under the reproach of Through the whole reign of King William he lying obscure and idle in a country retirement, is supposed to have lived in literary retirement,
and indeed, had for some time few other plea • To Trinity College. By the University register it as the biographers observe, the younger son of a
sures but those of study in his power. He was, appears that he was admitted to his master's degree in 1679; we mist, therefore, set the year of his birth some younger brother; a denomination by which our years back. -H.
ancestors proverbially expressed the lowest state
of penury and dependence. He is said, how- was added the dedication of Pope's “Win Isor ever, to have preserved himself at this time from Forest.” He was advanced next year to be disgrace and difficulties by economy, which he treasurer of the household. forgot or neglected in life more advanced and in Of these favours he soon lost all but bis title, better fortune.
for at the accession of King George, his place was About this time he became enamoured of the given to the Earl of Cholmondely, and he was Countess of Newburgh, whom he has celebrated persecuted with the rest of his party. Having with so much ardour by the name of Mira. He protested against the bill for attainting Ormond wrote verses to her before he was three-and- and Bolingbroke, he was, after the insurrection twenty, and may be forgiven if he regarded the in Scotland, seized Sept. 26, 1715, as a suspected face more than the mind. Poets are sometimes man, and confined in the Tower till Feb. 8, 1717, in too much haste to praise.
when he was at last released and restored to In the time of his retirement it is probable his seat in parliament; where (1719) he made a that he composed his dramatic pieces, the “She very ardent and animated speech against the reGallants," (acted 1696,) which he revised and peal of the bill to prevent occasional conformity, called “Once a Lover, and always a Lover;" which, however, though it was then printed, he “The Jew of Venice," altered from Shakspeare's has not inserted into his works. “Merchant of Venice,” (1698;) “Heroic Love,” Some time afterwards, (about 1722,) being a tragedy, (1701 ;) “The British Enchanters,” perhaps embarrassed by his profusion, he went (1706,) a dramatic poem, and “Peleus and The- into foreign countries, with the usual pretence of tis," a mask, written to accompany “The Jew recovering his health. In this state of leisure of Venice.”
and retirement he received the first volume of The comedies, which he has not printed in his Burnet's History, of which he cannot be supown edition of his works, I never saw; “Once a posed to have approved the general tendency, Lover, and always a Lover" is said to be in and where he thought himself able to detect a great degree indecent and gross. Granville some particular falsehoods. He therefore uncould not admire without bigotry; he copied dertook the vindication of General Monk from the wrong as well as the right from his masiers, some calumnies of Dr. Burnet, and some misreand may be supposed to have learned obscenity presentations of Mr. Echard. This was anfrom Wycherley, as he learned mythology from swered civilly by Mr. Thomas Burnet and OldWaller.
mixon; and more roughly by Dr. Colbatch. In his Jew of“ Venice," as Rowe remarks, the His other historical performance is a defence character of Shylock is made comic, and we are of his relation Sir Richard Greenville, whom prompted to laughter instead of detestation. Lord Clarendon has shown in a form very un
It is evident that “Heroic Love” was written amiable. So much is urged in this apology to and presented on the stage before the death of justify many actions that have been represented Dryden. It is a mythological tragedy, upon the as culpable, and to palliate the rest, that the love of Agamemnon and Chryseis, and there- reader is reconciled for the greater part ; and it fore easily sunk into neglect, though praised in is made very probable that Clarendon was by verse by Dryden, and in prose by Pope. personal enmity disposed to think the worst of
It is concluded by the wise Ulysses with this Greenville, as Greenville was also very willing speech :
to think the worst of Clarendon. These pieces Fate holds the strings, and men like children move were published at his return to England. But as they're led ; success is from above.
Being now desirous to conclude his labours, At the accession of Queen Anne, having his and enjoy his reputation, he published (1732) a fortune improved by bequests from his father, very beautiful and splendid edition of his works, and his uncle the Earl of Bath, he was chosen in which he omitted what he disapproved, and into parliament for Fowey. He soon after en- enlarged what seemed deficient. gaged in a joint translation of the “Invectives He now went to court, and was kindly reagainst Philip,” with a design, surely weak and ceived by Queen Caroline; to whom and to the puerile, of turning the thunder of Demosthenes Princess Anne he presented his works, with upon the head of Louis.
verses on the blank leaves, with which he conHe afterwards (in 1706) had his estate again cluded his poetical labours. augmented by an inheritance from his elder bro- He died in Hanover-square, Jan. 30, 1735, ther, Sir Bevil Grenville, who, as he returned having a few days before buried his wife, the from the government of Barbadoes, died at sea. Lady Anne Villiers, widow to Mr, Thynne, by He continued to serve in Parliament; and in the whom he had four daughters, but no son. ninth year of Queen Anne was chosen knight of Writers commonly derive their reputation from the shire for Cornwall.
their works; but there are works which owe At the memorable change of the ministry their reputation to the character of the writer. (1710) he was made secretary at war, in the The public sometimes has its favourites whom place of Mr. Robert Walpole.
it rewards for one species of excellence with the Next year, when the violence of party made honour due to another. From him whom we revetwelve peers in a day, Mr. Granville became rence for his beneficence, we do not willingly with Lord Lansdown Baron Bideford, by a promotion hold the praise of genius: a man of exalted justly remarked to be not invidious, because he merit becomes at once an accomplished writer, was the heir of a family in which two peerages, as a beauty finds no great difficulty in passing that of the Earl of Bath and Lord Granville of for a wit. Potheridge, had lately become extinct. Being Granville was a man illustrious by his birth, now high in the Queen's favour, he (1712) was and therefore attracted notice; since he is by appointed comptroller of the household, and Pope styled “the polite,” he must be supposed a privy counsellor, and to his other honours elegant in his manners, and generally Irved; he
was in times of contest and turbulence steady to elegant, either keen or wilty. They are trifles his party, and obtained that esteem which is written by idleness and published by vanity. always conferred upon firmness and consistency. But his prologues and epilogues have a jus: With those advantages, having learned the art claim to praise. of versifying, he declared himself a poet; and The “Progress of Beauty” secms one of his his claim to the laurel was allowed.
inost elaborate pieces, and is not deficient in But by a critic of a later generation, who takes splendour and gayety; but the merit of originat up his book without any favourable prejudices, thought is wanting. Its highest praise is the the praise already received will be thought suffi- spirit with which he celebrates King James's cient; for his works do not show him to have consort when she was a queen no longer, had much comprehension from nature or illumi- The “Essay on unnatural Flights in Poetry nation from learning. He seems to have had no is not inclegant nor injudicious, and has sonieambition above the imitation of Waller, of whom thing of vigour beyond most of his other perhe has copied the faults and very little more. formances: his precepts are just, and his cautions He is for ever amusing himself with puerilities of proper; they are indeed not new, but in a didacmythology: his King is Jupiter; who, if the tic poem novelty is to be expected only in the Queen brings no children, has a barren Juno. ornaments and illustrations. His poetical preThe Queen is compounded of Juno, Venus, and cepts are accompanied with agreeable and inMinerva. His poem on the Dutchess of Graf- structive notes. ton's law-suit, after having rattled awhile with The Mask of “Peleus and Thetis" has here Juno and Pallas, Mars and Alcides, Cassiope, and there a pretty line ; but it is not always . Niobe, and the Propetides, Hercules, Minos, and melodious, and the conclusion is wretched. Rhadamanthus, at last concludes its folly with In his "British Enchanters" he has bidden de profaneness.
fiance to all chronology, by confounding the inHis verses to Mira, which are most frequently consistent manners of different ages; but the mentioned, have little in them of either art or dialogue has often the air of Dryden's rhyming nature, of the sentiments of a lover, or the lan- plays: and his songs are lively, though not very guage of a poet: there may be found, now and correct. This is, I think, far the best of his then, a happier effort; but they are commonly works; for, if it has many faults, it has likewise feeble and unaffecting, or forced and extravagant. passages which are at least pretty, though they
His little pieces are seldom either sp atly do not rise to any high degree of excellence.
THOMAS Y ALDEN, the sixth son of Mr. John thought at first, yet did not forfeit the friendship Yalden, of Sussex, was born in the city of Exe- of Addison. ter, in 1671. Having been educated in the gram- When Namur was taken by King William, mar school belonging to Magdalen College, in Yalden made an ode. There never was any Oxford, he was in 1690, at the age of nineteen, reign more celebrated by the poets than that of admitted commoner of Magdalen Hall, under William, who had very little regard for song the tuition of Josiah Pullen, a man whose name himself
, but happened to employ ministers who is still remembered in the University. He be pleased themselves with the praise of patroncame next year one of the scholars of Magdalen age. College, where he was distinguished by a lucky of this ode mention is made in a humorous accident.
poem of that time, called “The Oxford LauIt was his turn; one day, to pronounce a de-reat :” in which, after many claims had been clamation : and Dr. Hough, the president, hap- made and rejected, Yalden is represented as de pening to attend, thought the composition too manding the laurel, and as being called to his good to be the speaker's. Some time after, the trial, instead of receiving a reward: Doctor finding him a little irregularly busy in the library, set him an exercise for punishment, His crime was for being a felon in verse, and, that he might not be deceived by any arti. The first was a trick not uncommon or scarce, fice, locked the door. Yalden, as it happened, But the last was an impudent thing; had been lately reading on the subject given, Yet what he had stolen was so little worth stealing, and produced with little difficulty a composi- Had he ta'en the whole ode, as he took it piecemealing, tion which so pleased the president, that he told They had fined him but ten-pence at most. him his former suspicions, and promised to favour him.
The poet whom he was charged with robbing Among his contemporaries in the College was Congreve. were Addison and Sacheverell
, men who were He wrote another poem, on the death of the in those times friends, and who both adopted | Duke of Gloucester. Yalden to their intimacy. Yalden continued, In 1700 he became fellow of ine College ; and throughout his life, to think as probably he next year, entering into orders, was presented by the society, with a living in Warwickshire,* | papers, and no evidence arising against him, he consistent with his fellowship, and chosen lec-was set at liberty. turer of moral philosophy, a very honourable It will not be supposed that a man of this office.
character attained high dignities in the church ; On the accession of Queen Anne he wrote but he still retained the friendship and freanother poem; and is said, by the author of the quented the conversation of a very numerous “Biographia,” to have declared himself of the and splendid set of acquaintance. He died July party who had the honourable distinction of 16, 1736, in the 66th year of his age. High-churchmen.
poems, many are of that irregular kind In 1706 he was received into the family of the which, when he formed his poetical character, Duke of Beaufort. Next year he became doctor was supposed to be Pindaric. Having fixed his in divinily, and soon after resigned his fellow- attention on Cowley as a model, he has attempted ship and lecture, and, as a token of his gratitude, in some sort to rival him, and has written a gave the College a picture of their founder. “Hymn to Darkness,” evidently as a counter
He was made rector of Chalton and Clean- part to Cowley's “Hymn to Light.” ville, t two adjoining towns and benefices in This Hymn seems to be his best performance, Hertfordshire; and had the prebends, or sine- and is, for the most part, imagined with great cures, of Deans, Hains, and Pendles, in Devon- vigour and expressed with great propriety. I shire. He had before been chosen, in 1698, will not transcribe it. The seven first stanzas preacher of Bridewell Hospital, upon the resig- are good; but the third, fourth, and seventh. nation of Dr. Atterbury.ş
are the best; the eighth seems to involve a con From this time he seems to have led a quiet tradiction; the tenth is exquisitely beautiful ; and inoffensive life, till the clamour was raised the thirteenth, fourteenth, and fifteenth, are about Atterbury's plot. Every loyal eye was partly mythological and partly religious, and on the watch for abettors or partakers of the therefore not suitable to each other: he might horrid conspiracy; and Dr. Yalden, having better have made the whole merely philosophisome acquaintance with the bishop, and being cal. familiarly conversant with Kelly, his secre- There are two stanzas in this poem where tary, fell under suspicion, and was taken into Yalden may be suspected, though hardly concustody.
victed, of having consulted the "Hymnus ad Upon his examination he was charged with a Umbram” of Wowerus, in the sixth stanza, dangerous correspondence with Kelly. The cor- which answers in some sort to these lines : respondence he acknowledged; but maintained that it had no treasonable tendency. His papers
Illa suo præest nocturnis numine sacris
Perque vias errare novis dat spectra figuris, were seized; but nothing was found that could
Manesque excitos medios ululare per agros fix a crime upon him, except two words in his Sub noctem, et questu notos complere penates. pocket-book, thorough-paced doctrine. This expression the imagination of his examiners had And again, at the conclusion : impregnated with treason, and the Doctor was Illa suo senium secludit corpore toto enjoined to explain them. Thus pressed, he Haud numerans jugi fugientia secula lapsu, told them that the words had lain unheeded in Ergo ubi postremum mundi compage soluta
Hanc rerum molem suprema absumpserit hora his pocket-book from the time of Queen Anne,
Ipsa leves cineres nube amplectetur opacâ, and that he was ashamed to give an account of Et prisco imperio rursus dominabitur umbra. them; but the truth was, that he had gratified his curiosity one day, by hearing Daniel Burgess His “Hymn to Light” is not equal to the othcs. in the pulpit, and those words were a memorial He seems to think that there is an east absoluto hint of a remarkable sentence by which he and positive where the morning rises. warned his congregation to “beware of thorough- In the last stanza, having mentioned the sudpaced doctrine, that doctrine which, coming in at den irruption of new-created light, he says, one ear, passes through the head, and goes out at the other."
Awhile the Almighty wondering stood. Nothing worse than this appearing in his
He ought to have remembered that infinite
knowledge can never wonder. All wonder is The vicarage of Willoughby, which he resigned in the effect of novelty upon ignorance. 1700.-N.
Of his other poems it is sufficient to say, thnt This preferment was given him by the Duke of Beaufort-N.
they deserve perusal, though they are not always Not long after.
exactly polished, though the rhymes are somcDr. Auerbury retained the office of preacher at times very ill sorted, and though his faults sccm Bridewell
till his promotion to the bishopric of Roches rather the omissions of idleness than the negli ler. Dr. Yalden succeeded him as proacher, in June, 1713-N.
gences of enthusiasm.