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1663

On the left hand.

the reason for which the world has sometimes G. S.

conspired to squander praise. It is not very un. Ex Equestri Familia Stepneiorum,

likely that he wrote very early as well as he ever De Pendegrast. in Comitatu

wrote ; and the performances of youth have many Pembrochiensi oriundus,

favourers, because the authors yet lay no claim Westmonaster natus est, A. Electus in Collegium

to public honours, and are therefore not consiSancti Petri Westmonast. A. 1676.

dered as rivals by the distributors of fame. Sancti Trinitatis Cantab. 1682.

He apparently professed himself a poet, and Consiliariorum quibus Commercio

added his name to those of the other wits in the Cura commissa est 1697. Chelseiæ mortuus, et, comitante

version of Juvenal; but he is a very licentious Magnâ Procerum

translator, and does not recompense his neglect Frequentia, huc elatus, 1707.

of the author by beauties of his own. In his ori

ginal poems, now and then, a happy line may It is reported that the juvenile compositions of perhaps be found, and now and then a short Stepney made gray authors blush. I know not composition may give pleasure. But there is, whether his poems will appear such wonders to in the whole, little either of the grace of wit, or the present age. One cannot always easily find the vigour of nature.

PHILIPS.

JOHN Pæilips was born on the 30th of De- His reputation was confined to his friends and cember, 1676, at Bampton, in Oxfordshire ; of to the University ; till about 1703, he extended which place his father, Dr. Stephen Philips, it to a wider circle by the “ Splendid Shilling," archdeacon of Salop, was minister. The first which struck the public attention with a mode of part of his education was domestic; after which writing new and unexpected. he was sent to Winchester, where, as we are This performance raised him so high, that, told by Dr. Sewel

, his biographer, he was soon when Europe resounded with the victory of distinguished by the superiority of his exercises; Blenheim, he was, probably with an occult opand what is less easily to be credited, so much position to Addison, employed to deliver the acendeared himself to his schoolfellows, by his clamation of the Tories. It is said that he civility and good-nature, that they, without mur- would willingly have declined the task, but that mur or ill-will, saw him indulged by the master his friends urged it upon him. It appears that with particular immunities. It is related, that he wrote this poem at the house of Mr. St. John. when he was at school, he seldom mingled in “ Blenheim' was published in 1705. The play with the other boys, but retired to his cham- next year produced his great work, the poem ber; where his sovereign pleasure was to sit upon “Cider,” in two books; which was rehour after hour, while his hair was combed by ceived with loud praises, and continued long to somebody whose services he found means to be read, as an imitation of Virgil's “Georgic," procure. *

which needed not shun the presence of the ori. At school he became acquainted with the ginal. poets, ancient and modern, and fixed his atten- He then grew probably more confident of his tion particularly on Milton.

own abilities, and began to meditate a poem on In 1694, he entered himself at Christ-church, the “ Last Day;" a subject on which no mind a college at that time in the highest reputation, can hope to equal expectation. by the transmission of Busby's scholars to the This work he did not live to finish ; his discare first of Fell, and afterwards of Aldrich. eases, a slow consumption and an asthma, put Here he was distinguished as a genius eminent a stop to his studies, and on Feb. 15, 1798, at among the eminent, and for friendship particu- the beginning of his thirty-third year, put an end larly intimate with Mr. Smith, the author of to his life. “Phædra and Hippolytus.” The profession He was buried in the cathedral of Hereford; which he intended to follow was that of physic; and Sir Simon Harcourt, afterwards lord-chanand he took much delight in natural history, of cellor, gave him a monument Westminster which botany was his favourite part.

Abbey. The inscription at Westminster was

written, as I have heard, by Dr. Atterbury, Isaac Vossius relates, that he also delighted in having though commonly given to Dr. Freind. his hair combed when he could have it done by barbers, or other persons skilled in the rules of prosody. or the passage that contains this ridiculous fancy, the following

HIS EPITAPH AT HEREFORD : is a translation : "Many people take delight in the rubbing of their limbs, and the combing of their hair ; but

JOHANNES PHILIPS these exercises would delight much more, if the servants at the baths, and of the barbers, were so skilful in this Obät 15 die Feb. Anno.

Dom. 1708.

Acat. suæ $2. art, that they could express any measures with their fingers. I remember that more than once I have fallen

Cujus into the hands of men of this sort, who could imitate any

Ossa si requiras, hanc Urnam inspice : measure of songs in combing the hair, so as sometimes SI Ingenium nescias, ipsius Opera consulo ; to express very intelligibly iambirs, trochees, dactyls,

Si Tumulum desideras, &e, from whence there arose to me nu small delight."

Templum adi Westmonasteriensc. See his " Treatise de Poematum cantu et Viribus Ryth

Qualis quantusque Vir fuecit, mi.” Oxon. 1673. D. 62.-H.

Dicat elegans illa et præclara,

HIS EPITAPH AT WESTMINSTER.

Quæ cenotaphium ibi decorat,

cient Centos. To degrade the sounding worde Inscriptio.

and stately construction of Milton, by an applia Quâm interim erga Cognatos pius et officiosus, Testetur hoc saxum

cation to the lowest and most trivial things, graA Maria Philips Matre ipsius pientissima,

tifies the mind with a momentary triumph over Dilecti Filii Memorie non sine Lacrymis dicatum. that grandeur which hitherto held its captives

in admiration; the words and things are pre-
sented with a new appearance, and novelty is

always grateful where it gives no pain.
Herefordiæ conduntur Ossa,
Hoc in Delubro statuitur Imago,

But the merit of such perforinances begins
Britanniam omnem pervagatur Fama,

and ends with the first author. He that should JOHANNIS PHILIPS :

again adapt Milton's phrase to the gross inciQui Viris bonis doctisque juxta charus, dents of common life, and even adapt it witb

Immortale suum Ingenium,
Eruditione multiplici excultum,

more art, which would not be difficult, must Miro animi candore,

yet expect but a small part of the praise which Eximiâ morum simplicitate,

Philips has obtained; he can only hope to be
Honesta vit.

considered as the repeater of a jest.
Litterarum Ameniorum sitin,
Quam Wintonize Puer sentire cæperat,

“ The parody on Milton,” says Gildon, "is Inter Ædis Christi Alumnos jugiter explevit, the only tolerable production of its Author." In illo Musarum Domicilio

This is a censure too dogmatical and violent,
Præclaris Æmulorum studiis excitatus,
Optimia scribendi Magistris semper intentus,

The poem of “Blenheim" was never denied to
Carmina sermone Patrio composuit

be tolerable, even by those who do not allow it A Græcis Latinisque fontibus feliciter deducta, supreme excellence. It is indeed the poem of a Atticis Romanisque auribus omnino digna,

scholar, “all inexpert of war;" of a man who Versuum quippe Harmoniam Rhythmo didicerat.

writes books from books, and studies the world in Antiquo illo, libero, multiformi

a college. He seems to have formed his ideas of Ad res ipsas apto prorsus, et attemperato, the field of Blenheim from the battles of the heNon numeris in eundem ferè orbem redeuntibus, Non Clausularum similiter cadentium sono

roic ages, or the tales of chivalry, with very little Metiri :

comprehension of the qualities necessary to the Uni in hoc laudis genere Miltono secundus, composition of a modern hero, which Addison Primoque pæne par.

has displayed with so much propriety. He Res seu Tenues, seu Grandes, seu Mediocres Ornandas sumserat,

makes Marlborough_behold at a distance the Nusquam, non quod decuit,

slaughter made by Tallard, then haste to enEt videt, et assecutus est,

counter and restrain him, and mow his way
Egregius, quoc'inque Stylum verteret, through ranks made headless by his sword.
Fandi author, a Modorum anifox.
Fas sit Huic,

He imitates Milton's numbers indeed, but
Auso licèt à tuâ Metrorum Lege discedere,

imitates them very injudiciously. Deformity is O Poesis Anglicanæ Pater, atque Conditor, Chaucere, easily copied; and whatever there is in Milton

Alterum tibi latus claudere,
Vatum certe Cineres, tuos undique stipantium

which the reader wishes away, all that is obsoNon dedecebit Chorum.

lete, peculiar, or licentious, is accumulated with Simon Harcourt, Miles,

great care by Philips. Milton's verse was har. Viri benè de se, de Litteris meriti Quoad viveret Fautor,

monious, in proportion to the general state of Post Obitum piè memor,

our metre in Milton's age; and, if he had wrilHoc illi Saxum poni voluit.

ten after the improvements made by Dryden, it J. Philips, Stephani, S. T. P. Archidiaconi is reasonable to believe that he would have adSalop: Filius, natus est Bamptoniæ mitted a more pleasing modulation of numbers

In agro Oxon, Dec. 30, 1676.
Obijt Herefordiæ, Feb. 15, 1708.

into his work; but Philips sits down with a re

solution to make no more music than he found; Philips has been always praised, without con- to want all that his master wanted, though he tradiction, as a man modest, blameless, and is very far from having what his master had. pious; who bore narrowness of fortune without Those asperities, therefore, that are venerable discontent, and tedious and painful maladies in the “Paradise Lost,” are contemptible in the without impatience ; beloved by those that knew “ Blenheim.” him, but not ambitious to be known. He was There is a Latin ode written to his patron, probably not formed for a wide circle. His con- St. John, in return for a present of wine and versation is commended for its innocent gayety, tobacco, which cannot be passed without notice. which seems to have flowed only among his in- It is gay and elegant, and exhibits several artful limates; for I have been told that he was in accommodations of classic expressions to new company silent and barren, and employed only purposes. It seems better turned than the ode upon the pleasure of his pipe. His addiction to of Hannes.* tobacco is mentioned by one of his biographers, To the poem on “Cider," written in imitation who remarks, that in all his writings, except of the “Georgics,” may be given this peculiar “ Blenheim,” he has found an opportunity of praise, that it is grounded in truth; that the precelebrating the fragrant fume. In common life he was probably one of those who please by not *This ode I am willing to mention, because there offending, and whose person was loved because seems to be an error in all the printed copies, which is, I his writings were admired. He died honoured think, retained in the last. They all read: and lamented, before any part of his reputation

Quam Gratiarum cura decentium had withered, and before his patron St. John

0!0! labellis cui Venus insidet. had disgraced him.

The author probably wrote, His works are few. The “Splendid Shilling”

Quam Gratiarum cura decentium has the uncommon merit of an original design,

Ornat; labellis cui Venus insidel.-Dr. J.

Hannes was professor of chemistry at Oxford, and wrote unless it may be thought precluded by the an- one or two poems in the " Musæ Anglicanæ.'. B.

cepts which it contains are exact and just ; and in this point; not a learned man nor a poet can that it is therefore, at once, a book of entertain-die, bui all Europe must be acquainted with ment and of science. This I was told by Miller, his accomplishments. They give praise and the great gardener and botanist, whose expres- expect it in their turns; they commend their sion was, that "there were many books written Patnis and Molieres, as well as their Condés and on the same subject in prose, which do not con- Turennes; thcir Pellisons and Racines have tain so much truth as that poem."

their eulogies, as well as the Prince whom they In the disposition of his matter, so as to inter- celebrate; and their poems, their mercuries, and sperse precepts relating to the culture of trees orations, nay, their very gazettes, are filled with with sentiments more generally alluring, and in the praises of the learned. easy and graceful transitions from one subject “I am satisfied, had they a Philips among to another, he has very diligently imitated his them, and known how to value him; had they master ; but he unhappily pleased himself with one of his learning, his temper, but above all of blank verse, and supposed that the numbers of that particular turn of humour, that altogether Milton, which impress the mind with veneration, new genius, he had been an example to their combined as they are with subjects of incon- poets, and a subject of their panegyrics, and ceivable grandeur, could be sustained by in- perhaps set in competition with the ancients, to ages, which, at most

, can rise only to elegance. whom only he ought to submit. Contending angels may shake the regions of " I shall therefore endeavour to do justice to heaven in blank verse: but the flow of equal his memory, since nobody else undertakes it. measures, and the embellishment of rhyme, And indeed I can assign no cause why so many must recommend to our attention the art of en-of his acquaintance (that are as willing and more grafting, and decide the merit of the redstreak able than myself to give an account of him) and pearmain.

should forbear to celebrate the memory of one What study could confer, Philips had obtain- so dear to them, but only that they look upon it ed : but natural deficiency cannot be supplied. as a work entirely belonging to me. He seems not born to greatness and elevation. “I shall content myself with giving only a He is never lofty, nor does he often surprise character of the person and his writings, withwith unexpected excellence; but, perhaps, to his out meddling with the transactions of his life, last poem may be applied what Tully said of the which was altogether private. I shall only maké work of Lucretius, that it is written with much this known observation of his family, that there art, though with few blazes of genius.

was scarcely so many extraordinary men in any one.

I have been acquainted with five of The following fragment written by Edmund his brothers (of which three are still living), all

Smith, upon the works of Philips, has been men of fine parts, yet all of a very unlike temper transcribed from the Bodleian manuscripts. and genius.' So that their fruitful mother, like

the mother of the gods, seems to have produced "A Prefatory Discourse to the poem on Mr. a numerous offspring,' all of different though Philips, with a character of his writings. uncommon faculties.

of the living, neither

their modesty, nor the humour of the present “It is altogether as equitable some account age, permits me to speak : of the dead, I may should be given of those who have distinguished say something. themselves by their writings, as of those who "One of them had made the greatest progress are renowned for great actions. It is but rea- in the study of the law of nature and nations sonable they, who contribute so much to the of any one I know. He had perfectly mastered, immortality of others, should have some share and even improved, the notions of Grotius, and in it themselves; and since their genius only is the more refined ones of Puffendorf. He could discovered by their works, it is just that their refule Hobbes with as much solidity as some of virtues should be recorded by their friends. For greater name, and expose him with as much no modest men (as the person I write of was in wit as Echard. Thai noble study which reperfection) will write their own penegyrics ; and quires the greatest reach of reason and nicety of it is very hard that they should go without repu- distinction, was not at all difficult to him. Cation, only because they the more deserve it. 'Twas a national loss to be deprived of one who The end of writing lives is for the imitation of understood a science so necessary, and yet so the readers. It will be in the power of very unknown in England. I shall add only, he few to imitate the Duke of Marlborough ; we had the same honesty and sincerity as the permust be content with admiring his great qualities son I write of, but more heat; the former was and actions, without hopes of following them. more inclined to argue, the latter to divert; one The private and social virtues are more easily employed his reason more, the other his imatranseribed. The life of Cowley is more instruc- gination: the former had been well qualified tive, as well as more fine, than any we have in for those posts, which the modesty of the latter our language. And it is to be wished, since made him refuse. His other dead brother would Mr. Philips had so many of the good qualities of have been an ornament to the College of which that poet, that I had some of the abilities of his he was a member. He had a genius either for historian.

poetry or oratory; and, though very young, "The Grecizii philosophers have had their composed several very agreeablc pieces. In ali lives written, their morals commended, and their probability he would have written as finely as sayings recorded. Mr. Philips had all the his brother did nobly. He might have been the virves to which most of them only pretended, Waller, as the other was the Milton of his time. and all their integrity without any of their affec- | The one might celebrate Marlborough, the tation.

other his beautiful offspring. This had not been * The French are very just to eminent men so fit to describe the actions of heroes as the

in

virtues of private men. In a word, he had been subject, or a great subject from the style. It fitter for my place; and while his brother was pleases the more universally, because it is agreewriting upon the greatest men that any age ever able to the taste both of the grave and the merry: produced, in a style equal to them, he might but more particularly so to those who have a re have served as a panegyrist on him,

lish of the best writers, and the noblest sort of “ This is all I think necessary to say of his poetry. I shall produce only one passage out of family. I shall proceed to himself and his writ- this Poet, which is the misfortune of his galli ings; which I shall first treat of, because I know gaskins: they are censured by some out of envy, and My galligaskins, which have long withstood more out of ignorance.

The winter's fury and encroaching frosts, “ The 'Splendid Shilling,' which is far the By time subdu'd (what will not time subdue !) least considerable, has the more general reputa- This is admirably pathetical, and shows very Lion, and perhaps hinders the character of the well the vicissitudes of sublunary things. The rest. The style agreed so well with the bur- rest goes on to a prodigious height; and a man lesque, that the ignorant thought it could be in Greenland could hardly have made a more come nothing else. Every body is pleased with pathetic and terrible complaint. Is it not surthat work. But to judge rightly of the other prising that the subject should be so mean, and requires a perfect mastery of poetry and criti- the verse so pompous, that the least things in cism, a just contempt of the little turns and wit- his poetry, as a microscope, should grow ticisms now in vogue, and, above all, a perfect great and formidable to the eye; especially conunderstanding of poetical diction and descrip- sidering that, not understanding French, he had tion.

no model for his style ? that he should have no “ All that have any taste for poetry will agree, writer to imitate, and himself be inimitable ? that that the great burlesque is much to be preferred he should do all this before he was twenty; at to the low. It is much easier to make a great an age which is usually pleased with a glare of thing appear little, than a little one great: Cot- false thoughts, little turns, and unnatural fuston and others of a very low genius have done tian? at an age, at which Cowley, Dryden, and the former : but Philips, Garth, and Boileau, I had almost said Virgil, were inconsiderable; only the latter.

so soon was his imagination at its full strength, “A picture in miniature is every painter's his judgment ripe, and bis humour complete. talent; but a piece for a cupola, where all the “This poem was written for his own diversion, figures are enlarged, yet proportioned to the eye, without any design of publication. It was comrequires a master's hand.

municated but to me; but soon spread, and fell It must still be more acceptable than the into the hands of pirates. It was put out, vilely, low burlesque, because the images of the latter mangled by Ben Bragge; and impudently said are mean and filthy, and the language itself en- to be corrected by the author. This grievance is tirely unknown to all men of good breeding. now grown more epidemical ; and no man now The style of Billingsgate would not make a very has a right to his own thoughts, or a title to his agreeable figure at St. James's. A gentleman own writings. Xenophon answered the Persian would take but little pleasure in language which who demanded bis arms, We have nothing he would think it hard to be accosted in, or in now left but our arins and our valour: if we reading words which he could not pronounce surrender the one, how shall we make use of the without blushing: The lofty burlesque is the other ?' Poets have nothing but their wits and more to be admired, because, to write it, the their writings; and if they are plandered of the author must be master of two of the most dif- latter, I don't see what good the former can do ferent talents in nature. A talent to find out them. To pirate, and publicly own it, to prefix and expose what is ridiculous, is very different their names to the works they steal, to own and from that which is to raise and elevate. We avow the theft, I believe, was never yet heard of must read Virgil and Milton for the one, and but in England. It will sound oddly to posterity, Horace and Hudibras for the other. We know that, in a polite nation, in an enlightened age, that the authors of excellent comedies have often under the direction of the most wise, most leamfailed in the grave style, and the tragedian as ed, and most generous encouragers of knowoften in comedy. Admiration and laughter are ledge in the world, the property of a mechanic of such opposite natures, that they are seldom should be better secured than that of a scholar! created by the same person. The man of mirth that the poorest manual operations should be is always observing the follies and weaknesses, more valued than the noblest products of the the serious writer the virtues or crites, of man- brain! that it should be felony to rob a cobbler kind; one is pleased with contemplating a beau, of a pair of shoes, and no crime to deprive the the other a hero; even from the same object best author of his whole subsistence ; that nothey would draw different ideas : Achilles would thing should make a man a sure title to his own appear in very different lights to Thersites and writings but the stupidity of them! that the Alexander ; the one would admire the courage works of Dryden should meet with less encou and greatness of his soul ; the other would ridi- ragement than those of his own Flecknoe or cule the vanity and rashness of his temper. As Blackmore! that Tillotson and St. George, Tom the satirist says to Hannibal :

Thumb and Temple, should be set on an equal -I, curre per Alpes,

footing! This is the reason why this very paper {" pueris placeas, et declamatio fias

has been so long delayed; and, while the most im

pudent and scandalous libels are publicly vend. “The contrariety of style to the subject pleases ed by the pirates, this innocent work is forced to the more strongly, because it is more surprising; steal

abroad as if it were a libel. the expectation of the reader is pleasantly de- “Our present writers are by these wretches ceived, who expects an humble style from the reduced to the same condition Virgil was, when

the centurion seizod on his estate. But I don't “False critics have been the plague of all doubt but I can fix upon the Mæcenas of the ages: Milton himself, in a very polite court, has present age, that will retrieve them from it. been compared to the rumbling of a wheelbarBut, whatever effects this piracy may have upon row: he had been on the wrong side, and thereus, it contributed very much to the advantage of fore could not be a good poet. And this, perMr. Philips ; it helped him to a reputation which haps, may be Mr. Philips's case. he neither desired nor expected, and to the ho- * But I take generally the ignorance of his nour of being put upon a work of which he did readers to be the occasion of their dislike. not think himself capable: but the event show. People that have formed their taste upon the ed his modesty. And it was reasonable to hope, French writers can have no relish for Philips; that he, who could raise mean subjects so high, they admire points and turns, and consequentlý should still be more elevated on greater themes; have no judgment of what is great and majesthat he, that could draw such noble ideas from a tic; he must look little in their eyes, when he shilling, could not fail upon such a subject as soars so high as to be almost out of their view. the Duke of Marlborough, which is capable of I cannot therefore allow any admirer of the heightening even the most low and trifling French to be a judge of Blenheim,' nor any genius. And, indeed, most of the great works who takes Bouhours for a complete critic. He which have been produced in the world have generally judges of the ancients by the moderns, been owing less to the poet than the patron. and not the moderns by the ancients; he takes Men of the greatest genius are sometimes lazy, those passages of their own authors to be really and want a spur ; often modest, and dare not sublime which come the nearest to it; he often venture in public; they certainly know their calls that a noble and a great thought which is faults in the worst things; and even their best only a pretty and a fine one; and has more inthings they are not fond of, because the idea of stances of the sublime out of Ovid de Tristiwhat they ought to be is far above what they bus,' than he has out of all Virgil. are. This induced me to believe that Virgil de- “I shall allow, therefore, only those to be sired his works might be burned, had not the judges of Philips, who make the ancients, and same Augustus, that desired him to write them, particularly Virgil, their standard. preserved them from destruction. A scribbling “But before I enter on this subject, I shall beau may imagine a poet may be induced to consider what is particular in the style of Philips, write, by the very pleasure he finds in writing; and examine what ought to be the style of heroic but that is seldom, when people are necessitated poetry; and next inquire how far he has come to it. I have known men row, and use very up to that style. hard labour for diversion, which, if they had been “His style is particular, because he lays aside tied to, they would have thought themselves rhyme, and writes in blank verse, and uses old very unhappy.

words, and frequently postpones the adjective to But to return to 'Blenheim,' that work so the substantive, and the substantive to the verb; much admired by some, and censured by others. and leaves out little particles, a and the ; her, I have often wished he had wrote it in Latin, and his; and uses frequent appositions. Now that he might be out of the reach of the empty let us examine whether these alterations of style critic, who could have as little understood his be conformable to the true sublime.” meaning in that language as they do his beauties * in nis own.

WA LSH.

WILLIAM Walsh, the son of Joseph Walsh, tleman of the horse to Queen Anne, under the Esq., of Abberley, in Worcestershire, was born Duke of Somerset. in 1663, as appears from the account of Wood, Some of his verses show him to have been a who relates that at the age of fifteen he became, zealous friend to the Revolution ; but his poin 1678, a gentleman commoner of Wadham litical ardour did not abate his reverence or College.

kindness for Dryden, to whom he gave a disHe left the University without a degree, and sertation on Virgil's “Pastorals,” in which, pursued his studies in London and at home; however studied, he discovers some ignorance that he studied, in whatever place, is apparent of the laws of French versification. from its effect, for he became in Mr. Dryden's In 1705, he began to correspond with Mr. opinion the best critic in the nation.

Pope, in whom he discovered very early the He was not, however, merely a critic or a power of poetry. Their letters are wntten upon echolar, but a man of fashion; and, as Dennis the pastoral comedy of the Italians, and those reroarks, ostentatiously splendid in his dress. pastorals which Pope was then preparing to He was likewise a member of parliament and a publish. courtier, knight of the shire for his native county The kindnesses which are first experienced in several parliaments; in another the repre- are seldom forgotten. Pope always retained a malalive of Richmond in Yorkshire; and gen- grateful memory of Walsh's notice, and men

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