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LIFE

OF

ROBERT LLOYD, A. 11.

The Memoirs of this Author have already been so ably delineated by a former Editor, prefixed to his Works, published in two volumes octavo, in the year 1774, and the principal occurrences thereof are again so accurately detailed by the ingenuous Editor of the recent edition of the Works of Churchill*, his Friend and Contemporary, that the Editor of the present Edition (which is compressed into one volume, by the omission of his translations, &c.) makes no apology for selecting such parts of both the above Biographers as may serve to illustrate the chatacter of a Poet, on whom the just meed of praise has been but scantily bestowed, altho’ it appears by Mr. Hayley's Life of Cowper, that the celebrated author of “ The Task” was one of his most early admirers and friends, and commiserated very feelingly those misfortunes which tended to shorten his life.

* In two volumes large octavo with explanatory Notes, printed for C. Baldwin, which (together with the scarcity of Lloyd's Poems) first suggested the idea of reprinting them.

Mr. Robert Lloyd was the son of the Rev. Dr. Lloyd, Second-master of Westminster School; by whom he was so early initiated in the classics, that his fertile genius soon became pregnant with the stores of Greek and Roman literature. Thus qualified, he repaired, at a proper age, from Westminster to Oxford; where he pursued his studies, and made such an occasional display of his genius, as to reflect no little credit on his tutorage, if not some honour on the University ; which in due time conferred on him the degree of Master of Arts.

From Oxford Mr. Lloyd returned to Westminster School, in which he for some time assisted his father, as an usher in that learned seminary. With this situation, the duties of which he was particularly well qualified to discharge, he appears, nevertheless, to have been highly dissatisfied, as is candidly evinced in his introductory Apology for publishing his Works.

It is more than probable, however, that this impatience of restraint and disgust at scholastic confinement, were heightened by the Author's intimacy with bis fellow collegians, those excentric geniuses Messrs. Churchill, Thornton, and Bensley; whose congenial talents and disposition might serve to encourage each other in the pursuit of such youthful amusements, as insensibly betrayed them into a liberality of life and co!versation, which the prudential part of the world perhaps too severely condemned.

The first performance which established Mr. Lloyd's reputation as a poet, and of course rendered him respectable in the literary world, was the Actor*, addressed to his then intimate and liberal friend Mr. Thornton. This is one of his best productions; in which he passes very high encomiums both on Mr. Garrick and Mr. Thornton; displaying, as on many other occasions,a strong attachment and most friendly regard for both.

It is supposed that the reputation Mr. Lloyd acquired by this Poem, first stimulated his friend Churchill to enter the lists of poetical fame, and write his celebrated Rosciad, in which the superiority in force of numbers and power of imagery, appeared so greatly on the side of his friend, that Mr. Lloyd, with the modesty becoming real genius, and the complacency of a disposition untainted by envy, joined the rest of his admirers, in the unlimited applause bestowed on that eminent Poet. -For which see page 238.

This ingenuous concession on the part of Mr. Lloyd, appears to have so far endeared him to Churchill, that they were inseparable, one sentiment governing the minds, and one purse administering to the wants of both.

The late John Wilkes, Esqot speaking of Mr.

* The Actor is one of the most pleasing and scientific essays upon theatrical representation in general that has ever been written, and we should be guilty of an act of injustice towards the author of it, were we not here to mention, what escaped our notice in its proper place, that Mr. Sheridan, in his Monody on the Death of Garrick, has freely borrowed from the concluding lines of the Actor :-" Yet hapless artist ! &c.” Vide Life of Churchill, p. xxii.

+ The Poem of the New River Head, inscribed to John Wilkes, Esq. had originally an introductory address to that gentleman, tinctured with a degree of levity (not to say obscenity) that rendered it improper for general perusal, altho' the facetious Author endeavoured to justify himself therein,

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