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excited by the use of mince-pies and plum-por The diction of this poem is grossly familiar ridge; nor seen with what abhorrence those, who and the numbers purposely neglected, except in could eat them at all other times of the year, a few places where the thoughts by their native would shrink from them in December. An old excellence secure themselves from violation, being puritan, who was alive in my childhood, being at such as mean language cannot express. The one of the feasts of the church invited by a neigh- mode of versification has been blamed by Drybour to partake his cheer, told him, that if he den, who regrets that the heroic measure was not would treat him at an alehouse with beer brewed rather chosen. To the critical sentence of Dryden for all times and seasons, he should accept his the highest reverence would be due, were not his kindness, but would have none of his supersti- decisions often precipitate, and his opinions imtious meats or drinks.

When he wished to change the meaOne of the puritanical tenets was the illegality sure, he probably would have been willing to of all games of chance; and he that reads Gata- change more. If he intended that, when the ker upon Lots may see how much learning and numbers were heroic, the diction should still rereason one of the first scholars of his age thought main vulgar, he planned a very heterogeneous and necessary, to prove that it was no crime to throw unnatural composition. If he preferred a general a die, or play at cards, or to hide a shilling for the stateliness both of sound and words, he can be reckoning.

only understood to wish Butler had undertaken a Astrology, however, against which so much of different work. the satire is directed, was not more the folly of The measure is quick, sprightly, and colloquia., the puritans than of others. It had in that time suitable to the vulgarity of the words and the a very extensive dominion. Its predictions raised levity of the sentiments. But such numbers and hopes and fears in minds which ought to have such diction can gain regard only when they are rejected it with contempt. In hazardous under- used by a writer whose vigour of fancy and cotakings care was taken to begin under the influ- piousness of knowledge entitle him to contempt ence of a propitious planet; and, when the King of ornaments, and who, in consequence of the was prisoner in Carisbrook Castle, an astrologer novelty and justness of his conceptions, can afford was consulted what hour would be found most to throw metaphors and epithets away. To anfavourable to an escape.

other that conveys common thoughts in careless What effect this poem had upon the public, versification, it will only be said, Pauper videri whether it shamed imposture, or reclaimed credu- Cinna vult, et est pauper. The meaning and lity, is not easily determined. Cheats can seldom diction will be worthy of each other, and cristand long against laughter. It is certain that the ticism may justly doom them to perish togecredit of planetary intelligence wore fast away; ther. though some men of knowledge, and Dryden Nor, even though another Butler should arise, among them, continued to believe that conjunc- would another “Hudibras" obtain the same retions and oppositions had a great part in the dis- gard. Burlesque consists in a disproportion betribution of good or evil, and in the government tween the style and the sentiments, or between of sublunary things.

the adventitious sentiments and the fundamental Poetical action ought to be probable upon cer- subject. It, therefore, like all bodies compounded tain suppositions ; and such probability as bur- of heterogeneous parts, contains in it a principle lesque requires is here violated only by one inci- of corruption. All disproportion is unnatural. dent. Nothing can show more plainly the neces- and from what is unnatural we can derive only sity of doing something, and the difficulty of find the pleasure which novelty produces. We ad. ing something to do, than that Butler was reduced mire it awhile as a strange thing; but when it is to transfer to his hero the flagellation of Sancho, no longer strange, we perceive its deformity. It not the most agreeable fiction of Cervantes; very is a kind of artifice, which by frequent repetition suitable indeed to the manners of that age and detects itself: and the reader, learning in time nation, which ascribed wonderful efficacy to vo- what he is to expect, lays down his book, as the luntary penances ; but so remote from the prac spectator turns away from a second exhibition of lice and opinions of the Hudibrastic time, that those tricks, of which the only use is to show that judgment and imagination are alike offended. they can be played.


JOHN Wilmot, afterwards Earl of Rochester, He travelled afterwards into France and Italy; the son of Henry, Earl of Rochester, better known and at his return devoted himself to the court. by the title of Lord Wilmot, so often mentioned In 1665, he went to sea with Sandwich, and disin Clarendon's History, was born April 10, 1647, tinguished himself at Bergen, by uncommon inat Ditchley, in Oxfordshire. After a grammatical trepidity; and the next summer served again on education at the school of Burford, he entered a board Sir Edward Spragge, who, in the heat of nobleman into Wadham College, in 1659, only the engagement, having a message of reproof to twelve years old; and in 1661, at fourteen, was, send to one of his captains, could find no man with some other persons of high rank, 'made ready to carry it but Wilmot, who, in an open master of arts by Lord Clarendon in person. boat, went and returned amidst the storm of shot

But his reputation for bravery was not lasting; He died, July 26, 1630, before he had comhe was reproached with slinking away in street pleted his thirty-fourth year; and was so worn quarrels, and leaving his companions to shift as away by a long illness, that life went out without they could without him; and Sheffield, Duke of a struggle. Buckingham, has left a story of his refusal to Lord Rochester was eminent for the vigour of fight him.

his colloquial wit, and remarkable for many wild He had very early an inclination to intemper- pranks and sallies of extravagance. The glare ance, which he totally subdued in his travels; of his general character diffused itself upon his but, when he became a courtier, he unhappily writings; the compositions of a man whose name addicted himself to dissolute and vicious com was heard so often were certain of attention, and pany, by which his principles were corrupted, and from many readers certain of applause. This his manners depraved. He lost all sense of re- blaze of reputation is not yet quite extinguished; ligious restraint, and, finding it not convenient to and his poetry still retains some splendour beadmit the authority of laws, which he was re- yond that which genius has bestowed. solved not to obey, sheltered bis wickedness be Wood and Burnet give us reason to believe, hind infidelity:

that much was imputed to him which he did not As he excelled in that noisy and licentious mer- write. I know not by whom the original collecriment which wine excites, his companions eagerly tion was made, or by what authority its genuineencouraged him in excess, and he willingly in ness was ascertained. The first edition was pubdulged it; till, as he confessed to Dr. Burnet, he lished in the year of his death, with an air of conwas for five years together continually drunk, or cealment, professing in the title-page to be printed 80 much inflamed by frequent ebriety, as in no at Antwerp interval to be master of himself.

Of some of the pieces, however, there is no In this state he played many frolics, which it is doubt. The imitation of Horace's satire, the not for his honour that we should remember, and verses to Lord Mulgrave, satire against Man, the which are not now distinctly known. He often verses upon"“Nothing,” and perhaps some others, pursued low amours in mean disguises, and always are I believe genuine, and perhaps most of those acted with great exactness and dexterity the cha- which the collection exhibits.* racters which he assumed.

As he cannot be supposed to have found leisure He once erected a stage on Tower-hill, and for any course of continued study, his pieces are harangued the populace as a mountebank; and, commonly short, such as one fit of resolution having made physic part of his study, is said to would produce. have practised it successfully.

His songs have no particular character; they He was so much in favour with King Charles, tell, like other songs, in smooth and easy language, that he was made one of the gentlemen of the of scorn and kindness, dismission and desertion, bed-chamber, and comptroller of Woodstock absence and inconstancy, with the common-places Park.

of artificial courtship. They are commonly smooth Having an active and inquisitive mind, he and easy; but have little nature, and little sentinever, except in his paroxysms of intemperance, was wholly negligent of study; he read what is His imitation of Horace on Lucilius is not inconsidered as polite learning so much, that he is elegant, or unhappy. In the reign of Charles the mentioned by Wood, as the greatest scholar of all Second, began that adaption, which has since the nobility. Sometimes he retired into the coun- been very frequent, of ancient poetry to present try, and amused himself with writing libels, in times; and perhaps few will be found where the which he did not pretend to confine himself to parallelism is better preserved than in this. The truth.

versification is indeed sometimes careless, but it His favourite author in French was Boileau, is sometimes vigorous and weighty. and in English, Cowley.

The strongest effort of his Muse is his poem Thus in a course of drunken gayety, and gross upon “ Nothing." He is not the first who has sensuality, with intervals of study perhaps yet chosen this barren topic for the boast of his fermore criminal, with an avowed contempt of all tility. There is a poem called “Nihil,” in Latin, decency and order, a total disregard of every by Passerat, a poet and critic of the sixteenth moral, and a resolute denial of every religious century, in France; who, in his own epitaph, exobligation, he lived worthless and useless, and presses his zeal for good poetry thus :blazed out his youth and his health in lavish

-Molliter ossa quiescent, voluptuousness; till, at the age of one-and-thirty, Sint modo carminibus non onerata malis. he had exhausted the fund of life, and reduced himself to a state of weakness and decay.

His works are not common, and therefore I At this time he was led to an acquaintance

shall subjoin his verses. with Dr. Burnet, to whom he laid open with great must be considered as having not only a negative,

In examining this performance, “ Nothing" freedom the

tenor of his opinions, and the course but a kind of positive signification; as, I need not of his life, and from whom he received such con- fear thieves ; 1 have noihing; and nothing is a viction of the reasonableness of moral duty, and the truth of Christianity, as produced a total very powerful protector. In the first part of the change both of his manners and opinions. The sentence it is taken negatively, in the second it is account of those salutary conferences is given taken positively, as an agent." In one of Boileau's by Burnet, in a book entitled, “Some Passages of the Life and Death of John, Earl of Rochester," Dr. Johnson has made no mention of “ Valen. which the critic ought to read for its elegance, the tinian," (altered from Beaumont and Fletcher,) which philosopher for its arguments, and the saint for was published after his death, by a friend, who describes its piety. It were an injury to the reader to offer geniuses, but one of the most virtuous men that ever him an abridgment.

existed.-J. B.



lines it was a question, whether he should use

POEMA à rien faire, or à ne rien faire; and the first was

C1. V. JOANNIS PASSERATII, preferred, because it gave rien a sense in some

Regii in Academia Parisiensi Prof.ssoris, sort positive. Nothing can be a subject only in its positive sense, and such a sense is given it in the first line:

Janus adest, festæ poscunt sua dona Kalenda,

Munus abest festis quod possim offerre Kalendis.
Nothing, thou elder brother ev'n to shade.

Siccine Castalius nobis exaruit humor?

Usque adeo ingenii nostri est exhausta facultas, In this line, I know not whether he does not Immunern ut videat redeuntis janitor anni? allude to a curious book, “ De Umbra,” by Quod nusquam est, potius nova per vestigia quæram. Wowerus, which having told the qualities of

Ecce autem partes dum sese versat in omnes

Invenit mea Musa nihil, ne despice munus. shade, concludes with a poem in which are these Nam nihil est gemmis, nihil est pretiosius auro. lines :

Huc animum, hue igitur vultus adverle benignos

Res nova narratur quce nulli audita priorum, Jam primum terram validis circumspice claustris

Ausonii et Graji dixerunt cætera vales, Suspensam totam, decus admirabile mundi

Ausoniæ indictum nihil est Græcæque Camænæ. Terrasque tractusque maris, camposque liquentes

E cælo quacunque Ceres sua prospicit arva Æris et vasti laqueata palatia cæli

Aut genitor liquidis orbem complectitur ulnis Omnibus Umbra prior.

Oceanus, nihil interitus et originis expers.

Immortale nihil, nihil omni parte beanum. The positive sense is generally preserved with Quod si hinc majestas et vis divina probatur, great skill through the whole poem; though, Conspectu lucis nihil est jucundius aime,

Num quid honore deum, num quid dignabimur aris? sometimes, in a subordinate sense, the negative Vere nihil, nihil irriguo formosius horio, nothing is injudiciously mingled. Passerat con Floridius pratis, Zephyri clementius aura; founds the two senses.

In bello sanctum nihil est, Maruisque tumultu : Another of his most vigorous pieces is his lam- Felix cui nihil est, (fuerant hæc vota Tibullo,)

Justum in pace nihil, nihil est in fædere tulum. poon on Sir Car Scrope, who, in a poem called Non timet insidias : fures, incendia temuit : # The Praise of Satire,” had some lines like solicitas sequitur nullo sub judice lises. these:*

Ille ipse invictis qui subjicit omnia fatis

Zenonis sapiens, nihil admiratur et opitat.
He who can push into a midnight fray

Socraticique gregis fuit ista scientia quondam,

Scire nihil, studio cui nunc incumbitur uni.
His brave companion, and then run away, Nec quicquam in ludo mavult didicisse juventus,
Leaving him to be murder'd in the street,

Ad magnas quia ducit opes, et culmen honorum.
Then put it off with some buffoon conceit:

Nosce nhil, nosces fertur quod Pythagoreæ
Him, ihus dishonour'd, for a wit you own,

Grano hærere fabze, cui vox adjuncta negantis.
And court him as top fiddler of the town.

Multi Mercurio freti duce viscera terræ

Pura liquefaciunt simul, et pauimonia miscent, This was meant of Rochester, whose buffoon Arcano instantes operi, et carbonibus atris, onceit was, I suppose, a saying often mentioned, Qui tandem exhausti damnis, fractique labore, that every man would be a coward if he durst ; and Inveniunt atque inventum nihil usque requirunt. drew from him those furious verses ; to which Nec numeret Libycæ numerum qui callet arenæ : Scrope made in reply an epigram, ending with Et Phæbo ignotum nihil est, nihil altius astris. these lines:

Tuque, tibi licet eximium sit mentis acumen,

Omnem in naturam penetrans, et in abdita rerum, Thou canst hurt no man's fame with thy ill word;

Pace tua, Memmi, nihil ignorare videris. Thy pen is full as harmless as thy sword.

Sole tamen nihil est, a puro clarius igne.

Tange nihil, dicesque nihil sine corpore tangi. Of the satire against “Man," Rochester can

Cerne nihil, cerni dices nihil absque colore.

Surdum audit loquiturque nihil sine voce, volatque only claim what remains when all Boileau's part Absque ope pennarum, et graditur sine cruribus ullis. is taken away.

Absque loco motuque nihil per inane vagatur. In all his works there is sprightliness and vigour, Ne rhombos, igitur, neu Thessala murmura tentet

Humano generi utilius nihil arte medendi. and every where may be found tokens of a mind Idalia vacuum trajectus arundine pectus, which study might have carried to excellence. Neu legat Idæo Diccæum in vertice gramen What more can be expected from a life spent in Vulneribus sævi nihil auxiliator amoris. ostentatious contempt of regularity, and ended Vexerit et quemvis trans mæstas portitor undas, before the abilities of many other men began to

Ad superos imo nihil hunc revocabit ab orco.

Inferni nihil inflectit præcordia regis. be displayed.

Parcarumque colos, et inexorabile pensum.
Obruta Phlegræis campis Titania pubes
Fulmineo sensit nihil esse potentius ictu :

Porrigitur magni nihil extra mornia mundi: * I quote from memory.--Dr. J.

Diique nihil metuunt. Quid longo carmine plura + The late George Stephens, Esq. made the selection Commemorem?

Virtute nihil præstantius ipsa, of Rochester's Poems, which appears in Dr. Johnson's Sple ius nihil est; nihil est Jove denique majus edition ; but Mr. Malone observes, that the same task Sed tempus finem argutis imponere nugis had been performed in the early part of the last century, Nc ubi si multa laudem mea carmina charta, by Jacob Tonson.-C.

De nihilo nihili pariant fastidia versus


WentwORTH Dillon, Earl of Roscommon, better evidence of a fact cannot easily be found was the son of James Dillon, and Elizabeth than is here offered; and it must be by preserving Wentworth, sister to the Earl of Strafford. He such relations that we may at last judge how was born in Ireland* during the lieutenancy of much they are to be regarded. If we stay to Strafford, who being both his uncle and his god- examine this account, we shall see difficulties father, gave him his own surname. His father, on both sides ; here is the relation of a fact given the third Earl of Roscommon, had been con- by a man who had no interest to deceive, and verted by Usher to the protestant religion ;t who could not be deceived himself; and here is, and when the popish rebellion broke out, Straf- on the other hand, a miracle which produces no ford, thinking the family in great danger from effect; the order of nature is interrupted, to disthe fury of the Irish, sent for his godson, and cover not a future but only a distant event, the placed him at his own seat in Yorkshire, where knowledge of which is of no use to him to whom he was instructed in Latin ; which he learned it is revealed. Between these difficulties what so as to write it with purity and elegance, way shall be found ? Is reason or testimony to though he was never able to retain the rules of be rejected ? I believe what Osborne says of an grammar.

appearance of sanctity may be applied to such Such is the account given by Mr. Fenton, impulses or anticipations as this : “Do not from whose notes on Waller most of this ac- wholly slight them, because they may be true ; count must be borrowed, though I know not but do not wholly trust them, because they may whether all that he relates is certain. The in- be false." structor whom he assigns to Roscommon, is one The state both of England and Ireland was Dr. Hall, by whom he cannot mean the famous at this time such, that he who was absent from Hall, then an old man and a bishop.

either country had very little temptation to return; When the storm broke out upon Strafford, and therefore Roscommon, when he left Caen, his house was a shelter no longer; and Dillon, travelled into Italy, and amused himself with by the advice of Usher, was sent to Caen, where its antiquities, and particularly with medals, in the protestants had then a university, and con- which he acquired uncommon skill. tinued his studies under Bochart.

At the Restoration, with the other friends of Young Dillon, who was sent to study under monarchy, he came to England, was made capBochart, and who is represented as having al- tain of the band of pensioners, and learned so ready made great proficiency in literature, could much of the dissoluteness of the court, that he not be more than nine years old. Strafford addicted himself immoderately to gaming, by went to govern Ireland in 1633, and was put to which he was engaged in frequent quarrels, and death eight years afterwards. That he was which undoubtedly brought upon him its usual sent to Caen is certain ; that he was a great concomitants, extravagance and distress. scholar may be doubted.

After some time, a dispute about part of his At Caen he is said to have had some preter- estate forced him into Ireland, where he was natural intelligence of his father's death. made by the Duke of Ormond captain of the

“ The Lord Roscommon, being a boy of ten guards, and met with an adventure thus related years of age, at Caen, in Normandy, one day by Fenton :was, as it were, madly extravagant in playing, “He was at Dublin as much as ever distemleaping, getting over the tables, boards, &c. He pered with the same fatal affection for play, was wont to be sober enough, they said, God which engaged him in one adventure that well grant this bodes no iH-luck to him ! In the heat deserves to be related. As he returned to his of this extravagant fit he cries out, “My father lodgings from a gaming-table, he was attacked is dead!' A fortnight after, news came from in the dark by three ruffians, who were employed [reland that his father was dead. This account to assassinate him. The Earl defended himself I had from Mr. Knolles, who was his governor, with so much resolution, that he despatched one and then with him-since secretary to the Earl of the aggressors : whilst a gentleman, accidentof Strafford; and I have heard his Lordship's ally passing that way, interposed, and disarmed relations confirm the same.”—AUBREY's Mis- another : the third secured himself by flight. CZLLANY.

This generous assistant was a disbanded officer, The present age is very little inclined to fa- of a good family and fair reputation ; who, by vour any accounts of this kind, nor will the what we call the partiality of fortune, to avoid name of Aubrey much recommend it to credit ; censuring the iniquities of the times, wanted it ought not, however, to be omitted, because even a plain suit of clothes to make a decent ap

pearance at the Castle. But his Lordship, on * The Biog. Britan. says, probably about the year 1632 ;

this occasion, presenting him to the Duke of but this is inconsistent with the date of Scrafford's vice Ormond, with great importunity prevailed with royally in the following page.--C.

his Grace, that he might resign his post of cap* It was his grandfather, Sir Robert Dillon, second tain of the guards to his friend; which for about Earl of Roscommon, who was converted from popery, three years the gentleman enjoyed, and, upon the first Earl of Roscommon, as one

of the grounds of his his death, the Duke returned the commission to creation.- Nalone.

| his generous benefactor,”

When he had finished his business, he returned | fervent devotion, two lines of his own version of to London : was made master of the horse to “ Dies Iræ :" the Dutchess of York; and married the Lady

My God, my Father, and my Friend, Frances, daughter to the Earl of Burlington, and

Do not forsake me in my end. widow of Colonel Courteney.*

He died in 1684, and was buried with great He now busied his mind with literary projects, and formed the plan for a society for refining

our pomp in Westminster Abbey. language and fixing its standard"; "in imitation,”

His poetical character is given by Mr. Fen

ton: says Fenton, “ of those learned and polite societies with which he had been acquainted abroad."

"In his writings,” says Fenton, “we view In this design his friend Dryden is said to have the image of a mind which was naturally seri

ous and solid; richly furnished and adorned assisted him. The same design, it is well known, was revi- disposed in the most regular and elegant order.

with all the ornaments of learning, unaffectedly ved by Dr. Swift in the ministry of Oxford ; but His imagination might have probably

been more it has never since been publicly mentioned, fruitful and sprightly, if his judgment had been though at that time great expectations were less severe. But that severity (delivered in a formed, by some, of its establishment and its masculine, clear, succinct style) contributed to effects. Such a society might, perhaps, without make him so eminent in the didactical manner, much difficulty, be collected; but that it would that no man, with justice, can affirm he was ever produce what is expected from it may be doubted.

The Italian academy seems to have obtained equalled by any of our nation, without confessits end. The language was refined, and so fixed ing at the same time that he is inferior to none.

In some other kinds of writing, his genius seems that it has changed but little. The French academy thought that they refined their language, fection ; but who can

attain it?"

to have wanted fire to attain the point of perand doubtless thought rightly; but the event has not shown that they fixed it; for the French who would not imagine that they had been dis

From this account of the riches of his mind, of the present time is very different from that of played in large volumes and numerous performthe last century. In this couniry an academy could be expected this character, be surprised to find that all the

ances? Who would not, after the perusal of to do but little. If an academician's place were profitable, it would be given by interest; if attend proofs of this genius, and knowledge, and

judgance were gratuitous, it would be rarely paid, ment, are not sufficient to form a single book, and no man would endure the least disgust

. the works of some other writer of the same

or to appear otherwise than in conjunction with Unanimity is impossible, and debate would se

petty size ?* But thus it is that characters are parate the assembly.

written : : we know somewhat, and we imagine But suppose the philological decree made and

the rest. The observation, that his imagination promulgated, what would be its authority? In would probably have been more fruitful and absolute governments, there is sometimes a ge- sprightly, if his judgment had been less severe, neral reverence paid to all that has the sanction may be answered by a remarker somewhat in. of power, and the countenance of greatness. clined to cavil, by a contrary supposition, that How little this is the state of our country needs his judgment would probably have been less senot be told. We live in an age in which it is kind of public sport to refuse all respect that vere, if his imagination had been more fruitful. cannot be enforced. The edicts of an English tion ; for it does not appear that men have

It is ridiculous to oppose judgment to imaginaacademy would probably be read by many, only necessarily less of one as they have more of the that they might be sure to disobey them.

other. That our language is in perpetual danger of corruption cannot be denied; but what preven- has not mentioned so distinctly as he ought, and

We must allow of Roscommon, what Fenton tion can be found? The present manners of the what is yet very much to his honour, that he is, nation would deride authority; and therefore perhaps, the only correct writer in verse before nothing is left but that every writer should criti- Addison : and that, if there are not so many or cise himself. All hopes of new literary institutions were of some contemporaries, there are at least fewer

so great beauties in his compositions as in those quickly suppressed by the contentious turbulence faults. Nor is this his highest praise ; for Mr. of King James's reign ; and Roscommon, fore Pope has celebrated him as the only moral wriseeing that some violent concussion of the state ter of King Charles' reign :was at hand, purposed to retire to Rome, alleging, that "it was best to sit near the chimney

Unhappy Dryden! in all Charles' days,

Roscommon only boasts unspotted lays. when the chamber smoked ;" a sentence, of

His great work is his “Essay on Translated which the application seems not very clear.

Verse;" of which Dryden writes thus in his preHis departure was delayed by the gout; and face to his “Miscellanies :”— he was so impatient, either of hinderance or of pain, that he submitted himself to a French em

“It was my Lord Roscommon's • Essay on piric, who is said to have repelled the disease

* They were published, together with those of Duke, into his bowels.

in an octavo volume, in 1717. The editor, whoever he At the moment which he expired, he uttered was, professes to have taken great care to procure and with an energy of voice that expressed the most insert of all his Lordship's poems that are truly

genuine. The truth of this assertion is flatly denied by the author of an account of Mr. John Pomfret, prefixed to his re.

mains; who asserts, that the Prospect of Death was writ. * He was married to Lady Frances Boyle, in April, ten by that person many years after Lord Roscommon's 1662. By this lady he had no issue. He married se decease; as, also, that the paraphrase of the Prayer of condly, 10th Nov. 1674, Isabella, daughter of Matthew Jeremy 'was written by a gentleman of the name of Boynton, of Barmston, in Yorkshire.--Malone. Southcourt, living in the year 1724.-H.

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