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Translated Verse,'” says Dryden," which made Having disentangled himself from the diffime uneasy, till I tried whether or no I was ca- culties of rhyme, he may justly be expected to pable of following his rules, and of reducing the give the sense of Horace with great exactness, speculation into practice. For many a fair pre- and to suppress no subtlety of sentiment for the cept in poetry is like a seeming demonstration difficulty of expressing it. This demand, howin mathematics, very specious in the diagram, ever, his translation will not satisfy; what he but failing in the mechanic operation. I think found obscure, I do not know that he has ever I have generally observed his instructions: I am cleared. sure my reason is sufficiently convinced, both of Among his smaller works the “ Eclogue of their truth and usefulness; which, in other Virgil” and the "Dies Iræ" are well translated; words, is to confess no less a vanity than to pre- though the best line in the “ Dies Irae” is bortend that I have, at least in some places, made rowed from Dryden. In return, succeeding examples to his rules.”

poets have borrowed from Roscommon. This declaration of Dryden will, I am afraid, In the verses on the Lap-dog, the pronouns be found little more than one of those cursory thou and you are offensively confounded; and civilities which one author pays to another; for the turn at the end is from Waller. when the sum of Lord Roscommon's precepts His versions of the two odes of Horace are is collected, it will not be easy to discover how made with great liberty, which is not recomthey can qualify their reader for a better per- pensed by much elegance or vigour. formance of translation than might have been His political verses are sprightly, and when attained by his own reflections.

they were written must have been very popular. He that can abstract his mind from the ele Of the scene of “Guarini” and the prologue gance of the poetry, and confine it to the sense of “Pompey,” Mrs. Philips, in her letters to Sir of the precepts, will find no other direction than Charles Cotterel, has given the history, that the author should be suitable to the trans “Lord Roscommon,” says she, “is certainly lator's genius ; that he should be such as may one of the most promising young noblemen in deserve a translation ; that he who intends to Ireland. He has paraphrased a psalm admiratranslate him should endeavour to understand bly; and a scene of "Pastor Fido" very finely, him; that perspicuity should be studied, and in some places much better than Sir Richard unasual and uncouth names sparingly inserted; Fanshaw. This was undertaken merely in comand that the style of the original should be co- pliment to me, who happened to say that it was pied in its elevation and depression. These are the best scene in Italian, and the worst in Engthe rules that are celebrated as so definite and lish. He was only two hours about it. It beimportant; and for the delivery of which to gins thus:mankind so much honour has been paid. Ros

“Dear happy groves, and you the dark retreat common has indeed deserved his praises, had Of silent horror, Rest's eternal seat." they been given with discernment, and bestowed

From these lines, which are since somewhat not on the rules themselves, but the art with mended, it appears that he did not think a work which they are introduced, and the decorations of two hours fit to endure the eye of criticism with which they are adorned.

without revisal. The “ Essay,” though generally excellent, is not without its faults. The story of the Quack, dies that had seen her translation of “Pompey,”

When Mrs. Philips was in Ireland, some laborrowed from Boileau, was not worth the im- resolved to bring it on the stage at Dublin ; and, portation ; he has confounded the British and to promote their design, Lord Roscommon gave Saxon mythology :

them a prologue, and Sir Edward Dering an I grant that from anme mossy idol oak,

epilogue; "which,” says she, “are the best In double rhymes, our Thor and Woden spoke. The oak, as I think Gildon has observed, be- is not criticism, it is at least gratitude. The

performances of those kinds I ever saw.” If this longed to the British druids, and Thor and Wo thought of bringing Cæsar and Pompey into den were Saxon deities. Of the double rhymes, Ireland, the only country over which Cæsar which he so liberally supposes, he certainly had

never had any power, is lucky. no knowledge.

Of Roscommon's works the judgment of the His interposition of a long paragraph of blank public seems to be right. He is elegant, but not serses is unwarrantably licentious. Latin poets great ; he never labours after exquisite beauties, might as well have introduced a series of iam- and he seldom falls into gross faults. His versibics among their heroics. His next work is the translation of the “ Art rhymes are remarkably exact. He improved

fication is smooth, but rarely vigorous; and his of Poetry;" which has received, in my opinion, taste, if he did not enlarge knowledge, and may not less praise than it deserves. Blank verse, be numbered among the benefactors to English left merely to its numbers, has little operation literature.* either on the ear or mind : it can hardly support itself without bold figures and striking images. A poem frigidly didactic, without rhyme, is so

* This Life was originally written by Dr. Johnson in near to prose, that the reader only scorns it for the ** Gentleman's Magazine" for May,

1748. It then pretending to be verse.

had notes, which are now incorporated with the text.-C.




of Thomas OTWAY, one of the first names in in himself, those whom Otway frequented had the English drama, little is known; nor is there no purpose of doing more for him than to pay any part of that little which his biographer can his reckoning. They desired only to drink and take pleasure in relating.

laugh: their fondness was without benevolence, He was born at Trottin, in Sussex, March 3, and their familiarity without friendship. Men 1651, the son of Mr. Humphry Otway, rector of of wit, says one of Otway's biographers, reWoolbeding. From Winchester-school, where ceived at that time no favour from the great, but he was educated, he was entered, in 1669, a to share their riots ; " from which they were commoner of Christ-church; but left the univer- dismissed again to their own narrow circumsity without a degree, whether for want of mo- stances. Thus they languished in poverty, with ney, or from impatience of academical restraint, out the support of eminence.” or mere eagerness to mingle with the world, is Some exception, however, must be made. not known.

The Earl of Plymouth, one of King Charles' It seems likely that he was in hope of being natural sons, procured for him a cornet's combusy and conspicuous; for he went to London, mission in some troops then sent into Flanders. and commenced player ; but found himself un- But Otway did not prosper in his military cha. able to gain any reputation on the stage.* racter : for he soon left his commission behind

This kind of inability be shared with Shak- him, whatever was the reason, and came back to speare and Jonson, as he shared likewise some London in extreme indigence ; which Rochester of their excellencies. It seems reasonable to mentions with merciless insolence in the “Ses. expect that a great dramatic poet should without sion of the Poets :"_ difficulty become a great actor ; that he who can Tom Otway came next, Tom Shadwell's dear zany, feel, could express ; that he who can excite pas- Don Carlos his pockets so amply had filled sion, should exhibit with great readiness its ex

That his mange was quite cur'd, and his lice were all ternal modes : but since experience has fully proved, that of these powers, whatever be their But Apollo had seen his face on the stage, affinity, one may be possessed in a great degree and prudently did not think fit to engage by him who has very little of the other; it must

scum of a, for the prop of an age. be allowed that they depend upon different fa

“Don Carlos," from which he is represented culties, or on different use of the same faculty ; in 1675. It appears, by the lampoon, to have

as having received so much benefit, was played that the actor must have a pliancy of mien, a had great success, and is said

to have been Alexibility of countenance, and a variety of tones: played thirty nights together. This, however, which the poet may be easily

supposed to want; it is reasonable to doubt it as so long a continuor that the attention of the poet and the player have been differently employed : the one has ance of one play upon the stage is a very wide been considering thought, and the other action ; the ardour for theatrical entertainments was not

deviation from the practice of that time ; when one has watched the heart, and the other con- yet diffused through the whole people, and the templated the face. Though he could not gain much notice as a

audience, consisting nearly of the same persons, player, he felt in himself such powers as might could be drawn together only by variety qualify for a dramatic author; and in 1675, his is one of the few plays that keep possession of

The “Orphan” was exhibited in 1630. This twenty-fifth year, produced “ Alcibiades,” a tragedy; whether from the Alcibiade of Palaprat; through all the vicissitudes of dramatic fashion,

the stage, and has pleased for almost a century, I have not means to inquire. Langbaine, the Of this play nothing new can easily be said. It great detector of plagiarism, is silent. In 1677, he published “Titus and Berenice,”. Its whole power is upon the affections ; for it is

is a domestic tragedy drawn from middle life. translated from Rapin, with the “Cheats of Scapin,” from Moliere ; and in 1678, “Friend- not written with much comprehension of thought, ship in Fashion,” a comedy, which, whatever or elegance of expression. But if the heart is might be its first' reception, was, upon its revi- interested, many other beauties may be wanting, val at Drury-lane, in 1749, hissed off the stage

yet not be missed. for immorality and obscenity.

The same year produced “The History and Want of morals, or of decency, did not in Fall of Caius Marius ;” much of which is borthose days exclude any man from the

rowed from the “ Romeo and Juliet” of Shak

company of the wealthy and the gay, if he brought with speare him any powers of entertainment; and Otway is

In 16831 was published the first, and next said to have been at this time a favourite com

year|| the second, parts of “ The Soldier's For panion of the dissolute wits. But as he who tune," two comedies now forgotten; and in desires no virtue in his companion has no virtue 1685his last and greatest dramatic work,

+ This doubt is indeed very reasonable. I know not * In “ Roscius Anglicanus,” by Downes the prompter, where it is said that “Don Carlos” was acted thirty p. 31, we learn that it was the character of the King, in nights together. Wherever it is said, it is untrue. Mrs. Behn's “Forced Marriage, or ibe Jealous Bride. Downes, who is perfectly good authority on this poitit, groom,” which Mr. Otway attempted to perform, and informs us that it was perfornied ten days successivetailed in. This event appears to have happened in the ly.-Malone. year 1672.-R.

| 1681.


0 1652

"Venice Preserved,” a tragedy which still con- of bread which charity had supplied. He went tinues to be one of the favourites of the public, out, as is reported, almost naked, in the rage of notwithstanding the want of morality in the ori- hunger, and, finding a gentleman in a neighginal design, and the despicable scenes of vile bouring coffee-house, ask ed him for a shilling. comedy* with which he has diversified his tragic The gentleman gave him a guinea ; and Otaction. By comparing this with his “Orphan,” way going away bought a roll, and was choked it will appear that his images were by time be with the first mouthful. All this, I hope, is not come stronger, and his language more energetic. true; and there is this ground of better hope, The striking passages are in every mouth; and that Pope, who lived near enough to be well in the public seems to judge rightly of the faults formed, relates in Spence's “Memorials,” that and excellencies of this play, that it is the work he died of a fever caught by violent pursuit of a of a man not attentive to decency, nor zealous thief that had robbed one of his friends. But for virtue ; but of one who conceived forcibly, that indigence, and its concomitants, sorrow and drew originally, by consulting nature in his and despondency, pressed hard upon him, has own breast.

never been denied, whatever immediate cause Together with those plays he wrote the poems might bring him to the grave. which are in the present collection, and trans Of the poems which the present collection adlated from the French the “History of the Tri- mits, the longest is the “Poet's Complaint of umvirate."

his Muse," part of which I do not understand; All this was performed before he was thirty- and in that which is less obscure, I find little to four years old; for he died April 14, 1685, in a commend. The language is often gross, and manner which I am unwilling to mention. Ha- the numbers are harsh. Otway had not much ving been compelled by his necessities to con- cultivated versification, nor much replenished tract debts, and hunted, as is supposed, by the his mind with general knowledge. His princiterriers of the law, he retired to a public-house pal power was in moving the passions, to which on Tower-hill, where he is said to have died of Drydent in his latter years left an illustrious want; or, as it is related by one of his biogra- testimony. He appears by some of his verses to phers, by swallowing, after a long fast, a piece have been a zealous loyalist, and had what was

in those times the common reward of loyalty ;

he lived and died neglected. * The “despicable scenes of vile comedy" can be no bar to its being a favourite of the public, as they are al. ways omitted in the representation.-J. B.

In his preface to Fresnoy’s “ Art of Painting."-Dr. J


EDMUND WallEr was born on the third of King, on which Mr. Waller did often reflect. March, 1605, at Colshill, in Hertfordshire. His His majesty asked the bishops, ‘My Lords, father was Robert Waller, Esq. of Agmondes- cannot I take my subjects' money when I want ham, in Buckinghamshire, whose family was it, without all this formality of parliament ?" originally a branch of the Kentish Wallers; and The Bishop of Durham readily answered, 'God his mother was the daughter of John Hampden, forbid, Sir, but you should: you are the breath of Hampden in the same county, and sister to of our nostrils.'' Whereupon the King turned, Hampden, the zealot of rebellion.

and said to the Bishop of Winchester,: Well, His father died while he was yet an infant, my Lord, what say you?? "Sir,' replied the but left him a yearly income of three thousand Bishop, 'Í have no skill to judge of parliamentfive hundred pounds; which, rating together the ary cases.' The King answered, “No put-offs, value of money and the customs of life, we may my Lord; answer me presently.' Then, Sir,' reckon more than equivalent to ten thousand at said he, 'I think it is lawful for you to take my the present time.

brother Neale's money; for he offers it.? Mr. He was educated by the care of his mother, at Waller said, the company was pleased with this Eton; and removed afterwards to King's Col- answer, and the wit of it seemed to affect the lege, in Cambridge. He was sent to parliament King; for, a certain lord coming in soon after, in his eighteenth, if not in his sixteenth, year, his Majesty cried out. 'Oh, my Lord, they say and frequented the court of James the first, you lig with my lady.',,No, Sir,' says hís where he heard a very remarkable conversation, Lordship in confusion ; 'but I like her compawhich the writer of the Life prefixed to his ny, because she has so much wit.? Why then,' Works, who seems to have been well informed says the King, 'do you not lig with my Lord of of facts, though he may sometimes err in chro- Winchester there ?" nology, has delivered as indubitably certain : Waller's political and poetical life began nearly

"He found Dr. Andrews, bishop of Winches-together. In his eighteenth year he wrote the ter, and Dr. Neale, bishop of Durham, standing poem that appears

first in his works, on the behind his majesty's chair ; and there happened Prince's Escape at St. Andero :” a piece which something extraordinary,” continues this writer, justifies the observation made by one of his “in the conversation those prelates had with the l editors, that he attained, by a felicity like in

stinct, a style which, perhaps, will never be wishes, though in vain, to break, and whose preobsolete: and that, “were we to judge only by sence is wine that inflames to madness. the wording, we could not know what was wrote His acquaintance with this high-born dame at twenty, and what at four-score.” His versi- gave wit no opportunity of boasting its influfication was, in his first essay, such as it appears ence; she was not to be subdued by the powers in his last performance. By the perusal of Fair- of verse, but rejected his addresses, it is said, fax's translation of “Tasso,” to which, as Dry- with disdain, and drove him away to solace his den* relates, he confessed himself indebted for disappointment with Amoret or Phillis. She the smoothness of his numbers, and by his own married, in 1639, the Earl of Sunderland, who nicety of observation, he had already formed died at Newberry in the King's cause; and, in such a system of metrical harmony as he never her old age, meeting somewhere with Waller, afterwards much needed, or much endeavoured asked him when he would again write such to improve. Denham corrected his numbers by verses upon her: "When you are as young, experience, and gained ground gradually upon Madam,” said he, "and as handsome as you the ruggedness of his age; but what was ac were then.” quired by Denham was inherited by Waller. In this part of his life it was that he was known

The next poem, of which the subject seems to to Clarendon, among the rest of the men who fix the time, is supposed by Mr. Fenton to be were eminent in that age for genius and literathe Address to the Queen, which he considers ture ; but known so little to his advantage that as congratulating her arrival, in Waller's twen- they who read his character will not much contieth year. He is apparently mistaken; for the demn Sacharissa, that she did not descend from mention of the nation's obligations to her fre- her rank to his embraces, nor think every excelquent pregnancy, proves that it was written when lence comprised in wit. she had brought many children. We have there The lady was, indeed, inexorable; . but his fore no date of any other poetical production uncommon qualifications, though they had no before that which the murder of the Duke of power upon her, recommended him to the schoBuckingham occasioned: the steadiness with lars and statesmen; and undoubtedly many which the King received the news in the chapel beauties of that time, however they might redeserved indeed to be rescued from oblivion. ceive his love, were proud of his praises. Who

Neither of these pieces that seem to carry they were whom he dignifies with poetical names, their own dates could have been the sudden effu- cannot now be known. Amoret, according to sion of faney. In the verses on the Prince's es- Mr. Fenton, was the Lady Sophia Murray. cape, the prediction of his marriage with the Perhaps by traditions preserved in families more Princess of France must have been written after may be discovered. the event; in the other, the promises of the From the verses written at Penshurst, it has King's kindness to the descendants of Bucking- been collected that he diverted his disappointham, which could not be properly praised till it ment by a voyage; and his biographers, from had appeared by its effects, show that time was his poem on the Whales, think it not improbable taken for revision and improvement. It is not that he visited the Bermudas; but it seems known that they were published till they ap- much more likely that he should amuse himselt peared long afterwards with other poems. with forming an imaginary scene, than that so

Waller was not one of those idolaters of praise important an incident as a visit to America, who cultivate their minds at the expense of their should have been left floating in conjectural profortunes. Rich' as he was by inheritance, he took bability. care early to grow richer, by marrying Mrs. From his twenty-eighth to his thirty-fifth year, Banks, a great heiress in the city, whom the in- he wrote his pieces on the reduction of Sallee ; terest of the court was employed to obtain for on the reparation of St. Paul's; to the King on Mr. Croft. Having brought him a son, who died his Navy; the panegyric on the Queen-mother; young, and a daughter, who was afterwards mar- the two poems to the Earl of Northumberland ried to Mr. Dormer, of Oxfordshire, she died in and perhaps others, of which the time cannot be childbed, and left him a widower of about five- discovered. and-twenty, gay and wealthy, to please himself When he had lost all hopes of Sacharissa, he with another marriage.

looked round him for an easier conquest, and Being too young to resist beauty, and probably gained a lady of the family of Bresse, or Breaux. too vain to think himself resistible, he fixed his The time of his marriage is not exactly known. heart, perhaps half fondly and half' ambitiously, It has not been discovered that this wife was upon the Lady Dorothea Sidney, eldest daughter won by his poetry; nor is any thing told of her, of the Earl of Leicester, whom he courted by but that she brought him many children. He all the poetry in which Sacharissa is celebrated'; doubtless praised some whom he would have been the name is derived from the Latin appellation afraid to marry, and perhaps married one whom of sugar, and implies, if it means any thing, a he would have been ashamed to praise. Many spiritless mildness, and dull good-nature, such as qualities contribute to domestic happiness, upon excites rather tenderness than esteem, and such which poetry has no colours to bestow; and as, though always treated with kindness, is never many airs and sallies may delight imagination, honoured or admired.

which he who flatters them never can approve. Yet he describes Sacharissa as a sublime pre- There are charms made only for distant admiradominating beauty, of lofty charms, and impc- tion. No spectacle is nobler than a blaze. rious influence, on whom he looks with amaze Of this wife, his biographers have recorded ment rather than fondness, whose chains he that she gave him five sons and eight daughters.

During the long interval of parliament, he is represented as living among those with whom was most honourable to converse, and enjoying

Preface to his Fables."-Dr. J.

an exuberant fortune with that independence | Agmondesham the third time; and was conand liberty of speech and conduct which wealth sidered by the discontented party as a man suffiought always to produce. He was, however, ciently trusty and acrimonious to be employed considered as the kinsman of Hampden, and was in managing the prosecution of Judge Crawley, therefore supposed by the courtiers not to favour for his opinion in favour of ship money ; and his them.

speech shows that he did not disappoint their When the parliament was called in 1640, it expectations. He was probably the more arappeared that Waller's political character had dent, as his uncle Hampden had been particunot been mistaken. The King's demand of a larly engaged in the dispute, and, by a sentence supply produced one of those noisy speeches which seems generally to be thought unconstiwhich disaffection and discontent regularly dic- tutional, particularly injured. tate; a speech filled with hyperbolical com He was not however a bigot to his party, nor plaints of imaginary grievances: “They,” says adopted all their opinions. When the great he, “ who think themselves already undone, can question, whether Episcopacy ought to be abo. never apprehend themselves in danger ; and lished, was debated, he spoke against the inno: they who have nothing left can never give vation so coolly, so reasonably, and so firmly, freely.”. Political truth is equally in danger from that it is not without great injury to his name the praises of courtiers, and the exclamation of that his speech, which was as follows, has been patriots.

hitherto omitted in his works : He then proceeds to rail at the clergy, being *" There is no doubt but the sense of what sure at that time of a favourable audience. His this nation hath suffered from the present bishops topic is such as will always serve its purpose; hath produced these complaints; and the apprean accusation of acting and preaching only for hensions men have of suffering the like in time to preferment: and he exhorts the commons care- come, make so many desire the taking away of fully to provide for their protection against pulpit Episcopacy: but I conceive it is possible that law.

we may not now take a right measure of the It always gratifies curiosity to trace a senti- minds of the people by their petitions ; for, when ment. Waller has in his speech quoted Hooker they subscribed them, the bishops were armed in one passage; and in another has copied him with a dangerous commission of making new without quoting. “Religion,” says Waller, canons, imposing new oaths, and the like; but “ought to be the first thing in our purpose and now we have disarmed them of that power. desires; but that which is first in dignity is not These petitioners lately did look upon Episcoalways to precede in order of time ; for well- pacy as a beast armed with horns and claws being supposes a being; and the first impedi- but now that we have cut and pared them, (and ment which men naturally endeavour to remove, may, if we see cause, yet reduce itinto narrower is the want of those things without which they bounds,) it may, perhaps, be more agreeable. cannot subsist. God first assigned unto Adam However, if they be still in passion, it becomes maintenance of life, and gave him a title to the us soberly to consider the right use and antiquity rest of the creatures before he appointed a law thereof; and not to comply further with a geneto observe.”

ral desire, than may stand with a general good. "God first assigned Adam,” says Hooker, “We have already showed, that Episcopacy “maintenance of life, and then appointed him a and the evils thereof are mingled like water and law to observe.-True it is that the kingdom of oil; we have also, in part, severed them; but I God must be the first thing in our purpose and believe you will find, that our laws and the predesires; but inasmuch as a righteous life presup- sent government of the church are mingled like poseth life, inasmuch as to live virtuously it is wine and water; so inseparable, that the abroimpossible, except we live; therefore the first gation of, at least, a hundred of our laws is deimpediment which naturally we endeavour to sired in these petitions. I have often heard a remove is penury, and want of things without noble answer of the Lords commended in this which we cannot live.”-Book i. Sect. 9.

House, to a proposition of like nature, but of The speech is vehement; but the great posi- less consequence; they gave no other reason of tion, that grievances ought to be redressed be- their refusal but this, Nolumus mutare Leges fore supplies are granted, is agreeable enough to Angliæ : it was the bishops who so answered law and reason : nor was Waller, if his biogra- then; and it would become the dignity and wispher may be credited, such an enemy to the dom of this House to answer the people now, King, as not to wish his distresses lightened ; with a Nolumus mutare. for he relates, “ that the King sent particularly “I see some are moved with a number of to Waller, to second his demand of some subsi- hands against the bishops ; which, I confess, dies to pay off the army; and Sir Henry Vane rather inclines me to their defence; for I look objecting against first voting a supply, because upon Episcopacy as a counterscarp, or outwork; the King would not accept unless it came up to which, if it be taken by this assault of the peohis proportion, Mr. Waller spoke earnestly to ple, and withal this mystery once revealed, Sir Thomas Jermyn, comptroller of the house. That we must deny them nothing when they hold, to save his master from the effects of so ask it thus in troops,' we may, in the next place, bold a falsity : ‘for,' he said, 'I am but a coun- have as hard a task to defend our property, as try gentleman, and cannot pretend to know the we have lately had to recover it from the preKing's mind:' but Sir Thomas durst not con- rogative. If, by multiplying hands and petitradict the secretary; and his son, the Earl of tions, they prevail for an equality in things eccleSt. Alban's, afterwards told Mr. Waller, that his father's cowardice ruined the King."

This speech has been retrieved,

from a paper printed In the Long Parliament, which, unhappily for at that time, by the writer the Parliamentary Histothe nation, met Nov. 3, 1640, Waller represented 1 ry.-Dr. J.

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