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of his age.
He continued many years to study and to was exact, and he noted beauties and faults with preach, and to do good by his instruction and very nice discernment; his imagination, as the example; till at last the infirmities of age disabled “Dacian Battle” proves, was vigorous and active, him from the more laborious part of his ministe-, and the stores of knowledge were large by which rial functions, and, being no longer capable of his fancy was to be supplied. His ear was well public duty, he offered to remit the salary append tuned, and his diction was elegant and copious, ant to it; but his congregation would not accept but his devotional poetry is, like that of others, the resignation.
unsatisfactory. The paucity of its topics enBy degrees his weakness increased, and at last forces perpetual repetition, and the sanctity of the confined him to his chamber and his bed; where matter rejects the ornaments of figurative diction. he was worn gradually away without pain, till he It is sufficient for Watts to have done better than expired, Nov. 25, 1743, in the seventy-fifth year others what no man has done well.
His poems on other subjects seldom rise higher Few men have left behind such purity of cha- than might be expected from the amusements of racter, or such monuments of laborious piety. a man of letters, and have different degrees of He has provided instruction for all ages, from value as they are more or less laboured, or as the those who are lisping their first lessons, to the occasion was more or less favourable to invention. enlightened readers of Malbranche and Locke; He writes too often without regular measures, he has left neither corporeal nor spiritual nature and too often in blank verse; the rhymes are not unexamined; he has taught the art of reasoning, always sufficiently correspondent. He is parand the science of the stars.
ticularly unhappy in coining names expressive of His character, therefore, must be formed from characters. His lines are commonly smooth and the multiplicity and diversity of his attainments, easy, and his thoughts always religiously pure; rather than from any single performance; for it but who is there that, to so much piety and innowould not be safe to claim for him the highest cence, does not wish for a greater measure of rank in any single denomination of literary dig- sprightliness and vigour! He is at least one of nity; yet perhaps there was nothing in which he the few poets with whom youth and ignorance would not have excelled, if he had not divided may be safely pleased; and happy will be that his powers to different pursuits.
reader whose mind is disposed, by his verses or As a poet, had he been only a poet, he would his prose, to imitate him in all but his nonconprobably have stood high among the authors with formity, to copy his benevolence to man, and his whom he is now associated. For his judgment I reverence to God.
Or the birth or early part of the life of Am-1 to many sections, for each of which if he received BROSE Philips I have not been able to find any half-a-crown, his reward, as writers then were account. His academical education he received paid, was very liberal; but half-a-crown had a at St. John's College, in Cambridge,* where he mean sound. first solicited the notice of the world by some He was employed in promoting the principles English verses, in the collection published by the of his party, by epitomising Hacket's “Life of university on the death of Queen Mary. Archbishop Williams." The original book is
From this time how he was employed, or in written with such depravity of genius, such mixwhat station he passed his life, is not yet dis- ture of the fop and pedant, as has not often adcovered. He must have published his Pastorals peared. The epitome is free enough from affecbefore the year 1709, because they are evidently tation, but has little spirit or vigour.t prior to those of Pope.
In 1712 he brought upon the stage “The He afterwards (1709) addressed to the uni- Distrest Mother,” almost a translation of Raversal patron, the Duke of Dorset, a “Poetical cine's “Andromaque.” Such a work requires Letter from Copenhagen," which was published no uncommon powers; but the friends of Phiin the “ Tatler,” and is by Pope in one of his lips exerted every art to promote his interest. first letters mentioned with high praise, as the Before the appearance of the play, a whole Specproduction of a man "who could write very tator, none indeed of the best, was devoted to its nobly."
praise ; while it yet continued to be acted, anoPhilips was a zealous whig, and therefore ther Spectator was written, to tell what impres. easily found access to Addison and Steele; but sion it made upon Sir Roger; and on the first his ardour seems not to have procured him any night a select audience, says Pope,f was called thing more than kind words ; since he was re- together to applaud it. duced to translate the “Persian Tales" for It was concluded with the most successful Tonson, for which he was afterwards reproach- epilogue that was ever yet spoken on the Enged, with this addition of contempt, that he worked for half-a-crown. The book is divided in- lished in 1:60, when he appears to have obtained a fel
lowship of St. John's.-C. • He took his degrees, A. B. 1696, A. M. 1700.-C. Spence.
lish theatre. The three first nights it was recit- | by which he meant to express the talk of goal. ed twice; and not only continued to be demand- herds, though it will mean only the talk of goats. ed through the run, as it is termed, of the play, This new name was adopted by subsequent but whenever it is recalled to the stage, where writers, and among others by our Spenser. by peculiar fortune, though a copy from the More than a century afterwards (1498) Man. French, it yet keeps its place, the epilogue is tuan published his Bucolics with such success, still expected, and is still spoken.
that they were soon dignified by Badius with a The propriety of epilogues in general, and comment, and, as Scaliger complained, received consequently of this, was questioned by a cor into schools, and taught as classical; his comréspondent of “The Spectator,” whose letter plaint was vain, and the practice, however injuwas undoubtedly admitted for the sake of the dicious, spread far, and continued long. Mananswer, which soon followed, written with much tuan was read, at least in some of the inferior zeal and acrimony. The attack and the defence schools of this kingdom, to the beginning of the equally contributed to stimulate curiosity and present century. The speakers of Mantuan carcontinue attention. It may be discovered in ried their disquisitions beyond the country, to the defence, that Prior's epilogue to “Phædra" censure the corruptions of the church; and from had a little excited jealousy ; and something of him Spenser learned to employ his swains on Prior's plan may be discovered in the perform- topics of controversy. ance of his rival. Of this distinguished epilogue The Italians soon transferred pastoral poetry the reputed author was the wretched Budgel, into their own language ; Sanazzaro wrote “Arwhom Addison used to denominate* “the man cadia,” in prose and verse ; Tasso and Guarini who calls me cousin;" and when he was asked wrote “Favole Boschareccie," or sylvan dramas; how such a silly fellow could write so well, re- and all the nations of Europe filled volumes with plied, “The epilogue was quite another thing Thyrsis and Damon, and Thestylis and Phylis. when I saw it first." It was known in Tonson's Philips thinks it
somewhat strange to confamily, and told to Garrick, that Addison was ceive how, in an age so addicted to the Muses, himself the author of it, and that, when it had pastoral poetry never comes to be so much as been at first printed with his name, he came thought upon." His wonder seems very unearly in the morning, before the copies were dis- seasonable ; there had never, from the time of tributed, and ordered it to be given to Budgel, Spenser, wanted writers to talk occasionally of that it might add weight to the solicitation which Arcadia and Strephon; and half the book, in he was then making for a place.
which he first tried his powers, consists of diaPhilips was now high in the ranks of literature. logues on Queen Mary's death, between Tityrus His play was applauded: his translations from and Corydon, or Mopsus and Menalcas. A Sappho had been published in “The Spectator;" series or book of pastorals, however, I know not he was an important and distinguished associate that any one had then lately published. of clubs, witty and political; and nothing was Not long afterwards Pope made the first diswanting to his happiness, but that he should be play of his powers in four pastorals, written in a sure of its continuance.
very different form. Philips had taken Spenser, The work which had procured him the first and Pope took Virgil for his pattern. Philips notice from the public was his six pastorals, endeavoured to be natural, Pope laboured to be which, flattering the imagination with Arcadian elegant. scenes, probably found many readers, and might Philips was now favoured by Addison, and by have long passed as a pleasing amusement, had Addison's companions, who were very willing they not been unhappily too much commended. to push him into reputation. The “Guardian"
The rustic poems of Theocritus were so high- gave an account of pastoral, partly critical, and ly valued by the Greeks and Romans, that they partly historical ; in which, when the merit of attracted the imitation of Virgil, whose Ec- the modern is compared, Tasso and Guarini are logues seem to have been considered as preclud- censured for remote thoughts and unnatural reing all attempts of the same kind; for no shep- finements; and, upon the whole, the Italians herds were taught to sing by any succeeding and French are all excluded from rural poetry; poet, till Nemesian and Calphurnius ventured and the pipe of the pastoral muse is transmitted their feeble efforts in the lower age of Latin lite- by lawful inheritance from Theocritus to Virgil, rature.
from Virgil to Spenser, and from Spenser to At the revival of learning in Italy, it was soon Philips. discovered that a dialogue of imaginary swains With this inauguration of Philips, his rival might be composed with little difficulty ; because Pope was not much delighted; he therefore the conversation of shepherds excludes profound drew a comparison of Philip's performance with or refined sentiment; and for images and descrip- his own, in which, with an unexampled and untions, satyrs and fauns, and naiads and dryads, equalled artifice of irony, though he has himself were always within call; and woods and mea- always the advantage, he gives the preference to dows, and hills and rivers, supplied variety of Philips. The design of aggrandizing himself he matter, which, having a natural power to sooth disguised with such dexterity, that, though Ad. the mind, did not quickly cloy it.
dison discovered it, Steele was deceived, and Petrarch entertained the learned men of his was afraid of displeasing Pope by publishing his age with the novelty of modern pastorals in La- paper. Published however it was, (Guard. 40;) tin. Being not ignorant of Greek, and finding and from that time Pope and Philips lived in a nothing in the word eclogue of rural meaning, he perpetual reciprocation of malevolence. supposed it to be corrupted by the copiers, and In poetical powers, of either praise or satire, therefore called his own productions æclogues, there was no proportion between the combat
ants; but Philips, though he could not prevail Spence.
I by wit, hoped to hurt Pope with another wea
pon, and charged him, as Pope thought, with secretary,* added such preferments as enabled Addison's approbation, as disaffected to the him to represent the county of Armagh in the government
Irish parliament. Even with this he was not satisfied; for, in In December, 1726, he was made secretary to deed, there is no appearance that any regard was the Lord Chancellor ; and in August, 1733, bepaid to his clamours. He proceeded to grosser came judge of the Prerogative Court
. insults, and hung up a rod at Button's, with After the death of his patron he continued which he threatened to chastise Pope, who ap- some years in Ireland ; but at last longing, as it pears to have been extremely exasperated; for seems, for his native country, he returned (1748) in the first edition of his Letters he calls Philips to London, having doubtless survived most of “rascal,” and in the last charges him with de his friends and enemies, and among them his taining in his hands the subscriptions for Homer dreaded antagonist Pope. He found however delivered to him by the Hanover Club.
the Duke of Newcastle still living, and to him I suppose it was never suspected that he meant he dedicated his poems, collected into a volume. to appropriate the money; he only delayed, Having purchased an annuity of four hundred and with sufficient meanness, the gratification of pounds, he now certainly hoped to pass some him by whose prosperity he was pained. years of life in plenty and tranquillity ; but his
Men sometimes suffer by injudicious kind-hope deceived him: he was struck with a palsy, ness; Philips became ridiculous, without his and died June 19, 1749, in his seventy-eighth year. own fault, by the absurd admiration of his Of his personal character all that I have heard friends, who decorated him with honorary gar- is, that he was eminent for bravery and skill in lands, which the first breath of contradiction the sword, and that in conversation he was blasted.
solemn and pompous. He had great sensibility When upon the succession of the house of of censure, if judgment may be made by a single Hanover every whig expected to be happy, story which I heard long ago from Mr. Ing, a Philips seems to have obtained too little notice; gentleman of great eminence in Staffordshire, he caught few drops of the golden shower, Philips," said he, “ was once at table, when I though he did not omit what fattery could per- asked him, How came thy king of Epirus to form. He was only made a commissioner of the drive oxen, and to say, I'm goaded on by lottery, (1717,) and, what did not much elevate love ?'. After which question he never spoke his character, a justice of the peace.
again." The success of his first play must naturally or “The Distrest Mother" not much is predispose him to turn his hopes towards the stage; tended to be his own, and therefore it is no subhe did not however soon commit himself to the ject of criticism; his other two tragedies, I bemercy of an audience, but contented himself lieve, are not below mediocrity, nor above it. with the fame already acquired, till after nine Among the Poeins comprised in the late Collecyears he produced (1722) "The Briton,”. a tra- tion, the Letter from Denmark may be justly gedy, which, whatever was its reception, is now praised; the Pastorals, which by the writer of neglected; though one of the scenes, between the “Guardian” were ranked as one of the four Vanoc, the British prince, and Valens, the Ro- genuine productions of the rustic muse, cannot man general, is confessed to be written with surely be despicable. That they exhibit a mode great dramatic skill, animated by spirit truly of life which did not exist, nor ever existed, is poeticale
not to be objected: the supposition of such a He had not been idle, though he had been si- state is allowed to pastoral. In his other poems lent; for he exhibited another tragedy the same he cannot be denied the praise of lines sometimes year, on the story of "Humphrey Duke of elegant; but he has seldom much force or much Gloucester.” This tragedy is only remembered comprehension. The pieces that please best are by its title.
those which, from Pope and Pope's adherents, His happiest undertaking was of a paper call-procured him the name of Namby Pamby; the ed " The Freethinker,” in conjunction with as- poems of short lines, by which he paid his court sociates, of whom one was Dr. Boulter, who, to all ages and characters, from Walpole, the then only minister of a parish in Southwark,“ steerer of the realm,” to Miss Pulteney in the was of so much consequence to the government, nursery. The numbers are smooth and spright. that he was made first, bishop of Bristol, and ly, and the diction is seldom faulty. They are afterwards primate of Ireland, where his piety not loaded with much thought, yet, if they had ard his charity will be long honoured.
been written by Addison, they would have had It may easily be imagined that what was admirers : little things are not valued but when printed under the direction of Boulter would they are done by those who can do greater. have nothing in it indecent or licentious; its In his translations from Pindar he found the title is to be understood as implying only free art of reaching all the obscurity of the Theban dom from unreasonable prejudice. It has been bard, however he may fall below his sublimity; reprinted in volumes, but is little read; nor he will be allowed, if he has less fire, to have can impartial criticism recommend it as worthy more smoke. of revival.
He has added nothing to English poetry, yet Boulter was not well qualified to write diur- at least half his book deserves to be read: pernal essays; but he knew how to practise the li haps he valued most himself that part which the berality of greatness and the fidelity of friend critic would reject. ship. When he was advanced to the height of ecclesiastical dignity, he did not forget the com • The Archbishop's “ Letters.” published in 1769, (tho panion of his labours. Knowing Philips to be priginals of which are now in Christ Church library, Oxslenderly supported, he took him to Ireland, as ford,) were collected by Mr. Philips.--C.
Al his house in Hanover-street, and was buried is, partaker of his fortune ; and, making him his, Audley Chapel.C.
GILBERT West is one of the writers of whom by some who did not know his change of opinion, I regret my inability to give a sufficient account; in expectation of new objections against Christhe intelligence which my inquiries have obtain- tianity; and as infidels do not want malignity ed is general and scanty.
they revenged the disappointment by calling He was the son of the Rev. Dr. West; per- him a methodist. haps* him who published “Pindar" at Oxford Mr. West's income was not large; and his about the beginning of this century. His mother friends endeavoured, but without success, to obwas sister to Sir Richard Temple, afterwards tain an augmentation. It is reported, that the Lord Cobham. His father, purposing to edu- education of the young prince was offered to cate him for the church, sent him first to Eton, him, but that he required a more extensive and afterwards to Oxford; but he was seduced power of superintendence than it was thought to a more airy mode of life, by a commission in proper to allow him. a troop of horse, procured him by his uncle. In time, however, his revenue was improved ;
He continued some time in the army; though he lived to have one of the lucrative clerkships it is reasonable to suppose that he never sunk of the privy council, (1752;) and Mr. Pitt at last into a mere soldier, nor ever lost the love, or had it in his power to make him treasurer of much neglected the pursuit, of learning; and Chelsea Hospital. afterwards, finding himself more inclined to civil He was now sufficiently rich; but wealth employment, he laid down his commission, and came too late to be long enjoyed; nor could it engaged in business under the Lord Townshend, secure him from the calamities of life; he lost then secretary of state, with whom he attended (1755) his only son; and the year after (March the king to Hanover.
26) a stroke of the palsy brought to the grave His adherence to Lord Townshend ended in one of the few poets to whom the grave might nothing but a nomination (May 1729) to be be without its terrors. clerk-extraordinary of the privy council
, which Of his translations I have only compared the produced no immediate profit; for it only placed first Olympic ode with the original, and found him in a state of expectation and right of suco my expectation surpassed, both by its elegance cession, and it was very long before a vacancy and its exactness. He does not confine himself admitted him to profit.
to his author's train of stanzas, for he saw that Soon afterwards he married, and settled him the difference of the languages required a differself in a very pleasant house at Wickham, in ent mode of versification. The first strophe is Kent, where he devoted himself to learning and eminently happy; in the second he has a little to piety. Of his learning the late Collection strayed from Pindar's meaning, who says, “ if exhibits evidence, which would have been yet thou, my soul, wishest to speak of games, look fuller, if the dissertations which accompany his not in the desert sky for a planet hotter than the version of Pindar had not been improperly sun; nor shall we tell of nobler games than omitted. Of his piety the influence has, I hope, those of Olympia.” He is sometimes too parabeen extended far by his “Observations on the phrastical. "Pindar bestows upon Hiero an epiResurrection," published in 1747, for which the thet, which, in one word, signifies delighting in university of Oxford created him a doctor of horses; a word which, in the translation, genelaws by diploma, (March 30, 1748,) and would rates these lines: doubtless have reached yet further, had he lived to complete what he had for some time meditat
Hiero's royal brows, whose care
Tends the courser's noble breed, ed, the evidences of the truth of the “New Tes. Pleas'd to nurse the pregnant mare, tament." Perhaps it may not be without effect Pleas'd to train the youthful steed. to tell, that he read the prayers of the public liturgy every morning to his family, and that on Pindar says of Pelops, that he came alone in Sunday evening he called his servants into the the dark to the White Sea;” and West, parlour, and read to them first a sermon and
Near the billow-beaten side then prayers. Crashaw is now not the only or the foam-besilver'd main, maker of verses to whom may be given the two Darkling, and alone, he stood : venerable names of poet and saint.
He was very often visited by Lyttelton and which however is less exuberant than the former Pitt, who, when they were weary of faction and passage. debates, used at Wickham to find books and
A work of this kind must, in a minute examiquiet, a decent table, and literary conversation. nation, discover many imperfections ; but West's There is at Wickham a walk made by Pitt; version, so far as I have discovered it, appears to and, what is of far more importance, at Wick be the product of great labour and great abilities. ham Lyttelton received thai conviction which
His Institution of the Garter (1742) is written produced his “Dissertation on St. Paul.”
with sufficient knowledge of the manners that These two illustrious friends had for a while prevailed in the age to which it is referred, and listened to the blandishments of infidelity; and with great elegance of diction ; but, for want of when West's book was published, it was bought a process of events, neither knowledge nor ele
gance preserves the reader from weariness. . Certainly him. It was published in 1697.-C. His Imitations of Spenser are very successfully
performed, both with respect to the metre, the those of which the effect is coextended with ra. language, and the fiction, and being engaged at tional nature, or at least with the whole circle of once by the excellence of the sentiments, and polished life ; what is less than this can be only the artifice of the copy, the mind has two amuse- pretty, the plaything of fashion, and the amusements together. But such compositions are not ment of a day. to be reckoned among the great achievements of intellect, because their effect is local and tempo There is in the “ Adventurer” a paper of rary; they appeal not to reason or passion, but verses given to one of the authors as Mr. West's, to memory, and presuppose an accidental or ar- and supposed to have been written by him. It tificial state of mind. An imitation of Spenser is should not be concealed, however, that it is nothing to a reader, however acute, by whom printed with Mr. Jago's name in Dodsley's ColSpenser has never been perused. 'Works of lection, and is mentioned as his in a letter of this kind may deserve praise, as proofs of Shenstone's. Perhaps West gave it without great industry, and great nicety of observation: naming the author; and Hawkesworth, receiving but the highest praise, the praise of genius, they it from him, thought it his; for his he thought it, cannot claim. The noblest beauties of art are as he told me, and as he tells the public.
WILLIAM COLLINS was bom at Chichester, on this occasion recourse was had to the bookthe twenty-fifth day of December, about 1720. sellers, who, on the credit of a translation of His father was a hatter of good reputation. He Aristotle's Poetics, which he engaged to write was in 1733, as Dr. Warburton has kindly inform- with a large commentary, advanced as much ed me, admitted scholar of Winchester College, money as enabled him to escape into the counwhere he was educated by Dr. Burton. His try. He showed me the guineas safe in his English exercises were better than his Latin. hand. Soon afterwards his uncle, Mr. Martin,
He first courted the notice of the public by a lieutenant-colonel, left him about two thous some verses to “ A Lady Weeping,” published sand pounds; a sum which Collins could in “The Gentleman's Magazine.”
scarcely think exhaustible, and which he did In 1740, he stood first in the list of the scholars not live to exhaust. The guineas were then to be received in succession at New College, repaid, and the translation neglected. but unhappily there was no vacancy. This was But man is not born for happiness. Collins, the original misfortune of his life. He became who, while he studied to live, felt no evil but poa commoner of Queen's College, probably with verty, no sooner lived to study than his life was a scanty maintenance; but was, in about half assailed by more dreadful calamities, disease a year, elected a demy of Magdalen College, and insanity. where he continued till he had taken a bache Having formerly written his character,* while lor's degree, and then suddenly left the univer- perhaps it was yet more distinctly impressed sity; for what reason I know not that he told. upon my memory, I shall insert it here.
He now (about 1744) came to London a “Mr. Collins was a man of extensive literaliterary adventurer, with many projects in his ture, and of vigorous faculties. He was achead, and very little money in his pockets. He quainted not only with the learned tongues, but designed many works; but his great fault was with the Italian, French, and Spanish languages. irresolution ; or the frequent calls of immediate He had employed his mind chiefly upon works necessity broke his scheme, and suffered him to of fiction, and subjects of fancy; and, by indulg. pursue no settled purpose. A man doubtful of ing some peculiar habits of thought, was emi. his dinner, or trembling at a creditor, is not nently delighted with those flights of imaginamuch disposed to abstracted meditation, or re- tion which pass the bounds of nature, and to mote inquiries. He published proposals for a which the mind is reconciled only by a passive history of the Revival of Learning; and I have acquiescence in popular traditions. He loved heard him speak with great kindness of Leo the fairies, genii, giants, and monsters ; he delighted Tenth, and with keen resentment of his taste to rove through the meanders of enchantment, less successor. But probably not a page of his to gaze on the magnificence of golden palaces, history was ever written. He planned several to repose by the water-falls of Elysian gardens. tragedies, but he only planned them. He wrote “This was however the character rather of now and then odes and other poems, and did his inclination than his genius ; the grandeur of sornething, however little.
wildness, and the novelty of extravagance, were About this time I fell into his company. His always desired by him, but not always attained. appearance was decent and manly; his know. Yet, as diligence is never wholly lost, if his ledge considerable, his views extensive, his con- efforts sometimes caused harshness and obscuversation elegant, and his disposition cheerful.rity, they likewise produced in happier moments By degrees I gained his confidence; and one day was admitted to him when he was immured by
In the "Poetical Calendar,” a collection of poems by a bailiff, that was prowling in the street. On Fawkes and Wory, in several volumes, 1763, &c.-C.