« EelmineJätka »
WHOFER FROM C. D. DECAV
THIS illustrious poet was born at London, in 1688, and was descended from a good family of that name in Oxfordshire, the head of which was the Earl of Downe, whose sole heiress married the Earl of Lindsey. His father, a man of primitive simplicity and integrity of manners, was a merchant of London, who, upon the revolution, quitted trade, and converted his effects into money, amounting to near 10,000l. with which he retired into the country, and died in 1717, at the age of seventy-five.
Our poet's mother, who lived to a very advanced age, being ninety-three years old when she died, in 1733, was the daughter of William Turner, Esq. of York. She had three brothers, one of whom was killed; another died in the service of King Charles; and the eldest, following his fortunes, and becoming
a general officer in Spain, left her what estate remained after sequestration and forfeitures of her family. To these circumstances our poet alludes, in his Epistle to Dr. Arbuthnot, in which he mentions his parents.
Of gentle blood (part shed in honour's cause,
Each parent sprang What fortune, pray?....Their own;
The good man walk'd innoxious thro' his age:
His life, tho' long, to sickness pass'd unknown,
The education of our great author was attended with circumstances very singular, and some of them extremely unfavourable; but the amazing force of his genius fully compensated the want of any advantage in his earliest instruction. He owed the knowledge