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vinced mankind that either Smith or Ducket was guilty of wilful and malicious falsehood.
This controversy brought into view those parts of Smith's life, which with more honour to his name might have been concealed.
Of Smith I can yet say a little more. He was a man of such estimation among his companions, that the casual censures or praises which he dropped in conversation werë considered like those of Scaliger, as worthy of preservation.
He had great readiness and exactness of criticism, and by a cursory glance over a new composition would exactly tell all its faults and beauties.
He was remarkable for the power of reading with great sapidity, and of se taining with great fidelity what he so easily collected. . He therefore always knew what the present question required; and, when his friends expressed their wonder at his acquisitions, made in a state of apparent negligence and drunkenness, he never discovered his hours of reading or method of study, but involved himself in affected silence, and fed his own vanity with their admiration and conjectures.
One practice he had, which was easily observed ; if any thought or image was presented to his mind, that he could use or improve, he did not suffer it to be lost; but, amidst the jollity of a tavern, or in the warmth of conversation, very diligently committed it to paper.
Thus it was that he had gathered two quires of hints for his new tragedy; of which Rowe, when they were put into his hands, could make, as he says, very little use, but which the collector considered as a valuable stock of materials. .
When he came to London, his way of life connected him with the licentious and dissolute; and he affected the airs and gaiety of a man of pleasure ; but his dress was always deficient: scholastick cloudiness still hung about him; and his merriment was sure to produce the scorn of his companions.
With all his carelessness, and all his vices, he was one of the murmurers at Fortune ; and wondered why he was suffered to be poor, when Addison was caressed and preferred : nor would a very little have contented him; for he estimated his wants at six hundred pounds a year.
In his course of reading it was particular, that he had diligently perused, and accurately remembered, the old romances of knight errantry.
He had a high opinion of his own merit, and was something contemptuous in his treatinent of those whom he considered as not qualified to oppose or contradict him. Fie had many frailties ; yet it cannot bút be supposed that he had great merit, who could obtain to the same play a prologue from Addison, and an epilogue from Prior , and who could have at once the patronage of Halifax, and the praise of Oldisworth. Vol. I. LI
For the power of communicating these minute memorials, I am indebted to my conversation with Gilbert Walmsley, late register of the ecclesiastical court of Litchfield, who was acquainted both with Smith and Ducket ; and declared, that, if the tale concerning Clarendon were forged, he should suspect Ducket of the falschood; “ for Rag was a man of great veracity.” " Of Gilbert Walmsley, thus presented to my mind, let me indulge myself in the remembrance. I knew him very early; he was one of the first friends that literature procured me, and I hope that at least my gratitude made me worthy of his notice.
He was of an advanced age, and I was only not a boy; yet he never received my notions with contempt, He was a Whig, with all the virulence and inalevolence of bis party ; yet difference of opinion did not keep us apart. I honoured hiin, and he endured me.
He had mingled with the gay world, without exemption from its vices or its follies, but had never neglected the cultivation of his mind; his belief of Revelation was unshaken ; his learning preserved his principles; he grew first regular, and then pious.
His studies had been so various, that I am not able to name a man ofequal knowledge. His acquaintance with books was great; and what hedid not immediately know, he could at least tell where to find. Such was his amplitude of learning, and such his copiousness of communication, that it may be doubted whether a day now passes in which I have not some advantage froin. his friendship,
Atthis man's table I enjoyed many chearful and instructive hours, with companions such as are not often found ; with one who has lengthened, and one who has gladdened life; with Dr. James, whose skill in physick will be long remembered; and with David Garrick, whom I hoped to have gratified with this character of our common friend: but what are the hopes of man ! Tam disappointed by that stroke of death, which has eclipsed the gaiety of nasions, and impoverished the publick stock of harmless pleasure.
In the Library at Oxford is the following ludicrous Analysis of Pocockius:
[Sent by the Author to Mr. Urry.]
OPUSCULUM hoc, Halberdarie amplissime, in lucem proferte hactenus distuli, judicii tui acumen subveritus magis quam bipennis. Tandem aliquando Oden hanc ad te mitto sublimem, teneram, Aebilem, suavem, qualem demum divinus (si Musis vacaret) scripsisset Gastrellus : adeo scilicet sublimem ut inter legendum dormire, adeo flebilem ut ridere velis. Cujus elegantiam ut melius inspicias, versuum ordinem & materiam breviter referam. Imus versus de duobus præliis decantatis. 2dus & Zus de Lotharingio, cuniculis subterrancis, saxis, ponto, hostibus, & Asia. 4tus & Grus de catenis, subdibus, uncis, draconibns, tigribus & crocodilis. Gus , 7us, gus', gus, de Gomorrha, de Babylone, Babele, & quodam domi suæ peregrino. 10us, aliquid de quodam Pocockio. 1lus, 12us, de Syriâ, Solymâ. 13us, 14us,' de Hoseâ, & quercu, & de juvene quodam valde sene. 15us, 16us, de Ætnâ, & quoa modo Ætna Pocockio fit valde similis. 17us, 18us, de tubâ, astro, umbrâ, flammis, rotis, Pocockio non neglecto. Cætera de Christianis, Ottomanis; Babyloniis, Arabibus, & gravissimâ agrorum melancholia ; de Cæsare Flacco, Nestore, & miserando juvenis cujusdam florentissimi fato, anno ætatis suæ cen– tesimo præmaturè abrepto. Quæ omnia cum accuratè expenderis, necesse €6t ut Oden hanc meam admirandâ planè varietati constare fatearis. Subito ad Batavos proficiscor, lauro ab illis donandus. Prius vero Pembrochienses voco ad certamen Poeticum. Vale. Illustrissima tua deosculor. crura.
. F. SMITHY
* Pro Flacco, animo paulo attentiore, fcrip6ffem Marone
OF Mr. RICHARD DUKE, I can find few memorials. He was bred at
Westiinster * and Cambridge * ; and Jacob relates, that he was some time tutor to the duke of Richmond.
He appears from his writings to have been not ill qualified for poetical compositions; and being conscious of his powers, when he left the university he enlisted himself among the wits. He was the familiar friend of Otway; and was engaged, among other popular names, in the translations of Ovid and Juvenal. In his Review, though unfinished, are some vigosous lines. His poems are not below mediocrity ; nor have I found much in them to be praised t...
With the Wit he seems to have shared the dissoluteness of the times : for Bquae of his compositions are such as he must have reviewed with detestation in his later days, when he published those Sermons which Felton has coin? mended.
Perhaps, like some other foolish young men, he rather talked than lived viciously, in an age when he that would be thought a Wit was afraid to say fuis prayers; and whatever might have been bad in the first part of his life, was surely condemned and reformed by his better judgment.
In 1683, being then master of arts, and fellow of Trinity College in Cambridge, he wrote a poem on the marriage of the Lady Anne with George Prince of Denmark.
He took orders; and being made prebendary of Gloucester, became a proctor in convocation for that church, and chaplain to Queen Anne.
In 1710, he was presented by the bishop of Winchester to the wealthy living of Witney in Oxfordshire, which he enjoyed but a few months. On February. 10, 1710-11, having returned from an entertainment, he was found dead the next morning. His death is mentioned in Swift's Journal.
* He was ad:nitted there in 1670 ; was elected to Trinity College, Cambridge, in 1675; and took bis Mifter's degree in 1682: N.
+ They make part of a yolome published by Tonfun in 8vo. 1917, containing the poems of the cari of Roscommon, and the duke of Buckingham's essay on poetry, but were fist published in Dryden's miscellany, as were noft, if not all, of the poems in that collectior. H.
W ILLIAM KING was born in London in 1663; the son of Ezekiel 'WV King, a gentleman. He was allied to the family of Clarendon.. .
From Westminster-school, where he was a scholar on the foundation under the care of Dr. Busby, he was at eighteen elected to Christ-church, in 1681 ; where he is said to have prosecuted his studies with so much intenseness and activity, that before he was eight years standing, he had read over, and made remarks upon, twenty-two thousand odd hundred books and manuscripts. The books were certainly not very long, the manuscripts not very difficult, nor the remarks very large ; for the calculator will find that he dispatched seven a day, for every day of his eight years; with a remnant that more than satisfies most other students. He took his degree in the most expensive manner, as a grand compounder ; whence it is inferred that he inherited a considerable fortune.''
In 1688, the same year in which he was made master of arts, he published a confutation of Varillas's account of Wicliffe ; and, engaging in the study of the Civil Law, became doctor in 1692, and was admitted advocate at Doctors Commons. · He had already made some translations from the French, and written some humorous and satirical pieces; when, in 1694, Molesworth published his Account of Denmark, in which he treats the Danes and their monarch with great contempt; and takes the opportunity of insinuating those wild principles, by which he supposes liberty to be established, and by which his adversaries suspect that all subordination and government is established.
This book offended prince George ; and the Danish minister presented a memorial against it. The principles of its author did not please Mr. King, and therefore he undertook to confute part, and laugh at the rest. The confroversy is now forgotten ; and books of this kind seldom live long, when interest and resentment have ceased.
In 1697, he mingled in the controversy between Boyle and Bentley; and was one of those who tried what Wit could perform in opposition to Learning, on a question which Learning only could decide.