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D Y E R. ០៥ Fortit * Dyer, of whom I have no other account to give 108 is own letters, published with Hughes's correspondfor fun and the notes added by the editor, have afforded etry. Has born in 1700, the second son of Robert Dyer, of od imekilasney, in Caermarthenshire, a solicitor of great caEsteedtand note. ap, set passed through Westminster school under the care
· Freind, and was then called home to be instructed
i father's profession. But his father died soon, and prodaty rok no delight in the study of the law; but having
7 amused himself with drawing, resolved to turn
er, and became pupil to Mr. Richardson, an artist AUREA of high reputation, but now better known by his books ne by his pictures.
aving studied awhile under his master, he became, as 4, ceme pitells his friend, an itinerant painter, and wandered Dad's sty at South Wales, and the parts adjacent; but he minla piel poetry with painting, and, about 1727, printed Gron$07 F**Hill in Lewis's Miscellany. ten tenke Being, probably, unsatisfied with his own proficiency, te perd like other painters, travelled to Italy; and coming in 27 ks :k in 1740, published the Ruins of Rome. rin kr[f his poem was written soon after his return, he did not
ke much use of his acquisitions in painting, whatever y might be; for decline of health and love of study dermined him to the church. He, therefore, entered into ders; and, it seems, married, about the same time, a dy of the name of “ Ensor, whose grandmother," says he, was a Shakespeare, descended from a brother of every ody's Shakespeare ;" by her, in 1756, he had a son and bree daughters living.
His ecclesiastical provision was, for a long time, but Slender. His first patron, Mr. Harper, gave him, in 1741, Calthorp, in Leicestershire, of eighty pounds a fear which he lived ten years, and then exchanged it for Bet ford, in Lincolnshire, of seventy-five. His conditice began to mend. In 1751, sir John Heathcote gave is Coningsby, of one hundred and forty pounds a year; 2 in 1755, the chancellor added Kirkby, of one hundred s ten. He complains that the repair of the house at Cal ingsby, and other expenses, took away the profit. Im he published the Fleece, his greatest poetical Fort; . which I will not suppress a ludicrous story. Dodslet. ? bookseller, was one day mentioning it to a critical visz with more expectation of success than the other exci easily admit. In the conversation the author's agere asked ; and being represented as advanced in life, “ 21 will,” said the critick, “ be buried in woollen."
He did not, indeed, long survive that publication. long enjoy the increase of his preferments; for in my (July 24th,) he died.
Dyer is not a poet of bulk or dignity sufficient to reg an elaborate criticism. Grongar Hill is the happiest eel productions: it is not, indeed, very accurately written, the scenes which it displays are so pleasing, the lo which they raise are so welcome to the mind, and then flections of the writer so consonant to the general sens experience of mankind, that when it is once read, . be read again.
The idea of the Ruins of Rome strikes more but pica less, and the title raises greater expectation than the formance gratifies. Some passages, however, are ed with the mind of a poet; as when, in the neighbor of dilapidating edifices, he says,
The pilgrim oft
(the Fleece, which never became popular, and
iiversally neglected, I can say little that is likely to recall to attention. The woolcomber and the poet appear to e such discordant natures, that an attempt to bring them "gether is to couple the serpent with the fowl. When
yer, whose mind was not unpoetical, has done his ut1ost, by interesting his reader in our native commodity, y interspersing rural imagery, and incidental digressions, y clothing small images in great words, and by all the vriter's arts of delusion, the meanness naturally adhering, and the irreverence habitually annexed to trade and manufacture, sink him under insuperable oppression; and the disgust which blank verse, encumberiug and encumbered, superadds to an unpleasing subject, soon repels the reader, however willing to be pleased.
Let me, however, honestly report whatever may counterbalance this weight of censure. I have been told, that Akenside, who, upon a poetical question, has a right to be heard, said, " That he would regulate his opinion of the reigning taste by the fate of Dyer's Fleece ; for if that were ill-received, he should not think it any longer reasonable to expect fame from excellence.”
WILLIAM SHENSTONE, the son of Thomas Sheast and Anne Pen, was born in November, 1714, at the la sowes in Hales-Owen, one of those insulated distries which, in the division of the kingdom, was appended.fr some reason, not now discoverable, to a distant cont. and which, though surrounded by Warwickshire and we cestershire, belongs to Shropshire, though, perhaps, thir miles distant from any other part of it.
He learned to read of an old dame, whom his poea of the Schoolmistress has delivered to posterity; and som received such delight from books, that he was always cal ing for fresh entertainment, and expected that, when any ai the family went to market, a new book should be broegt him, which, when it came, was in fondness carried to bed and laid by him. It is said, that, when his request had been neglected, his mother wrapped up a piece of wood of the same form, and pacified him for the night.
As he grew older, he went for awhile to the grammarschool in Hales-Owen, and was placed afterwards with Mr. Crumpton, an eminent schoolmaster at Solihul, where he distinguished himself by the quickness of his progress.
When he was young, June, 1724, he was deprived of his father, and soon after, August, 1726, of his grandfather; and was, with his brother, who died afterwards unmarried, left to the care of his grandmother, who managed the estate.
From school he was sent, in 1732, to Pembroke college, in Oxford, a society wbich, for half a century, has been eminent for English poetry and elegant literature. Here it appears that he found delight and advantage; for he continued his name in the book ten years, though he took no degree. After the first four years he put on the civiHau's gown, but without showing any intention to engage in the profession.
bout the time when he went to Oxford, the death of grandmother devolved his affairs to the care of the rend Mr. Dolman, of Brome, in Staffordshire, whose ation he always mentioned with gratitude.
t Oxford he employed himself upon English poetry; , in 1737, published a small miscellany, without his name, le then for a time wandered about to acquaint himself 1 life, and was sometimes at London, sometimes at ih, or any other place of publick resort; but he did not get his poetry. He published, in 1741, bis Judgment of rcules, addressed to Mr. Lyttelton, whose interest he ported with great warmth at an election : this was next ar followed by the Schoolmistress. Mr. Dolman, to whose care he was indebted for his ease d leisure, died in 1745, and the care of his own fortune w fell upon him. He tried to escape it awhile, and red at his house with his tenants, who were distantly reted; but finding that imperfect possession inconvenient,
took the whole estate into his own hands, more to the aprovement of its beauty, than the increase of its produce.
Now was excited his delight in rural pleasures, and his mbition of rural elegance: he began, from this time, to oint his prospects, to diversify his surface, to entangle his valks, and to wind his waters; which he did with such udgment and such fancy, as made his little domain the Envy of the great, and the admiration of the skilful; a place to be visited by travellers, and copied by designers. Whether to plant a walk in undulating curves, and to place a bench at every turn where there is an object to catch the view; to make water run where it will be heard, and to stagnate where it will be seen; to leave intervals where the eye will be pleased, and to thicken the plantation where there is something to be hidden; demands any great powers of mind, I will not inquire : perhaps a surly and sullen speculator may think such performances rather the sport than the business of human reason. But it must be at least confessed, that to embellish the form of nature is an innocent amusement; and some praise must be allowed, by the most