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verence for his beneficence we do not willingly withhold the praise of genius ; a man of exalted merit becomes, at once, an accomplished writer, as a beauty finds no great difficulty in passing for a wit.
Granville was a man illustrious by his birth, and, therefore, attracted notice: since he is by Pope styled “the polite," he must be supposed elegant in his manners, and generally loved: he was, in times of contest and turbulence, steady to his party, and obtained that esteem which is always conferred upon firmness and consistency. With those advantages having learned the art of versifying, he declared himself a poet; and his claim to the laurel was allowed.
But by a critick of a later generation, who takes up his book without any favourable prejudices, the praise already received will be thought sufficient; for his works do not show him to have had much comprehension from nature, or illumination from learning. He seems to have had no ambition above the imitation of Waller, of whom he has copied the faults, and very little more. He is for ever amusing himself with the puerilities of mythology; his king is Jupiter, who, if the queen brings no children, has a barren Juno. The queen is compounded of Juno, Ve. nus, and Minerva. His poem on the dutchess of Grafton's lawsuit, after having rattled awhile with Juno and Pallas, Mars and Alcides, Cassiope, Niobe, and the Propetides, Hercules, Minos, and Rhadamanthus, at last concludes its folly with profaneness.
His verses to Mira, which are most frequently mentioned, have little in them of either art or nature, of the sentiments of a lover, or the language of a poet: there may be found, now and then, a happier effort; but they are commonly feeble and unaffecting, or forced and extravagant.
His little pieces are seldom either sprightly or elegant, either keen or weighty. They are trifles written by idleness, and published by vanity. But his prologues and epilogues have a just claim to praise.
The Progress of Beauty seems one of his most elaborate pieces, and is not deficient in splendour and gaiety; but the merit of original thought is wanting. Its highest praise is the spirit with which he celebrates king James's consort, when she was a queen no longer.
The Essay on unnatural Flights in Poetry, is not inelegant nor injudicious, and has something of vigour beyond most of his other performances : his precepts are just, and his cautions proper; they are, indeed, not new, but in a didactick poem novelty is to be expected only in the ornaments and illustrations. His poetical precepts are accompanied with agreeable and instructive notes.
The Mask of Peleus and Thetis has here and there a pretty line; but it is not always melodious, and the conclusion is wretched.
In his British Enchanters he has bidden defiance to all chronology, by confounding the inconsistent manners of different ages; but the dialogue has often the air of Dryden's rhyming plays; and the songs are lively, though not very correct. This is, I think, far the best of his works ; for, if it has many faults, it has, likewise, passages which are, at least, pretty, though they do not rise to any high degree of excellence.
Thomas YALDEN, the sixth son of Mr. John Yalden, of Sussex, was born in the city of Exeter, in 1671. Having been educated in the grammar-school belonging to Magdalen college in Oxford, he was in 1690, at the age of nineteen, admitted commoner of Magdalen hall, under the tuition of Josiah Pullen', a man whose name is still remembered in the university. He became, next year, one of the scholars of Magdalen college, where he was distinguished by a lucky accident.
It was his turn, one day, to pronounce a declamation; and Dr. Hough, the president, happening to attend, thought the composition too good to be the speaker s. Some time after, the doctor finding him a little irregularly busy in the library, set him an exercise for punishment; and that he might not be deceived by any artifice, locke the door. Yalden, as it happened, had been lately redu ing on the subject given, and produced, with little difficulty, * composition which so pleased the president, that be to him his former suspicions, and promised to favour him.
Among his contemporaries in the college were Addiso, and Sacheverell, men who were in those times friends, and who both adopted Yalden to their intimacy. Yalden code tinued, throughout his life, to think, as probably he thougal at first, yet did not forfeit the friendship of Addison.
When Namur was taken by king William, Yalden made an ode. There was never any reign more celebrated us the poets than that of William, who had very little regard
• We need not remark to any of our readers, but to those who are not Ox men, that Pullen's name is now remembered in the university, not as a tu but by the venerable elm tree which was the term of his morning walks. have the honour to be well known to Mr. Josiah Pullen, of our hall above-men tioned, (Magdalen hall,) and attribute the florid old age I now enjoy to " constant morning walks up Headington hill, in his cheerful company,” Guardians No. 2. Ep.
for song himself, but happened to employ ministers who pleased themselves with the praise of patronage.
Of this ode mention is made in a humorous poem of that time, called the Oxford Laureate; in which, after many claims had been made and rejected, Yalden is represented as demanding the laurel, and as being called to his trial, instead of receiving a reward : His crime was for being a felon in verse,
And presenting his theft to the king ;
But the last was an impudent thing :
They forgave him the damage and cost; .
They had fined him but tenpence at most.
He wrote another poem on the death of the duke of Gloucester.
In 1700, he became fellow of the college ; and next year, entering into orders, was presented by the society with a living in Warwickshire P, consistent with the fellowship, and chosen lecturer of moral philosophy, a very bonourable office.
On the accession of queen Apne he wrote another poem; and is said, by the author of the Biographia, to have declared himself of the party who had the honourable distinction of high-churchmen.
In 1706, he was received into the family of the duke of Beaufort. Next year he became doctor in divinity, and soon after resigned his fellowship and lecture ; and, as a token of his gratitude, gave the college a picture of their founder. · He was made rector of Charlton and Cleanville ?, two adjoining towns and benefices in Hertfordshire ; and had the prebends, or sinecures, of Deans, Hains, and Pendles,
p The vicarage of Willoughby, which he resigned in 1708. N. 4 This preferment was given him by the duke of Beaufort. N. VOL. VIII.
in Devonshire. He had before' been chosen, in 1698, preacher of Bridewell Hospital, upon the resignation of Dr. Atterburys.
From this time he seems to have led a quiet and inoffensive life, till the clamour was raised about Atterbury's plot. Every loyal eye was on the watch for abetters or partakers of the horrid conspiracy; and Dr. Yalden, haying some acquaintance with the bishop, and being familiarly conversant with Kelly, his secretary, fell under suspicion, and was taken into custody.
l'pon his examination he was charged with a dangerous correspondence with Kelly. The correspondence he acknowledged; but maintained that it had no treasonable tendeney. His papers were seized; but nothing was found that could fix a crime upon him, except two words in his pocketbook, “ thorough-paced doctrine.” This expression the imagination of his examiners bad impregnated with treason, and the doctor was enjoined to explain them. Thus pressed, he told them that the words had lain unkeeded in his pocketbook from the time of queen Anne, and that he was ashamed to give an account of them ; but the truth was, that he had gratified his curiosity one day, by heering Daniel Burgess in the pulpit, and those words Wer a memorial hint of a remarkable sentence by which he warned his congregation to “ beware of thorough-paced doetrines that doctrine, which, coming in at one ear, passes through the head, and goes out at the other.”
othing worse than this appearing in his papers, and no erlenee arising against him, he was set at liberty.
at her be supposed that a man of this character atext high diguities in the church; but he still retained the trendship, and frequented the conversation, of a very
les and splendid set of acquaintance. He died
in the oth rear of his age.
terbury returned the slice of preacher at Bridewell till his promothe should of Rochester. De. Yalden succeeded him as preach
him as preacher, in