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F Ε Ν Τ Ο Ν.
HE břevity with which I am to write
the account of ELISHA FENTON is not the effect of indifference or negligence. I have fought intelligence among his relations in his native county, but have not obtained it.
He was born near Newcastle in StaffordAhire, of an ancient family, whose estate was very
considerable; but he was the youngest of twelve children, and being therefore necessarily destined to some lucrative employment, was fent first to school, and afterwards to Cambridge; but, with many other wise and virtuous men, who at that time of discord and debate consulted conscience, whether well or ill informed, more than interest, he doubted the legality of the government, and, refusing to qualify himself for publick employment by the oaths required, left the university without a de
op arles earlie F EN TO N. gree; but I never heard that the enthusiasm of opposition impelled him to separation from the church.
By this perverseness of integrity he was driven out a commoner of Nature, excluded from the regular modes of profit and prosperity, and reduced to pick up a livelihood ụncertain and fortuitous; but it must þe remembered that he kept his name unsullied, and never suffered himself to be reduced, like too many of the same fect, to mean arts and dishonourable shifts.' Whoever mentioned Fenton, mentioned him with honour,
The life that paffes in penury, must necefsarily pafs in 'obscurity. It is impossible to trace Fenton from year to year, or to discover what means he used for his support, Orrery in Flanders, and tutor to his young son, who afterwards mentioned him with great esteem and tenderness. He was at one time affiftant in the school of Mr. Bonwické in Surrey; and at another kept a school for himself at Sevenoaks in Kent, which he brought into reputation; but was persuaded
to leave it (1710) by Mr. St. John, with promises of a more honourable employment."
Si Biru SDL. 5. His opinions, as he was a Nonjuror, seem not to have been remarkably rigid. He wrote with great zeal and affection' the praises of queen Anne, and very willingly and 'liberally extolléd the duke of Marlborough, when he was (1707) at the height of his glory,
He expressed still more attention to Marlborough and his family by an elegiac Pastoral on the marquis of Blandford, which could be prompted only by respect or kindness; for neither the duke nor dutchefs desired the praise, or liked the cost of patronage.
The elegance of his poetry entitled him to the
company of the wits of his time, and the amiableness of his manners made him loyed wherever he was known. Of his friendship to Southern and Pope there are lasting monuments. He published in 1707 a' collection of poems.
By Pope he was once placed in a station that might have been of great advantage. I