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lived to be convinced that the essence of verse is order and consonance.
His numbers are such as mere diligence may attain; they feldom offend the ear, and seldom footh it; they commonly want airiness, lightness, and facility; what is smooth, is not soft. His verses always roll, but they seldom flow.
A survey of the life and writings of Prior may exemplify a sentence which he doubtless understood well, when he read Horace at his uncle's; the vessel long retains the scent which it first receives. In his private relaxation he revived the tavern, and in his amorous pedantry he exhibited the college. But on higher occasions, and nobler subjects, when habit was overpowered by the necessity of reflection, he wanted not wisdom as a statesman, nor elegance as a poet.
CON GRE V E.
WILLIAM CONGREVE descended
from a family in Staffordshire, of so great antiquity that it claims a place among the few that extend their line beyond the Norman Conquest; and was the fon of William Congreve, fecond son of Richard Conĝreve of Congreve and Stråtton. He visited, oncé at least, the residence of his ancestors; and, I believe, more places than one are still shewn,
groves and gardens, where he is related to have written his Old Batchelor,
Neither the time nor place of his birth are certainly known: if the inscription upon his monument be true, he was born in 1672. For the place; it was said by himself that he owed his nativity to England, and by every body else that he was born in Ireland, South
ern mentioned him with sharp censure, as a
To doubt whether a man of eminence has told the truth about his own birth, is, in appearance, to be very deficient in candour; yet nobody can live long without knowing that falsehoods of convenience or vanity, falsehoods from which no evil immediately yisible ensues, except the general degradation of human testimony, are very lightly uttered, and, once uttered, are fullenly supported. Boileau, who desired to be thought a rigorous and steady moralist, having told a petty lie to Lewis XIV. continued it afterwards by false dates; thinking himself obliged in honour, says his admirer, to maintain what, when he said it, was so well received.
Wherever Congreve was born, he was educated first at Kilkenny, and afterwards at Dublin, his father having some military employment that stationed him in Ireland: but • The Villare has no Bardfa, nor a Bardsey, in Yorkshire.