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manners of different ages: but the dialogue has often the air of Dryden's rhyming plays; and his 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.
Y AL D E N.
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 grammarschool 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, locked the door. Yal- ' den, as it happened, had been lately reading on the subject given, and produced with little difficulty a composition which so pleased the president, that he
told him his former suspicions, and promised to fa
Among his contemporaries in the college were Addison and Sacheverell, men who were in those times friends, and who both adopted Yalden to their intimacy. Yalden continued, throughout his life, to think as probably he thought at first, yet did not forfeit the friendship of Addison.
When Namur was taken by king William, Yalden made an ode. There never was any reign more celebrated by the poets than that of William, who had very little regard 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 Laureat; 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 á 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 fin’d him but ten-pence at most. The poet whom he was charged with robbing was Congreye.
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 *, consistent with the fellowship, and chosen lecturer of moral philosophy, a very honourable office.
On the accession of queen Anne 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 Chalton and Cleanville ot, two adjoining towns and benefices in Hertfordshire; and had the prebends, or sinecures, of Deans, Hains, and Pendles, ini Devonshire. He had before been chosen, in 1698, preacher of Bridewell Hospital, upon the resignation of Dr. Atterbury J.
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 abettors or partakers of the horrid conspiracy ; and Dr. Yalden, having some acquaintance with the bishop, and being familiarly conversant with Kelly his secretary, fell under suspicion, and was taken into custody.
* The vicarage of Willoughby, which he resigned in 1708. N. + This preferment was given him by the duke of Beaufort. N. # Not long after.
§ Dr. Atterbury retained the office of preacher at Bridewell till his promotion to the Bishoprick of Rochester. Dr. Yalden succeeded him as preacher in June, 1713. N.
Upon his examination he was charged with a dangerous correspondence with Kelly. The correspondence he acknowledged; but maintained that it had no treasonable tendency. His papers were seized;
' but nothing was found that could fix a crime upon him, except two words in his pocket-book, thoroughpaced doctrine. This expression the imagination of his examiners had impregnated with treason, and the doctor was enjoined to explain. Thus pressed, he told them that the words had lain unheeded in his pocket-book 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 hearing Daniel Burgess in the pulpit, and those words were a memorial hint of a remarkable sentence by which he warned his congregation to “ beware of” thorough-paced doctrine,“ that doc“ trine which, coming in at one ear, paces through “the head, and goes out at the other." :
Nothing worse than this appearing in his papers, and no evidence arising against him, he was set at liberty.
It will not be supposed that a man of his character attained high dignities in the Church; but he still retained the friendship, and frequented the conversation, of a very numerous and splendid set of acquaintance. He died July 16, 1736, in the 66th year of his age.
Of his poems, many are of that irregular kind, which, when he formed his poetical character, was supposed to be Pindarick. Having fixed his attention on Cowley as a model, he has attempted in some sort to rival him, and has written a Hymn to Dark