« הקודםהמשך »
cloudiness still hung about him; and his merriment was sure to produce the scorn of his companions.
With all his carelessness and all his vices, he was One of the murmurers at Fortune; and wondered why he was suffered to be poor, when Addison was caressed and preferred; nor would a very little have contented him; for he estimated his wants at six hundred pounds a year.
In his course of reading, it was particular that he had diligently perused, and accurately remembered, the old romances of knight-errantry.
He had a high opinion of his own merit, and was something contemptuous in his treatment of those whom he considered as not qualified to oppose or contradict him. He had many frailties; yet it cannot but be supposed that he had great merit, who eould obtain to the same play a prologue from Addison, and an epilogue from Prior; and who could have at once the patronage of Halifax, and the praise of Oldisworth.
For the power of communicating these minute memorials, I am indebted to my conversation with Gilbert Walmsley, late registrar of the ecclesiastical court of Lichfield, who' was acquainted both with Smith and Ducket; and declared, that, if the tale concerning Clarendon were forged, he should suspect Ducket of the falsehood; “ for Rag was a man “ of great veracity.”
Of Gilbert Walmsley, thus presented to my mind, let me indulge myself in the remembrance. I knew him very early; he was one of the first friends that literature procured me, and I hope that
at least my gratitude made me worthy of his notice.
He was of an advanced age, and I was only not a boy; yet he never received my notions with contempt. He was a Whig, with all the virulence and malevolence of his party; yet difference of opinion did not keep us apart. I honoured him, and he endured me.
He had mingled with the gay world without exemption from its vices or its follies, but had never neglected the cultivation of his mind; his belief of Revelation was unshaken ; his learning preserved his principles ; he grew first regular, and then pious.
His studies had been so various, that I am not able to name a man of equal knowledge. His acquaintance with books was great; and what he did not immediately know, he could at least tell where to find. Such was his amplitude of learning, and such his copiousness of communication, that it may be doubted whether a day now passes in which I have not some advantage from his friendship.
At this man's table I enjoyed many cheerful and instructive hours, with companions such as are not often found; with one who has lengthened, and one who has gladdened life; with Dr. James, whose skill in Physick will be long remembered; and with David Garrick, whom I hoped to have gratified with this character of our common friend: but what are the hopes of man! I am disappointed by that stroke of death, which has eclipsed the gaiety of nations, and impoverished the publick stock of harmless pleasure.
In the Library at Oxford is the following ludicrous Analysis of Pocockius :
[Sent by the Author to Mr. Urry.] OPUSCULUM hoc, Halberdarie amplissime, in lucem proferre hactenus distuli, judicii tui acumen subveritus magis quam bipennis. Tandem aliquando oden hanc ad te mitto sublimem, teneram, flebi
m, suavem, qualem demum divinus (si Musis vacaret) scripsisset Gastrellus : adeo scilicet sublimem ut inter legendum dormire, adeo flebilem ut ridere velis. Cujus elegantiam. ut melius inspicias, versuum ordinem & materiam breviter referam. versus de doubus præliis decantatis. 2dus & zus de Lotharingio, cuniculis subterraneis, saxis, ponto, hostibus, & Asiâ. 4tus & 5tus de catenis, subdibus, uncis, draconibus, tigribus & crocodilis. bus, 7us,
gus, gus, de Gomorrhâ, de Babylone, Babele, & quodam domi suæ peregrino. 10us, aliquid de quodam Pocockio. 1145, 12us, de Syriâ, Solymâ. 13u5, 14us, de Hoseâ, & quercu, & de juvene quodam valde sene. 1545, 16us, de Ætnâ, & quomodo Ætna Pocockio fit valde similis. 17us, 18us, de tubâ, astro, umbrâ, flammis, rotis, Pocockio non neglecto. Cætera de Christianis, Ottomanis, Babyloniis, Arabibus, & gravissimâ agrorum melancholiâ ; de Cæsare, Flacco * Nestore, & miserando juvenis cujusdam florentissimi fato, anno ætatis suæ centesimo præmaturè abrepti. Quæ omnia cum accuratè expenderis, necesse est ut
* Pro Flacco, animo paulo attentiore, scripsissrm Marone,
oden hanc meam admirandâ planè varietate constare fatearis.
Subitò ad Batavos proficiscor, lauro ab illis donandus. Prius vero Pembrochienses voco ad certamen Poeticum. Vale.
DU K E.
F Mr. RICHARD DUKE I can find few memorials. He was bred at Westminster * and Cambridge; and Jacob relates, that he was some time tutor to the duke of Richmond. He
appears from his writings to have been not ill qualified for poetical compositions; and being conscious of his powers, when he left the university, he enlisted himself among the wits. He was the familiar friend of Otway; and was engaged, among other popular names, in the translations of Ovid and Juvenal. In his Review, though unfinished, are some vigorous lines. His poems are not below mediocrity; nor have I found much in them to be praised up.
* He was admitted there in 1670; was elected to Trinity College, Cambridge, in 1675; and took his master's degree in 1682. N.
† They make a part of a volume published by Tonson in Svo. 1717, containing the Poems of the earl of Roscommon, and the duke of Buckingham's Essay on Poetry; but were first published
in Dryden's Miscellany, as were most, if not all, of the poems • in that collection. H,