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Of the Moral Poems the first is the Choice of Hero cules, from Xenophon. The numbers are smooth, the diction elegant, and the thoughts just; but something of vigour perhaps is still to be wished, which it might have had by brevity and compression. His Fate of Delicacy has an air of gaiety, but not a very pointed general moral. His blank verses, those that can read thein may probably find to be like the blank verses of his neighbours. Love and Honour is derived from the old ballad, Did you not bear of a Spanih LadyI wish it well enough to wish it were in rhyme.

The School-mistress, of which I know not what claim it has to stand among the Moral Works, is surely the most pleasing of Shenstone's performances.' The adoption of a particular style, in light and short compositions, contributes much to the increase of pleasure: we are entertained at once with two imitations, of nature in the sentiments, of the original author in the style, and between them the mind is kept in perpetual employment.

The general recommendation of Shenstone is easiness and simplicity; his general defect is want of comprehension and variety. Had his mind been better stored with knowledge, whether he could have been great, I know not; he could certainly have been agreeable.

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YOUNG

YOU N

G.

HE following life was written, at my request,

by a gentleman who had better information than I could easily have obtained ; and the publick will perhaps wish that I had folicited and obtained more such favours from him.

- DEAR SIR, In consequence of our different conversations about authentick materials for the Life of Young, I send you the following detail. It is not, I confess, immediately in the line of my profession; but hard indeed is our fate at the bar, if we may not call a few hours now-and-then our own.

Of great men, something must always be said to gratify curiosity. Of the great author of the Night Thoughts much has been told of which there never could have been proofs; and little care appears to have been taken to tell that of which proofs, with little trouble, might have been procured.

EDWARD YOUNG was born at Upham, near Winchester, in June, 1681. He was the son of Ed

ward

.

ward Young, at that time Fellow of Winchester Colo lege and Rector of Upham ; who was the son of Jo.

; Young of Woodhay in Berkshire, styled by Wood gentleman.' In September 1682 the Poet's father was collated to the prebend of Gillingham Minor, in the church of Sarum, by bishop Ward. When Ward's faculties were impaired by age, his duties were necessarily performed by others. We learn from Wood, that, at a visitation of Sprat, July the 12th, 1686, the prebendary preached a Latin sermon, afterwards published, with which the Bishop was so pleased, that he told the Chapter he was concerned to find the preacher had one of the worst prebends in their church. Some time after this, in consequence of his merit and reputation, or of the interest of Lord Bradford, to whom, in 1702, he dedicated two volumes of fermons, he was appointed chaplain to king William and Queen Mary, and preferred to the deanery of Sarum. Jacob, who wrote in 1720, says, he was chaplain and clerk of the closer to the late Queen, who honoured him by standing godmother to the Poet. His fellowship of Winchester he resigned in favour of a Mr. Harris, who married his only daughter. The Dean died at Sarum, after a fhort illness, in 1705, in the sixty-third year of his age. On the Sunday after his decease Bishop Burnet preached at the cathedral, and began his fermon with saying, “ Death has been

“ “ of late walking round us, and making breach upon “ breach upon us, and has now carried away the head " of this body with a stroke ; so that he, whom you “ faw a week ago distributing the holy mysteries, is " now laid in the dust. But he still lives in the many

" excellent

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"excellent directions he has left us, both how to live 5 and how to die." her

The Dean placed his son upon the foundation at Winchester College, where he had himself been educated. At this school Edward Young remained till the election after his eighteenth birth-day, the period at which those upon the foundation are superannuated. Whether he did not betray his abilities early in life; or his masters had not skill enough to discover in their pupil any marks of genius for which he merited reward, or no vacancy at Oxford afforded them an opportunity to bestow upon him the reward provided for merit by William of Wykeham; certain it is, that to an Oxford fellowship our Poet did not succeed. By chance, or by choice, New College does not number among its Fellows him who wrote the Night Thoughts.

On the 13th of October, 1703, he was entered an Independent Member of New College, that he might live at little expence in the Warden's logings, who was a particular friend of his father, till he should be qualified to stand for a fellowship at All-souls. In a few months the warden of New College died. He then removed to Corpus College. The President of this Society, from regard also for his father, invited him thither, in order to lessen his academical expences. In 1708, he was nominated to a law fellowship at Allsouls by Archbishop Tenison, into whose hands it came by devolution. Such repeated patronage, while it justifies Burnet's praise of the father, reflects credit on the conduct of the son. The manner in which it was exerted seems to prove, that the father did not leave behind him much wealth. Vol. IV.

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On the 22d of April, 1714, Young took his degree of Batchelor of Civil Laws, and his Doctor's degree on the roth of June, 1719.

Soon after he went to Oxford, he discovered, it is said, an inclination for pupils. Whether he ever commenced tutor is not known. None has hitherto boasted to have received his academical instruction from the author of the Night Thoughts.

It is certain that his college was proud of him no less as a scholar than as a poet; for, in 1716, when the foundation of the Codrington Library was laid, two years after he had taken his Batchelor's degree, he was appointed to speak the Latin oration. This is at least particular for being dedicated in English To the Ladies of the Codrington Family. To these Ladies he says, “ that he was unavoidably flung into a fingularity, by being obliged to write an epistle-dedicatory void of common-place, and such an one as was never published before by any author whatever : that this practice absolved them from any obligation of reading what was presented to them ;—and that the bookseller approved of it, because it would make people stare, was absurd enough, and perfectly right.”

Of this oration there is no appearance in his own edition of his works; and prefixed to an edition by Curll and Tonson, in 1741, is a letter from Young to Curll, if Curll may be credited, dated December the 9th, 1739, wherein he says he has not leisure to review what he formerly wrote, and adds, “ I have “ not the Epistle to Lord Lansdowne. If you will take

my advice, I would have you omit that, and the “ oration on Codrington. I think the collection will fell better without them."

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