Imatges de pÓgina

cation, admitted him as a favourite companion to his convivial hours, but, as it feems often to have happened in thofe times to the favourites of the great, without attention to his fortune, which, however, was in no great need of improvement.

Parnell, who did not want ambition or vanity, was defirous to make himself confpicuous, and to fhew how worthy he was of high preferment. As he thought himfelf qualified to become a popular preacher, he displayed his elocution with great fuccefs in the pulpits of London; but the queen's death putting an end to his expectations, abated his diligence; and Pope reprefents him as falling from that time into intemperance of wine. That in his latter life he was too much a lover of the bottle, is not denied; but I have heard it imputed to a caufe more likely to obtain forgivenefs from mankind, the untimely death of a darling fon; or, as others tell, the lofs of his wife, who died (1712) in the midst of his expectations.

He was now to derive every future addition to his preferments from his perfonal intereft with his private friends, and he was not long unregarded.. He was warmly recommended by Swift to archbishop King, who gave him a prebend in 1713; and in May 1716 prefented him to the vicarage of Finglas in the diocese of Dublin, worth four hundred pounds a year. Such notice from such a man inclines me to believe that the vice of which he has been accused was not grofs, or not notorious.

But his profperity did not last long. His end, whatever was its caufe, was now approaching. He enjoyed his preferment little more than a year; for in July 1717, in his thirty-eighth year, he died at Chefter on his way to Ireland..


He feems to have been one of thofe poets who take delight in writing. He contributed to the papers of that time, and probably published more than he owned. He left many compofitions behind him, of which Pope felected thofe which he thought beft, and dedicated them to the earl of Oxford. Of these Goldsmith has given an opinion, and his criticism it is feldom fafe to contradict. He bestows juft praise upon the Rife of Woman, the Fairy Tale, and the Pervigilium Veneris; but has very properly remarked, that in the Battle of Mice and Frogs the Greek names have not in English their original effect.

He tells us, that the Bookworm is borrowed from Beza; but he fhould have added, with modern applications and when he discovers that Gay Bacchus is tranflated faom Augurellus, he ought to have remarked that the latter part is purely Parnell's. Another poem, When Spring comes on, is, he fays, taken from the French. I would add, that the description of Barrenness, in his verses to Pope, was borrowed from Secundus; but lately fearching for the paffage which I had formerly read, I could not find it. The Night-piece on Death is indirectly preferred by Goldsmith to Gray's Church-yard; but, in my opinion, Gray has the advantage in dignity, variety, and originality of fentiment. He obferves, that the ftory of the Hermit is in More's Dialogues and Howell's Letters, and supposes it to have been originally Arabian.

Goldfmith has not taken any notice of the Elegy to the old Beauty, which is perhaps the meaneft; nor of the Allegory on Man, the happieft of Parnell's performances. The hint of the Hymn to Con


tentment I fufpect to have been borrowed from Cleiveland.

The general character of Parnell is not great extent of comprehenfion, or fertility of mind. Of the little that appears, ftill less is his own. His praise must be derived from the eafy sweetness of his diction: in his verfes there is more happiness than pains; he is fpritely without effort, and always delights, though he never ravifhes; every thing is proper, yet every thing feems cafual. If there is fome appearance of elaboration in the Hermit, the narrative, as it is lefs airy, is lefs pleafing. Of his other compofitions it is impoffible to fay whether they are the productions of Nature fo excellent as not to want the help of Art, or of Art fo refined as to resemble Nature.

This criticism relates only to the pieces publifhed by Pope. Cf the large appendages which I find in the laft edition, I can only fay, that I know not whence they came, nor have ever enquired whither they are going. They ftand upon the faith of the compilers.



SAMUEL GARTH was of a good family

in Yorkshire, and from fome fchool in his own country became a student at Peter-houfe in Cambridge, where he refided till he became doctor of phyfick on July the 7th, 1691. He was examined before the College at London on March the 12th, 1691-2, and admitted fellow June 26th, 1693. He was foon fo much diftinguithed by his converfation and accomplishments, as to obtain very extenfive practice; and, if a pamphlet of those times may be credited, had the favour and confidence of one party, as Radcliffe had of the other.

He is always mentioned as a man of benevolence; and it is juft to fuppofe that his defire of helping the helpless difpofed him to fo much zeal for the Difpenfury; an undertaking, of which fome account, however fhort, is proper to be given.

Whether what Temple fays be true, that phyficians have had more learning than the other faculties, I will not ftay to enquire; but, I believe, every man has found in phyficians great liberality and dignity of fentiment, very prompt effufion of beneficence, and willingness to exert a lucrative art where there is no hope of lucre. Agreeably to

this character, the College of Physicians, in July 1687, published an edict, requiring all the fellows, candidates, and licentiates, to give gratuitous advice to the neighbouring poor.

This edict was fent to the Court of Aldermen ; and a question being made to whom the appellation of the poor fhould be extended, the College anfwered, that it should be fufficient to bring a testimonial from the clergyman officiating in the parish where the patient refided.

After a year's experience, the physicians found their charity fruftrated by fome malignant oppofition, and made to a great degree vain by the high price of phyfick; they therefore voted, in August 1688, that the laboratory of the College fhould be accommodated to the preparation of medicines, and another room prepared for their reception; and that the contributors to the expence fhould manage the charity.

It was now expected that the apothecaries would have undertaken the care of providing medicines; but they took another courfe. Thinking the whole defign pernicious to their intereft, they endeavoured to raife a faction against it in the college, and found fome physicians mean enough to folicit their patronage, by betraying to them the counfels of the College. The greater part, however, enforced, by a new edict, in 1694, the former order of 1687, and fent it to the mayor and aldermen, who appointed a committee to treat with the College, and fettle the mode of adminiftering the charity.

It was defired by the aldermen, that the teftimonials of churchwardens and overfeers fhould be admitted;

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