Imatges de pÓgina
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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, Valden is represented as demanding the laurel, and as being called to his trial, instead of receiving a reward.

His crime was for being a felon in verse,
And presenting his theft to the king;
The first was a trick not uncommon or scarce,

But the last was an impudent thing:

Yet what he has stol'n was so little worth stealing,

They forgave him the damage and cost;

Had he ta'en the whole ode, as he took it piece-mealing,
They had fined him but ten-pence at most.

The poet whom he was charged with robbing was Congreve. 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 afterwards 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, two adjoining towns and benefices in Hertfordshire; and had the prebends, or sinecures, of Deans, Hains, and Pendles, in Devonshire. He had before* been chosen, in 1698, preacher of Bridewell Hospital, upon the resignation of Dr. Atterbury. 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. 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, thorough-paced 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 memorable hint of a remarkable sentence by which he warned his congregation to "beware of" thorough-paced doctrine, "that doctrine 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 this character attained high dignities in the church; but he still retained the friendship, and frequented the con

*Not long after.

+ Dr. Atterbury retained the office of preacher at Bridewell till his promotion to the bishopric of Rochester. Dr. Yalden succeeded him as preacher in Junc, 1713. G

versation, of a very numerous and splendid set of acquaintance. He died July 16, 1736, in the sixty-sixth year of his age.

Óf his poems, many are of that irregular kind, which, when he formed his poetical character, was supposed to be Pindaric. Having fixed his attention on Cowley as a model, he has attempted in some sort to rival him, and has written a "Hymn to Darkness," evidently as a counterpart to Cowley's 'Hymn to Light." This hymn seems to be his best performance, and is, for the most part, imagined with great vigour, and expressed with great propriety. I will not transcribe it. The seven first stanzas are good; but the third, fourth, and seventh, are the best; the eighth seems to involve a contradiction; the tenth is exquisitely beautiful; the thirteenth, fourteenth, and fifteenth, are partly mythological, and partly religious, and therefore not suitable to each other: he might better have made the whole merely philosophical.

There are two stanzas in this poem where Yalden may be suspected, though hardly convicted, of having consulted the Hymnus ad Umbram of Wowerus, in the sixth stanza, which answers in some sort to these lines :

Illa suo præest nocturnis numine sacris-
Perque vias errare novis dat spectra figuris,
Manesque excitos medios ululare per agros
Sub noctem, et questu notos complere penates.

And again, at the conclusion:

Illa suo senium secludit corpore toto
Haud numerans jugi fugientia secula lapsu,
Ergo ubi postremum mundi compage solutâ
Hanc rerum molem suprema absumpserit hora
Ipsa leves cineres nube amplectetur opacâ,
Et prisco imperio rursus dominabitur UMBRA.

His "Hymn to Light" is not equal to the other. He seems to think that there is an East absolute and positive where the morning rises. In the last stanza, having mentioned the sudden eruption of new-created light, he says, A while the Almighty wond'ring viewed.

He ought to have remembered that Infinite Knowledge can never wonder. All wonder is the effect of novelty upon ignorance.

Of his other poems it is sufficient to say, that they deserve perusal, though they are not always exactly polished, though the rhymes are sometimes very ill sorted, and though his faults seem rather the omissions of idleness than the negligences of enthusiasm.

TICKEL L.

HOMAS TICKELL, the son of the Reverend Richard Tickell, was born in 1686 at Bridekirk, in Cumberland; and in 1701 became a member of Queen's College in Oxford; in 1708 he was made Master of Arts; and, two years afterwards, was chosen Fellow; for which, as he did not comply with the statutes by taking orders, he obtained a dispensation from the crown. He held his fellowship till 1726, and then vacated it, by marrying, in that year, at Dublin.

Tickell was not one of those scholars who wear away their lives in closets; he entered early into the world, and was long busy in public affairs; in which he was initiated under the patronage of Addison, whose notice he is said to have gained by his verses in praise of Rosamond. To those verses it would not have been just to deny regard; for they contain some of the most

elegant encomiastic strains; and, among the innumerable poems of the same kind, it will be hard to find one with which they need to fear a comparison. It may deserve observation, that, when Pope wrote long afterwards in praise of Addison, he has copied, at least has resembled, Tickell.

Let joy salute fair Rosamonda's shade,

And wreaths of myrtle crown the lovely maid.
While now perhaps with Dido's ghost she roves,
And hears and tells the story of their loves,

Alike they mourn, alike they bless their fate,

Since Love, which made them wretched, made them great.

Nor longer that relentless doom bemoan,

Which gain'd a Virgil and an Addison.-TICKELL.

Then future ages with delight shall see

How Plato's, Bacon's, Newton's, looks agree;
Or in fair series laurel'd bards be shown,
A Virgil there, and here an Addison.-POPE.

He produced another piece of the same kind at the appearance of Cato, with equal skill, but not equal happiness.

When the ministers of Queen Anne were negotiating with France, Tickell published "The Prospect of Peace," a poem, of which the tendency was to reclaim the nation from the pride of conquest to the pleasures of tranquillity. How far Tickell, whom Swift afterwards mentioned as Whiggissimus, had then connected himself with any party, I know not: this poem certainly did not flatter the practices, or promote the opinions, of the men by whom he was afterwards befriended.

Mr. Addison, however he hated the men then in power, suffered his friendship to prevail over his public spirit, and gave in the Spectator such praises of Tickell's poem, that when, after having long wished to peruse it, I laid hold of it at last, I thought it unequal to the honours which it had received, and found it a piece to be approved rather than admired. But the hope excited by a work of genius, being general and indefinite, is rarely gratified. It was read at that with so much favour, that six editions were sold.

At the arrival of King George he sang The Royal Progress; which, being inserted in the Spectator, is well known; and of which it is just to say, that it is neither high nor low.

The poetical incident of most importance in Tickell's life was his publication of the first book of the Iliad, as translated by himself, an apparent opposition to Pope's Homer, of which the first part made its entrance into the world at the same time. Addison declared that the rival versions were both good; but that Tickell's was the best that ever was made; and with Addison, the wits, his adherents and followers, were certain to concur. Pope does not appear to have been much dismayed; "for," says he, "I have the town, that is, the mob on my side." But he remarks, that it is common for the smaller party to make up in diligence what they want in numbers; he appeals to the people as his proper judges; and, if they are not inclined to condemn him, he is in little care about the highflyers at Button's."

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Pope did not long think Addison an impartial judge; for he considered him as the writer of Tickell's version. The reasons for his suspicion I will literally transcribe from Mr. Spence's Collection.

"There had been a coldness (said Mr. Pope) between Mr. Addison and me for some time; and we had not been in company together, for a good while, anywhere but at Button's coffee-house, where I used to see him almost every day. On his meeting me there, one day in particular, he took me aside, and said he should be glad to dine with me, at such a tavern, if I stayed till those people were gone (Budgell and Philips). He went accordingly; and after dinner Mr. Addison said, 'That he had wanted for some

time to talk with me: that his friend Tickell had formerly, whilst at Oxford, translated the first book of the Iliad; that he designed to print it, and had desired him to look it over; that he must therefore beg that I would not desire him to look over my first book, because, if he did, it would have the air of double-dealing. I assured him that I did not at all take it ill of Mr. Tickell that he was going to publish his translation; that he certainly had as much right to translate any author as myself; and that publishing both was entering on a fair stage. I then added, that I would not desire him to look over my first book of the Iliad, because he had looked over Mr. Tickell's; but could wish to have the benefit of his observations on my second, which had then finished, and which Mr. Tickell had not touched upon. Accordingly I sent him the second book the next morning; and Mr. Addison a few days after returned it, with very high commendations. Soon after it was generally known that Mr. Tickell was publishing the first book of the Iliad, I met Dr. Young in the street; and upon our falling into that subject, the doctor expressed a great deal of surprise at Tickell's having had such a translation so long by him. He said, that it was inconceivable to him, and that there must be some mistake in the matter; that each used to communicate to the other whatever verses they wrote, even to the least things; that Tickell could not have been busied in so long a work there without his knowing something of the matter; and that he had never heard a single word of it till on this occasion. This surprise of Dr. Young, together with what Steele has said against Tickell in relation to this affair, make it highly probable that there was some underhand dealing in that business; and indeed Tickell himself, who is a very fair worthy man, has since, in a manner, as good as owned it to me. When it was introduced into a conversation between Mr. Tickell and Mr. Pope, by a third person, Tickell did not deny it; which, considering his honour, and zeal for his departed friend, was the same as owning it.'

Upon these suspicions, with which Dr. Warburton hints that other circumstances concurred, Pope always in his Art of Sinking quotes this book as the work of Addison.

To compare the two translations would be tedious; the palm is now given universally to Pope; but I think the first lines of Tickell's were rather to be preferred; and Pope seems to have since borrowed something from them in the correction of his own.

When the Hanover succession was disputed, Tickell gave what assistance his pen would supply. His "Letter to Avignon" stands high among party poems; it expresses contempt without coarseness, and superiority without insolence. It had the success which it deserved, being five times printed.

He was now intimately united to Mr. Addison, who, when he went into Ireland as secretary to the Lord Sunderland, took him thither, and employed him in public business; and when (1717) afterwards he rose to be secretary of state, made him under-secretary. Their friendship seems to have continued without abatement; for, when Addison died, he left him the charge of publishing his works, with a solemn recommendation to the patronage of Craggs. To these works he prefixed an elegy on the author, which could owe none of its beauties to the assistance which might be suspected to have strengthened or embellished his earlier compositions; but neither he nor Addison ever produced nobler lines than are contained in the third and fourth paragraphs; nor is a more elegant funeral poem to be found in the whole compass of English literature. He was afterwards (about 1725) made secretary to the Lords Justices of Ireland, a place of great honour; in which he continued till 1740, when he died on the twenty-third of April at Bath. Of the poems yet unmentioned the longest is "Kensington Gardens," of

which the versification is smooth and elegant, but the fiction unskilfully compounded of Grecian Deities and Gothic Fairies. Neither species of those exploded beings could have done much; and when they are brought together, they only make each other contemptible. To Tickell, however, cannot be refused a high place among the minor poets; nor should it be forgotten that he was one of the contributors to the Spectator. With respect to his personal character, he is said to have been a man of gay conversation, at least a temperate lover of wine and company, and in his domestic relations without censure.

HAMMOND.

Mr. Hammond, though he be well remembered as a man esteemed and caressed by the elegant and the great, I was at first able to obtain no other memorials than such as are suppiled by a book called Cibber's Lives of the Poets; of which I take this opportunity to testify that it was not written, nor, I believe, ever seen, by either of the Cibbers; but was the work of Robert Shiels, a native of Scotland, a man of very acute understanding, though with little scholastic education, who, not long after the publication of his work, died in London of a consumption. His life was virtuous, and his end was pious. Theophilus Cibber, then a prisoner for debt, imparted, as I was told, his name for ten guineas. The manuscript of Shiels is now in my possession.

I have since found that Mr. Shiels, though he was no negligent inquirer, had been misled by false accounts; for he relates that James Hammond, the author of the Elegies, was the son of a Turkey merchant, and had some office at the Prince of Wales's court, till love of a lady, whose name was Dashwood, for a time disordered his understanding. He was unextinguishably amorous, and his mistress inexorably cruel. Of this narrative, part is true, and part false. He was the second son of Anthony Hammond, a man of note among the wits, poets, and parliamentary orators, in the beginning of this century, who was allied to Sir Robert Walpole by marrying his sister.* He was born about 1710, and educated at Westminster school; but it does not appear that he was of any university. He was equerry to the Prince of Wales, and seems to have come very early into public notice, and to have been distinguished by those whose friendship prejudiced mankind at that time in favour of the man on whom they were bestowed; for he was the companion of Cobham, Lyttelton, and Chesterfield. He is said to have divided his life between pleasure and books; in his retirement forgetting the town, and in his gaiety losing the student. Of his literary hours all the effects are here exhibited, of which the Elegies were written very early, and the Prologue nót long before his death.

In 1741, he was chosen into parliament for Truro in Cornwall, probably one of those who were elected by the Prince's influence; and died next year in June, at Stowe, the famous seat of Lord Cobham. His mistress long outlived him, and in 1779 died unmarried. The character which her lover bequeathed her was, indeed, not likely to attract courtship.

The Elegies were published after his death; and while the writer's name was remembered with fondness, they were read with a resolution to admire them. The recommendatory preface of the editor, who was then believed, and is now affirmed by Dr. Maty, to be the Earl of Chesterfield, raised * This account is still erroneous. James Hammond, our author, was of a different family, the second son of Anthony Hammond, of Somersham-place, in the county of Huntingdon, Esq. See Gent. Mag. Vol. LVII. p. 780.

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