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• The Essay on Unnatural Flights in Poetry' is not inelegant not injudicious, and has something of vigour beyond most of his other performances ; bis precepts are just, and his cautions proper ; they are indeed not new, but in a didactic poem novelty is to be expected only in the ornaments and illustrations. His poetical precepts are accompanied with agreeable and instructive notes.
The masque of 'Peleas and Thetis' has here and there a pretty line ; but it is not always melodions, and the conclusion is wretched.
In his · British Enchanters' he has bidden defiance to all chronology by confounding the inconsistent manners of different ages ; but the dialogue has often the air of Dryden's rhyming plays; and the 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.
YA LD EN.
Born and Educated at Oxford-Hls earliest Poetry-Made Preacher at Bridewell—Taken into
custody about Atterbury's Plot-Death and Burial in Bridewell precinct-Character and Works.
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 grammar-school 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 panishment; and, that he might not be deceived by any artifice, locked the door. Yalden, 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 favour him.'
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 lose the friendship of Addison.“
1 This account of Yalden is very incorrect. His proper name was Youlding, and he was born dot at Exeter but at Oxford; and not in 1671 but in 1669–70, January 2. Wood's 'Ath. Ox.,'. by Bliss (iv. 601), and Bloxam's Magdalen Register, p. 109. His father, Thomas Youlding, was "a page of the presence, and groom of the chamber, to Prince Charles, afterwards a sufferer for his cause, and an exciseman Oxford after the Restoration of King Charles II." (Wood, Iv. 601.) His father died 25th July, 1670, in the ofty-ninth year of his age, and was buried in Merton College Chapel. See his epitaph in Le Neve's • Monuments,' Aug. 1650–1718, p. 87.
• Afterwards Bishop of Worcester, now best remembered by his Oxford opposition to James II., by the verse of Pope, and the chisel of Ruubiliac.
1 Bio. Britannica,' vi, 4870, fol. 1766, “communicated by the author himself to a particu lar acquaintance."
When Namur was taken by King William, Yalden made an ode. There was never any reigu 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 an humorous poem of that time, called “The Oxford Laureate ;' 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 a 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 Congreve.
He wrote another poem on the death of the Duke of Gloucester.'
In 1710 he became Fellow of the college ; and next year, entering into orders, was presented by the society with a living in War. wickshire,' consistent with the fellowship, and chosen lecturer of moral philosophy—a very bonourable office.
On the accession of Queen Anne [1702–3] he wrote another
Jacob's 'Poet. Register, ' 11. 288. * Published in 1695, folio. This was not his first appearance as an autbor. None poems with his name to them are printed in Dryden's Third Miscellany,' 8vo. 1698. One is the "Hymn to Darkness.' In Dryden's 'Fourth Miscellany (8vo. 1694) are seven other poeins with Yalden's name to them.
• Compare note 10, p. 84.
* "The Temple of Pame, a Poem, sacred to the memory of the most illustrious Prince Willlam, Duke of Gloucester,' 1700, fol.
• The Vicarage of Willoughby, to which he was presented 35th Sept., 1700, and resigned in