Imatges de pÓgina

poem : and is said, by the anthor 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 (1st July, 1707] he became Doctor in Divinity, and soon after [1713] 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 Hampshire ; 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. Eevery 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 ander suspicion, and was taken into custody.

Upon his examination he was charged with a dangerous correspondence with Kelly. The correspondence he acknowledged ; but Icaintained 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 dodrine. This expression the imagination of his examiners bad impregnated with treason, and the Doctor was enjoined to explain them. 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 grati

l; fied bis curiosity one day by hearing Daniel Burgess in the pulpit, and those words were a memorial 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."

• Biographla Britannica, 'V 4379, fol. 1764

10 This is not correct. Atterbury retained the office of preacher at Bridewell till his promotion in June, 1718, to the Bishoprie of Rochester, when, 26th June, 1718, Yalden succeeded him as preacher,

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 conversation, of a very numerous and splendid set of acquaintance. He died July 16, 1736, in the 66th year of his age.

“ Of 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 counter-part 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 la psu,
Ergo ubi postremum mundi compage solutâ
Hanc rerum molem suprema absumpserit bora
Ipsa leves cineres nube amplectetur opaca,
Et prisco imperio rursus dominabitur umbra."

11 In his sixty-ninth year. He died intestate, and was burled in Bridewell precinct (Bloxam's Magdalen Register, p. 117).

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 th' Almighty wondering 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.

13 Most printed in Dryden's Third Mlscellady,'1698



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