« AnteriorContinua »
Born at Westminster – Educated at Cambridge — His Friendship with
Otway Contributes to Dryden's 'Ovid' and 'Juvenal'. Enters the Church Made Vicar of Witney – Death.
OF Mr. RICHARD DUKE I can find few memorials. He was bred at Westminster and Cambridge ;? and Jacob relates 2 that he was some time tutor to the Duke of Richmond.3
He appears from his writings to have been not ill qualified for poetical compositions; and being conscious of his powers, when he left the university he enlisted himself among the wits. He was the familiar friend of Otway; and was engaged, among other popular names, in the translations of Ovid  and Juvenal . In his · Review,' though unfinished, are some vigorous lines. His poems are not below mediocrity, nor have I found much in them to be praised.
With the wit he seems to have shared the dissoluteness of the times; for some of his compositions are such as he must have reviewed with detestation in his later days, when he published those Sermons which Felton has commended.
| He was admitted to Westminster in 1670; elected to Trinity College, Cambridge, in 1675; and took his Master's degree in 1682.
? Jacob's 'Lives,' ii. 50. Jacob says that he was “the son of an eminent citizen of London."
3 Charles II.'s son, by the Duchess of Portsmouth.
· The beginning of the poem called “The Review' he wrote a little after the publishing of Mr. Dryden’s ‘ Absalom and Achitophel:' he was persuaded to undertake it by Mr. Sheridan, then secretary to the Duke of York; but Mr. Duke, finding Mr. Sheridan designed to make use of his pen to vent his spleen against several persons at Court that were of another party than that he was engaged in, broke off proceeding in it, and left it as it is now printed.— Tonson • To the Reader,' before Roscommon and Duke's Poems, 1717, 8vo. (The best edition of both poets.)
Perhaps, like some other foolish young men, he rather talked than lived viciously, in an age when he that would be thought a wit was afraid to say his prayers ; and whatever might have been bad in the first part of his life, was surely condemned and reformed by his better judgment.
In 1683, being then Master of Arts, and Fellow of Trinity College in Cambridge, he wrote a poem on the marriage of the Lady Anne with George Prince of Denmark.”
He then took orders; and, being made prebendary of Gloucester, became a proctor in convocation for that church, and chaplain to Queen Anne.
In 1710 he was presented by the bishop of Winchester to the wealthy living of Witney in Oxfordshire, which he enjoyed but a few months. On February 10, 1710-11, having returned from an entertainment, he was found dead the next morning. His death is mentioned in Swift's Journal.'
5 To Dryden's first • Miscellany' (1684) he contributed a translation of Elegy Fifth, book i. of Ovid; three odes of Horace, an Idyllium of Theocritus, the Fifth Eclogue of Virgil, and 'Floriana, a Pastoral upon the death of the Duchess of Southampton. He did not contribute to the other volumes.
6 14th Feb. 1710-11.—Dr. Duke died suddenly two or three nights ago: he was one of the wits when we were children, but turned parson, and left it, but never writ further than a prologue or recommendatory copy of verses. He had a fine living given him by the Bishop of Winchester about three months ago : he got his living suddenly, and he got his dying so too.
16th Feb.-Atterbury and Prior went to bury poor Dr. Duke.-SWIFT : Journal to Stella.
K I N G.
Born in London - Educated at Westminster and Oxford — Made Gazetteer
- Buried in Westminster Abbey — Works and Character.
William KING was born in London in 1663, the son of Ezekiel King, a gentleman. He was allied to the family of Clarendon.
From Westminster School, where he was a scholar on the foundation under the care of Dr. Busby, he was at eighteen elected to Christ Church in 1681, where he is said to have prosecuted his studies with so much intenseness and activity, that before he was eight years standing he had read over, and made remarks upon, twenty-two thousand odd hundred books and manuscripts. The books were certainly not very long, the manuscripts not very difficult, nor the remarks very large ; for the calculator will find that he despatched seven a day for every day of his eight years, with a remnant that more than satisfies most other students. He took his degree in the most expensive manner, as a grand compounder ; whence it is inferred that he inherited a considerable fortune.
In 1688, the same year in which he was made Master of Arts, he published a confutation of Varillas's account of Wicliffe; and, engaging in the study of the civil law, became Doctor in 1692, and was admitted advocate at Doctors' Commons,
He had already made some translations from the French, and written some humorous and satirical pieces, when in 1694 Molesworth published his “ Account of Denmark,' in which he treats the Danes and their monarch with great contempt, and takes the opportunity of insinuating those wild principles by which he supposes liberty to be established, and by which his