Imatges de pÓgina

books were certainly not very long, the manufcripts not very difficult, nor the remarks very, large; for the calculator will find that he dispatched seven a-day, for every day of his eight years, with a remnant that more than fatisfies moft other students. He took his degree in the most expenfive manner, as a grand compounder; whence it is inferred that he inherited a confiderable fortune.

In 1688, the fame year in which he was made master of arts, he published a confutation of Varillas's account of Wicliffe ; and, engaging in the ftudy of the Civil Law, became doctor in 1692, and was admitted advocate at Doctors Commons,

He had already made fome translations from the French, and written fome humorous and fatirical pieces; when, in 1694, Molefworth published his Account of Denmark, in which he treats the Danes and their monarch with great contempt; and takes the opportunity of infinuating those wild principles, by which he fuppofes liberty to be established, and by which his adverfaries


fufpect that all fubordination and government is endangered.

This book offended prince George; and the Danish minifter prefented a memorial against it. The principles of its author did not please Dr. King, and therefore he undertook to confute part, and laugh at the rest. The controverfy is now forgotten; and books of this kind seldom live long, when interest and resentment have ceased.

In 1697 he mingled in the controverfy between Boyle and Bentley; and was one of those who tried what Wit could perform in oppofition to Learning, on a question which Learning only could decide.

In 1699 was published by him A Journey to London, after the method of Dr. Martin Lifter, who had published A Journey to Paris. And in 1700 he fatirised the Royal Society, at least Sir Hans Sloane their prefident, in two dialogues, intituled The Tranfactioneer.

Though he was a regular advocate in the courts of civil and canon law, he did not

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love his profeffion, nor indeed any kind of business which interrupted his voluptuary dreams, or forced him to rouse from that indulgence in which only he could find delight. His reputation as a civilian was yet maintained by his judgements in the courts of Delegates, and raised very high by the addrefs and knowledge which he discovered in 1700, when he defended the earl of Anglefea against his lady, afterwards dutchefs of Buckinghamshire, who fued for a divorce, and obtained it.

The expence of his pleasures, and neglect of bufinefs, had now leffened his revenues; and he was willing to accept of a settlement in Ireland, where, about 1702, he was made judge of the admiralty, commiffioner of the prizes, keeper of the records in Birmingham's tower, and vicar-general to Dr. Marsh the primate.

But it is vain to put wealth within the reach of him who will not stretch out his hand to take it. King foon found a friend as idle and thoughtless as himself, in Upton, one of the judges, who had a pleasant house called Mountown, near Dublin, to which

King frequently retired; delighting to neglect his intereft, forget his cares, and defert his duty.

Here he wrote Mully of Mountown, a poem; by which, though fanciful readers in the pride of fagacity have given it a pòlitical interpretation, was meant originally no more than it expreffed, as it was dictated only by the author's delight in the quiet of Mountown.

In 1708, when lord Wharton was fent to govern Ireland, King returned to London, with his poverty, his idleness, and his wit ; and published some effays called Useful Tranf actions. His Voyage to the Island of Cajamai is particularly commended. He then wrote: the Art of Love, a poem remarkable, notwithstanding its title, for purity of fentiment; and in 1709 imitated Horace in an Art of Cookery, which he published, with fome letters to Dr. Lifter.

In 1710 he appeared, as a lover of the Church, on the fide of Sacheverell; and was supposed to have concurred at least in the

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projection of The Examiner. His eyes were open to all the operations of Whiggism; and he bestowed fome ftrictures upon Dr. Kennet's adulatory fermon at the funeral of the duke of Devonshire.

The Hiftory of the Heathen Gods, a book composed for schools, was written by him in 1711. The work is useful; but might have been produced without the powers of King. The fame year he published Rufinus, an historical essay, and a poem, intended to dispose the nation to think as he thought of the duke of Marlborough and his ad-. herents.

In 1711, competence, if not plenty, was again put into his power. He was, without the trouble of attendance, or the mortification of a requeft, made gazetteer. Swift, Fréind, Prior, and other men of the fame party, brought him the key of the gazetteer's office. He was now again placed in a profitable employment, and again threw the benefit away. An Act of Infolvency made his business at that time particularly troublefome; and he would not wait till hurry



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