Imatges de pÓgina


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books were certainly not very long, the manuscripts 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 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 confiderable 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 adversaries

suspect suspect that all subordination and government is endangered.

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

In 1697 he mingled in the controversy between Boyle and Bentley ; and was one of those who tried what Wit could perform in opposition 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 Lister, who had published A Journey to Paris. And in 1700 he satirised the Royal Society, at least Sir Hans Sloane their president, in two dialogues, intituled The Transactioneer.

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


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love his profession, 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 address and knowledge which he discovered in 1700, when he defended the earl of Anglesea against his lady, afterwards dutchess of Buckinghamshire, who sued for a divorce, and obtained it.


The expence of his pleasures, and neglect of businefs, had now lessened his revenues ; and he was willing to accept of a settlement in Ireland, where, about 1702, he was made judge of the admiralty, commissioner of the prizes, ķeeper 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 soon 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 interest, forget his cares; and desert his duty

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

In 1708, when lord Wharton was sent to govern Ireland, King returned to London, with his poverty, his idleness, and his wit; and published some essays called Useful Trans-, äčtions. 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 sentia ment; and in 1709 imitated Horace in an Art of Cookery, which he published, with some letters to Dr. Lifter:

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

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


The History 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


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 request, made gazetteer. Swift, Freind, Prior, and other men of the same 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 Insolvency made his business at that time particularly troubleføme; and he would not wait till hurry 5


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