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There was at this time a project formed by Tonson for a translation of the Pharsalia, by several hands; and Hughes englished the tenth book. But this design, as must often happen where the concurrence of many is necessary, fell to the ground; and the whole work was afterwards performed by Rowe.

His acquaintance with the great writers of his time appears to have been very general; but of his intimacy with Addison there is a remarkable proof. It is told, on good authority, that Cato was finished and played by his persuasion. It had long wanted the last act, which he was desired by Addison to supply. If the request was fincere, it

proceeded from an opinion, whatever it was, that did not last long; for when Hughes came in a week to shew him his first attempt, he found half an act written by Addison himself.

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He afterwards published the works of Spenser, with his Life, a Glossary, and a Discourse on Allegorical Poetry; a work for which he was well qualified, as a judge of the beauties of writing, but perhaps wanted an antiquary's knowledge of the obsolete words. He did not much revive the curiosity of the publick; for near thirty years elapsed before his edition was reprinted. The same year produced his Apollo and Daphne, of which the success was very earnestly promoted by Steele, who, when the rage of party did not misguide him, seems to have been a man of boundless benevolence.

Hughes had hitherto suffered the mortifications of a narrow fortune; but in 1717 the lord chancellor Cowper set him at ease, by making him secretary to the Commissions of the Peace; in which he afterwards, by a particular request, desired his successor lord Parker to continue him. He had now affluence; but such is human life, that he had it when his declining health could neither allow him long possession nor quick enjoyment.

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His last work was his tragedy, The Siege of Damascus ; after which a Siege became a popular title. This play, which still continues on the Stage, and of which it is unnecessary to add a private voice to such continuance of approbation, is not acted or printed according to the author's original draught, or his settled intention. He had made Phocyas apostatize from his religion ; after which the abhor- .

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rence of Eudocia would have been reasonable, his misery would have been just, and the horrors of his repentance exemplary. The players; however, required that the guilt of Phocyas should terminate in desertion to the enemy; and Hughes, unwilling that his relations should lose the benefit of his work, complied with the alteration.

He was now weak with a lingering consumption, and not able to attend the rehearsal ; yet was so vigorous in his faculties; that only ten days before his death he wrote the dedication to his patron lord Cowper. On February 17, 1719-20, the play was represented, and the author died. He lived to hear that it was well received; but paid no regard to the intelligence, being then wholly employed in the meditations of a departing Christian.

A man of his character was undoubtedly regretted ; and Steele devoted an essay, in the paper called The Theatre, to the memory of his virtues. His life is, written in the Biographia with some degree of favourable partiality; and an account of him is prefixed to his works, by his relation the late Mr.

Duncombe,

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Duncombe, a man whose blameless elegance deserved the same respect.

The character of his genius I shall transcribe from the correspondence of Swift and Pope.

“ A month ago,” says Swift, “ was sent

A “ me over, by a friend of mine, the works “ of John Hughes, Esquire. They are in “

prose and verse. I never heard of the “ man in my life, yet I find your name as: a subscriber. He is too grave a poet

for me; and I think among the mediocrists, “ in prose as well as verse.”

To this Pope returns :

" To answer your question as to Mr. Hughes; what he want“ ed in genius, he made up as an honest man; but he was of the class

you

think 66 him.”

In Spence's collections Pope is made to speak of him with still less respect, as having no claim to poetical reputation but from his tragedy.

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OHN SHEFFIELD, descended from

a long series of illustrious ancestors, was born in 1649, the son of Edmund earl of Mulgrave, who died 1658. The young lord was put into the hands of a tutor, with whom he was so little satisfied, that he got. rid of him in a short time, and, at an age not exceeding twelve years, resolved to educate himself. Such a purpose, formed at such an age, and successfully prosecuted, delights as it is strange, and instructs as it is real.

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His literary acquisitions are more wonderful, as those years in which they are commonly made were spent by him in the tumult of a military life, or the gaiety of a court. When war was declared against the Dutch, he went at seventeen on board the ship in which prince Rupert and the duke of Albes

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