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The charge was afterwards very diligently refuted by Dr. Burton of Eton, a man eminent for litera ture, and though not of the fame party with Aldrich and Atterbury, too ftudious of truth to leave them burthened with a falfe charge. The teftimonies which he has collected have convinced mankind that either Smith or Ducket was guilty of wilful and malicious falfehood.
This controverfy brought into view thofe parts of Smith's life which, with more honour to his nime, might have been concealed.
Of Smith I can yet fay a little more. He was a man of fuch eftimation among his companions, that the cafual cenfures or praifes which he dropped in converfation were confidered, like thofe of Scaliger, as worthy of prefervation.
He had great readiness and exactness of criticism, and, by a curfory glance over a new compofition, would exactly tell all its faults and beauties.
He was remarkable for the power of reading with great rapidity, and of retaining with great fidelity what he fo eafily collected.
He therefore always knew what the prefent queftion required; and, when his friends expreffed their wonder at his acquifitions, made in a state of apparent negligence and drunkennefs, he never difcovered his hours of reading or method of ftudy, but involved himself in affected filence, and fed his own vanity with their admiration.
One practice he had, which is easily obferved: if any thought or image was prefented to his mind, that he could use or improve, he did not fuffer it be loft; but, amidst the jollity of a tavern, or
* See Bp. Atterbury's Epiftolary Correfpondence, 1799, vol. III. p. 124.
in the warmth of converfation, very diligently committed it to paper.
Thus it was that he had gathered two quires of hints for his new tragedy of which Rowe, when they were put into his hands, could make, as he fays, very little ufe, but which the collector confidered as a valuable ftock of materials.
When he came to London, his way of life connected him with the licentious and diffolute; and he affected the airs and gaiety of a man of pleafure; but his drefs was always deficient; fcholaftick cloudiness till hung about him; and his merriment was fure to produce the fcorn of his companions.
With all his carelefsnefs, and all his vices, he was one of the murmurers at Fortune; and wondered why he was fuffered to be poor, when Addifon was careffed and preferred: nor would a very little have contented him; for he estimated his wants at fix hundred pounds a year.
In his courfe of reading, it was particular that he had diligently perufed, and accurately remem bered, the old romances of knight-errantry.
He had a high opinion of his own merit, and was fomething contemptuous in his treatment of thofe whom he confidered as not qualified to oppofe or contradict him. He had many frailties; yet it cannot but be fuppofed that he had great merit, who could obtain to the fame play a prologue from Addifon, and an epilogue from Prior; and who could have at once the patronage of Halifax, and the praife of Oldifworth.
For the power of communicating these minute memorials, I am indebted to my converfation with Gilbert Walinfley, late regiftrar of the ecclefiaftical court of Lichfield, who was acquainted both with Smith and Ducket; and declared, that,
if the tale concerning Clarendon were forged, he fhould fufpe&t Ducket of the falfehood; "for Rag was a man of great veracity."
Of Gilbert Walmfley, thus prefented to my mind, let me indulge myfelf in the remembrance. I knew him very early; he was one of the first friends that literature procured me; and I hope that at least my gratitude inade me worthy of his notice.
He was of an advanced age, and I was only yet a boy; yet he never received my notions with contempt. He was a Whig, with all the virulence and malevolence of his party; yet difference of opinion did not keep us apart. I honoured him, and he endured me.
He had mingled with the gay world without exemption from its vices or its follies, but had never neglected the cultivation of his mind; his belief of Revelation was unfhaken; his learning preferved his principles; he grew firit regular, and then pious.
His ftudies had been fo various, that I am not able to name a man of equal knowledge. His acquaintance with books was great; and what he did. not immediately know he could at leaft tell where to find. Such was his amplitude of learning, and fuch his copioufnefs of communication, that it may be doubted whether a day now paffes in which I have not fome advantage from his friendship.
At this man's table I enjoyed many chearful and inftructive hours, with companions fuch as are not often found; with one who has lengthened, and one who has gladdened life; with Dr. James, whose skill in phyfick will be long remembered;
and with David Garrick, whom I hoped to have gratified with this character of our common friend: but what are the hopes of man! I am disappointed by that froke of death, which has eclipfed the gaiety of nations, and impoverished the publick ftock of harmlefs pleasure.
In the Library at Oxford is the following ludicrous Analysis of Pocockius :
[Sent by the Author to Mr. Urry.]
OPUSCULUM hoc, Halberdarie ampliffime, in lucem proferre hactenus diftuli, judicii tui acumen fubveritus magis quam bipennis. Tandem aliquando Oden hanc ad te mitto fublimem, teneram, flebilem, fuavem, qualem demum divinus (fi Mufis vacaret) fcripfiffit Gaftrellus: adeo fcilicet fublimem ut inter legendum dormire, adeo Alebilem ut ridere velis. Cujus elegantiam ut melius infpicias, verfuum ordinem & materiam breviter referam. Imus verfus de duobus præliis decantatis. 2 & 3 de Lotharingio, cuniculis fubterraneis, faxis, ponto, hoftibus, & Afia. &ts de catenis, fubdibus, uncis, draconibus, tigribus & crocodilis. 6", 7", 8us, gus, de Gomorrha, de Babylone, Babele, & quodam domi fuæ peregrino. 10", aliquid de quodam Pocockic. 11, 12, de Syriâ, Solymâ. 13", 14", de Hofeâ, & quercu, & de juvene quodam valde fene. 15", 16", de Ænâ, & quomodo Etna Pocockio fit valde fimilis. 175, 183, de tubâ, aftro, umbrâ, flammis, retis, Pocockio non neglecto. Cætera de Chriftianis, Ottomanis, Babyloniis, Arabibus, & graviffimâ agrorum melancholiâ; de Cxfare
fare Flacco, Neftore, & miferando juvenis cujufdam florentiffimi fato, anno ætatis fuæ centefimo præmaturè abrepti. Quæ omnia cum accuratè expenderis, neceffe eft ut oden hanc meam admirandâ planè varietati conftare fatearis. Subito ad Batavos proficifcor, lauro ab illis donandus. Prius vero Pembrochienfes voco ad certamen Poeticum. Vale.
Illuftriffima tua deofculor crura.
F Mr. RICHARD DUKE I can find few memorials. He was bred at Westminster + and Cambridge; and Jacob relates, that he was fome time tutor to the Duke of Richmond.
He appears from his writings to have been not ill-qualified for poetical compofitions; and being confcious of his powers, when he left, the univerfity, he enlifted himfeif among the wits. He was the familiar friend of Otway; and was engaged, among other popular names, in the tranflations of
*Pro Flacco, animo paulo attentiore, fcripfiffem Marone. He was admitted there in 1670. N..
He was elected to Trinity College, Cambridge, in 1675; and took his Mafter's degree in 1682. N.