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Original Preture in the Perseusion or lohn Taylor Esq: English to

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THE

EUROPEAN MAGAZINE,

Α Ν D

LONDON REVIE W;

For NOVEMBER 1796.

WILLIAM OLDYS, Eso.

(WITH A PORTRAIT.) THIS indefatigable pioneer of litera- often approaching to necessitous. At one

ture, to whose induítıy, accuracy, period he was confined in the Fleet, durand attention, much infirmation has been ing which he acquired a liking for the brought to light, whole diligence was company he found there in to high a deequal to his veracity, and whole itrict ad- gree, that, to the end of his life, he used herence to truth in all his relearches to spend his evenings at a houle within might be held out to future bicgraphers as the Rules, with perions who, though conar example worthy of imitation, was born fined within a certain distriei, were ex. in us about the year 1687. He was the empted from actual imprisonment. The natural ion of Dr. William Oldys, Chan- only pott he ever held was that of Norroy cellur of Lircoln, Gominißary of St. Ca- King of Arms, given him by the Duke therine's, Official of 9t. Alban's, and Ad- of Norfolk, in return for the pleasure he vocate of the Admiraliy, by a woman who had received from his Life of Sir Walter was maittained by her keeper in a very Raleigh. periurious and private manner, and whole The chief part of his subsistence was ion, it is probable, had but little afliftance derived from the Booksellers, by whom in his education from parents to circum- he appears to have been constantly emthanced

ployed. He seems to have had but little Ot the early part of his life little is claifical learning, but his knowledge of known, except that he lost his parents Englith books has hardly been exceeded. foon, and, probably, was left to make Captain Grofe, who was acquainted his

way in lite unaslisted by every thing with him, says he was a man of great but his own talents. Captain Grose try's good-nature, honour, and integrity, par: he soon fgaandered away a {mall patriino- ticularly in his character of an hittorian. ny, and alterwards became an attendant “ Nothing,” adds he, “I firmly believe, on Lord Oxford's Library, of which, at- would ever have biafled him to insert any ter Wanley's death, in 1726, it may be fact in his writings he did not believe, or conjectured, he had the principal c.fre. to fupprefs any he did. Of this delicacy

During this period he produced his he gave an instance at a time when he was moit valuable works; and, while in this in great distress. After his publication Situation, had every opportunity of gra- of the Life of Sir Walter Raleigh, some tifying his passion for aricient and curious bookiellers, thinking his name would iell books. On the death of Lord Oxiord, in a piece they were publishing, offered him 1741, his valuable library fell into the a considerable juin to father it, which hands of Oiborne the book teller, who he rejected with the greatest indignadispersed it by a Catalogue, in the for. tion.” mation of which Mr. Oliys was employ- From the same authority we learn, that ed, as he was alio in the telection made Mr. Oldys, in the latter part of his life, from the pamphlets, in a work in right abandoned himieli to drinking, and was volumes 4to. entitled The Harleian Vito almost continually in a state of intoxication. Leilany,

At the funeral of the Princess Caroline His circumstances through life seem to he was in such a fituation as to be scarcely kave been at the best times inoderate, and able to walk, and actually reeled about

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with a crown on a cushion, to the great fixed to an Edition of his History of the scandal of his brethren. He is said also ‘World. 2 Vols. fo. 1736. to have been much addicted to low com- Some Lives in the General Dictionary, pany.

The Lives in the Biographia BritanHis excesses, however, seem not to have nica marked G. shortened his life, though they might The British Librarian. 8vo. render his old age unrespected : he died Introduction to Hayward's British April 15, 1761, at the age of 74 years, Muse. 3 Vols. 12mo. 1?38. and was buried the 19th following in the The Life of Richard Carew the Cornish North aille of the church of St. Bennet, Antiquary. Paul's Wharf, towards the upper end of The Lise of Dr. Moffat, prefixed to the aille. He left no will; and the pro- Heath's Improvement. 12mo. 1746. perty he possessed was barely sufficient to Dillertation on Pamphlets in Morgan's defray his debts and funeral expences : Phenix Britannicus. 4to. Administration therefore was claimed He was also for some time concerned by, and granted to, a creditor, Dr. Tay. in the publication of " The Universal lor the Oculift, to whose family he was Speétator,” a weekly Journal, under the under obligations for acts of kindness to name of Henry Stonecastle in Northumhim beyond the loan of the money for berland, parts of which have been cola which he was indebted.

lected into 4 Volumes, izmo: but ile He appears to have been continually most useful of his labours were his Colemployed in some literary work or other, lections for the lives of English Eminent and ihe memıry of many of them (as he Men, which have been the source cf infeldom put his name to them) are pro- formation to late Biographers of various bably loit. The following are the prin- descriptions, and are fill likely to be surcipal:

ther useful, as some works intended for The Life of Sir Walter Raleigh, pre- publication are proceeded on.

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A GENTLEMAN, whose name begins tus this operation occasioned, a gentleman,

with a B-----, visited Lady H- at the lower end of the table, untortunately who resided in Edinburgh, about the happened to ask Mr. B- if he had hour of dinner, that is to say, near five read the work lately published by Lord o'clock. “It was in dark November:" Firebrand? At the scund of his Lordship's He entered the room in his riding dress, naine he Itarted, and exclaimed, “ Read and said, that he intended, that evening, it, yes! It is a work calculated to illuto set out for London.

minate the minds of the Sixteen; and I As her Ladyship knew that Mr. B now recolle&t that I was to have dined was a man who had passed great part of with his Londlip, in private, this day, his life in study, and had acquired such in order to give him my opinion of it. a redundance of discordant ideas that he Perhaps he now waits for me with all the "sometimes acted like an ideot, she was inpatience of a young author. I have fearful if he began a journey at lo late an fome vivifying touches for a second editour, fome accident might happen to tion, and must positively fly to communihim : the, therefore, prelfed him to stay cate them." dinner, thinking, perhaps, that the guelts This declaration threw the company at her table would chain down his atten- into fone cunfufion, especially as the getition, and with it his perfon, for the even- tleman that uttered it was about to leave ing.

the room. Her Ladyship was, upon this With this request, aft?r an apology occafion, too nimble for him; for the got for his boots, he complied. The com betwixt him and the door, and in that pany assembled : he met leveral of his situation demanded a parley, in the friends ; talked of his own works; was çourie of which the fo effeétually explainin high spirits; and seemed to enjoy the ed to him the impossibility of his stach. conviviality of the party.

ing the manĝon of the peer in time to While every thing was proceeding, keep his engagement, that he agreed to with such harmony and decorum, the firit send his servant with a note, in which lie course was removed ; and, during the bia- purposed to ttate, that fo churned was he

note.

with his Lordship's sublime effusion of all was silence and darkness. It was cergenius, that he inust read it, at least, a tain that the bird had escaped. The dozen times more before he should be company thook their heads, said fomeable fully to understand its various lite- thing about great geniules, but took no rary beauties; and having dispatched this further notice of the abience of their or a fimilar apology, which the “ ready friend, coinage" of his brain, he had no doubt, The bottle was now circulated. Their would supply, returned to the parlour, Majetties and family, health ard friends, and finish his dinner in comfort. had gone round, and the ladies thought it

Where now was the writing-table and time to retire for a little private conftand?

versation. Lady II

conducted The servants at last recollected, that, them to the bed-chamber, where, to their in order to clear the rooms for company, astonishment, as foon as they entered, one they had removed them into her Lady- of them (tumbled over a pair of boots, tip's bed-chamber, and as our Northern another espied the elbow.chair occupied fair retain many of the customs which a by a coat and waitcoat, while her Ladylong intercourse with France introduced, thip’s feet were entangled in a tegumeiit his noble hoftels Thewed no heritation in to which the rennement of the age has defiring himn to go thither to write his given the appellation of small cluide: *.

At firit, as may be suppofed, they Mr. B -- ascended the staircase, were concerned for the fafety of the owner placed the candle upon the table, drew an of the drapery thus scattered about the elbow chair towards it, fat himielt down, floor, but a moment convinced them, gaped, ar.d looked around. Every literary without reason ; tor, locking between production requires foie ftudy, his ideas the curtains, they discovered him in the upon ihe subject of his note had evapo- ftate of compoture that has been metirated ; he reclined his head upon his tioner. hand to endeavour to condente them; and

; There were too many Dianas to conhad not continued in this attitude five template one Fortymisn, or, to descend minutes, before the purpose for which he from our clattical tits, this was not a came was entirely out ot his mind. Whilst fight for ladies; they turned their eyes he was thus labouring to recall his disli- from it, and te w into the parlour, where pated thoughts, he cast his eyes upon they gave the alarm to gentlemen, her Lady ship's elegant bed.

who were, muy of them, fox-hunters; fatigued' and leepy, therefore very and, it a judgment might be formed from wilely corcluded that he had retired for the number of diai min under the side. the night; and with great expedition bard, had done much business in little disencumbered himselt of his boots, threw time. off his clothes, extinguished the light, Nothing could have happened more juriped into the said bed, and in a short opportunely. The company, in high time was fait locked in the arins of Som- Ske, assembled round the bed, and, after nus, or, to speak leis metaphorically, in fome gentle efforts to rouse its dormant a state of profound repose.

inhabitant had been tried without fico The guetts in the parlonr, in the mean cess, they opened upon him at once with time, finished their dinner; and although the view halico. This alarmed him, and Mr. B-- was often mentioned, yet probably the whole neighbourhood, but so much had the business before then en- could not be faid to bring him to his gaged their attention, that they very rea- Luíes; for, as he has since informed a diiy accepted the apology which a gen- friend, he was dreaming of the hunters tleman m.ide for him, who obterved, that reccrded in ancient story, Nimrod, Hersuch was his odd turn of mind, he cules, Caumus, ard Theseus, and thinkthould not wonder if, instead of writing ing that the hounds of Sparta were pura note, he was now on his journey to Lon- 10.og him, he leaped out of berl, and cadon,

pered round the room enquerpo, to the " On his journey to London?" said my great amuicment of the company, whose Lady, « impofiible !"

Lead and rt peated peals of laughter shook The servant's report, however, whom the louít. Fearful, however, of carryThe sent to fearch for him, seemed to con- ing the jeit' too far, one of them, who firm the truth of the gentleman's luggef- happened to be of the faculty, crdered tion. The chamber he affirined was va- him to be confincd to the clbow-chair, cant; he had taken a peep into it, and and took furch methods to recall his scats Qucty, If this appellation, according to tlię mod ru fashion, be a just one ?

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tured ideas as were, at least, attended "Oh, Sir! how glad I am that you are with the desired effect.

found !"" Mr. B

awaked, stared about « Found!" said Mr. BM: “ Sore him, and, when convinced of the alvity the fellow's brain is turned: Hes: the of his conduct, and impropriety of his Devil came you to think I was loit?" situation, he, instead of endeavouring to " It was my Lady thought so," reexcute himself, hudiled on-bis cloaths, plied the fervant: “ She has been almost few cut of the room, called for his dittracted at your long absence.

Nieis horse, and was some mils adranced on fengers have been tent to seek you in his journey to Glaigow before he recol- London, Bath, every where: You have lected that he wanted to compliment been described in the Papers ; cried at Lord Firebrand upon his literary mor. the market crois ; and enquired for all dran, and then make the best of his way

country!" to London.

The gentleman at this gave a fiart, as It was now too late to return; therefore if recollecting fomething of importance. it fortunatıly occured to him that the “ Man,” said he, “in his no-made fate, manfior ci Mr. Mac Syilogiím was situ- as my friend has just been explainingated near the spot upon which he had Mrs. Mac Syllogiim, who now joired called a council with his own thoughts, the group, interrupted him by exclaiming, and that the will thing he could do, in

“ Yuur wife, Mr. '

B- Are you his present fituation, would be to ride up married ?" to the door and intreat a night's lodg- “ I am, Madam,” he replied, " I now

persedily call to mind that event; it took Hospitality is a Northern virtue. The place a tew days before I let cut upon whole family leemed rejoiced to see him, ihis excurtion.” and to anxious to render his lituation “ It is Strange, said the lady, that agreable, that 11r. B--- had never you should forget your happineis.' been in a place more congenial to his “ Not at all, Madam, icme men forget feelings, cricre at lone.

even their mifery. Bernaruus Florettes Hie parted his mornings with his friend had a lapse of memory till nicre iuperin the library, in disquisitions into an- tant, he forgot his Greek. I could give cient rretaphys; in endeavours to prove you a hundred instances of abtence of that the animal Oran Olung is, to all in- mird in men who have been lumina ies tents and purpoíus, a na" ; in praises of of Science. I night begin with Venes the Egyptians ; in aitempts to revive or Aihur, but, as time is precious, I the ductrine of Pythagoras; and in Dallgo no higher than Secrates." 7! t'/#!%3a rew intellectual Sytiem. "Oh!" laid the lady imiling, " as llis evenings he dedicated to cards ard you have wel obierved that time is

preconviviality : in short, he found himelf cicus, I will, at present, take your werd fo agreeably circumiared, that a furt- for the whole, belt while you are endea. night huvi elapled without the idea of vouring to recollect particular initances moving haring tver once enicitd his or want of memory in ancient legitators head.

and philofopliers, you should again forget Memory, which Plutarch, in opposition Mirs. B--to a well-known adage, terius

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I am much obliged to you, Madam, mother of the Mues," Lai to ivially for for this induigence," he replied ; * I faken her son Mr. B

that his will fly tw conile my dcar lady, whom complimentary vilii, his London jcurrey, I will soon hueve Die honour of introducirg his private astairs, id his Northern con- to you; for, alıhwugh I may forget many pleélions, were all equally buried in obli- things, the happy hours I have spent in vior, and probably would have contin your society and that of my learned muid lo much longer, had not the idca of friend, will never be eraled from my them been revived by the appearance of memory." a fervant, whom he knew to be his cwn, Saying this, he mounted his horse, and riving furiously into the Court-yard, and set c# with an expulition which seemed in the vimcit trepidarien enquiring of to promile a speedy arrival at the plict of tie iamiiy dumncilies, if they had fern his his c'estination, to which, I have been inmeter?

fuimel, his fervant, who, upon this oc“ Seen him !" replied the burtier, cafion, acted as pilot, had the zod “yes! I have had that pleature every fortune to feer hin without furcing xay tor this fortnight past, and you may him to run out of his courte, or diverse row paiteks on its for he is entering the into further eccentricities:

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