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His "Levities" are by their title exempted from the feverities of criticism; yet it may be remarked in a few words, that his humour is fometimes grofs, and feldom fprightly.

Of the Moral Poems the first is the Choice of "Hercules," from Xenophon. The numbers are fmooth, the diction elegant, and the thoughts juft; but fomething of vigour is still to be wished, which it might have had by brevity and compreffion. His "Fate of Delicacy" has an air of gaiety, but not a very pointed and general moral. His blank verfes, thofe that can read them may probably find to be like the blank verfes of his neighbours. "Love and "Honour" is derived from the old ballad, "Did you not hear of a Spanish Lady?"-I wish it well enough to wish it were in rhyme.


The School-miftrefs," of which I know not what claim it has to ftand among the Moral Works, is furely the moft pleafing of Shenftone's performances. The adoption of a particular ftyle, in light and fhort compofitions, contributes much to the increase of pleafure: we are entertained at once with two imitations, of nature in the fentiments, of the original author in the ftyle, and between them the mind is kept in perpetual employment.

The general recommendation of Shenftone is eafinefs and fimplicity; his general defect is want of comprehenfion and variety. Had his mind been better ftored with knowledge, whether he could have been great, I know not; he could certainly have been agreeable.




'HE following life was written, at my requeft, by a gentleman who had better information than I could eafily have obtained; and the publick will perhaps with that I had folicited and obtained more fuch favours from him.


"In confequence of our different converfations about authentick materials for the Life of Young, I fend you the following detail.

"Of great men, fomething muft always be faid to gratify curiofity. Of the illuftrious author of the "Night Thoughts" much has been told of which there never could have been proofs; and little care appears to have been taken to tell that of which proofs, with little trouble, might have been procured."

EDWARD YOUNG was born at Upham, near Winchester, in June 1681. He was the son of Edward Young, at that time fellow of Winchester


College and rector of Upham; who was the fon of Jo. Young of Woodhay in Berkshire, ftyled by Wood, gentleman. In September 1682 the Poet's father was collated to the prebend of Gillingham Minor, in the church of Sarum, by bifhop Ward. When Ward's faculties were impaired through age, his duties were neceffarily performed by others. We learn from Wood, that, at a vifitation of Sprat's, July the 12th, 1686, the prebendary preached a Latin fermon, afterwards published, with which the bishop was so pleased, that he told the chapter he was concerned to find the preacher had one of the worst prebends in their church. Some time after this, in consequence of his merit and reputation, or of the interest of Lord Bradford, to whom, in 1702, he dedicated two volumes of fermons, he was appointed chaplain to King William and Queen Mary, and preferred to the deanery of Sarum. Jacob, who wrote in 1720, fays, "he was chaplain and clerk of "the closet to the late Queen, who honoured him "by ftanding godmother to the Poet." His fellowfhip of Winchefter he refigned in favour of a gentleman of the name of Harris, who married his only daughter. The dean died at Sarum, after a fhort illness, in 1705, in the fixty-third year of his age. On the Sunday after his deceafe Bishop Burnet preached at the cathedral, and began his fermon with faying, "Death has been of late walking round us, "and making breach upon breach upon us, and has


now carried away the head of this body with a "ftroke; so that he, whom you faw a week ago "diftributing the holy myfteries, is now laid in the duft. But he ftill lives in the many excellent di"rections


"rections he has left us, both how to live and how "to die."

The dean placed his fon upon the foundation at Winchester College, where he had himself been educated. At this fchool Edward Young remained till the election after his eighteenth birth-day, the period at which thofe upon the foundation are fuperannuated. Whether he did not betray his abilities early in life, or his mafters had not fkill enough to discover in their pupil any marks of genius for which he merited reward, or no vacancy at Oxford afforded them an opportunity to beftow upon him the reward provided for merit by William of Wykeham; certain it is, that to an Oxford fellowship our poet did not fucceed. By chance, or by choice, New College cannot claim the honour of numbering among its fellows him who wrote the "Night Thoughts."

On the 13th of October, 1703, he was entered an independent member of New College, that he might live at little expence in the Warden's lodgings, who was a particular friend of his father's, till he fhould be qualified to ftand for a fellowship at All Souls. In a few months the warden of New Col

lege died. He then removed to Corpus College. The prefident of this fociety, from regard alfo for his father, invited him thither, in order to leffen his academical expences. In 1708, he was nominated to a law-fellowship at All Souls by Archbishop Tenifon, into whofe hands it came by devolution. Such repeated patronage, while it juftifies Burnet's praife of the father, reflects credit on the conduct of the fon. The manner in which it was exerted feems to prove, that the father did not leave behind him much wealth.


On the 23d of April, 1714, Young took his degree of batchelor of civil laws, and his doctor's degree on the 10th of June, 1719. Soon after he went to Oxford, he difcovered, it is faid, an inclination for pupils. Whether he ever commenced tutor is not known. None has hitherto boafted to have received his academical inftruction from the author of the "Night Thoughts."

It is probable that his College was proud of him no lefs as a scholar than as a poet; for in 1716, when the foundation of the Codrington Library was laid, two years after he had taken his batchelor's degree, Young was appointed to speak the Latin oration. This is at least particular for being dedicated in English "To the Ladies of the Codrington Family." To thefe ladies he fays, "that he was unavoidably flung "into a fingularity, by being obliged to write an "epiftle dedicatory void of common-place, and "fuch an one was never published before by any "author whatever; that this practice abfolved them "from any obligation of reading what was prefented "to them; and that the bookfeller approved of it, "because it would make people ftare, was abfurd "enough, and perfectly right."

Of this oration there is no appearance in his own edition of his works; and prefixed to an edition by Curll and Tonfon, in 1741, is a letter from Young to Curll, if we may credit Curll, dated December the 9th, 1739, wherein he fays that he has not leifure to review what he formerly wrote, and adds, "I have not the Epistle to Lord Lanfdowne.' If you will take my advice, I would have you omit VOL. XI. U




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