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In the Library at Oxford is the following ludicrous Analysis of Pocockius :
[Sent by the Author to Mr. Urry.]
OPUSCULUM hoc, Halberdarie amplissime, in lucem proferre hactenus distuli, judicii tui acumen subveritus magis quam bipennis. Tandem aliquando Oden hanc ad te mitto sublimem, teneram, flebilem, suavem, qualem demum divinus (si Musis vacaret) scripsisset Gastrellus : adeo scilicet sublimem ut inter legendum dormire, adeo flebilem ut ridere velis. Cujus elegantiam ut melius inspicias, versuum ordinem & materiam breviter referam. Imus versus de duobus præliis decantatis. 2dus & Bus de Lotharingio, cuniculis subterrancis, saxis, ponto, hostibus, & Asia. 4tus & 5tus de catenis, subdibus,'' uncis, draconibns, tigribus & crocodilis. 6u8 , 7us, gus; 9us, de Gomorrha, de Babylone, Babele, & quodam domi suæ peregrino. Tous, aliquid de quodam Pocockio. Ilus, 12us, de Syriâ, Solymâ. 13us, 14us, de Hoseâ, & quercu, & de juvene quodam valde sene. 15us, 16us, de Ætnâ, & quomodo Ætna Pocockio fit valde similis. 17us, 18us, de tuba, astro, umbrâ, fammis, rotis, Pocockio non neglecto. Cætera de Christianis, Ottomanis, Babyloniis, Arabibus, & gravissimâ agrorum melancholiâ; de Cæsare Flacco Nestore, & miserando juvenis cujusdam florentissimi fato, anno ætatis suæ centesimo præmaturè abrepto. Quæ omnia cum accuratè expenderis, necesse est ut Oden hanc meam admirandâ planě varietati constare fatearis. Subito ad Batavos proficiscor, lauro ab illis donandus. Prius vero Pembrochienses voco ad certamen Poeticum. Vale. I Hustrissima tua deosculor crura.
DU K E.
F Mr. RICHARD DUKE, I can find few memorials. He was bred at
Westminster * and Cambridge *; and Jacob relares, that he was some time tutor to the duke of Richmond.
He appears from his writings to have been not ill qualified for poetical compositions; and being conscious of his powers, when he left the university he enlisted himself among the wits. He was the familiar friend of Otway; and was engaged, among other popular names, in the translations of Ovid and Juvenal. In his Review, though unfinished, are some vigorous lines. His poems are not below mediocrity ; nor have I found much in them to be praised t. ..With the Wit he seems to have shared the dissoluteness of the times : for some of his compositions are such as he must have reviewed with detestation in his later days, when he published those Sermons which Felton has commended.
Perhaps, like some other foolish young men, he rather talked than lived viciously, in an age when he that would be thought á Wit was afraid to say His prayers; and whatever might have been bad in the first part of his life, was surely condemned and reformed by his better judgment.
In 1683, being then master of arts, and fellow of Trinity College in Cambridge, he wrote a poem on the marriage of the Lady Anne with George Prince of Denmark.
He took orders; and being made prebendary of Gloucester, became a proctor in convocation for that church, and chaplain to Queen Anne.
In 1710, he was presented by the bishop of Winchester to the wealthy living of Witney in Oxfordshire, which he enjoyed but a few months. On February 10, 1710-11, having returned from an entertainment, he was found dead the next morning. His death is mentioned in Swift's Journal.
* He was admitted there in 1670 ; was cleEted to Trinity College, Cambridge, in 1695; and took bis Maiter's degree in 1682. N.
7. They make part of a volume published by Tenson in gvo. 1917, containing the poems of the ear! of Roscommun, and the duke of Buckingham's elluy on poetry. but were first pubühned in Dryden's ori ceitany, as were most, if not all, of the poems in that collection. H.
WILLIAM KING was born in London in 1663; the son of Ezekiel
King, a gentleman. He was allied to the family of Clarendon. From Westminster school, where he was a scholar on the foundation under the care of Dr, Busby, he was at eighteen elected to Christ-church, in 1681 ; where he is said to have prosecuted his studies with so much intenseness and activity, that before he was eight years standing, he had read over, and made remarks upon, twenty-two thousand odd hundred books and manuscripts. The 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 eighț 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 considerable fortune,
In 1688, the same year in which he was made master of arts, he published à confutation of Varillas's account of Wicliffe ; and, engaging in the study of the Civil Law, became doctor in 1692, and was admitted advocate ar 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 that all subordination and government is established.
This book offended prince George ; and the Danish minister presented a memorial against it. The principles of its author did not please Mr. King, and therefore he undertook 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 Stoane 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 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 judgments 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 duchess of Buckingshire, who sued for a divorce, and obtained it.
The expence of his pleasures, and neglect of business, had now lessoned 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, keeper 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 Upon, one of the judges, who had a pleasant house called Mountown, near Dublin, to which King frequently retiied; delighting to neglect his interest, forget his cares, and desert his duty.
Here he wrote Molly of Mountcwn, a poem ; by which, though fanciful scaders in the pride of sagacity 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 bis wit ; and published some essays called Usesul Transactions. His Voyage to the Island of Cajamai is particularly commended. He then wrote the Art of Love, a poem rema able, notwithstanding its title, for purity of sentiment; and in 1709 imitated Horace in an Art of Cockery, which he published, with some letters to Dr. Lister.
in 1710, he appeared, as a lover of the Church, on the side of Sachevereil ; 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 same year he published Rufinus, an his
torical essay, and a poem, intended to dispose the nation to think as he thought of the duke of Marl borough and his adherents.
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 troublesome; and he would not wait till hurry should be at an end, but immediately resigned it, and returned to his wonted indigence and amusements.
One of his amusements at Lambeth, where he resided, was to mortify Dr. Tenison, the archbishop, by a public festivity, on the surrender of Dunkirk to Hill ; an event with which Tenison's political bigotry did not saffer him to be delighted. King was resolved to counteract his sullenness, and at the expence of a few barrels of ale filled the neighbourhood with honest merriment.
In the Autumn of 1712 his health declined; he grew weaker by degrees, and died on Christmas-day. Though his life had not been without irregu-, larity, his principles were pure and orthodox, and his death was pious.
After this relation, it will be naturally supposed that his poems were rather the amusements of idleness than efforts of study ; thar hc endeavoured rather to divert than astonish; that bis thought seldom aspired to sublimity; and that, if his verse was easy and his images familiar, he attained what he desired. His purpose is to be merry ; but perhaps, to enjoy his mirth, it may be sometimes necessary to think well of his opinions.