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PAUL WHITEHEAD was the son of a tailor, in London; and, after a slender education, was placed as an apprentice to a woollen-draper. He afterwards went to the Temple, in order to study law. Several years of his life (it is not quite clear at what period) were spent in the Fleet-prison, owing to a debt which he foolishly contracted, by putting his name to a joint security for 3000l. at the request of his friend Fleetwood, the theatrical manager, who persuaded him that his signature was a mere matter of form. How he obtained his liberation we are not informed.
In the year 1735 he married a Miss Anne Dyer, with whom he obtained ten thousand pounds.. She was homely in her person, and very weak in intellect; but Whitehead, it appears, always treated her with respect and tenderness.
He became, in the same year, a satirical rhymer against the ministry of Walpole; and having published his "State Dunces," a weak echo of the manner of the "Dunciad," he was patronized by the opposition, and particularly by Bubb Doddington. In 1739 he published the "Manners," a satire, in which Mr. Chalmers says, that he attacks every thing venerable in the constitution. The poem is
not worth disputing about; but it is certainly a mere personal lampoon, and no attack on the constitution. For this invective he was summoned to appear at the bar of the House of Lords, but concealed himself for a time, and the affair was dropped. The threat of prosecuting him, it was suspected, was meant as a hint to Pope, that those who satirized the great might bring themselves into danger; and Pope (it is pretended) became more cautious. There would seem, however, to be nothing very terrific in the example of a prosecution, that must have been dropped either from clemency or conscious weakness. The ministerial journals took another sort of revenge, by accusing him of irreligion; and the evidence, which they candidly and consistently brought to substantiate the charge, was the letter of a student from Cambridge, who had been himself expelled from the university for atheism.
In 1744 he published another satire, entitled the Gymnasiad," on the most renowned boxers of the day. It had at least the merit of being harmless.
By the interest of Lord Despenser, he obtained a place under government, that of deputy treasurer of the chamber; and, retiring to a handsome cottage, which he purchased at Twickenham, he lived in comfort and hospitality, and suffered his small satire and politics to be equally forgotten. Churchill attacked him in a couplet,
"May I (can worse disgrace on manhood fall) "Be born a Whitehead, and baptized a Paul."
But though a libertine like Churchill, he seems not to have been the worse man of the two. Sir John Hawkins gives him the character of being good hearted, even to simplicity; and says, that he was esteemed at Twickenham for his kind offices, and for composing quarrels among his neighbours.
THE Sun from the east tips the mountains with gold; The meadows all spangled with dew-drops behold! Hear! the lark's early matin proclaims the new day, And the horn's cheerful summons rebukes our delay.
With the sports of the field there's no pleasure can vie,
While jocund we follow the hounds in full cry.
Let the drudge of the town make riches his sport;
Mankind are all hunters in various degree;
The cit hunts a plumb-while the soldier hunts fame,
pursues. With the sports, &c.
Let the bold and the busy hunt glory and wealth; All the blessing we ask is the blessing of health, With hound and with horn through the woodlands
And, when tired abroad, find contentment at home. With the sports, &c.
BORN (about) 1700.-DIED 1774.
THE father of this writer was a fellow of Pembroke college, Oxford, prebendary of Wells, and vicar of St. Mary's, at Taunton, in Somersetshire. When Judge Jefferies came to the assizes at Taunton, to execute vengeance on the sharers of Monmouth's rebellion, Mr. Harte waited upon him in private, and remonstrated against his severities. The judge listened to him attentively, though he had never seen him before. It was not in Jefferies's nature to practise humanity; but, in this solitary instance, he shewed a respect for its advocate; and in a few months, advanced the vicar to a prebendal stall in the cathedral of Bristol. At the revolution the aged clergyman resigned his preferments, rather than take the oath of allegiance to King William ; an action which raises our esteem of his intercession with Jefferies, while it adds to the unsalutary examples, of men supporting tyrants, who have had the virtue to hate their tyranny.
The accounts that are preserved of his son, the poet, are not very minute or interesting. The date of his birth has not even been settled. A writer in the Gentleman's Magazine fixes it about 1707; but, by the date of his degrees at the university, this supposition is utterly inadmissible; and all circumstances considered, it is impossible to suppose that