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ALEXANDER V. BLAKE, PUBLISHER.
THOMAS, COWPERTHWAIT, & CO., PHILADELPHIA.
CO N T E N T S.
OF VOLUME II.
Preface to the “Preceptor : containing a General Memoirs of the Court
of Augustus, by Thomas
the Translation of Father Lobo's Journal of Eight Days' Journey from Portsmouth
Preface to "An Essay on Milton's use and imi- Reply to a paper in the Gazetteer, May 26, 1757 599
tation of the Moderns in his Paradise Lost” 519 Essay on the Writings and Genius of Pope 601
Considerations on the Plans offered for the Miscellanies on Moral and Religious Subjects,
Preface to the Gentleman's Magazine, 1738 544 Slanes Castle. The Buller of Buchan
Considerations on the Case of Dr. T(rapp]'s Fores. Calder. Fort George
in Verse and Prose, by Anna Williams" 549 Fort Augustus
A Dissertation upon the Greek Comedy, trans- The Highlands
General Conclusion on Brumoy's Greek Theatre 569 Sky, Armidel
OPINIONS ON QUESTIONS OF LAW.
On School Chastisement
On Lay-Patronage in the Church of Scotland 586 PRAYERS AND MEDITATIONS, with
On Pulpit Consure
588 Preface by the Rev. George Strahan, D.D. 662
LIVES OF THE ENGLISH POETS
THE Life of Cowley, notwithstanding the pen- time, that his teachers never could bring it to re ury of English biography, has been written by tain the ordinary rules of grammar.” Dr. Sprat, an author whose pregnancy of imagin- This is an instance of the natural desire of man ation and elegance of language have deservedly to propagate a wonder. It is surely very difficult set him high in the ranks of literature ; but his to tell any thing as it was heard, when Sprat zcal of friendship, or ambition of eloquence, has could not refrain from amplifying a commodious produced a funeral oration rather than a history: incident, though the book to which he prefixLe has given the character, not the life, of Cow- ed his narrative contained his confutation. A ley; for he writes with so little detail, that scarcely memory admitting some things, and rejecting any thing is distinctly known, but all is shown others, an intellectual digestion that concocted confused and enlarged through the mist of pane the pulp of learning, but refused the husks, had syric.
the appearance of an instinctive elegance, of a ABRAHAM COWLEY was born in the year one particular provision made by Nature for literary thousand six hundred and eighteen. His father was politeness. But in the author's own honest relaa grocer, whose condition Dr. Sprat conceals un- tion, the marvel vanishes: he was, he says, such der the general appellation of a citizen; and, what “an enemy to all constraint, that his master would probably not have been less carefully sup never could prevail on him to learn the rules pressed, the omission of his name in the register without book." He does not tell that he could of St. Dunstan's parish gives reason to suspect not learn the rules; but that, being able to perthat his father was a sectary. Whoever he was, form his exercises without them, and being an he died before the birth of his son, and conse- enemy to constraint,” he spared himself the quently left him to the care of his mother; whom labour. Wood represents as struggling earnestly to pro- Anong the English poets, Cowley, Milton, and cure him a literary education, and who, as she Pope, might be said "to lisp in numberg," and lived to the age of eighty, had her solicitude re- have given such early proofs, not only of powers warded by seeing her son eminent, and I hope, by of language, but of comprehension of things, as seeing him fortunate, and partaking his prosperity. to more tardy minds seem scarcely credible. But We know, at least, from Sprat's account, that of the learned puerilities of Cowley there is no he always acknowledged her care, and justly paid doubt, since a volume of his poems was not only the dues of filial gratitude.
written, but printed in his thirteenth year;* conIn the window of his mother's apartment lay taining, with other poetical compositions, “The Spenser's Fairy Queen; in which he very early tragical History of Pyramus and Thisbe," writtook delight to read, till, by feeling the charms often when he was ten years old ; and “Constantia verse, he became, as he relates, irrecoverably a and Philetus," written two years after. poet Such are the accidents which, sometimes While he was yet at school he produced a coremembered, and perhaps sometimes forgotten, medy called “Love's Riddle,” though it was not produce that particular designation of mind, and published till he had been some time at Campropensity for some certain science or employ- bridge. This comedy is of the pastoral kind, ment, which is commonly called genius. The which requires no acquaintance with the living true genius is a mind of large general powers, world, and therefore the time at which it was accidentally determined to some particular direc- composed adds little to the wonders of Cowley's tion. Sir Joshua Reynolds, the great painter of minority. the present age, had the first fondness for his art excited by the perusal of Richardson's treatise.
By his mother's solicitation he was admitted * This volume was not published before 1633, when into Westminster School, where he was soon dis-Cowley was fifteen years old. Dr. Johnson, as we tinguished. He was wont, says Sprat, to relate, portrait or Cowley' being by mistake inarked with the u That he had this defect in his memory at that! age of thirteen years.-R.