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si.'e, and therefore could not be a good poet. Andthis, perhaps, may be Mr. Philips s cafe.
But I take generally the ignorance of his readers to be the occasion of their dislike. People that have formed their taste upon the French writers, can have no relish for Philips: they admire points and turns, and consequently have no judgement of what is great and majestick; he must look little in their eyes, when he soars so high as to be almost out of their view. I cannot therefore .allow any admirer of the French to be a judge of Blenheim, nor any who takes Bouhours for a compleat critick. He generally judges of the ancients by the moderns, and luk the moderns by the ancients; he takes those passages of their own authors to be really sublime which come the nearest to it; he often calls that a noble and a great thought which is only a pretty and fine one, and has more instances of the sublime out of Ovid <3e Tristibus, than he has out of all Virgil.
I shall allow, therefore, only those to be judges of Philips, who make the ancients, and particularly Virgil, their standard.
Vol. I. G g But, But, before I enter on this subject, I (hall consider what is particular in the style of Philips, and examine what ought to be the style of heroick poetry, and next inquire how far he is come up to that style.
His style is particular, because he lays aside rhyme, and writes in blank verse, and uses old words, and frequently postpones the adjective to the substantive, and the substantive to the verb; and leaves out little particles, a, and the; her, and bis; and uses frequent appositions. Now let us examine, whether these alterations of style be conformable to the true sublime.
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WILLIAM WALSH, the son of Joseph Walsh, Esq; of Abberley in Worcestershire, was born in 1663, as appears from the account of Wood; who relates, that at the age of fifteen he became, in 1678, a gentleman commoner of Wadham College.
He left the university without a degree, and pursued his studies in London and at home; that he studied, in whatever place, Is apparent from the effect; for he became, in Mr. Dry den's opinion, the best critick in the nation.
He was not, however, merely a critick or a scholar, but a man of fashion, and, as Dennis remarks, ostentatiously splendid in his dress. He was likewise a member of parliament and a courtier, knight of the shire G g 2 for for his native county in several parliaments; in another the representative of Richmond in Yorkshire; and gentleman of the horse to Queen Anne under the duke of Somerset.
Some of his verses shew him to have been a zealous friend to the Revolution; but his political ardour did not abate his reverence or kindness for Dryden, to whom he gave a Dissertation on Virgil's Pastorals, in which, however studied, he discovers ibme ignorance of the laws of French versification.
In 1705, he began to correspond with Mr. Pope, in whom he discovered very early the power of poetry. Their letters are written upon the pastoral comedy of the Italians, and those pastorals which Pope was then preparing to publish.
The kindnesses which are first experienced are seldom forgotten. Pope always retained a grateful memory of Walsh's notice, and mentioned him in one of his latter pieces among those that had encouraged his juvenile studies:
Granville the polite,
And knowing Walsh, would tell me I could write.
In his Essay on Criticism he had given him more splendid praise, and, in the opinion of his learned commentator, sacrificed a little os his judgement to his gratitude.
The time of his death I have not learned. It must have happened between 1707, when he wrote to Pope; and 1721, when Pope praised him in his Essay. The epitaph makes him forty-six years old: if Wood's account be right, he died in 1709* .
He is known more by his familiarity with greater men, than by any thing done or Written by himself.
His works are not numerous. In prose he wrote Eugenia, a defence of women; which Dryden honoured with a Preface,
Esculapius, or the Hcfpital of Fools, pub" limed after his death.
A collection of Letters and Poems, amorous and gallant, was published in the volumes called Dryden's Miscellany, and some other occasional pieces.