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1 F the birth or early part of the life of AMBROSE PHILIPS
I have not been able to find any account". His academical education he received at St. John's College in Cambridge, where. he first solicited the notice of the world by some English verses, in the Collection published by the University on the death of queen Mary? 2 From this time how he was employed, or in what station he
passed his life, is not yet discovered?. He must have published his Pastorals before the year 1708“, because they are evidently
prior to those of Pope 5. 3 He afterwards (1709) addressed to the universal patron, the
duke of Dorset, A Poetical Letter from Copenhagen, which was published in The Tatler, and is by Pope in one of his first letters
3 In 1700
i In Cibber's Lives, v. 122, no ac- which is 'as durable and extensive count is given of Philips's early as the poem itself.' Pope's Works life.
(Elwin and Courthope), x. 391. The entry of his admission as sub
was published his sizar at St. John's College on June abridgement of Hacket's Life of 15, 1693, shows that he was eighteen, Williams, post, PHILIPS, 5; and born in Shropshire, 'filius pannicu- in 1703 he wrote a poem From Hollarii' (son of a draper). Admissions land to a Friend in England, Eng. to St. John's Coll. 1893, Pt. ii. p. 131. Poets, lvii. 43. He was admitted Fellowon March 28, Eng. Poets,lvii. 5. They appeared 1699. Cunningham's Lives of the with those of Pope in vol. vi (1709) Poets, iii. 259.
of Tonson's Misc. Cunningham's I would have had,' said Johnson, Lives of the Poets, iii. 259. Some of at every coronation and every death them were very possibly in circulation of a King, every Gaudium and every earlier. For Addison's reference to Luctus, University verses in as many them see, post, PHILIPS, II 1. languages as can be acquired.' Bos- Ante, POPE, 33. well's Johnson, ii. 371.
• It is entitled to the Earl of For Addison's verses on Queen Dorset, and is dated 'Copenhagen, Mary see ante, ADDISON, 14, and for March 9, 1709. Eng. Poets, lvii
. Prior's, see ante, PRIOR, 8. Johnson 45. The Earl was created Duke in was shown Bentham's Luctus on the 1720. Collins's Peerage, i. 785. death of George II. Bentham's Johnson calls Dorset's father the Works, X. 41. Philips's verses are universal patron.' Ante, HALIFAX, not included in his collected poems, şi În two other places he calls him 1748, or in Eng. Poets. They are Duke of Dorset. Ante, DRYDEN, quoted in The Art of Sinking as an 27; PRIOR, 18. He probably conexample of the Alamode Style,' fused the two men. Addison wrote
mentioned with high praise, as the production of a man 'who could write very nobly?'
Philips was a zealous Whig, and therefore easily found access 4 to Addison and Steele ? ; but his ardour seems not to have procured him any thing more than kind words 3, since he was reduced to translate The Persian Tales * for Tonson, for which he was afterwards reproached, with this addition of contempt, that he worked for half-a-crown 5. The book is divided into many
to Philips :-—' I think you should find James Moore Smyth (alias James out some moral topic, or reflection, Moore, ante, POPE, 361). Warton's or compliment to Lord Dorset for Pope, ii. 319. Philips was almost your conclusion. Addison's Works, certainly meant. v. 376. The advice was not taken, In Pope's Barbarous Revenge on and his Lordship is only mentioned Mr. Curll, among the 'Instructions in the line
to a porter how to find Mr, Curll's "What present shall the Muse to authors' is the following :-'At a Dorset bring ?'
blacksmith's shop in the Friars, a Swift, who mentions the verses on Pindaric writer in red stockings.' March 22, 1708-9 (Works, xv. 322), Pope's Works (Elwin and Courtmust have seen them in manuscript. hope), x. 471. They appeared in The Tatler of May Steele wrote to Swift on Oct. 8, 7, 1709, No. xii.
-Mr. Philips is still a shepPope wrote on Oct. 28, 1710:- herd, and walks very lonely through 'In the whole I agree with The Tat- this unthinking crowd in London.' ler [No. x] that we have no better Swift's Works, xv. 332. On Dec. 15, eclogues in our language [than Phi- 1710, when the Tories were in power, lips's). This gentleman, if I am not Swift wrote to Stella :-'Addison is much mistaken in his talent, is cap- soliciting me to make another of his able of writing very nobly, as I guess friends Queen's Secretary at Geneva; by a small copy of his on the Danish and I will do it if I can; it is poor Winter.' Pope's Works (Elwin and Pastoral Philips.' Ib. ii. 111. On Courthope), vi. 106. On Dec. 21, June 30, 1711, he wrote:-'I will do 1712, Pope wrote :-Mr. Philips has nothing for Philips; I find he is two lines which seem to me what the more a puppy than ever.' Ib.p. 291. French call very picturesque
See also ib. iij. 8o. For an anecdote “All hid in snow in bright confusion of Philips and the bailiff see ante, lie,
SAVAGE, 35 n. And with one dazzling waste fatigue 4 The Thousand and one Days. the eye.”
Ib. p. 178.
Persian Tales. Translated from the "The opening of this poem is in
French of La Croix, 1709. Lady comparably fine. The latter part is M. W. Montagu wrote to Pope from tedious and trifling. GOLDSMITH, Belgrade in 1717:—'I pass for a Works, iii. 436.
great scholar with him [a learned · Ante, ADDISON, 115; SWIFT, Turk), by relating to him some of 51 n.
the Persian tales, which I find are When simple Macer, now of high genuine. At first he believed I underrenown,
stood Persian. Montagu's Letters, First sought a poet's fortune in the 1837, i. 349. town,
5 The Bard whom pilfer'd Pastorals 'Twas all th' ambition his high soul renown, could feel,
Who turns a Persian tale for To wear red stockings, and to dine half-a-crown.' with Steele.'
POPE, Prol. Sat. l. 179. Warton thought that 'Macer' was 'Pope accuses him of poverty in a
sections, for each of which if he received half-a-crown his reward, as writers then were paid, was very liberal'; but half-a-crown
had a mean sound?. 5 He was employed in promoting the principles of his party by
epitomising Hacket's Life of Archbishop Williams. The original book is written with such depravity of genius, such mixture of the fop and pedant, as has not often appeared. The Epitome is
free enough from affectation, but has little spirit or vigour 3. 6 In 1712 he brought upon the stage The Distrest Mother, almost
a translation of Racine's Andromaquet. Such a work requires no uncommon powers s; but the friends of Philips exerted every art to promote his interest. Before the appearance of the play a whole Spectator, none indeed of the best, was devoted to its praise ; while it yet continued to be acted another Spectator
couplet wherein a falsehood is told good won' Wentworth Papers, p. in bad English. SOUTHEY, Speci- 280. mens, ii. 112.
Pope, a year later, in his Prologue ? The Introduction and the first to Cato said: "Ten Days' fill seventy pages of a 'Your scene precariously subsists too duodecimo in fair type. Johnson, who long 'wrote 48 octavo pages of the Life of On French translation and Italian Savage at a sitting' (ante, SAVAGE, song.' App.FF),could have probably earned On this Warton remarks:
-He his eleven half-crowns for translating glances obliquely at The Distrest these eleven sections. Pope, in 1739, Mother.' Warton's Pope's Works, described Johnson as'choosing rather to die upon the road (on his way to In Macer Pope describes how Dublin) than be starved to death in Philips translating for booksellers. Boswell's
(ventur'd on the town, Johnson, i. 133.
And with a borrow'd play out-did In Joseph Andrews, Bk. iii. ch. 3, a gentleman says that he had by * John Crowne, a dramatist, was translating 'in half a year writ him- notorious for plagiarism. Pope's self almost blind, and half-worked Works (Elwin and Courthope), iv. and half-starved himself to death.' 'Thus at the bar the booby Bettes
that during his writing the madThough half-a-crown o'er-pays his scene he was so carried away by his sweat's worth.'
enthusiastic rapture, that when Mr. SWIFT, Works, xii. 417. Addison came into the room he did Among the satirists it is the sum not know him, and that, as soon as given to a woman of the town. See he recovered from his fit, he said to
-“What, Joe, is it you ? " See Appendix P.
“That," said Quin," was to let you Lady Strafford wrote on March 25, know how familiar he was with Mr. 1712:- Here is a new play which Addison." Davies's Dram. Misc. has taken extremly, call'd the distrest iii. 284. mothere. I had not seen it tell last • No. 290, Feb. I, 1711-12, by night, for I dont much love Traidys Steele. [tragedies), but I think it's a very
ib. ix. 230.
was written, to tell what impression it made upon Sir Roger"; and on the first night a select audience, says Pope, was called together to applaud it ?.
It was concluded with the most successful Epilogue that was 7 ever yet spoken on the English theatre. The three first nights it was recited twice, and not only continued to be demanded through the run, as it is termed, of the play, but whenever it is recalled to the stage, where by peculiar fortune, though a copy from the French, it yet keeps its place, the Epilogue is still expected, and is still spoken".
The propriety of epilogues in general, and consequently of this, 8 was questioned by a correspondent of The Spectator, whose Letter was undoubtedly admitted for the sake of the Answer, which soon followed, written with much zeal and acrimonys. The attack and the defence equally contributed to stimulate curiosity and continue attention. It may be discovered in the defence that Prior's Epilogue to Phædra had a little excited jealousy ; and something of Prior's plan may be discovered in the performance of his rival.
Of this distinguished Epilogue the reputed author was the 9 wretched Budgel, whom Addison used to denominate 'the man who calls me cousin’’; and when he was asked how such a silly fellow could write so well, replied, 'The Epilogue was quite another thing when I saw it first 8.' It was known in Tonson's family,
No. 335, March 25, 1712, by success of the Epilogue is The SpecAddison. It was puffed also, more tator, No. 341. I have seen a maror less directly, in Nos. 334, 338, 341. ginal note by Mrs. Piozzi on this
* Many days, writes Cibber (Apo- Spectator, where she says :—What logy, p. 283), had our house [Drury I cannot comprehend at all is that Lane Theatre] been filled by the in- since my time-nay since Mrs. Sidfluence of Steele's pen.'
don's time—the Gallery always will ? An audience was laid for The call for this Epilogue, which is now Distrest Mother.' POPE, Spence's unreservedly given to Addison ; but Anec. p. 46; ante, ADDISON, 59. how the Gallery people came to know
3. It never fails bringing tears into its value so well I guess not.' the eyes of a sensible audience, and For the Epilogue see Addison's will, perhaps, ever continue to be a Works, v. 228. stock play on the lists of the theatres.'
s Nos. 338, 341. Biog. Dram. ii. 167.
6 Ante, SMITH, 46; PRIOR, 60. It was in the part of Orestes in See Appendix Q. this play that Macready, in 1816, 8 “When somebody said he won. first appeared on a London stage. dered how so silly a fellow could Macready's Reminiscences, i. 125: blunder upon so good a thing, Addi
In Brit.Mus. Cata, sixteen editions son said:"Oh, Sir, it was quite -the last in 1883-are mentioned. another thing when first it was brought
* Johnson's authority for the early to me."' POPE, Spence's Anec. p.257.
and told to Garrick, that Addison was himself the author of it, and that when it had been at first printed with his name, he came early in the morning, before the copies were distributed, and ordered it to be given to Budgel, that it might add weight to the
solicitation which he was then making for a place . 10 Philips was now high in the ranks of literature. His play was
applauded ; his translations from Sappho had been published in The Spectator?; he was an important and distinguished associate of clubs witty and political ; and nothing was wanting to his
happiness, but that he should be sure of its continuance. 11 The work which had procured him the first notice from the
publick was his six Pastorals 3, which, flattering the imagination with Arcadian scenes, probably found many readers, and might have long passed as a pleasing amusement had they not been
unhappily too much commended. 12 The rustick Poems of Theocritus were so highly valued by the
Greeks and Romans that they attracted the imitation of Virgil, whose Eclogues seem to have been considered as precluding all attempts of the same kind; for no shepherds were taught to sing by any succeeding poet till Nemesian and Calphurnius ventured
their feeble efforts in the lower age of Latin literature *. 13
At the revival of learning in Italy it was soon discovered that a dialogue of imaginary swains might be composed with little difficulty, because the conversation of shepherds excludes profound
Johnson's wife had heard much pleasure and contempt, an eclogue the same story from 'Draper, Ton- which was composed on the accession son's partner.' Boswell's Johnson, iii. of the Emperor Carus.' In a note he 46. Warton had it from Garrick, adds :- See the first eclogue of who had it from some of the Tonsons. Calphurnius.' The Decline and Fall, Essay on Pope, ii. 303.
ed. 1897, i. 338. Budgell did not get a place till the ac- Of Numerian, the son of Carus, he cession of George I. Dict. Nat. Biog. says that 'in an age very far from * Nos. 223, 229; Eng. Poets, lvii.108. being destitute of poetical merit he
“You have an admirable contended for the prize with the most hand at a sheep-crook,' Addison celebrated of his contemporaries. ... wrote to him. Works, v. 383*. He won all the crowns from Neme
For Blake's 'twenty drawings to sianus, with whom he vied in didactic illustrate Philips's Pastorals' poetry. Ib. p. 347. Gilchrist's Blake, i. 273.
According to Professor Bury, ‘Cal* Gibbon, writing of the year A.D. purnius wrote under Nero. Some of 282, says :—'The voice of congratu- the idylls which were ascribed to him lation and flattery was not however were written by Nemesianus.' Ib. p. silent; and we may still peruse, with 311n.
* This letter is conjecturally dated 'Dublin Castle, August, 1710.' The Pastorals, first printed in Tonson's Misc. 1709, were published independently
3 16. p.5.