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weather, on the coast of Holland. His health afterwards declined; and on January 19, 1705-6, he died at Bath.
He was a man whose elegance and judgement were universally confessed, and whose bounty to the learned and witty was generally known. To the indulgent affection of the publick, Lord Rochester bore ample testimony in this remark: I know not how it is, but Lord Buckhurst may do what be will, yet is never in the wrong..
If such a man attempted poetry, we cannot wonder that his works were praised. Dryden, whom, if Prior tells truth, he distinguished by his beneficence, and who lavished his blandishments on thofe who are not known to have so well deserved them, undertaking to produce authors of our own country fuperior to those of antiquity, says, I would instance your Lord. ship in fatire, and Shakspeare in tragedy. Would it be imagined that, of this rival to antiquity, all the satires were little personal invectives, and that his longest composition was a song of eleven stanzas?
The blame, however, of this exaggerated praise falls on the encomiast, not upon the author ; whose performances are, what they pretend to be, the effusions of a man of wit; gay, vigorous, and airy. His verses to Iloward Thew great fertility of mind; and his Dorinda has been imitated by Pope.
GEORGE STEPNEY, descended from the Stepneys of Pendigrast in Pembrokeshire, was born at Westminster in 1663. Of his father's condition or fortune I have no account. Having received the first part of his education at Westminster, where he passed six years in the College, he went at nineteen to Cambridge *, where he continued a friendship begun at school with Mr. Montague, afterwards Earl of Halifax. They came to London together, and are said to have been invited into publick life by the Duke of Dortet.
His qualifications recoinmended him to many foreign employments, so that his time seems to have been spent in negociations. In 1692 he was sent envoy to the Elector of Brandenburgh; in 1693, to the Imperial Court; in 1694, to the Elector of Saxony; in 1696, to the Electors of Mentz and Cologne, and the Congress at Francfort ; in ings, a lecond time to Brandenburgh; in 1699, to the King of Poland; in 1701, again to the Emperor; and in 1706,
* He was entered of Trinity College, and took his Master's degree in 1689. H.
to the States General. In 1697 he was made one of the commissioners of trade. His life was busy, and not long. He died in 1707 ; and is buried in Weftminster Abbey, with this epitaph, which Jacob transcribed :
H. S. E.
Vir . .
Linguæ, Styli, ac Vitæ Elegantiam,
Sua ætate multum celebratus,
Plurimas Legationes obiit
Gulielmi & Anna
Electus in Collegium
Sancti Trinitatis Cantab. 1682.
Cura commissa est 1697.
It is reported that the juvenile compositions of Stepney made grey authors blush. I know not whether his poems will appear such wonders to the present age. One cannot always easily find the reafon for which the world has sometimes conspired to squander praise. It is not very unlikely that he wrote very early as well as he ever wrote; and the performances of youth have many favourers, because the authors yet lay no claim to publick honours, and are therefore not considered as rivals by the distributors of fame.
He apparently professed himself a poet, and added his name to those of the other wits in the version of Juvenal; but he is a very licentious transator, and does not recompense his neglect of the author by beauties of his own. In his original poems, now and then, a happy line may perhaps be found, and now and then a short composition may give pleasure. But there is, in the whole, little either of the grace of wit, or the vigour of nature. ...
JOHN PHILIPS was born on the 30th of Dee cember, 1676, at Bampton in Oxfordshire; of which place his father Dr. Stephen Philips, archdeacon of Salop, was minister. The first part of his education was domestick; after which he was sent to Winchester, where, as we are told by Dr. Sewel, his biographer, he was soon distinguished by the superiority of his exercises; and, what is less easily to be credited, so much endeared himself to his fchoolfellows by his civility and good nature, that they, without murmur or ill-will, saw him indulged by the master with particular immunities. It is related, that, when he was at school, he seldom mingled in play with the other boys, but retired to his chamber; where his fovereign pleasure was to fit, hour after hour, while his hair was combed by somebody, whose service he found means to procure *.
* Isaac Vossius relates, that he also delighted in having his hair combed when he could have it done by barbers or other persons skilled in the rules of profody. Of the passage that contains this ridiculous fancy, the following is a translation : “Many