upon firmness and consistency. With those ad-
vantages, having learned the art of versifying, he
declared himself a poet: and his claim to the lau
rel was allowed.

But by a critic of a later generation, who takes
up his book without any favourable prejudices,
the praise already received will be thought suffi
cient; for his works do not shew him to have had
much comprehension from nature or illumination
from learning. He seems to have had no ambition
above the imitation of Waller, of whom he has co-
pied the faults, and very little more. He is for
ever amusing himself with puerilities of mytholo

BY; his King is Jupiter, who, if the Queen brings no children, has a barren Juno. The Queen is compounded of Juno, Venus, and Minerva. His poem on the Duchess of Grafton's law-suit, after having rattled awhile with Juno and Pallas, Mars and Alcides, Cassiope, Niobe, and the Propetides, Hercules, Minos, and Rhadamanthus, at last concludes its folly with profaneness.

His verses to Mira, which are most frequently mentioned, have little in them of either art or nature, of the sentiments of a lover or the language of a poet: there may be found, now and then, a happier effort; but they are commonly feeble and unaffecting, or forced and extravagant.

His little pieces are seldom either sprightly or elegant, either keen or weighty. They are trifles written by idleness and published by vanity. But his logues and epilogues have a just claim to praise.


The" Progress of Beauty" seems one of his most elaborate pieces, and is not deficient in splendour and gaiety; but the merit of original thought is wanting. Its highest praise is the spirit with which he celebrates King James's consort, when she was a queen no longer.

The "Essay on unnatural Flights in Poetry" is not inelegant nor injudicious, and has something of vigour beyond most of his other performances:

his precepts are just, and his cautions proper; they are indeed not new, but in a didactic poem novelty is to be expected only in the ornaments and illustrations. His poetical precepts are accompanied with agreeable and instructive notes.

The Mask of "Peleus and Thetis" has here and there a pretty line; but it is not always melo. dious, and the conclusion is wretched.

In his "British Enchanters" he has bidden defiance to all chronology, by confounding the inconsistent manners of different ages; but the dialogue has often the air of Dryden's rhyming plays: and his songs are lively, though not very correct. This is, I think, far the best of his works; for, if it has many faults, it has likewise passages which are at least pretty, though they do not rise to any high degree of excellence.


THOMAS YALDEN, the sixth son of Mr. John Yalden, of Sussex, was born in the city of Exeter, in 1671. Having been educated in the grammar school belonging to Magdalen College, in Oxford, he was, in 1690, at the age of nineteen, admitted commoner of Magdalen Hall, under the tuition of Josiah Pullen, a man whose name is still remembered in the University. He became next year one of the scholars of Magdalen College, where he was distinguished by a lucky accident.

It was his turn, one day, to pronounce a declamation: and Dr. Hough, the president, happening to attend, thought the composition too good to be the speaker's. Some time after, the Doctor finding


him a little irregularly busy in the library, set him an exercise for punishment; and, that he might not be deceived by any artifice, locked the door. Yalden, as it happened, had been lately reading on the subject given, and produced with little difficulty a composition which so pleased the president, that he told him his former suspicions, and promised to favour him.

Among his contemporaries in the College were Addison and Sacheverell, men who were in those times friends, and who both adopted Yalden to their intimacy. Yalden continued, throughout his life, to think as probably he thought at first, yet did not forfeit the friendship of Addison.

When Namur was taken by King William, Yalden made an ode. There never was any reign more celebrated by the poets than that of William, who had very little regard for song himself, but happened to employ ministers who pleased themselves with the praise of patronage.

Of this ode mention is made in a humorous
poem of that time, called "The Oxford Laureat:"
in which, after many claims had been made and
rejected, Yalden is represented as demanding the
laurel, and as being called to his trial, instead of
receiving a reward:

His crime was for being a felon in verse,
And presenting his theft to the King;
The first was a trick not uncommon or scarce,
But the last was an impudent thing;

Yet what he had stol'n was so little worth stealing,
They forgave him the damage and costs,

Had he ta'en the whole ode, as he took it piese


They had fined him but ten-pence at most.

The poet whom he was charged with robbing
was Congreve.

He wrote another poem, on the death of the Duke

of Gloucester.

In 1700 he became fellow of the College; and next year, entering into orders, was presented by the society with a living in Warwickshire, consistent with his fellowship, and chosen lecturer of moral philosophy, a very honourable office.

On the accession of Queen Anne he wrote an other poem; and is said, by the author of the "Biographia," to have declared himself of the party who had the honourable distinction of Highchurchmen.

In 1706 he was received into the family of the Duke of Beaufort. Next year he became doctor in divinity, and soon after resigned his fellowship and lecture, and, as a token of his gratitude, gave the College a picture of their founder.

He was made rector of Chalton and Cleanville, two adjoining towns and benefices in Hertfordshire; and had the prebends, or sinecures, of Deans, Hains, and Pendles, in Devonshire. He had before been chosen, in 1698, preacher of Bridewell Hospital, upon the resignation of Dr. Atterbury. §

From this time he seems to have led a quiet and inoffensive life, till the clamour was raised about Atterbury's plot. Every loyal eye was on the watch for abettors or partakers of the horrid conspiracy; and Dr. Yalden, having some acquaintance with the bishop, and being familiarly conversant with Kelly, his secretary, fell under suspicion, and was taken into custody.

The vicarage of Willoughby, which he resigned in 1708.-N.

This preferment was given him by the Duke of Beaufort.-N.

Not long after.

$ Dr. Atterbury retained the office of preacher at Bridewell till his promotion to the bishoprick of Rochester. 'Dr. Yalden succeeded him as preacher, in June, 1713.-N.


Upon his examination he was charged with a
dangerous correspondence with Kelly. The cor-
respondence he acknowledged; but maintained
that it had no treasonable tendency. His papers
were seized; but nothing was found that could fix
a crime upon him, except two words in his pocket.
book, thorough-paced doctrine. This expression
the imagination of his examiners had impregnated
with treason, and the Doctor was enjoined to ex-
plain them. Thus pressed, he told them that the
words had lain unheeded in his pocket-book from
the time of Queen Anne, and that he was ashamed
to give an account of them; but the truth was,
that he had gratified his curiosity one day, by hear-
ing Daniel Burgess in the pulpit, and those words
were a memorial hint of a remarkable sentence by
which he warned his congregation to "beware of
thorough-paced doctrine, that doctrine which,
coming in at one ear, passes through the head,
and goes out at the other."

Nothing worse than this appearing in his papers,
and no evidence arising against him, he was set at

If will not be supposed that a man of this cha-
racter attained high dignities in the church; but
he still retained the friendship and frequented the
conversation of a very numerous and splendid set
of acquaintance. He died July 16, 1736, in the
66th year of his age.

Of his poems, many are of that irregular kind
which, when he formed his poetical character, was
supposed to be Pindaric. Having fixed his atten-
tion on Cowley as a model, he has attempted in
some sort to rival him, and has written a
to Darkness," evidently as a counterpart to Cow-
ley's "Hymn to Light."

This Hymn seems to be his best performance,
and is, for the most part, imagined with great vi-
gour and expressed with great propriety. I will
not transcribe it, The seven first stanzas are good;

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