for his good sense and moderation in politics, at a time when faction and party zeal ran with so headstrong a current. His Medleys are generally written with much

strength of argument,

They were continued,

and freedom from abuse. with occasional assistance, until August 6th, 1711, extending to forty-five numbers, one of which was contributed by Steele, and another by Anthony Henley; and several were the composition of Mr. Oldmixon. After an interval of some months, they were resumed, and a new Medley appeared on the 3d of March, 1712, which, having likewise reached to forty-five numbers, finally expired on August 4th, 1712. A selection from the first Medley was published in 1789, by Mr. Nichols, together with the Lover, and Reader, of Steele.

19. THE OBSERVATOR. Though this political paper commenced many years anterior to the Tatler, it continued to exist until 1712; when an act of parliament, annexing a stamp of a halfpenny to every half-sheet, effected its ruin. It was a weekly Essay, originally published by John Tutchin, who, for his participation in the rebellion of Monmouth, and for a defence of that chieftain, which he subsequently printed, was sentenced by Jefferies to be whipped through several towns in the west. The sentence was

carried into execution with so much severity, that the unfortunate man absolutely petitioned James II. to be hanged. Dying in September, 1707, his paper was continued by other hands, but never merited or acquired much celebrity. Gay, in May, 1711, thus notices it, "The Observator, since our party struggles have run so high, is much mended for the better; which is imputed to the charitable assistance of some outlying friends." And Swift, in his journal to Stella, dated August 7th, 1712, has exultingly recorded its extinction. "Do you know that Grub-street is dead and gone last week? No more ghosts or murders now for love or money. I plied it pretty close the last fortnight, and published at least seven papers of my own, besides some of other people's; but now every single half-sheet pays a half-penny to the Queen. The Observator is fallen."

20. THE RAMBLER. It is probable, from circumstances which we shall afterwards have occasion to mention, that Dr. Johnson was ignorant of this anticipation of title. The first Rambler appeared in 1712, but only one number has escaped the ravages of time; this is in the British Museum, and does not appear, observes the annotator on the Tatler, inferior to any of the earlier

imitations of the Tatler, &c. in respect of wit, humour, or literary composition.* To what extent this paper was carried is unknown.

21. THE LAY MONASTERY. Sir Richard Blackmore, the chief author of this production, and a most indefatigable writer, was the son of an Attorney in the county of Wiltshire, and, after the usual routine of education, was in 1668 entered at Edmund Hall, Oxford. He took his degree of M. A. in this university, in 1676, where he resided thirteen years; at the expiration of which period, it is probable, that for a short time he assumed the employment of a schoolHe soon, however, relinquished this occupation for the study of physic, and visiting the continent, graduated at Padua. After a tour of eighteen months, he returned to his native


*Tatler of 1797, 8vo, vol. 4, p. 262, 263.

The following severe lines, alluding to Sir Richard's two professional employmeuts, are, in Cibber's Lives of the Poets, ascribed to Dr. James Drake, the author of the Anthropologia Nova.

By nature form'd, by want a pedant made,
Blackmore at first set up the whipping trade:

Next quack commenc'd; then fierce with pride he swore,
That tooth-ach, gout, and corns, should be no more.

In vain his drugs, as well as birch he tried,

His boys grew blockheads, and his patients died.

country, and, commencing practice in London, was created a Fellow of the College of Physicians in 1687. Having acquired considerable celebrity in his profession, he had the honour, in 1697, of being appointed physician in ordinary to King William; this was speedily followed by the rank of Knighthood; and when Queen Anne ascended the throne, he was also nominated one of her physicians, and continued to officiate as such for several years. He died in October, 1729, after a long life of industry, piety, and unblemished morality.

The numerous compositions of Sir Richard Blackmore, may be arranged under the heads of medical, poetical, theological, and miscellaneous. They are now, in a great measure, and perhaps not undeservedly, neglected; though, as they were uniformly written in support of virtue and moral order, and occasionally display passages of some literary merit, they were by no means proper subjects for the ridicule and abuse with which they were indiscriminately overwhelmed. He acquired, however, no inconsiderable share of fame by his first epic production, entitled Prince Arthur, a poem which passed through three editions in two years, could boast of Locke and Molyneux among the number of its admirers, and which strongly excited the attention of the critics.

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Unhappily, the encouragement of the public given to this first effort, stimulated Sir Richard to further exertions, and by the year 1723, he had produced three more bulky epics, King Arthur, Eliza, and Alfred; the four poems including no less than forty-four books. With the mediocrity and perseverance of our author, the world, however, soon grew satiated, and his heroes were scarcely ushered into life, before they began to exhibit symptoms of dissolution. Yet, notwithstanding the length of these poetical flights, SirRichard found time for a vast variety of other excursions into the regions of Parnassus; and among these, for one on which his reputation, as a disciple of the Muses, seems now solely to rest. In 1712 appeared his Creation, a philosophical poem in seven books, of which both the matter and stile have been highly commended by Addison and Johnson; the latter affirming, that "this poem, if he had written nothing else, would have transmitted him to posterity among the first favourites of the English muse.”* To this opinion few will probably assent; and though the recommendation of the Doctor has introduced this work into the body of our English Poetry, we may venture to predict that it will not long maintain its station. Splendid as the subject is, the Lives of the Poets.

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