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7 i i i ] I C O N T E N T S T H I R D VOLUME.




11 ATTHEW PRIOR is one of tho~. th& have burn out. from an obfcure r>riginat to great eminence. He was borri July 2 I,,I 664, according to iome, at Winburne in Dorretihire, of I know not what. parents; others fay that he was the ibn of a Joiner of 1,ondon: he was perhaps willing enough to leave his birth unfettled, in hope, like ~~n:?&l?ote, that the hi~orian if his aetions'rnight find hlp fome i'lluitrious alli nce. tic. ' I., I He The difficultp of fettting Prior's birth-pke is great. '1n. the regirer of his College he is called,- at his admitlion by 'the Prcfidmt,' Mdttbnu Prior of Winbarn id M~AI&Z ; by :hintelf next day, Mattbr;w Prior of Do./;tP{re, in which county, not. in Middlefex, Winborn, or ~imoorne. as it dands in the F'ilfarc, is fouid. When he Rood candidate for fiis'feilo~lhi~; five years afterwards; he was regibered again by himfelf as of Middk/cx. The lafi rrtord ought to ha B 2 ' preferred,

12 He is fuppofed to have fallen, by his fa. thgr's death, into the hands of his uncle, a *vintner near Charing-crofs, who knt hi* for fome time to Dr. Buiby at Wt3fiminifer; but, not ifitendfng to give him any education beyond.that of the fccbool, took hip^, when he was well advaficed iri literature, to hia own houfe; where the earl of Dodet, celea brat& for patroiqe of genius, h& hisn kq chance, as Burrlet. relates, reading Horace, and was fo well pldd with his pgfciency; that he undertobk the C& asd coif of hia,audeyical education,.,.... :, He his nke i? St. ]ohxi%- College at Cambridge ' in 1682, : in his eighteenth 'year; and it may be reafonably ib9pokd that he wag diftinguiihed among his oontempod iaries. He became -a- Bachelor, as is ufual, ia four years ; and two pears afrerwatds' wrote 'the poem an the Dciij, which Ran& firr h, his vdurne., It is the eitabliihed prru2ke of that COP* to fend tvay year to the earl of Exeter Conr preferred, beeauk it war made upon wth. h h obtmbl~ that, as a native of Winborn, he is Riled kih Gq'i Pn'e, gmcro/i; nat confitcntly dth tho -00 mat of the meanaefs. of his birth. poems

13 P R I O R. J poems wpon iacred Eubjeas, in acknowledgment of a benefaion enjoyed by them fionl, the bounty of his ancefior. On this occafion were tlmfe vedw.writtm,' which, though nothing ie &id of their fuceefs, feem t~ have recommended him to fome noticei for his pr?ife of the countefs's mufic, and his line4 OP the famous piahre of Seneca, afford reaibat for itnagidsg thqt he ww more or l& convcripnt with that family. The &me year he pbliihed the Cdy gad Country MO&, to ridicule Dryden'a Hnd and Puatbsr, ia corljun&ion with Mr. Mon- Thac is a byf of great pain fuffend,- md d fear6 bed, on this accdon, by pryden, who thought* hard that an old'nan /bould be4 trrcr~dj tba/r to wbom be bad 01- ways bee^ civill py tide8 like is the epvy raifed by Ebperigr abilities every day gratified; when they are attacked, every one hopes to ke them humbled; what is huped its readily believed, and what is believed is mnfidently told. Dryden had been more ac- ctdiamed to hoftilitia, than that fuch break his quia; and if we cm fuppde... Gpraa him

14 him 'vexed, it 'would.& hard to deny hie fenfe enough to conceal his qneafind.. 'a ', ;. The City atld Country Moge prdcurc: ed its author8 more folid advantages than the pleafure bf. fietting Dryden;, for they were both fpiedily pref~d. l4lontagui )indeed obtained the firfi notice, with fome degree of difcontent;. as it feems, in.prior, who-gkbaz bly knew that his own part of the pbrfmml ance was the beit. He had not, however, -, much rearon. to cornplain; for! he cimd ' td London, and obtained fuuch notice,,th'at (in r 69 I) he. was Cant' to the congrefs., at: The )lap6 4s fecfeiae to the: &b8f+.. In this %ffernbiy bfip*incei and hob~ks, to which. EU;. rope has pishhs*'s fiarch~y:hen,in~ thing equal, was fokried: the 'piddgllia& agiihlt Lewis ; which at b ~ did - not prducc 'effeas prbpor: tionatc tothe &gnifice&e. if, the trinla&bnion, :, $......, I The condtiet of ~rio9; in this Tplehdid ihitiatidn int6 public.. biifinih; wad fo. pleafing.. io..king William, that hdl.rnade him one of jhc genr~&enof his bedchamber; -.. and he is Gip~fed. 'to ha& patfed foke of the next. In. thg. cultivation of literature and poetry. T~G

15 l I -The death of Mary on I 6g5ypro2 dtrcea ii 'fubjeq-. far :all the writeis: *rhaps% nd ~ n~isl. was evkr fo poetically attended.. Dryden, 'indeed, as a man difeountenaileeck add depiiveb,' was :fikiiti-but icarcely an$ other mikir! of verfes omitted- to bring--his tiikute of ;tuxkful' forrb*. 6An : emuldon of degy wii bniverial. ' Wi-ii's prrxe I+&. xioi confined to the Engliih language, but.fills 'i great part of the Mzfe Anglcana.. I.... I L.... prior, "wd8'was both a poet and a coiu-tier; was not *likeij to mifi this opportunity of refpeq. F He wrote's.. long.. ode, which was pre- #$ be._... &ng;. by. whom 'it was npt like17 I.,. - to be evd ieaa:, I!..... C I[n two years hq was fecretary to another. emba* at the treaty efirfwick (in 1697) ; and next year had the fqne office at the CO& cif'! ~ranik, 'he ::is fiid to have,..,. - -, $ten &ih&:deksd8*th., great ai[tfnltion:,,.,,..i $ ', * I A;;. -.he.w3s. one, day furveying tbe apart-, men.ts at ~erfaijles, being hewn the Vi&oriq ~f,fe;5~is,:p<yted by ;Le Brun, and afire4, \vt~etbqr B 4. I

16 the LSw af Eaglaod's- Macs bad w ~ W My C& mlra~mtc dny M&er'~ adifjdm; faid he, my 46 60Jm ewrp -6 bir -bo& of Le 8- )w usnot only ia thernwves i&dqtlp &qtitio~g but were, enplaimed by inlcrip tiom fa arr~gaat, that Boileau wd RGnu t?qught it necaffq t~ make 44s? euwe, fimp#. a -7.- '. He was in the foll&ing year at Loo with the king; from whov,- after a long audience, he + orders to EqzjaJ, and upon his arriyal became under-fecret&y pf it& in tha earl of Jerfey's office; a pofi which he' did not retain long, becaufe Jerky.was removedi but hawas ioon made ~omqiffioner of ~&de,.. - Ws (1790) pduccd QIU d.his long& and mofi fpfendid mmpofitions, thq Camcn &mla1"~, in which he exh&uits all his powers of celebmtja. I: mean nn to accuie him of flattery; hiprobably thought J that he writ, and retained as much veracity as be propdy exa&ed ha a poet prw fifkdly endorniisftic. King Williarn fupph- Cd topiolg matdab for either re& or pmfc.

17 Hif whole-life. had been &ion, and no man ever deuied him the reblcpdent qualities of Ready refolution and perf04j courage. He was ~edly in Prior's.kind what he repreiimts him Ln, his ve&s ; be eonfidured him as a her9 and wa accufiomed to fay, that he p~a%!d'others in compliance with the faihion, but that in celebrating king Wiliam lie fol-a lowed his inclination. To Prior patitude would diaats. praife,. which redon. wsuld not. f&e Among the advantages to. M e &om th L., future. xeaeg of Will~am S reign, he mentionr.!i'oiict;&$f,.... J t&hz.. and among them. hi& Some that with care true eloquence hall teach, &od *;jtl& idi- fixadr doubtfsll +eecp-i That from our.writers dirant realms may know The thanke we to our monarch owe, And fchods profcfs wr tongue through every. land, mat has invok'd his aid, or blcfiod dir hand.. Tickell, in'hii Pro$& cf Pw, has the b e hope of a new academy: In happy chains our daring language bound,. en.6pert ne Fore iq sybitrary fwd., L Whahu

18 Whet& ' the. ~iirnilhude of thofe.'p&ig;~ which exhibit he Lme thought on-thd iam'e' 6ccaGon proceeded from accident or imitation,. is not eafy to deterniine. T'ickelt might have been imprefed with his +peaation by Swift's- PTO~&Z for 40-ttoinin~j-',r& EyZp Lam.',.,,., buove then lately p,ublifhed, S....>,., the parliament that met in 1701,~ hq was ciiofen reprefentative of E-aft Grinfiead: Perhaps it was about this time that he chan-' his fi?rgr; for he.. voted -. for the impewhment ce thde. lords who had,pe&adt$i-thp -'.. king h ihe partition-tr=aty,,a treaty ift whict) he h~d1ihirniel~'been~ininiit'erially &mploi&l; -'.I ,., ' A great part 'of queen Anne's reign lrss a time af:br, in theie was lit& em-' ployrnent fbr negotiators, and pidr.' had th'erkfbre 1kfure make or to pblifi iieifes: When the I #.. battle,, of, Blenheim called.forth all the 'verfe-men, prior, Lmong the ier," toog Care to hew Gs delight ill the incredng. bod his td'~';iii&, I.\..... A.. He pab~ified foori afie'rwards a vol*me'of Foems, -.'with the encfiqiaflic charader of ha..,. deceafc4

19 I deceafed patron the duke of Dorfet : it b-4 wit6 the -College Exercie, and ended with the Nut-brown d...., : '.. he battle of Ramillies - feon afterwards (in 1706) excited [hid 'tq aaothh efforc of poetry. this akfion he Kad 'few&''?i lefs formidable rivals;?n'& it whld be not,ear7 to name anp other com$iifit,ion produbeh by that event which is. now. remembered ",....,,. - Every thing has; its.'day. Th~o~gh.;the reigns. of Wifiam and Anne no -profpeklii event pasd undignified by poetry. In -the lait 'war,. whea.,france; was1 dirdraced) and overpbwkrgd. in 'everp quartet of rho glob'i; wh&* Spain coming m her oifiltaaci oil$ fhared her cahiriitieg, and the namd cif. ad Iingliihman was igvereqced through Eurape; no poet was heard amidit the general acelay mation; the fame of our coun~ellors. and he-... roes was intrufted:to'.the. Gizeueir. '...: -...., , The nation in time grew weary of the war, and the queen grew weary of her miniiters. The war was burdenfome, and the, pinirer6. were:..iddent.. I *~arle~,. and hi; frienrl;~

20 friends 'begin to hopb thu they' might, bp Mving the Whigi fiom court and fim power, gratify at oncc.'thn qween and the people. There was now a call for writers, who might convey intelligence of pa$ abufes,.a~d ihew the waee of public money, th unrealonabk - Costdzd3 of tbe AIlip~, the nvar af g d 5 me tytanny of minions, -I r, p a l daqp of approaching ruin..- - ' : For this purpofe a paper called the Exaww pt?riodicblly pubbhd; 'written; as mipe~ it ksppened, by my wit of W party, a d &iqpgtheg as b faid by Mrs. Mahley. fionao c$wnd-tlp hift ; plod one, ip ridicule of FmB's, verfss -6oddphin pppdrr the lufe of Bie place, wae writtea Prior, ahd adwe id by AddXon, 'wb appaks to have kmwg $he artthdr rrirtdaer by m& tue or ina&h gaee. The T&s9 who wcbe lrow in power, w m in hafie to end the war; and Prior, being recalled -(X 7 re) to his hrnw mplopment of pakbg treaties, was fa (July' 1711),p& vgdy to Paris with pro+- of peace, Ji$e was' rernwbqred at the I ' tow; and,

21 md, rimking h about a month, biought with him, M. Mefnagv, a lhinifier hm' France, imeited with - full powers, and the &M Gaultiet, Thia trada&on not being avowed,mackaf, the mah d the bwu packet-boatb either zealody br officioufly, feized Prior and his litociatez) at Cadterbury. It is ealy fuppofed that they &re foon'releafcd... ' ' The fiepiation was begun at Prior$ houfc, where the Qeen's minifias met Mefnaga (sept&b& 20, I 7 r S), arid =entered ~ r i d p ipon the great bufinefi* importance of Prior appears from the mention made of him by St. John in his Letter to My Lord Treafimr mmed, and dl m7 9 Lords were dthe fame opinion, that Mr. '.Prim &odd be added to h& wbo are c 'mrpod to &p; the ~afbn for which U is, becadk he, having perfdy treated with Mmf~ut de Torcy,. is the befk wits d wd cm produce of the fence in which '& the gemral pidiminay engagement$ are entered into: befdea which, as he ie the 5 beit

22 14 R. 1: a R. " befi vetfed,in matters of trade of all ybwr ". ~$eit~'s. fervantswho have been trured ". in this fecret, if you h1 think fit t,q eqd t' ploy him in the future treaty of commerce+ " it will be of confequence that he h'as been 66 a party--concerned. in- concluding that.con-." vention, which muit be the ru1e:of this a treaty." A.. The afembly of this impbean; night war in fome degree clandeftine, the deiign of treating not being yet openly declared,.and, 'when the Whigs returned to power, was aggravated to a - charge of high. tieafon ; though, as Prior re&rks in his ;mperfe& A...-. anfwei.. to the Report of the ~omhrittrr of $rrrrry, no treaty ev&..,was,made without, pivate interviews and preliminary dikulfionu :. 1 My bufinefs' is no4 the hifigry of the peace, b t the life of WO*. The <onfeqe~es began at 'Utrecht on the -fitit,of Jmuary (1.7 f.i-i 2),. -.and the Englifi plenipotentiaries. a;riyed on tbe fifieenth. The minijl-ers of the different potentates mdeerred and copferred ; but, the' peace advanced fo.. $owly, that fpeedier

23 I broke..-was Grit to Paris to adjuit differences with lefs formality; Prior either accoppanied him or followed him; and after his departure had the appointments and authority of. an ambaffador, though no public charaaer. By iome miitake of the eeen's orders, the court of France had been difgufied ; and Bolingbroke fays in his Lettek, " Dear Mat, * hide the nakednefs of thy county, and ' give the befi turn thy fertile brain fur-,&' niih thee with to the blunders of thy sountrymen, who are not. much better politi- U cians - than the French are poets." Soon &er the duke of Shre+ury went on a formal embairy to Paris. It ' is relateh by Boyer, that the intention was to have. joined Prior in the fame. cornmi~on, but that Shrewibury refufed to be aff~ciated with 'a man fo meanly born. Prior therefore codtinued to a& without a title till the duke returned next year to England, and then he dumed the fiyle and 'dignity of embaffador.., But, while he continued Ln appearanctt'a private Inan, he was treated with confidence 8 by 4

24 I by Lmis, =ha fat him with I l&r te &( *cm, dttcn in htir of the clettor of Bavaria. U I fhdl fap he, U S# :U impatience, the return of Mr. Prior, vthofo condue ia very aflcable.'*. M while the Duke of Shrewfbury was itill at Paris, BolingbtbLe m e to,hior.thus: cc Mdeur do Torcp has a & b a 'in yoa; make dc of it, once for all, +on this occkifion, and convince him thoroughly, -W that we muit give a different turn to our - prfiament and oar peeple, atcarding tb U 'thqir refolutim at this &ifis? 1,..,.. ; J I Prior's public dig$tg' and fplendout cqmmnced in Augufi r 713, and eoatinuqd the AuguR following; but I m ;Ifraid tbv, according to the ufual fate..-.of &atntip, it was attended with h e perpledties yrd -P tifications. He had not all that i8 cuaqm? ~ily gived to ambagadorar he hipts ta the queen, in an im~erf& poem, that he. had no fervice of plate) ral it appeared, by &e debts' which he cootraaed, that his rcmittaaces were not puouaup made

25 on the firr of Auguft J 714, eniijed the E ddwnfall'of the Tories abd the degradation of Piior. He was recalled; but Was not able to return, being detained by the debts which : he had found it ndceff'arf to e0ntraqj and which were not dilcharged before March; though bis \old friend Montague was now at the head of the treafuryb, Re' returned theri as foon as he could, and was welcomed on the 25th of March by a wartant, bit +as, however, fuffered to live in his own houie, under ihe.cufiody.of the meffenger, till he was examined before 1 committee of the Pkvy Council; of ivliich Mr. Walpole was chairaan, and loid CO: ninglby, hr. Stanhope, ind Mi: Lechmere, f ere the pr;ncipal interrogators ; who, in- this examination, bf which there i9 printed,- an - account not imintertaining, behaved b.ith the boiderouinefs of mixi elated by re&t 'QUthoritl.,They are reprefefited -as aking yuekiois rometirnes vague, forhetimes i.nfidi-* oui, and writing anfwers.. different hdm thofe' tehi'ch they received. Prior, however,, leems'... to have been overpowered by their 'turbd-, knee ; for he ronfedes that hi figfied. what, VOL C if I i i C l

26 1 \ if he had ever come before a legal judicat~re, he mould have contradiqed or expkind away.. The <o*h was adminitiered b,y Bofr cawen, a M.Wlefex j*e, who at ljt yas going to d e his atteitation cm the wrong iide of the paper... I They were very induftrious to find fom~ tharge againfi Oxford, and afked Prior, with great earnefinefi, who was prefent when the preliminary articles were talked of or figned at his houfe. He tbld thein, that either( the earl of Oxford or the duke of Shrewibury was abfent, but he codd not,remember which; an adwer which perpiexed them, - becaufe 'it hpplied no acclmfation againfi either. " Could any thing be more abfurd," fays he, " or more inhnman, than to propofk to me a cpeition, by the ani'wering of which I, might, according to them, prove myretf a traitor? Add notwithitand- '' ing their folemn promife, that nothing U whkh I could fay ihould hurt myfelf, I cc had no reafon to ~ uit them : for they vio- lated th& prowife about five 'hom'afier.. F However, I owned I was the prefenr... Whether I {

27 P R I O R. 59. Whether this 'was wifely done-or no, I '' my fricnda to determine." l When he had.iigned the pap, he wa~ told by - Walpok, that the committee were not latisfied with his behadour, nor could give fuch an account of it to the Commons as might merit favour; and that they now " thought a iliaer confinement nseffq than to his owa haufe. Here," iays he, Boleswen playid the moralilt, and Co- '' ninplby the ehrifiian, hut both very auk- '' wardly." The meffenger, ih whofe cuftadp k *as to be placed, was then called, and very decently aded by Cmingiby, if bir bouje ~a~jcurcd by bari and bolts? The qiefr fe~ger enfwered, with afianiihrnent; qc which Coniqgiby very angrily faid, Sir9 yeu ~.PJ?Fw~ tb;l f..~brcrg it ir for the $4)~ of dh Wion : jfha mirr for it. ' They had already printed their repart; and in this examination were endeavouring to find prode. - He continued thus confined for fome time; (June I o, I 715) moved for na cad Mr. Walp~le G 2)

28 an impeachment againft him. What made him ib acrimonious does not appear: he was by nature no thirfier for blood. Prior was a week after committed to' cloce'cuftody, with orders that ao pegoonj;soecld be admitted to j c.him witbout leavefrom tbe S'eakei... When, two years after, ah A& of Grace was paired, he was excepted, and continued Rill in cultody, which he had mjde lefs tedious by writing his Alma. He was, however, Soon after difcharged. He had now his liberty, but he had nothing elre. Whatever the profit of his employment~ might have been, he had always fpent it; and at the age of fifty-three was, with all his abilities, in danger of penury, haviag yet no iblid revenue bdt from the fellowihip of his college, which, hen in his exaltation he was cenfured for retaining it, he f&d, he could live upon at lafi. Being however generally known and efteemed, he was encouraged to add other POems to thofe.which he had printed, and them by fubfcription.. - The expedieilt fucccieded

29 P R I O R ; 2 I-. fimeeded by the indufirp of many friends,. who circulated the propofals", and the care of fome, who, it is faid, yithbeld the mone7 from,him, left he fhould fquander it.the k, price of the volume was two guineas; the whole collefiion was four thoufand ; to which lord Harley, the fon of the earl of Oxford, to whom. he had invanably adhered, added an equal fum for the purcl~afe of own-hall, which Pear was tp enjoy during life, and - Harley after hib deceafe. *! He had now, what wits and philofopheri have often wifhed, the power of pafing the day in' contemplative tranquillity. But it feems that bufy men feldok live long in a fiate ~f quiet. not unlikely that his health zedinkd. He cornplains of deafnefs; for, fays he, I took little care of my earr whilc I was not fi,rg ifmy bead was my owlr,. Of any occurrences in his reinaining life I have found no account. In a letter to Swift, I have,', fays he, " treated lady Har- '' riot at Cambridge. A Fellow of a Colleee C' treat! and Goke verfes to her in a gown 6' and Gap What, the plenipotentiary, i'o fw ' Swift obkaincd many fubfcriptions for him in Ireland. C 3 " concerneq

30 cc concerned in the damned peace at Utrecht! the man that makes up half the kolume of U terfe profe, that makes up the report of the committee, keaking vedesl Sic bomo fum." He died at WimpoZe, a fgat of the earl 04.Oxford, on the eighteenth of September I 72 t, and was buried in Wefiminfier; where on a monument, fpr which, as the Zaz pitce of burnan vanity, he left five hundred pounds, is engraven this epitaph : Sui Temporis HiRoriam meditanti, Paulatim obrepens Febris Qperi iimul & Vita: fill~m abrupit, Sept. 18. An. Dom Btat. 57, ' H. S. E. Vir Eximius SereniEinis Regi GULIELMO Reginzque MARIAB In CongreRione Federatorum Hag= anno 1690 celebrata, Deinde Magna Britannia: Legatis Tum iis, * Qui anno 1697 Pacein RYSWICKI copfecerunt? Turn iis, Qui apud Gallos annis proximis Legationem obierunt; Eodem etiam anno r697 in Hiberniae Sgc RE-

31 .P'R I O R. 23 SBCRETARIUS; Net non in utrtbquk Honorabili sonfefi Emurn, Qui anno 1700 ordinidis Comrnercii negoriis Quique a~h0 i 3 J t dirigendis Portorii rebuf Przfidebant, (~MM~BSIOKARIUS ) Pdrecno Ab ANWA Pcllicifll~ memorie &legin8 Ad.Lu~ov~cv~ XIV. Gallie Wegem Miih anno 171 r De Pace Rabilienda, (Pace etiamnum dorante Diuque ut boni jam omnes fperant duratura) Cum hmma potefface Legatus.. MATTHXUS PRIOR Armiger ; Q1 i Hos omnes, quibus cumulatus eft, Titulos Humamtatis,-Ingenii Erudicionis Laude Superavi t j Cui enim nafcenti faqiles arriferant Mufz. Hunc Puerum Schola bic Regia perpolivit ; Juvenem in Collegio 3ti. Johannis Cantabrigia optimis Scientiis infiruxit ; Viri~rb denique auxit & perfecit Mulb aum virie Priucipibus confuetudo; 115 narus, ita infiitutus, A Vatum Choro avelli nunquam potuit,.sed fdebat Cipe erurn Civilium gravitatem Am~niorum biterarum ~tudiis condire : c 4 Et

32 Et cum omne adeo Poetices genus Haud infeliciter feetaret,. *- Turn in Fabellis concinne lepideque texen$iq. Mirus Artifex Neminem habuir pareip, Haec liberalis anirni obleaamenta 3 Qam pull0 Illi labere copititerint, Facile perfpexere, quibus ufus eit Amici 4 Apud quos Urbanitaturn & Leporum plenus Cum 'ad rem, quzcunque forte inciderat, Apt2 vari2 c~piofeque alluder~t~. Jntereo nihil qwditurn, nibil vi cxpreirum Vidcbatur, Sed ornnia ultro eftluerc, : Et quafi jugi t fonte affatim exuberare. Ita SUDS tandem dubios reliquit, Effetne in Scriptis, Poeta Elegahrior, An in Convihu, Cp~nes Jucundior.. Of Prior, eminent as he was, both by his abilities and itation, very few memorials bave bee; left by hi c,ontemporaries f the +c~pnt therefore niuit now be defiitute of hi9 pridate charafier and familiar practices. He Iiwd at a time when the' rage of party deteaed all which it was any man's interefi to bide ; an4 9s little ill is heard df Prior, it is certain that not much was known. He was not afraid of provoking... cenfure ; for when he forfook the ' > -. Whigs I

33 I Whigs +, under. whofe patronage he firit entered the world, he became a Tory To ardent and determinate, that he did not willingly conibrt with men of different opinions. He was one of the fixteen Tories who met weekly, and agreed to addrecs each' other bp the title of Brotbcr ; and feems to have adhered, not only by concurrence of political deiigns, but by peculiar affeaion,,to the earl of Oxford and his family. With how much canfidence hg was truited, has been already told..... He was however, in Pope's * opinion, fit ~nly to.make verfes,. and 1eG.qualified fo~ bufinefs than ' AddXon himfeif. This. was furely faid Githout.-, confideration. Addifon, exalted to a high. place, was forced into degradation bp the fenfe ~f his own incapacity 3 f rior, who wa ef~lployed by men very capable of efiimating his value, having been hiretary to one embaffy, had, when great abilities were again wanted, the fame office another time; and was, after fb much experience of his knowledge and dexterity, at lafi fent to tranfddct a negotiation in the highee degree arduous and important ; for which he was quxli-

34 -, 26, P R I O R. fi~d, among other requiiifes, in the opinion of Bofiagbroke, by his influence upon the French ninifier, and by %ill in quefiions of commerce above other mkn. Of his behaviour in the lighter parts of life, it is too late m get much intelligence. One of his anfivers to a boafifid Frenchman has been related, ahd to an impertinent: he made an~kcr equally proper. During his embaffy, be fat at the optm hya man, who, in his rapture, accompanied with his own voice the prin- dpd.fihger. P36r fell' to railinge at the per- hrmr with alt th~~mts of tepmach that 5e coald rdlle~, ~in-(lle:~femhrna;l, eeafing from h5s hngj to &k'pottul&e&tli him for his harih ~erdiie of d man wfi&&& ceonfekedly the ornament 9f tke itage. I know ail C-L that:' Igysth aniba%dar, '.naif dcba~tcjl hat, quej nehurois vous ea:ntendre," In a gay Frerich conipany, where every one fung a little long or fianza, of which the bmden was, Bann&n~ kr Mci~~cbdie; when it came to his turn to fing, after the performance of a young lady that fat naxt hip, he produced there extemporary lines ; I I

35 Mais celle mix, et ces beaw yeux, ' '. Font Cupidon mp dangerem, Et je his triite 'quand je xrie.., BanniKons la lklelancholie., A \ Tradition reprerents him as willing to de-. - fiend ' fro& the-&i&tf': bf the poet and tlie &tefkan to the low defiihts of mean cbmpany. His. ~hlok.p&bab~y' jii fometimes ideal,,.;, but the koigah with whom. h cohabited'. :Was a defpkable drab * of the' lowefi fpecies. ' One of his wpnches, pqbap Ghloe, while. be was abhnt from his,hodk,,... fiolq his plate, a d ran away ; as was related by a woman who had been his fervant. OF this dropenfity to fordid ronvde I have feen an account fo feiioufly ridiculous, that it feems to deferve inf'ertion. L' " I have been affured that Prior, after having ipent the evening with Oxford, Baling- " broke,pope, and Swifi, would go and fmoke *' a pipe, and drink a bottle of ale, with a common foldier and his wife, in Long- '' Acre, before he wept to bed ; not from any fb remains of the lownefs of his original, as!! pne faid, but, I Cuppofe, that his faculties

36 cc -Strain'd to the height, cc In that ccleftial colloquy iublimci : cc Dazzled and fpegt, funk down, &h-fought -. l... repair." Poor Prior! why was he fojrained, andin fuch want of rep&-, after a converlration with men not, in theopini6nof the world, much wifer than hidelf? But fu& are the eonceits of fp&datifis, whopr'aif~ theiifacuztiir to find in a miiie what lies upon the &face. is-opinions, fo f& as the means,. of judging. are left us, feern to :h+ been right; but his -....,Efe was, it feems, irregular,. negligent, and fenfual...,.,..... ' PRIOR,

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